HAVERFORD >> Mike Murphy was not sure how his team would react following a league loss.
After suffering its first Inter-Ac defeat in two years, the Haverford School head coach knew his team was looking at a different practice week than the Fords were accustomed to. They had lost to Perkiomen Valley early in the season, but the more recent loss to Malvern Prep was a bit more difficult to swallow.
Yet the Fords’ preparation did not differ and the final result against Inter-Ac rival Springside Chestnut Hill was exactly what they were looking for.
Behind running back Mallik Twyman’s 196 rushing yards and six total touchdowns, the Fords used their up-tempo offense to stifle the Blue Devils, 57-23.
Twyman had 45 rushing yards at halftime but quickly increased that total with 57- and 59-yard touchdown runs on the Fords’ first two drives of the second half. Murphy, whose team tallied 586 total yards to the Blue Devils’ 340, was pleased with how his team did not deviate in preparation this week.
“Last week, we didn’t do that and we were scattered with the game plan,” Murphy said. “We were really impressed and I think that has a lot to do with our senior leadership, staying the course and knowing we’re still in control of our destiny.”
Twyman scored the first touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run with 8 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first quarter, and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season late in the third quarter.
“A lot of it was just being able to see the field and reacting to where the linebackers were going. There really wasn’t much strategy to it,” Twyman said.
While Twyman ran over and through the Blue Devils’ defense, quarterback Tommy Toal had used the running game to set up the passing game as he finished 17 for 22 for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Toal, who completed passes to eight different receivers, led Haverford School (6-2 overall, 2-1 league) on scoring drives on all four of their first-half possessions as they took a 36-14 lead into the half.
“After the loss to Malvern we just wanted to go back to our fundamental stuff on offense,” Toal said. “We saw some opportunities to exploit their defense and we did a good job of that.”
Springside Chestnut Hill (4-4, 0-3), which has not won an Inter-Ac game in two years, was in a tough position without starting quarterback Matt Rahill, who was out with a concussion. Junior Jack Elliott started in Rahill’s place and completed 12 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two scores. Elliot was also aided by Justin Telemaque (103 rushing yards) and receiver Matt Hoffman (97 yards on four receptions). Blue Devils head coach Rick Knox said injuries his team has suffered this year finally caught up with them.
“We’re the smallest team in the (Inter-Ac) and when you get injuries like we have now, it’s a major drop off,” Knox said. “That’s where a lot of those big plays came from.”