Central League dominated by a pair of non-Delco QBs

At the risk of going all Nat King Cole on you, it has truly been said many times, many ways on this site that we limit our coverage to the Delco contingent of the Central League. But it’s still worth pointing out that statistically, the most prolific quarterbacks in the Central League hail from two of its three non-Delco representatives. And seeing as they’ve put up those numbers against 17 Delco opponents combined, it’s worth at least a brief mention.

Harriton’s Pat Moriarty and Conestoga’s Joe Viviano are with little doubt two of the best – in my opinion, the two best – quarterbacks in the area. The seasons they are putting up, and as juniors to boot, are remarkable when viewed in context.

The offensive philosophy of football as a whole has shifted the way of the passing game at virtually every level. With the popularization and adaptation of schemes like the spread offense and the West Coast offense to all levels of the game, the ability to move the ball through the air has a renewed importance.

But – and I know there will be some out there who objects to this statement – prolific, even at times proficient, passing hasn’t manifested itself in Delaware County, per se.

Check the numbers:

- In the last decade, only four passers have topped 2,000 yards in a single season. Three of those quarterbacks hail from the same school, Ridley.

- Through Week 10, six teams have passed for more yards than they have run in 2011. If you take Ridley out of that mix, the other five teams – Archbishop Carroll, Chichester, Episcopal Academy, Penncrest and Sun Valley – have a combined eight wins. So much for air efficiency translating into wins.

- Of the 12 teams in Delco that use the passing game to account for more than a third of their yards – again through Week 10 – only four have winning records (Ridley, Haverford School, Monsignor Bonner, Springfield).

I know that the reasons for offensive balance are myriad, and teams can be unwillingly backed into offensive corners by a variety of factors that include defensive troubles, turnovers, weather conditions, and so on. But over a full season, we can safely say that those circumstances by and large even themselves out.

Back to the original point: The accomplishments of Moriarty and Viviano.

Statistically, this duo has put up numbers that, were they at Delco schools, we would be fawning all over them, and deservedly so.

Moriarty may be the more talented and polished of the two. He finished the season 125-236 passing with 1,889 yards, 20 touchdowns and a microscopic four interceptions. The yardage would be the 18th highest single-season total in Delco history. His 370-yard tour de force performance against Upper Darby in Week 4 – albeit aided by the absence of the Royals’ All-Delco cornerback Fred Thorpe – would be the eight-best single-game total in Delco history.

Oh yeah, and he did that while essentially missing two games due to injury. He didn’t play against Ridley in Week 8 and only managed a 1-for-7 performance in limited action while still a bit gimpy against Penncrest.

Meanwhile, Viviano has peaked late in the season with performances that must have Conestoga looking forward to next fall. His final numbers are gaudy: 145-276, 2,098 yards, 18 TDs, 12 INTs. The yardage would be the 11th best in Delco history.

But with Viviano, it’s the progress the 6-foot-5 junior has made that is most impressive. He shook early interception susceptibility, throwing seven in his first three games. His last three games, all wins as Conestoga looked to play itself into the playoffs, an endeavor that fell just a few points short, featured eight touchdown tosses against no interceptions and garnered two Central League Player of the Week honors. He had only one game all season without a touchdown score.

These numbers sizeably outpace the totals of Delco’s best. Both have at least a 500-yard leg up on Delco’s leader, Duffy Gilhool of Chichester (1,359 yards). Gilhool, the leader in touchdowns with 14, also trails considerably in that category.

If we try to standardize competition by looking for the Central League’s next-best, we arrive at Springfield’s Ryan Strain in terms of yardage (1,278) and Garnet Valley’s Ryan Corkery for touchdowns (11). That’s an impressive lead that Viviano and Moriarty enjoy over the pack.

And much to the dismay of defensive coordinators in the county, it’s likely they’ll only get better next season.

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16 thoughts on “Central League dominated by a pair of non-Delco QBs

  1. Moriarty has 1 game left this thurs. He threw for 300 yrds and 3 TDS vs Strath Haven in his 1st game back from a potential season ending ankle injury in game 7 vs LM. 20TDS and only 4picks is outstanding, all wile playing for undermanned Harriton. Don’t think they win even 1 game without him. Hope he can go over 2000yrds thurs night. Nice season for Viviano and Stoga. They have good athletes and coaches in every sport. Thanks for the well deserved recognition for 2 very good Montco football players!

  2. Great stuff on 2 very good qb’s. Viviano had 10 int’s on the year. He also ran for 5 tds.
    Good luck to both next year and in their futures as qbs.

    • CJ,
      It’s an interesting question. For the record, we only vote on All-Delcos, the coaches handle All-Central.
      But still, they’ll have a tough decision. There’s merit to giving it to the qb on the best team, which is Corkery at Garnet Valley. His stats through the air are among the top 5 in the league, and his running stats are also among the top 10 overall, running backs included. Corkery might have the advantage, but I think Viviano and Moriarty are better all around talents and great physical specimens (Viviano, for example, is 6-5, and I think Moriarty is in that neighborhood, and both make pro-level throws). Both have some of they’re targets graduate, but it will be cool to see them develop next season.
      And yes, Matt Barr, does do a very nice job at Harriton. He had to navigate some problems last year, but he’s a good coach churning out talented players.
      Matt D

    • Jim,
      Dennis Decker holds the county record in passing, which I believe is the record for the Central league as well (2,737). Oddly enough, we don’t have stats on touchdowns posted. I would have to hunt around for those (which was on my to-do list anyway). I’ll get back to you if I find anything.
      Matt D

      • Does that 2737 include the playoffs, if I remember Decker went to the state finals his senior year?

  3. I think Moriarity is in a class by himself. I am not saying that Viviano is not a great QB, but I think Strain, and Corkery are on the second tier followed closely by Viviano, Davis, Durkin, and Haley. The QB ratings suggest this as well. There are other QBs in the Central league who may also be up there if they had more pass attempts.

    • Ed,
      That’s the puzzle we have to decipher each year. What kind of numbers would Corkery put up if he didn’t have two dynamite running backs behind him? What would Haley’s numbers look like had either Gibson or Jaward been healthy all year? And more to the point, what would Viviano’s numbers look like if he had a running back like Justin Pyle with him instead of a rushing attack that is pretty inconsistent?
      I think Moriarty is a cut above. But I like the potential of Viviano and the upside of kids like Davis and Haley (and I’d add Penncrest’s Shane Donnelly to the mix).
      Matt D

      • Dont know if it is true but I heard Moriarity has talked to Stanford. I have seen him make throws that college QBs cannot make. Besides stats a QB has to have other qualities, Strain is a fierce competitor, and Corkery seems to will his team down the field. Strain executes each play excellently. High or low snaps are no problem for him. Most every QB is have seen this year in the Central League was really good.

    • Moriarity isprobably the best passing QB in the area. He has the look of a kid who is going to go on and be successful at the college level … AS a QB. I’d argue he is the MVP of the Central League because, well, how many games does Harriton win without him? Probably zero.
      Corkery is having the best year of any QB in DELCO. He could end up having a 1,000/1,000 season (rush/pass yards). Another Central League QB that is ONLY a junior — Morarity, Viviano, Durkin, Donnelly … my oh my.

      • I heard a rumor that Moriarity is transferring. Anyone have any info?
        Some good points about more attempts/ better running games.
        It will be interesting next year(with those Qbs).
        Who holds the record for most Tds/YDS/Ints in a career in the League and also in DELCO?

  4. You guys really think Eddie Durkin would not be in top 3 qb’s this season if he didn’t miss any time this year. Through 6 games he has 18total tds and close to 1300yards through the air and on the ground. The game against ‘Stoga, Haverford was riddled with dropped passes and the play calling was no help either with two quarterback draws called on successive plays with under 2mins remaining and a timeout that was left on the board with the team trailing. It’s a totally different Garnett game with the Fords coming off a win at ‘Stoga. It is truly amazing all the talent at Quaterback that is returning to Delco next year. You guys have a great website here keep up the good work.

    • Chuck,
      Thanks for the kind words. Durkin came back from injury at a point when no one was really distinguishing themselves in the All-Delco race, and I thought he had a legitimate shot to take that honor had he been able to beat Conestoga and perhaps get in the playoffs. I was at that Stoga game. Of his 11 incompletions, at least 8 had to be drops where he hit the guys right in the hands with passes; he would’ve have 300 yards had they hung on to those throws. Durkin will certainly be up there next year, though there is a ton of talent returning at quarterback.
      Matt D

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