The 50 Yardline – Haverford

#24, Chase Barlow, punches through a whole in the Marple Newtown defense. Photo by Jim Quinn,

By Mike Mayer, Web master,

You couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the season than what the Strath Haven Panthers have managed to accomplish in two games.
Points scored – 90.  Points allowed – 20.
Yards rushing – 728. Rushing yards allowed – 218
Net yards – 862. Average gain per play – 9.7
No doubt that two games do not make a season and there is plenty of challenge ahead in the remaining eight game schedule.
On top of a great running game the Haven passing game came alive with #4 Sam Milligan having a remarkable night in the air going 5/5 for 134 yards and three touchdowns including the first touchdown catch to #84 Mason Green.  The passing game adds a dimension to the Panthers that hasn’t been seen before and will force defenses to honor a true passing game in addition to a powerful running attack. Now if we could just see a screen play developed it could make Haven virtually unstoppable.
The Panthers have their first away game this week as they travel to Havertown to take on the Haverford Fords on a special Saturday night game.
These two teams last played each other in an abbreviated Central League championship series playing for third in the league and Haven won that 35-23.
Haverford is in a  bit of a rebuilding mode but have taken on their first two opponents with dramatic wins beating Central 49-0 and Lower Merion last week 42-28.  They are led by #11 Tommy Wright who has a strong and accurate arm. He generally is looking for #9 Tommy Caruso or #5 Ethan Mahan. First year head coach, Luke Dougherty, is high on his team and their size and talent.  Big lineman up front with a dependable running game and explosive aerial attack makes the Fords a potential power house in the Central League.
While it’s great to rack up fast points and overwhelm your opponent quickly it doesn’t do much for you in presenting game challenges.  The Panther’s total domination of their first two opponents have been great confidence boosters but the Fords seem to be a different quality team with strong ground and air attacks.
The three headed offensive ground monster of #23 Matt Shuler, #24 Chase Barlow and #32 Anthony Crawford will give the Panthers a decided advantage.  The newly established passing game will open up some deadly options for quarterback Milligan. No doubt the Panthers can and will score points but the key for this Saturday night game will be how the defense is able to respond.  The Fords will go to the air often and we will see how the secondary responds. Maybe just as importantly we will find out how effectively the down linemen on defense and linebackers are able to pressure the Fords into poor throwing decisions or how disruptive they can be with hurries and sacks.  We expect a heck of a game!

Kick-off is this Saturday at 7:00 PM at Haverford High School.  If you can’t make the game you can always listen to our broadcast right here at  Our broadcast will begin at 6:45. The game will be available on our archives within a few hours after the game concludes. You can also check in on Twitter for scores and video updates.