By Bill Rudick
KENNETT SQUARE—Great Valley’s Rob Giess and Ryan Hubley have been playing together for a lot of years. In that time, the quarterback and receiver have developed quite a connection.
With a berth in the district playoffs on the line Friday night at Kennett, the Geiss-to-Hubley connection was on prominent display as the two connected seven times for 178 yards and 2 TDs as the Patriots (6-4) knocked off host Kennett (3-7), 46-14 in the regular season finale. The win not only ensures that the Patriots will qualify for the District 1, Class 5A tournament, if things go right the rest of this weekend, the Patriots could be hosting a first round game.
“I think we match up well with just about anyone in the field,” said Great Valley coach Dan Ellis. “There isn’t that one powerhouse team like in years past under the old alignment. We’re all pretty evenly matched teams this year.”
Great Valley wasted no time in setting the tone. When no Kennett player covered up a short opening, kick-off, the Patriots did, and took over at the Kennett 22. Four plays later, Hubley caught the first of his two touchdowns for a 7-0 lead.
When Kennett’s ensuing possession netted negative yards, the Blue Demons lined-up to punt. But a bad snap left punter James Tuley with little recourse but to cover it up in the end zone for a Great Valley safety.
The Patriots needed exactly one play to score following the free kick, a 55-yard scoring strike from Geiss to Hubley. Barely five minutes in, it was 16-0.
“It was a great feeling to have the offense do what we did tonight,” said Geiss. “We’ve been struggling a little the last couple weeks, and have some players out with injuries. But it just shows the kind of character we’ve got when we can have guys go down and new guys step right up in their place.”
Geiss had a monster night, throwing for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 of 15 passing, and tacking on another couple rushing touchdowns.
“You give Rob the kind of protection he had tonight, he’s going to do some damage,” said Ellis. “What can you say about Hubley? Once Rob finds him, he’s not just fast, but he’s tough and can break some tackles.”
The Patriots weren’t some one-dimensional aerial show, though, rolling up 177 yards on the ground, led by Mark DeRobertis and his 121 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
“DeRobertis has been playing out of his mind lately,” said Geiss. “And the line has been amazing. It makes passing a lot easier when you have a running game like Mark and the o-line have been giving us.”
Kennett’s two scores came in the second period on a 1-yard run from Jake Dilcher, and in the game’s final minute when Connor Hyzny bulled it in from three yards out.