Ruane, Aces er­rors un­der­cut LM’s lat­est bid for an up­set

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jack Kef­fer

LOWER ME­RION » Late in the third quar­ter, on a 2nd and 12 from his 38, Lower Me­rion’s Jalen Goodman took 10 steps out and cut hard to his right, briefly los­ing Haver­ford High de­fender Shane Mosley to catch a wob­bling pass from Matt O’Con­nor.

Goodman reeled it in and headed up­field, break­ing one tackle and low­er­ing his shoul­der into the safety Trey Blair. The two ran each other out of bounds and hit the turf hard. Goodman popped straight up and into Blair’s face, of­fer­ing the mes­sage, “You can’t touch me.”

The very next play, O’Con­nor’s pass was de­flected and in­ter­cepted by Blair.

That se­quence de­fined Lower Me­rion’s 28-12 loss to Haver­ford Satur­day. By all means, the Aces are a team try­ing to break away from his­tor­i­cal strug­gles, and through­out this game they showed promise. But good teams like the Fords turn mis­takes into points, and the of­fen­sive duo of Jake Ruane and Chasen Wint did just that.

Ruane threw for a touch­down and rushed for a pair of scores, in­clud­ing a 16yard scram­ble that capped off the open­ing drive. His sec­ond came af­ter the Blair in­ter­cep­tion.

Mean­while, Wint plowed through Lower Me­rion’s de­fen­sive line, run­ning for 130 yards on 23 car­ries. And Beef Welling­ton, all 130 pounds of him, was per­fect on all four PATs.

“We just can’t turn the ball over as much as we did,” O’Con­nor said. “I think we had three turnovers to­day and you aren’t go­ing to be able to win foot­ball games like that.”

The three turnovers O’Con­nor re­ferred to are the three in­ter­cep­tions he threw, but by no means were they bad passes. The se­nior quar­ter­back was un­der pres­sure all game, forced to make throws out of the pocket.

All three were de­flected by Fords de­fen­sive line­men, who held the Aces to just

25 rush­ing yards.

“Our coach (Joe Gal­lagher) said we needed to calm down (de­fen­sively) and make sure ev­ery­thing was good,” Mosley said. “One thing we did do, our de­fen­sive backs moved up so (Lower Me­rion’s) hitches weren’t good.”

When asked about Goodman? “He’s my boy,” Mosley said with a laugh. “It’s def­i­nitely very com­pet­i­tive be­cause that’s my boy.”

The smack talk wasn’t the only heated mo­ment of the af­ter­noon. With five sec­onds to go be­fore the half and Haver­ford up 14-0, Ruane’s pass was al­most in­ter­cepted by Marcus Green. A horn caused con­fu­sion, and the clock blun­der al­lowed for one last play be­fore the half. This time, Ruane con­nected with Mosley, and Haver­ford (3-1, 2-1) went into the locker room up three touch­downs.

An­other in­stance came late in the fourth quar­ter on fourth and 12, when O’Con­nor con­nected with Jalen Hel­ton, who beat a de­fender and scored. That was negated due to a ques­tion­able hold­ing call on Green. On the sec­ond at­tempt, Mosley swat­ted a pass in­tended for Goodman.

“Tough breaks to­day with .1 sec­onds left on the clock and they (Haver­ford) score, but we have to stop them,” Lower Me­rion coach Evan Breis­blatt said. “We have to man-up and stop them. Then we get a score late in the game and we get called for hold­ing.

“That’s how they (the ref­er­ees) saw and it is what it is.”

De­spite the Aces turnovers, O’Con­nor threw for 237 yards and com­pleted 21 passes on 36 at­tempts, 15 of which came in the sec­ond half. The wide re­ceiv­ing quar­tet of Hel­ton, Green, and the Goodman broth­ers (Ian and Jalen) com­bined for 20 catches, 245 yards, and a pass­ing touch­down (to Hel­ton).

“We have the best wide re­ceiv­ing core in the league,” O’Con­nor said. “They are fast, tough, and they make plays. They are ex­plo­sive.”

The Aces are 0-4. Yet there is tal­ent, there is promise, and there is a lot of foot­ball left to play. it

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