Horvath leads way as Radnor runs past Sun Valley

RADNOR >> A key to success in football is having the ability to win the battle of the trenches. That sentiment certainly rang true for Radnor in its 42-20 win over Sun Valley Friday night at Prevost Field.

Sparked by an outstanding effort from the front six that included Matt Rigolizzo, Griffin Monaghan, Martin Connor, Colin Bradley, Matt McCue and Harrison Doane, the Raiders used a balanced running and passing attack to take a 35-7 halftime lead en route to the win.

“It all starts with our offensive line,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “We don’t go anywhere without them.”

“I give a lot of credit to the offensive line tonight,” added sophomore running back Jack Horvath, who scored four touchdowns (three rushing and one through the air) and ran for a career-high 164 yards on 14 carries. “They did a great job opening holes. Many times I wasn’t touched until I was 10 yards down the field.”

For the second week in a row, the Raiders dug themselves an early 7-0 hole after Sun Valley outside linebacker James Gaines stepped in front of a pass in the flat and went 78 yards untouched to give the Vanguards the early lead.

“I made a poor read and I take responsibility for that,” said junior quarterback Pat McDermott, who finished with 162 yards on five completions and a touchdown. “I just made an effort to stay positive and lead this team.”

Trailing for the second week in a row, the Raiders came to life with McDermott bouncing back from the slow start to lead Radnor on an eight-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with a three-yard run from senior Jack Wilson to tie game at 7-7.

The youth began to show for the Vanguards as they fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing the Raiders to start their next drive deep in Sun Valley territory at the 26. On the first play, Horvath scored the first of his four touchdowns, racing 26 yards off the left side to give Radnor a 14-7 lead.

“It’s amazing, to give him the ball and let him do his thing was fun to watch,” McDermott said of Horvath. “The offensive line did a great job and Jack found the holes.”

For the rest of the half, the Raiders defense did its job of at least containing Sun Valley running back duo John Kester (90 yards on nine carries and a touchdown) and Charlie Wendling. While the Vanguard offense remained quiet, Radnor’s offense and special teams was anything but as Radnor scored three touchdowns to break open a close game.

“The coaches told us at halftime to stick together and keep our heads in the game,” Kester said. “We have a young team and we just need to keep it together and play for each other. It’s important for this team to keep pushing no matter what. I tried to show them some god in a game that did not go our way.”

“I told them our goal was to win the second half,” Sun Valley coach Ray Gionta said. “We have a young team and they gave me everything they got.”

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