Jack of All Trades: Donaghy sets record as Haverford tops Radnor

RADNOR >> Haverford quarterback Jack Donaghy downplayed his accomplishment as he talked about the Fords’ 24-12 victory over Radnor Friday night.

It’s the only thing that mattered to Haverford’s new career passing champion.

“I didn’t know about it until one of our linemen showed me your tweet from earlier,” Donaghy said.  “Coming into the game, I wasn’t thinking about it at all. The most important thing was getting a Central League win.”

Donaghy broke All-Delco Steve Joachim’s record of 4,073 passing yards. Joachim was a 1974 Maxwell Award winner who played at Temple and Penn State, and had a cup of coffee with the New York Jets.

“Steve Joachim, in our school, is a legend,” Haverford coach Joe Gallagher said. “He’s from one of the best eras that Haverford has ever had and he’s obviously one of the best players we’ve ever had. What an accomplishment. To Jack, the ‘W’ is more important than the record. But, man, it’s pretty big.”

Donaghy surpassed five players on the county’s all-time career yardage list: Joachim, Mike Bailey (Archbishop Carroll, 1972-74), Dennis Decker (Ridley, 1988-90), Collin DiGalbo (Bonner-Prendergast, 2012-14) and Bryan Savage (Haverford School, 2000-03). Donaghy is the eighth-best passer in Delco history with 4,248 yards.

“It makes it all the better when a good person like that — and Jack’s a great kid — accomplished something like that,” Gallagher said. “It really adds to it.”

Donaghy was 12-of-19 with 183 yards and a touchdown pass to Bobby McClure (three catches, 46 yards). The senior also rushed for 38 yards and a score, kicked a 22-yard field goal, three extra points and booted three punts, including one that landed inside Radnor’s 5-yard line.

Donaghy did it all.

“It’s awesome, just to see what he is and what he means to the team,” defensive lineman Dennis Spaventa said. “He makes everyone better. He’s the type of guy when, if we miss a play, he’s right there to pick us up. It’s just awesome to see him break the record.”

Spaventa and linebacker Jack Farrell (three pass defenses) were in on several tackles. Haverford’s defense allowed

ROBERT J. GURECKI   DAILY TIMES. Haverford wide receiver Bobby McClure, left, can't make the reception with Radnor defensive back Tucker Ballbach on the coverage.
Haverford wide receiver Bobby McClure, left, can’t make the reception with Radnor defensive back Tucker Ballbach on the coverage.

just 42 yards in the first half. If not for a 65-yard touchdown run by Jack Horvath in the fourth quarter, the Fords would have limited the Raiders (4-4, 2-4 Central League) to 191 yards of total offense.

The Fords (7-1, 5-0), who have won seven in a row and are tied with Upper Darby for first place in the Central League, expected a heavy dose of Horvath and the Radnor ground attack.

“Our coaches said they run the ball 72 percent of the time, so defensively, we knew we had to stick in there and cover up the hole,” Spaventa said.

Meanwhile, the Fords did a good job snuffing out the pass when Radnor quarterback Sean McDermott (7-of-17, 85 yards) let it fly.

“It was a tough game. Radnor plays hard. It was imperative that we didn’t let them get going, although they got some big yards on the last (two) drives. I wasn’t too happy about that, but the defense played well,” Gallagher said. “They are maturing and we had some kids who stepped up tonight. Dan Tierney filled in for (senior linebacker) Billy Farrell, so that was big, too. Next man up. It was good stuff from the defense. The biggest thing that I am most happy about is that we are getting better. From game one to now, it’s a lights-out difference and that’s the most important thing.”

Donaghy engineered a productive opening drive that ended when the senior drilled a 22-yard field goal to give the Fords a 3-0 lead.

Haverford's Jack Donaghy broke Steve Joachim's career passing record of 4,073 yards. Donaghy, with 4,248 yards, now ranks eighth on the county's all-time list.
Haverford’s Jack Donaghy broke Steve Joachim’s career passing record of 4,073 yards. Donaghy, with 4,248 yards, now ranks eighth on the county’s all-time list.

Donaghy consistently showcased his ability to find an open receiver while under duress. He found six receivers and fired a perfect strike to McClure near the corner of the end zone six minutes before halftime to extend Haverford’s advantage to 10-0. McClure, who entered the night fourth in the county in receiving (381 yards, five touchdowns), suffered an ankle injury in the second half and did not return.

“We definitely thought we could pass the ball tonight,” Donaghy said. “They played us well, I thought. We ended up running the ball more than passing ball, which was a little different.”

Haverford ran the ball 36 times for 209 yards, thanks in large part to junior Mike Romanofsky, who bulldozed his way to a career-high 138 yards on 17 carries.

Donaghy scampered into the end zone from 12 yards out late in the second quarter to make it 17-0. The score didn’t change until Matt Corbett, out of the wildcat formation, plunged across the goal line to give the Fords a 24-0 cushion.

Radnor, which received a strong effort defensively by lineman Isaiah Coates and All-Delco linebacker Dario Falcone, scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Naa’ir Williams contributed a 4-yard scoring run.

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