By Jack Keffer
For Digital First Media
LOWER MERION — There was only one moment Friday night when Marple Newtown’s game with Harriton could have taken a different path. The Rams’ defense, down eight points with three minutes left to play, had forced a third and long situation for the Tigers at their 29.
Harriton was within a score. Marple had not advanced the ball over the last eight snaps. The Tigers started to feel the weight of the humidity. Except for Colin Ferry.
“I knew I had to make a big play and I knew it was coming to me,” said Ferry, the senior wide receiver, after the Tigers had gone on to a 21-6 victory. “Just getting mentally ready to put the game away.”
Brian Joslin took the snap and flipped it to Andrew Cantwell. Ferry was in tight coverage on the go route down the sideline. Cantwell flung it and Ferry tracked it down, shedding the defender off his hips and whisking through the night into the end zone.
The 71-yard touchdown was Ferry’s longest reception of the game, but the lanky wideout was busy all evening. Joslin connected with him on seven occasions, four of which went more than 20 yards.
“Once (Joslin and I) started getting it going, their corners were playing off and we knew we had them,” Ferry said. “After the first couple (of catches), we were breaking tackles. There were arm tackles everywhere. It was real easy getting up field.”
Maybe for Ferry. The rest of the bunch might not echo a similar sentiment. Even though the evening had a chilly, early autumn feel to it, everything else felt sticky.
The Tigers’ offense struggled to finish drives early on, and the Rams’ front line caused problems all night. Teddy Molineaux forced a fumble on Marple’s first drive of the game, and senior lineman Ryan Dieudonne swatted the ball out of Joslin’s hand at the start of the second quarter. Max Copley picked off a pass right after halftime.
The Rams defended nine total snaps in the third quarter but the extra snaps didn’t help the offense.
Molineaux was effective but sporadic. Other than a 25-yard run, he couldn’t escape the Marple secondary. Ironically, the spark came when Molineaux was sidelined with an injury and replaced by Daral Cresswell, whose presence was so fresh his name hadn’t inked the roster.
He drove the Rams the rest of the way, tallying 33 yards and topping it off with a touchdown to end the drive. After a missed PAT, Cresswell and his team was within reach, trailing 14-6.
Then Ferry struck, and Marple needed it in a bad way. After three straight losses to some of the toughest teams in the league, these guys were looking for something different.
“We had a really great week of practice,” Ferry said. “Everyone was really upbeat, probably our best week this season. Our coaches really got us into it, they got us hyped up. It was like a competition, it was really fun.”
It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure, but it got the job done.
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