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Ricci touts the line after Garnet Valley’s latest win

CONCORD TWP. — If there has been a trademark to Garnet Valley’s season so far, it has been the Jaguars’ ability to wear down their competition with a brutal and grinding rushing attack.

At the heart of the running game has been Garnet Valley’s offensive line, which has been beastly. Friday night against Radnor, the Jaguars’ front wall was once again excellent in helping power Garnet Valley to a 42-7 victory over the Raiders.

“Every year our whole team revolves around our offensive and defensive lines,” said Jaguars coach Mike Ricci, whose team improved to 4-1. “The only returning starter we had on our offensive line was Lance Schwartz and I’m just thrilled with the progress that the guys have made together. We’re a much better team now than we were in Week 1 and we want to be a much better team next week than we are right now.”

The offensive line of Blaze McDaniel, Zac Green, Tyler Sparks, Lance Schwartz, and Alex Olsen, combined with tight ends and receivers like Kevin Craig, Alex Nicolaides, Jack Wootten, and Shane Mulholland put on a dominant blocking performance and help the Jaguars rack up 274 yards on 55 carries.

“It such a great thing to block for (the running backs),” Sparks said. “Our scout team gives us a great look, so it’s just like game-time when we’re at practice.”

The Jaguars’ backfield was assuredly happy to take advantage of the blocks and put on a show. Greg Reynolds had one touchdown run, while quarterback Ryan Gallagher had two. In addition, Gallagher hit all-purpose player Reece Malek for a 58-yard scoring strike.

“I was impressed with the way we played, but it all starts with the scout team at practice,” Malek said. “When we lined up, the one player had two of us to cover, so it was just good play-calling by the coaches. They must have seen it before.”

Malek, though, had another dazzling effort as he also returned a punt — off of a reverse — 56 yards for a score, which put Garnet Valley up 35-0. Malek said that all he could see was “my team in front of me,” which gives you a good indication of how well designed and executed the play was by the Jaguars’ special teams unit.

“Reece is such a great athlete,” Ricci said. “He’s been a back-up quarterback because he’s so athletic and he does a great job wherever we need him. Offense, defense, catching the ball, running the ball; he can just do everything. He’s a competitor and man, is he fast.”

The teams traded second half scores as Radnor’s Sam DiLella hit Jahmir Dixon with a 66-yard scoring pass, thenGarnet Valley’s Sam Morin (71 yards) added a third-quarter touchdown run for the Jaguars to finalize the scoring.

Max Busenkell had an interception for Garnet Valley, which was extremely tough throughout the night.

“We were very respectful of Radnor’s offense and defense and I think No.26 (Tyler Margolis) is one of the best players in the Central League,” Ricci said. “Offensively, they’re explosive, they can throw the ball, they have athletic receivers, a really good scheme, and they’re well-coached, but I’m thrilled with the job our guys did.”

For Radnor, it is time to re-group and look forward to their next game against Penncrest.

“Coach Ricci and his staff have done a great job here over the years,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “We need to learn from our mistakes, including me, but I never question my team’s toughness.”

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