LOWER GWYNEDD >> Jake Ruane had the time and the touch, and as a result Haverford’s passing attack came winging back into form.
“Last week, Radnor shut down our passing attack,” Ruane said of last week’s 10-0 victory, “so we wanted to get back to throwing the ball like we know we can.
“I just wanted to get back feeling comfortable. The line protected well and the receivers got open.”
Ruane threw four touchdown passes and added a rushing TD as well in a 42-14 victory over Lansdale Catholic in a non-league battle at Wissahickon.
“Our guys were beating theirs,” said Ruane, who hit a pair of 50-plus yard touchdown throws.
Ruane’s legs opened the scoring, his 69-yard run around the right side making it 7-0 in the first quarter for Haverford (8-1, 6-1 Central League).
The Fords blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt by LC, Paul Denman scooped up the loose ball and lateraled the ball to Jordan Mosley, who took it the remaining 60 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Haverford lead.
The Crusaders (2-6, 2-3 PCL Blue) cut the margin in half with an 11-play drive, capped by Matt Casee’s two-yard run.
— Kev Hunter (@khunter10) October 21, 2017
But then Ruane’s arm began to take over.
The junior fired a slant to Ryan Odgers, good for a 15-yard score and a 21-7 Ford advantage. An interception by Mosley set up a deep bomb by Ruane — 53 yards down the right sideline to a streaking Carington Hooks, as Haverford widened the margin to 28-7 at the break.
The Fords began the second half with an eight-play drive, finished off when Ruane rolled right and found Kevin DePrince running along the back of the end zone, the 22-yard connection making it 35-7.
LC quarterback Michael Dutkiewicz broke free for a 25-yard TD run but then the Fords capped the scoring when Ruane hit another deep one, 59 yards to Hooks.
Ruane finished 8-of-12 for 218 yards and four touchdowns, Hooks caught five balls for 143 yards and a pair of scores, and Haverford also piled up 233 yards on the ground, including a game-high 111 by Ruane.
The Fords had four pass plays go for 20 yards or more.
“Speed kills, and we’re a little young in some spots but we’ll learn from it,” Crusaders Tom Kirk said. “(Ruane) was very, very good, the way he stood tall in the pocket. Once their guys caught those passes, we’re probably not catching up to them.”
Haverford now gets ready for a Central League showdown with Springfield Delco (9-0, 8-0 Central League).
“Big game next week,” Ruane said, “and it’s a chance for us to get a share of the title. And then the playoffs after that.”
LC moves it early
The Crusaders dominated in plays from scrimmage in the first quarter, by a whopping margin of 24-7.
But a fumble ended the first drive, and after a three-and-out, the Crusaders drove all the way down to the Haverford 20, but then the blocked field goal — on the first play of the second quarter — turned what could have been a 7-3 deficit into 14-0.
“Moving the ball is one thing but scoring is another,” Kirk said. “That’s been kind of our m.o. this year. We move the ball down but then we just don’t have the ability to score.
“You’re not gonna beat Haverford scoring 14 points. We felt we probably had to score four times tonight and we didn’t do it.”
The Crusaders wound up with 77 offensive plays, grinding out 231 yards on the ground. Danny Dutkiewicz gained over 100 yards — 106 total on 29 carries.
“We’re battling. Our kids are battling,” Kirk said. “You can see we’re battling through injuries as everybody is. You get this late in the year, you’re banged up on key possessions, but here we are, Week Nine, and if we win, we’re in.”
Win and they’re in
The Crusaders can secure a Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division playoff spot with a win over Bishop McDevitt (5-4, 1-4 PCL Blue) next Saturday at Wiss (5 p.m.).
“If we beat McDevitt, we’re gonna play the next week, so that’s our goal right now,” Kirk said. “I said to our kids ‘every week now is a playoff week.’ So it’s exciting that the last week of the year, you’re playing for something.
“(McDevitt’s) a very good team. And that’s how it should be, coming down to the last night, especially for our seniors on Senior Night. It’s here (at Wiss), and it should be really exciting.”
Casee getting back
Casee returned from injury to contribute 49 yards on the ground, including the two-yard run that brought LC within 14-7 Saturday night.
“We were really moving the ball but we have to learn to build on that momentum and put the ball in the end zone,” Casee said. “Getting on the board (on that drive), that’s what we needed. We needed to show that we weren’t gonna give up and we were gonna put up a fight.”
LC now gets ready for its biggest game of the year.
“We knew we’d have McDevitt at the end of the season and we knew that game’s gonna be huge for us,” Casee said. “All of our focus now is on McDevitt.”
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