By Christopher A. Vito / Correspondent, Bucks County Courier Times
WHITEMARSH TWP. — While Germantown Academy’s defense endured a slicing and dicing at the hands of The Haverford School’s multiple running backs, GA’s offensive linemen sat on the bench and hung their heads. The team’s quarterback stared blankly.
It didn’t take a psychologist to guess the collective mood of the Patriots’ players.
Germantown Academy endured a 38-11 rout by The Haverford School. The Patriots (5-1, 0-1) failed to protect the ball offensively, committing three turnovers, and proved unable to get off the field defensively. That confluence of events led to the Patriots’ first defeat, and their worst performance of the season — just as the Inter-Academic League slate is getting under way.
“Like Coach (Matt Dence) said in the huddle, (the Fords) outplayed us and they outcoached us,” running back Trey Vance said. “We probably, coming off an undefeated non-league season, we were in our own heads and took it easy this week.
“We could’ve gone harder, and should’ve gone harder than we ever have before because this is the Inter-Ac League schedule now. It’s harder competition.”
The Haverford School, which led 14-11 at halftime, scored the game’s final 24 points. Quarterback Ben Gerber had the second of his two touchdowns — a 32-yard connection with Nate Whitacker — after the break. And Daiyaan Hawkins picked off Germantown Academy’s Matt Brittingham and returned the interception 31 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Logan Keller’s 8-yard scoring lunge padded the lead and further solidified the win for the Fords.
“You see what we did today,” said Hawkins, who also accounted for 96 yards rushing on 13 carries. “They underestimated us and we made them pay.”
Germantown Academy, according to Vance, felt strongly about its odds after halftime considering the way the Patriots closed the second quarter.
Brittingham hit sophomore receiver Jerry Griffen-Batchler four times for 72 yards on a series that led to GA’s only touchdown, including a 9-yard scoring connection. Luke Strauss followed with a run on a 2-point conversion attempt that cut The Haverford School’s lead to 14-11.
“We were in this. I think we started to get down at halftime, when we saw they were up by three points,” said Vance, who led all rushers with 104 yards on 19 totes. “It hurts as a team. We could’ve come back. We could’ve won this game.”
The Fords’ defense intercepted Brittingham twice after intermission and their offense remained on the field for the majority of the final two quarters.
“In the league, starting 1-0 is huge to get our confidence up,” said Gerber. “We needed a game like this against Germantown Academy, and we’re glad we got it.”