While we would love to change the ending of last week’s game against Marple Newtown you can argue that is was a very exciting game with more scoring than we’ve seen all season. The big play is what did in Strath Haven. Total yards was Haven 351 versus MN’s 493 but the amazing part of that is that Haven ran 64 plays to the Tiger’s 52. There were fumbles, interceptions, a field goal and plenty of long balls packing into one exciting game. Too bad Haven didn’t win it but it showed their ability to keep up (and lead) a good team just in time to enter the first round of the PIAA District 1 Playoffs.
And boy did we get a good seed. Bishop Shanahan is 7-3. Two of the three they lost to are pretty good powerhouses and their last two wins against Downingtown West (5-5) and Oxford (6-4) were wins against pretty good teams. To make matters more interesting they are another team (like Marple) that likes to throw the ball. The team made a quarterback switch mid-season and it’s definitely been a plus. Dan DiBeneditto (#4) was replaced by Andrew Smyth (#6). DiBeneditto was moved to running back but has been a terrific asset in those positions. Smyth has been steller since the move in week 7 posting 40-59 passes for 646 yards, 7 TDs, and only 1 interception. He also works well as a key running back for the Eagle with 93 carries for 428 yards, 5 TDs.
The other two favorite running backs are Connor Whalen (#3) and Liam Dearing (#33). In the air Smyth likes to find Steve Sweeney (#17) and Tom Waite (#14).
These guys love to burn teams on the big play so the Panthers are going to need to contain the run and cover the receivers. Not an easy task.