Kinniry, Jenkintown run over George
His hands are now under center and the playbook rests on his wrist, but when the Jenkintown football team needs a big play from their quarterback, senior Tom Kinniry goes back to what he knows best. As a longtime running back, the Drakes called for Kinniry to keep the ball and follow his blocks in order to keep George School on its heels on Saturday.
Kinniry accounted for 180 of the Drakes’ 233 yards of offense and scored all three touchdowns in a 21-6 win over the Cougars. Kinniry leaned on his offensive line and followed their blocks to touchdown runs of four, 23 and two yards.
“I have always been a running back and I’m still getting used to playing the position,” Kinniry said. “I would still like to be a running back, but I will do whatever it takes to help this team win. I am pretty confident in my offensive line. I just have to duck down and run behind them.”
The Drakes benefited from strong field position all afternoon, which was set up by Cougar miscues. The Cougars lost four fumbles deep into their own territory. The Drakes average original line of scrimmage on drives was their own 47-yard line.
“We don’t have a ton of speed, so we have to execute,” Drakes’ coach Phil Gormley said. “But when we do not have to take 12-to-14 plays to get in the end zone, it is so much easier to avoid mistakes. The short field was huge.”
With the Drakes’ running backs battling injuries, Kinniry had to carry the ball 22 times. But Gormley made sure to keep the Cougars’ defense honest and went to the air on nine occasions in the first half. Kinniry’s inexperience throwing the ball reared its ugly head and three interceptions kept the Cougars close at the half.
“We left a lot of points on the field in the first half,” Gormley said. “We still need to become a more disciplined team, hold our blocks and execute.”
Though the miscalculated pass attempts ended drives on a sour note, Gormley never lost confidence in his senior quarterback. Kinniry came back in the second half and completed four consecu-
“The midfield did a nice job today, but we they pushed up forward a little too much, especially in the middle,” Garber said. “It created a gap in the middle that they could play through, but it made us more dangerous on the counter. The problem is we would do that more than building up play.”
However, in a turn of events against the run of play, a Tennent throw-in deep in Abington’s half alluded all players, bounced in front of Ghosts’ goalie Malcolm Kane, tipped off his fingers and fell into the back of the net. With the game tied, Tennent’s chances to steal this one came alive.
In the 70th minute, the Ghosts earned a penalty kick and had Sheppard take it, but the midfielder hit it hard on the ground in the keeper’s reach. Two minutes later, Abington regained the lead after a deep throw in hit off Billy Natter and went into the net. The Ghosts were up 2-1 and maintained a great deal of possession, so this one looked like it was in the books.
Too bad no one told Abing- ton that there’s no such thing as a lock.
Despite lacking ideal speed at the forward position, Tennent found a way to crawl back throughout. With just less than three minutes left, manthers’ midfielder Jimmy Hasslett slide to meet a pass across the mouth of goal and beat the keeper, knotting the game at 2-2 apiece.
Just when it seemed like overtime was on the menu, Sheppard made a darting run through the midfield, took the ball and curled it into the left upper 90, sealing the Ghosts’ victory with a minute to go.
Wissahickon’s Bradley Jones plays defense against La Salle’s Brandon Koch during Tuesday’s action.