Carter has record day as Haverford School rolls

WHITEMARSH — Kevin Carter has yet to be the primary focus of The Haverford School’s offense.

The Fords quarterback, in his first season as Mike Murphy’s full-time signal caller, has been all too glad to defer to his backfield mates as Haverford bounced back from a season-opening loss to West Catholic to put itself in the pole position for the Inter-Ac title.

It’s hard to fault anyone for that, too. Phil Poquie came into Saturday’s game against Germantown Academy averaging a Delco-best 11.8 yards per carry, and Reggie Harris has come on of late, too, so it can be easy to forget Carter sometimes.

Against the Patriots, though, it was No. 17 who was front and center in a 35-0 rout of the Patriots. Carter broke the Haverford School record with a 391-yard passing day, a number that could have risen to nearly 500 if Murphy hadn’t called off the dogs. The junior also tacked on 54 rushing yards and tossed two touchdown strikes to Derek Mountain and one apiece to Dox Aitken and Micah Sims.

not too shabby, right?

“(Murphy) came to me and said, ‘˜we’re throwing the ball today,” Carter said. “I made sure I warmed up. I made sure I hit the outs and easy patterns. It did build my confidence.’

It sure showed. The Fords moved the ball between the 20s on its first two drives before stalling twice, once settling for a Jack Soslow 37-yard field goal. The second quarter was a different story. Carter started the frame by hitting Aitken in stride for a 45-yard dash and on the ensuing drive, a coverage breakdown by the Patriots led to a wide-open Mountain streaking down the sideline for a 53-yard scoring toss. Later, he found Sims over the middle for another touchdown.

“Phil’s a big guy,’ Carter said of his tailback, who was limited to one carry because of the blowout. “Everyone’s keying on 5, but I’ve got to make sure people know who 17 is. I just had to make sure I had easy throws, took what I had and didn’t force anything. Derek is 6-5 and he’s running slants. You just see the leverage on the ‘˜backers and the corners. Seeing him opens my eyes, then having Dox, who’s 6-3, a 6-6 tight end in Noah (Lejman) and then having short guys who are fast, it’s like heaven.’

It looked easy for the Fords as Carter completed eight passes of 20 or more yards to lead the offense, and it looked even easier on defense as a balanced effort held GA to 236 total yards of offense.

Lejman had the highlight of the day, barreling in unblocked to steamroll GA quarterback Kyle McCloskey. The unfortunate part is that it definitely looked like McCloskey was feeling the effects of a concussion after the hit, ceding his spot to starting tailback Isaiah Jones. Either way, it was clear that the Patriots were no match for a well-balanced Haverford School team.

“The running back saw me and I think the tackle had an assignment on the D-end and they had nobody to block me,’ Lejman said. “I saw the running back’s eyes go the other way and I knew by the down and distance that it was going to be a pass, so I just kind of anticipated what was going to happen. It was a good feeling.’

That shutout must have felt great, too, especially when GA moved the ball against Haverford’s backups on the final drive. Jones’ final crack at the end zone sailed out of bounds, though, and the Fords were celebrating their first goose egg since blanking, well, GA last year. The Patriots haven’t scored a point against Haverford since 2012.

“It was awesome,’ said linebacker L.J. Barlow, a Harvard wrestling commit and a two-time Daily Times Wrestler of the Year. “I think that as a team, we’re good at adapting and so we’re able to make modifications on our opponents with what we’re good at and what we’re not good at. We’re able to identify our weaknesses and work on them.’

There are dates with Penn Charter and rival Episcopal Academy left before Haverford can officially claim an Inter-Ac title, but with the way the Fords looked against GA, they don’t look like they have too many weaknesses.

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