This list is in no particular order … Maybe I’ll add to it later when I get some free time.
Enjoy, debate and discuss…
1. Interboro 22, Academy Park 21 (District One Class AAA semifinal): The Bucs were dead in the water … so it seemed. Trailing by 13 points midway through the fourth quarter, Interboro stormed back with under five minutes to play and scored 14 unanswered points. After getting pummeled by the Knights two weeks earlier, not many people saw the comeback brewing. Maybe Interboro was a team of destiny all along …
2. Ridley 27, Garnet Valley 17: The Green Raiders trailed 17-7 going into the fourth quarter. With first place in the Central League at stake, the Green Raiders forced three Garnet Valley turnovers over the final several minutes of play. Ridley opened three consecutive series with a short field. Rich Coia’s touchdown scamper was the difference. Though Ridley’s season ended prematurely in the District One Class AAAA second round, this game “made” its season. It was at that moment I realized they had something special brewing.
3. Haverford 42, Strath Haven 36: One of the best back-and-forth affairs in Delco this season, the Fords outslugged the Panthers in a critical game for both teams. Had Strath Haven won, the Panthers could have potentially set themselves up for a better seed in the District One Class AAA (instead, as the No. 8 seed, they were blown out by Pottsgrove).
Leyden caught a 54-yard touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter to give the Fords their seventh win of the season, moments after Strath Haven had rallied all the way back from a three-touchdown deficit. Leyden hauled in a pass from quarterback Eddie Durkin and sprinted to the end zone for the game-winning score.
“The best game I’ve ever covered,” said Daily Times’ resident Canadian-born sports writer, Matt Chandik, who believes Kevin Leyden deserves an award for being awesome at everything he does.
4. Interboro 14, W.C. Henderson 12 (District One Class AAA championship): This game is fresh in everyone’s mind. The Bucs relied on stingy defense, timely first downs and tremendous special teams to claim their first district title. Interboro, for lack of a better term, punched Henderson in the mouth and the Warriors, while they hung around, really never really knew how to respond. It was an epic win for Interboro and the Del Val League in general, and a win that Steve Lennox could retire off of if he so chooses (I’m not implying anything … I’m just saying, it’s a good way to go out for any coach who’s been around as long as Lennox).
5. Ridley 7, Springfield 3: Many people trashed this game for being boring or uneventful, but it still goes down as my favorite game to cover. It was, to use a tired sports cliche, a true heavyweight battle. Rich Coia had a long touchdown run in the first quarter … and that was just about it as far as offense was concerned. A definitive statement game for Ridley’s defense.
6. Episcopal Academy 21, Haverford School 14: The Churchmen put the cap on one of the most memorable seasons of Delco football in the last decade at “EA-Haverford Day” … Just being there, soaking in the incredible atmosphere, is a moment that I will remember for quite some time. EA trailed in the game (a rare sight), but roared back to score 14 unanswered points. Haverford School proved to be a formidable foe for the No. 1 team in Delco.
Adam Strouss told me: “There was no way we were losing that game.”