George anchors Garnet Valley’s ground game

CONCORD >> Justin George spent the bulk of his sophomore year bouncing around the Garnet Valley offensive line.

“I started a couple games last year due to a couple of injuries,” George said. “I rotated at guard, tackle and tight end. A little bit of everything.”

When fall camp rolled around, though, George had established himself as the anchor in the most recent edition of the famed Jaguars’ offensive line. Even though he was at his fourth position in the past two years, George found a home in the middle of all the action.

“It’s nice to be in one spot, but having the responsibilities of a center, I need to make sure everyone’s doing their tasks,” George said. “I’m at home at center. That’s my main position and I love it.”

It sure looked that way Friday night in GV’s 40-22 win over Bonner-Prendergast (0-2). The Jaguars (1-1) piled up 241 yards on 53 carries, led by Derrick West’s 107 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries, along with 70 yards on 17 carries from quarterback Matt Hamby. West was only tackled once for negative yardage and gradually wore the Friars’ defense down until he put an exclamation point on the game with a 30-yard dash to paydirt.

“I feel like the toughest part of being the center is making sure that everyone is doing the right thing,” George said. “With our offense, if one person doesn’t do the right thing, things can go wrong. We have to stay on task to make sure the offense is a well-oiled machine. It feels good to see your work pay off in the fourth quarter. Derrick worked his butt off, so to see him get a long one like that is great.”

George’s linemates of left tackle Sergey Plokhov, left guard Ted Field, right guard Alex Yao and right tackle Chad Hrivnak were strong all night. The Jaguars also rolled out blocking tight end Jake Mascioli in the second half to great results. While Hamby was usually tasked with making difficult option reads, he also showed a decent arm. The first-year starter was 4-for-8 for 95 yards and a 44-yard scoring strike to Jacob Buttermore.

“I’ve just been trying to take advantage of my opportunities,” Hamby said. “I’ve just been getting prepared my sophomore and junior year getting ready for this year. The line did a great job and their defense was showing us the look we wanted and we just picked them apart in our run game.”

Bonner-Prendie jumped out to an early lead when Keith Washington hauled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from Shaun Douglas, but before they could blink, the Friars found themselves down 28-8. An 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Joe Hartley-Vittoria temporarily gave them life.

“I just saw my whole team blocking and doing their assignments and there was a big hole,” Hartley-Vittoria said. “I saw the hole and my team was down, so I was just trying to do whatever I could. I thought right after the return, we were going to get a stop on D, but things didn’t work out. We’ve just to keep fighting. We work all week, then the penalties kill us. We were undisciplined. To me, though, we’re 0-0 going into Academy Park. We’re going to come out and try to take a win.”

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