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With a little confidence, Wright and Haverford turn around deficit against Springfield

Haverford quarterback Tommy Wright threw four touchdowns as the Fords defeated Springfield 41-15 Friday night at Cornog Field. (PETE BANNAN - DAILY TIMES)

HAVERFORD — Haverford High has been home to spectacular quarterbacks in recent years, including Daily Times Players of the Year Jack Donaghy and Trey Blair.

Junior Tommy Wright put in his application to join the club Friday night, with four touchdown passes and a ton of savvy reads in the run-pass option to lift the Fords to a 41-15 Central League victory over Springfield.

The triumph snapped a four-game losing streak for the Fords (3-4, 2-4 Central), who were a couple bad breaks from wondering if they were snake bitten after the Cougars went ahead 15-0 in the first quarter.

A pick-six by the Fords was called back by a roughing the passer penalty, and the Cougars were doing everything right, including point-after holder Matt Dickinson’s alert run for two points after a high snap.

Haverford’s Collin Cassidy carries the ball in the third quarter Friday night. Cassidy ran for a touchdown in a 41-15 win over Springfield Friday night. (PETE BANNAN – DAILY TIMES)

But Wright changed that in the second quarter with a 30-yard scramble to set up a one-yard scoring pass to Tyler Rogers.

That triggered a run of 27 consecutive second-quarter points and in all, 41 unanswered to turn a deficit into a romp.

“We just need like one little play to get the momentum going,” said Wright, who threw for 173 yards. “Once that happens, everything is going our way. We’re all hyped. We’re all catching the ball. We’re all making tackles; everything just starts clicking. One little momentum shift and we’re good.”

Wright was the second-leading rusher for the Fords with nine carries for 74 yards. Junior Ethan Mahan was his favorite target, hauling in six passes for 94 yards, including a postcard perfect 37-yard score.

“He’s a very good receiver,” Wright said of Mahan. “We work every single in the day in the offseason and I think that shows. I just know when he’s going to be open.”

The Cougars (3-4, 2-3), on the other hand, were unable to get anything going after their big first quarter, in which Jake Rama threw a 50-yard TD pass to Robby Longo on the second snap of the game. Rama later tossed an eight-yard score to Nate Cain.

The Cougars got just one first down the rest of the evening against a defense determined to take away the run. The Fords limited them to 24 rushing yards.

“They made a couple good plays, they made some good calls and then I just think we got a little shell shocked and a couple balls didn’t bounce our way,” Springfield coach Chris Britton said. “We tried to fight through it a little bit but they got the best of us in this one. They got some confidence and they’re a good team. They’ve had some balls bounce the other way for them for a couple games. I think it was our turn.”

The Fords completed the scoring in the third quarter, Wright connecting with junior Jake Snell for a seven-yard touchdown, followed by junior Collin Cassidy running into the end zone from four yards out untouched.

“I loved our aggression early,” the Fords first-year coach Luke Dougherty said. “We made a couple mistakes on defense, a couple mistakes on offense but I loved our game plan all week. We knew that they were a really good team but the No. 1 thing we couldn’t do is we couldn’t let them run the ball down our throats.

“When it was 15-0, in my mind I was just thinking alright, we’ve just got to get one score. Then two scores and keep it rolling. Four weeks in a row of just heartache and things not going their way, but they just kept showing up for practice and they stuck with it.”

On the night of the launch of Haverford’s annual “Fight For Life” campaign, Wright is hoping the Fords are starting their own fight on the field for their playoff lives.

“This is huge,” he said. “We’ve got momentum now. Our confidence is back.”

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