On November 5, 2004 the Garnet Valley Jaguars didn’t score a point against Great Valley. Who would have thought the next time Garnet Valley would be shutout would be six years later.
Garnet Valley has won the past two meetings against the Ridley Green Raiders. The first meeting in 2008 Garnet Valley went on to win big, 41-28. In the second meeting the win went to Garnet Valley with a 20-14 win. The third meeting consisted of a different story. This meeting Ridley controlled the game from start to finish. Ridley’s coach, Dennis Decker said, “The fact that they have beat us the last two years has left a sour taste in our mouths but we weren’t preparing any more or any less because we have lost the last two. We just wanted to come out and get a win tonight.”
The Ridley Raiders walked onto Moe DeFrank Stadium on Friday night looking to stay undefeated; and they did just that. Although it took the Green Raiders nine and a half minutes to score after running back Jalen Randolph’s five yard touchdown run, that was just the beginning of a long night for the Jaguars.
The Green Raiders lightning bolt and heart of the team is senior running back Shahaid Smith. Rushing for a total of 195 yards, Smith scored the Green Raiders second touchdown of the game on a quick two yard touchdown run after getting the offense down the field. Not only can Smith run a short touchdown to the end zone, he can run the long ones too.
As halftime was nearing, the Garnet Valley Jaguars began to move the ball down field. Smith, who not only had a great offensive game but also played a part on defense, intercepted Jaguars quarterback Jake Helmes’ pass to end their drive and to go into halftime with an almost three touchdown lead, 19-0. Smith said, “I knew the time was running out, I knew they were just going to try to catch the ball and get out of bounds so I just stepped up and made the interception.”
Garnet Valley knew coming into the second half they needed to stop Ridley’s offense being down 19-0. Well just 52 seconds in the second half Smith dashed into the end zone from 37 yards out. “The line’s blocking was excellent. It was a great call by the coach. After that it was a shake and miss of the defenders to get into the end zone” said Smith.
Ridley wasn’t done scoring. The offense decided they have put the ball enough on the ground and decided to go to the air. After the Green Raiders defense recovered a fumble at their own 39 yard line by defensive back, Dion Shaw, Ridley’s first play on offense was a pass. Green Raider’s senior quarterback Sean Blundin threw a 61 yard touchdown pass. On the receiving end was senior wide receiver Norm Donkin. That big touchdown pass took the air right out of the stadium.
To put the game to rest, the Green Raider’s lightning bolt, Smith, ran in his third touchdown of the game on a 15 yard touchdown carry to make the score, and the final 38 to 0. The last time a defense shut down Garnet Valley’s offense was six years ago. Garnet Valley hasn’t seen a goose egg on the score board in a high school player’s career and a half.
“This was the best defensive game we’ve played all year long. To hold a team like that, as good as they are, as well coached as they are to zero points, I think says something about our defense” said coach Decker as he commented on the Green Raiders defense which had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Next week if Ridley wins they will at least share the Central League title with a win against Upper Darby at home at 7:00pm. If Springfield can beat Strath Haven, Ridley won’t have to share anything and bring the whole title back to Ridley.
There are 16 teams that make the Quad A playoff tournament. For the Garnet Valley Jaguars to be one of them 16 teams they need to beat Lower Merion. The game will be at Lower Merion on Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm. It is a must win for the Jaguars to continue to play further football in 2010.