Record-setting Ruane, Fords air it out, beat Strath Haven
NETHER PROVIDENCE >> Monday night, Jake Ruane was sitting on his couch watching the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints. In that game, he saw Saints quarterback Drew Brees throw a 62-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to Tre-Quan Smith, setting the record for most passing yards in NFL history.
Four nights later, Ruane was a copycat.
He threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Trey Blair in the second quarter and on that play surpassed Jack Donaghy for the most passing yards in the history of Haverford High football.
“I thought about it afterward,” Ruane said. “I was like, ‘I just watched this a couple days ago.’”
It was a play indicative of the Fords’ offense all night long, as they rolled through Strath Haven 4020 at George L. King Field. Haverford (7-1, 6-1) amassed 523 yards of total offense. Ruane, who threw two touchdowns and ran for two more, amassed 210 yards passing and another
96 via the ground. “He’s just an animal,” Blair said of his quarterback. “He just played his heart out.”
Ruane has 5,437 passing yards, passing Donaghy
(5,296). He’s just the fourth passer in Delco history to surpass 5,000 career yards.
Blair wasn’t too bad himself. If Ruane was copying Brees, then Blair was putting on a Saquan Barkleyesque show. Blair rushed for
123 yards and caught four balls for 101 yards. He, too, had two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.
“He’s a freak,” Ruane said. “He does everything. It’s not just on offense. He plays safety. He even kicks off for us. He’s unreal.”
An animal. A freak. That makes two unique characters that coach Joe Gallagher is thrilled to have on his team.
“They make me look good,” Gallagher said. “They’re both incredible talents. Haverford has been playing football for 100 years and to be able to coach the most prolific quarterback in all that time means I’m blessed and I’m a lucky coach. And Trey is a special talent. Anybody who’s seen us play knows just how special he is.”
But in order for that offense to hum along as it did Friday, it needs some help from more than just the skill players on the team. And that’s what has Gallagher so excited as the Fords prepare for a couple of big Central League games coming up against Springfield and Ridley.
“Our offensive line has gotten better and better and better each week,” Gallagher said. “They pass protect well, they run block well. That’s who I’m really impressed with right now. Everyone knows about our skill guys, but they can’t do what they do if they don’t have the line going as well as they are.”
Ruane finished 12-for-15 passing, but only one pass was actually incomplete. One was caught on the sideline by Shane Mosley, but he landed out of bounds. Another was ruled incomplete, but really was a fumble that the officials missed. He had the time to sit in the pocket and let his receivers get open.
The Fords averaged nearly
10 yards per carry, totaling
313 yards on 32 rushes. “Their offense is really, really good,” Strath Haven coach Kevin Clancy said. “They kept the pressure on us the entire game. We were on our heels and had to play with them to stay in it. I thought our offense was better in the second half, but we just didn’t do the things we’re used to doing in the first half.”
The Panthers (3-5, 3-4) had 62 total yards in the first half, and that included a 27-yard touchdown strike just before halftime from Jake Fisher to Arion Ford. Strath Haven was able to take advantage of a Haverford fumble late in the second quarter to get good field position to stay in the game heading into halftime.
But Haverford’s offense was too much, and although Zack Hussein was able to score a pair of touchdowns in the second half for the Panthers and finished with 85 yards rushing, the Haven defense had no answer for Ruane and company, who scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions after halftime.
Haverford quarterback Jake Ruane, here throwing a pass in a recent win over Penncrest, set the Haverford program record for career passing yards in Friday’s 40-20 win over Strath Haven.