BUCKTOWN >> There wasn’t much that could stop Great Valley wide receiver Ryan Hubley.
Except a minor leg cramp … that was about it.
Hubley and the Patriots offense went off, scoring 42 points in a deciding first half before holding on for a 42-26 victory over Owen J. R
“We have a lot of skill guys and we have the ability to spread it out and get the ball to a couple different guys,” Great Valley head coach Dan Ellis said. “We hurt ourselves a little bit in the first quarter with mistakes on both sides of the ball, but once we settled in during the second quarter, we got it going pretty good.”
Pretty good may fall just shy of an understatement.
Hubley, quarterback Robert Geiss and wide receiver Anthony Liberato exploded in the second quarter as the Patriots racked up 35 points and built a 42-7 lead at the half. Hubley, coming off a Week 1 performance that saw him haul in two receptions for 48 yards, finished with a game-high four receptions for a stellar 189 yards and a score. Liberato added 87 yards receiving on three receptions with QB Geiss finishing 13-for-17 for 341 yards and four scores.
All three watched the second half from the sidelines.
“Robert just got the ball to the playmakers,” Hubley said. “We didn’t run the ball all that much in the first half but our passing game was real strong today. All of our receivers did a real good job.”
OJR quarterback Dawson Stuart finished the game with 209 yards but completed less than 50 percent of his passes (15-for-39) and threw four interceptions. Running back Hunter Scherfel finished with 70 rushing yards on 10 attempts while wideout Ryan Cusic hauled in a team-best six catches for 85 yards for a Wildcats team that was seeking its first 2-0 start since the 2009 season.
“We saw that he (Stuart) had a real strong arm and was making good decisions and we were practicing all week to stop it,” Hubley said. “We put Robert (Geiss) in as the scout team quarterback and practiced hard in our seven on seven’s because we knew this was going to be a passing battle.
“Our secondary played lights out and our line did a great job of not allowing too many rushing yards. It was a great all-around win.”
The game’s result was in question until midway through the second quarter. Scherfel’s 3-yard run had tied the game at seven early in the second before Great Valley tacked on two scores on consecutive drives to make it 21-7. OJR, trying to narrow the deficit to one score, had the ball inside the GV 5 but fumbled the ball on a botched quarterback/running back exchange.
“That was definitely a momentum changer (the fumble) and a difference in a game for sure,” OJR head coach Rich Kolka said. “We don’t ever fumble like that. That was uncharacteristic of what we normally do. I can’t explain that one.
Great Valley made the Wildcats pay.
Geiss’ 7-yard QB keeper made it 28-7 before he connected with Hubley on a simple in route that went 75-yards to make it 35-7 with 3:25 left in the half. After an OJR three-and-out, Liberato got in on the action, putting a slick move on the OJR corner before outrunning him to the deep ball, hauling in a 30-yard pass from Geiss and taking it to the end zone to cap the scoring and set off the running clock.
“We have 10 games left, we just need to keep our heads up, get better each week,” Kolka said. “I think some of guys are starting to realize what it takes during practice. We’ll turn the corner here.”
Scherfel finished with two touchdowns while Brendan Lewis had a fumble recovery for a touchdown for OJR. … Damien Carter had two receptions for 38 yards, including a touchdown, for Great Valley.
Best play of the night went to Mark Neri, whose one-handed interception turned heads. Neri reached back for the pass and tipped the ball to himself while falling to the turf for the acrobatic INT.
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