Despite easy victory, Radnor not in playoff picture

RADNOR >> On the outside looking in of the playoff picture, the Radnor Raiders needed a victory and some help to make the postseason for the first time in school history.

They got the win. They did not get the help.

Radnor took care of lowly Harriton, 49-13, Friday in Central League action. It moved to 6-4 overall and 4-4 in league play, but likely will remain in ninth place in the District One Class AAA power poll. The top eight teams advance to the postseason tournament.

“I think the disappointment is that we go 6-1 against AAA teams, and we still don’t get in. So that’s disappointing,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “You can’t help things that are out of your control.”

The Raiders were behind league rivals Springfield and Marple Newtown in the power poll entering this week. Both teams cruised to victories, making for a fairly drama-free night. Radnor beat the Cougars and finished with the same overall record, but it appears that won’t be enough.

Instead, Radnor will shoot for its best record in 13 years in its finale next Saturday against Lower Merion. A 7-4 overall record will still mean something to this program.

“These seniors’ legacy will be a winning season and definitely (pushing) this program in the right direction,” Ryan said. “Or get it back on track.”

That theme continued, despite the postgame letdown, in Friday’s blowout. Radnor scored on each of its five first-half possessions to lead, 35-0, at halftime. It actually led, 49-0, before Harriton quarterback Patrick Stewart threw two late touchdowns passes amid the running clock.

Jack Horvath had the first two scores of the game. He finished with three touchdowns and 179 rushing yards, plus surpassed 1,000 yards for the season. Backfield mate Naair Williams had two touchdowns and 105 rushing yards. In all, Radnor ran for 327 yards.

Most of it came via the legs of a sophomore (Horvath) and a junior (Williams).

“We’re a good duo,” Williams said, “I think.”

“Me and Naair are good friends,” Horvath added. “I know if I have to take a play off, he’s there. If he has to take a play off, I’ll set up.”

Four members of a strong offensive line, plus quarterback Pat McDermott, will return next year for Radnor. McDermott found Jack Wilson for two touchdowns — first from 33, then from 30. Those two scores ignited the running clock for the entire second half.

All that was backed up by a solid defensive performance. Radnor held Harriton (0-10, 0-8) to 228 total offensive yards.

“Getting to six wins is huge for us,” Ryan said. “Our kids played hard, we did what we needed to do. … Our O-line was fantastic, as they have been. Our two running backs really did a nice job with Naair and Jack Horvath. I think defensively we did what we needed to do.”

Unfortunately for Radnor, it didn’t get the help it was looking for. Instead, it will fall into one final contest against Lower Merion. A lot of extra festivities are planned for this game, so hype won’t be an issue for Ryan.

Getting his players to get over the frustration of missing the playoffs and re-focus on the Aces could be one.

“It’s a big week for the school,” Ryan sad. “The hardest part for me is just trying to keep them focused during the week. … I know we’re good enough to play with the other eight that are in the playoffs, so it’s just a little bit disappointing in that. But it is what it is.”

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