Episcopal Academy started without much in the way of high expectations.
Coming off an underwhelming 2011 that resulted in only three wins, there was a lot to like about the Churchmen. They were loaded with senior talent, but there were questions about whether they were good enough to compete with the Malvern Preps and Haverford Schools of the Inter-Ac landscape.
Malvern was the preseason favorite to win it all, with Haverford School a close
second. So much attention was focused on those programs, and for good reason.
People scoffed at EA’s easy nonleague schedule. The Churchmen opened some eyes when they manhandled Interboro in a Week 2 showdown. When they were promptly rank among the likes of Ridley and Garnet Valley in the Daily Times Super 7, there was disagreement. Defeating quality opponent in Interboro (a Class AAA school vs. EA’s AA classification, no less) was considered a small feather in the cap, but the doubting persisted.
This team can’t possibly compete with the big dogs, right?
Well, if destroying Interboro wasn’t enough proof that EA was arguably the top team in the county in 2012, the Churchmen went ahead and blew out Malvern and, two weeks later, defeated Haverford School on the final day of the season to win the Inter-Ac championship.
The 14 points they allowed in that game was the most they gave up all season.
The debate will last for quite some time. Could Episcopal ever beat Ridley or Garnet Valley or Academy Park? We’ll never know for sure, but they could hang with the best of them.
The Churchmen earned the right to be called Delcofootball’s Team of the Year.
Some stats to leave you with:
- Episcopal outscored its opponents, 368-35. Its points allowed were the fewest in the county (Ridley was second at 156, albeit including more games).
- Posted six shutouts, including three in a row to start the season.
- QB and Daily Times Player of the Year Adam Strouss had at least one touchdown in every game.
- Team scored seven touchdowns on three separate occasions.
- Only the fifth undefeated Inter-Ac team since 1990 and the first since 2008.