Pioneers can’t keep up with Jags
CONCORD >> After last week’s high intensity win over Springfield, it was a reasonable possibility that Garnet Valley would enter its game against Conestoga a little flat, maybe even primed for a bit of a letdown.
The Jaguars, however, endured no such lapse, storming to a 42-7 victory over the Pioneers. The victory was made possible by an impressive firsthalf effort by power backs Austin Patton and Matthew Lassik, along with an absolutely suffocating defensive effort.
“Those guys have been great for us all year,” Jaguars coach Mike Ricci said of the two running backs. “We have some guys banged up and we really didn’t miss a beat. Those guys stepped in and executed like we knew they were capable of. Our line did a great job of opening holes for them, and (quarterback Nick) Juliano did a good job making the reads. We really feel like we have a stable full of backs that can carry the ball for us when we need them to.”
While Patton and Lassik may not have enjoyed the acclaim of other Jags running backs thus far, they’ve been key contributors all season.
“We weren’t sure if (Jacob) Buttermore was going to play or not, so I got focused and was going to be ready to start,” said Patton, who rushed for 104 yards on 10 carries and scored two firsthalf touchdowns. “I could not have done it without the oline. Without them, I wouldn’t be anything.”
For the Pioneers, it was the end of a roller-coaster year, which started with great uncertainty after a tumultuous offseason due to an off-the-field incident and coaching changes. Eventually, though, Conestoga saw the building blocks for the future start to be set.
“This team had a heavy burden on it coming into the season, but they were tough, fought through adversity, and showed a lot of character and determination,” said Pioneers coach Marquis Weeks, whose team fell to 2-8.