HAVERFORD – Haverford High junior Ethan Mahan is a major college prospect as a baseball pitcher.
“My Mom can’t even watch my football games anymore,” Mahan said at Cornog Field Friday night.
First-year Haverford coach Luke Dougherty overheard the conversation and said: “She missed some history today.”
With his 41-yard scoring reception on a perfectly-placed pass by quarterback Tommy Wright in the opening minute of the second quarter, Mahan wrote his name in the Haverford High record book. It was his 10th touchdown catch of the season, breaking the school single-season record, which had been set by Jordan Mosley, who played at the University of Maryland (2018-21) after earning All-Delco honors twice for the Fords.
“Tommy throws the ball so well,” Mahan said. “Since our last game last season we’ve been working for this season. We were in the weight room. We ran pass patterns. We wanted to be focused when this season started.”
With the 31-21 win, the Fords (4-5) kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the District 1 Class 6A playoffs. Their final Central League game against Upper Darby will be played Thanksgiving Day, so they are not scheduled to play next weekend.
“We’d like to get a game with someone,” Dougherty said.
Haverford got a game from Radnor (2-7). After two quick Fords scores, the Raptors’ Amir Byrd returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown after escaping from a mass of would-be tacklers 80 yards from the end zone.
“My teammates helped make that happen,” Byrd said. “It doesn’t happen without them. I got in there and felt the push and just kept going.”
Following a pair of Haverford TDs in the second quarter, Byrd picked off a Wright pass and raced 27 yards for six more Radnor points.
“I went over to make a play on the ball,” he said. “Once I got it, I wanted to take it to the house.”
Radnor took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards in 10 plays, the last a 13-yard scoring pass from Jude Wallin to Tommy Deshan. The Raptors didn’t take advantage of a Sammy Carter interception three minutes into the fourth quarter when the Fords’ Tommy Caruso stopped Damian Falcone on a fourth-down run from the Haverford 13.
Minutes later, Carter tipped a punt that rolled dead at the Haverford 36. On second down, the snap from center sailed over Wallin’s head, resulting in a 29-yard loss and a turnover late in the quarter.
Greg Pergolese (26 carries, 150 yards rushing) got the call on Haverford’s first six plays from scrimmage. He took the ball from the Fords’ 27 to the Radnor 3 before two quarterback sneaks by Wright gave the home team its first score.
“He told me he was going to get me 150 (yards rushing) tonight,” Dougherty said.
The next Haverford drive was a 54-yarder, with Pergolese getting five carries before Colin Reynolds went in from one yard out.
“You have to give the credit to our offensive line,” Pergolese said, pointing out the jobs done by Peter Corcoran, who also was a standout on the defensive line, Michael Powel, Tommy Dixon, Michael McNicholas, Mario Tascione and tight ends Justin Marciano and Sam Chester.
“If they don’t do their thing, I can’t do mine.”
Pergolese finally made it to the end zone on a six-yard run five minutes before halftime.
Dougherty also credited Pergolese with helping the defensive unit from his linebacker position.
“He ran the ball hard,” Dougherty said. “I didn’t know if he realized I was going to want him to play both ways, but he did his job for us.”
Now it is up to the schedule makers and some other teams which have the chance to knock off the teams ahead of the Fords in the playoff hunt to do their jobs in order to prevent the Haverford players from waiting until Thanksgiving Day to be able to play again.