Malvern Prep impresses again in win over perennial power Archbishop Wood

MALVERN >> When the Inter-Academic League began its football season this fall, it did not elect to invite Malvern Prep to the dance, because the Friars had already planned a nonleague schedule when the Inter-Ac was still shut down due to COVID-19.

It gave the Friars yet another reason to dominate each of the top-notch opponents they had scheduled.

Saturday afternoon at Quigley Field, the Friars took another step in achieving that goal as they played inspired football and won for the fourth time in four tries, this time against a talented Archbishop Wood squad, 28-14.

The Friars got another big defensive performance as they picked off Wood (3-3) quarterback Trey Holsman three times, including a pick six from Jake Brownley and a big offensive day from senior Lonnie White to get the win.

One of the interceptors, D’Angelo Stocker, who stopped a Wood drive with an interception at the 2-yard line, talked about how the Malvern Prep (4-0) defense put up its best effort of the season.

“We all play for each other and we play tough, fundamental football,” Stocker said. “We practice hard and study and today we had a lot of big plays for losses and we picked him off three times. It was a total team effort for us.”

Archbishop Wood had a 7-0 lead late in the second quarter, after Holsman hit Malchi Pigford with a pretty 17-yard touchdown pass. But, Malvern Prep struck right back as White galloped 60 yards untouched to knot the game at 7-7 at halftime. White rushed the ball five times for 90 yards out of the Wildcat formation, and he also caught three balls for 54 yards in another marvelous performance.

But, Malvern came out of the locker room at halftime ready to roll. The Friars drove down the field and White went the final two yards for a 14-7 advantage. Then, the Malvern Prep defense did its job again. Jake Brownley picked off Holsman on the right sideline and 42 yards later the Friars were up 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

“Our defense is really stout against the run and today we picked off three balls,” Malvern Prep head coach Dave Gueriera said. “They run to the football and they play fast and physical and they did that again today.”

With the Friars up 21-7 with a little over nine minutes to play in the fourth, Malvern snapped the ball over its punter’s head, and the Vikings recovered at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Holsman scored and all of a sudden Wood was within 21-14.

But, Malvern took the ensuing kickoff and drove into Vikings territory before stalling. The Friars punted and pinned the Vikings at their own 2-yard line. In the next play, Holsman fumbled and the Friars were back in business. Isiah Wright skirted the left side on the next play and the Friars were ahead 28-14 with 4:35 to play and the Vikings were finished.

“These kids have done such a great job doing the right things to keep us playing during these times,” Gueriera said. “They are a very selfless group and they made it their mission to go undefeated and keep playing week to week.”



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