Coming onto Ridley’s field on October 6th, Radnor was feeling confident. Sporting a 4-2 record, a 2-2 record in the Central League, and a healthy starting quarterback, the sky was the limit for the Red Raiders. The Green Raiders however painfully demonstrated the limits of the Radnor offense, giving up a grand total of zero points three quarters through the competition. Ridley themselves scored a touchdown each in the first and second quarter of the competition, giving them a 14-0 lead at halftime. Radnor was continuously halted in its attempts to get down the field, and QB Sean Mullarkey was barely firing off passes, getting sacked a multitude of times. With Ridley’s defense swarming and the clock ticking, hope seemed to drain out of the Radnor fans. That hope momentarily returned as Mullarkey was able to thread the needle on a pass to junior Matt Cohen, who ran an 86 yard catch into the endzone, going coast to coast. The extra point was fumbled however, and the deflation on the field was palpable. 14-6. Radnor once again stopped the Green Raiders inches from their own end zone, and the final gauntlet needed to be run. A touchdown, and a two point conversion to get into overtime. A dream for the maroon players, and one that was crushed in four downs. Four downs which led to a net gain of negative ten yards. The final buzzer sounded at 14-6. The post game huddle did not look pretty from the outside, as head coach Tom Ryan was heated after the central league loss.
The following week Radnor played Haverford public on Prevost, another tough central league matchup which would feature a grind. Unlike the Green Raiders, the Haverford Fords walked into the game on October 13th with a 6-1 record, and a 5-1 in the central league, looking dominant all season. Their one out of conference game consisted a 40-6 win against the Chester Clippers. The Marple Newtown Tigers, who defeated the maroon Raiders 45-15, were crushed by the Fords 35-0. Ridley high school didn’t stand strong either when they played Haverford. The only team to take a win off the Fords was the undefeated Garnet Valley Jaguars, who sit at 8-0 at the top of the central league. While the game had the lookings to be a blowout, the Red Raiders buckled down into what would be a defensive slugfest. The score was 3-0 at halftime, as the Fords snuck in an angled field goal at the closing minutes of the second quarter. A right side drive near the end of the third quarter ultimately decided the game as Haverford climbed up to a 10-0 lead which the boys in the maroon could not eclipse. Radnor had their first scoreless game of the season, and is at a 0.500 record for the second time.
On October 20th, Radnor will play another top central league team in Strath Haven, away. The Panthers are also 4-4, and this game will be pivotal to Radnor’s playoff picture as the season reaches its crescendo.