NEWTOWN SQUARE -- Alonzo Covert remembered.
""Yeah, his father played for Darby Township when I coached there,'' Covert said when asked about AcademyPark junior Dayton Henson.
Dayton Henson's teammates remembered.
""We all were thinking about him and wanted to get him a game ball,'' said Knight senior two-way lineman Greg Pierce, who caused a fumble that resulted in his team's first touchdown Friday night at Harry Harvey Field.
""I've known Dayton for eight years,'' said Chris Ferrari -- who ran back that fumble Pierce caused for a TD -- of Henson, who was hospitalized for five days after taking a hit to the kidneys in last week's loss to Springfield. ""We had to get the game ball for him.''
The nonleague contest between Academy Park and Marple Newtown will be one many people will remember. It featured a 229-yard rushing performance (26 carries, three touchdowns) by the Knights' James Carmichael. Marple junior quarterback Chris Gicking countered with 19 completions for 305 yards and a pair of TDs.
And the elements -- lightning flashes during the third quarter -- conspired to bring things to a halt for 45 minutes. When the teams got back to playing and got all said and done, AcademyPark came away with a 26-20 victory for its first win in two games. Marple dropped to 0-2.
""Give (the Tigers) credit for the way they came back after that delay,'' said Knights coach Sal Oropollo. ""I was really pleased with the way we got the job done (offensively) up front.''
Up front doing the blocking for Academy Park were Mike Porreca, Pierce, Bill Bissinger, Andre Harrison, Steve Richard and Kevin Hornung. Carmichael was another Knight who was happy with that unit's efforts.
""Their blocking made it all possible,'' said the 5-11, 170-pound senior who ripped off scoring runs of 44, 18 and 48 yards, the last one two plays after a 38-yard pass from Gicking to Paul Brown cut the AP lead to 20-14 with 3:05 to play in the final quarter.
""I think they had better calls on the line and that helped their blocking be better.''
Pierce also helped the Knights to their first TD when he drove Gicking back from the Academy Park 16, separated him from the ball at the 25 and watched as Ferrari dashed 75 yards for six points.
""It was a night game and everyone was excited about it,'' Pierce said. ""Someone had to set the tone. Once we got ahead, then we had to keep the intensity up.''
""When I saw Greg smash their quarterback, I had the ball right there in my hands,'' Ferrari said. ""By the time I was done (running), I was a little tired. I know we were all thinking about winning this game and keeping it going for the rest of our season.''
Marple will be happy to keep what it had going in the fourth quarter -- three touchdowns -- in the coming weeks. Beau Barrabee picked up 62 of his 74 rushing yards after halftime and Gicking completed nine passes for 173 yards in the final two quarters.
""These are the kind of games that can drive you crazy,'' Oropollo said. ""But you're happy to win them.''
""We're happy we got Dayton a game ball,'' said Carmichael. ""And maybe he can come back and play for us before the season's over.'' Academy Park 26, Marple 20
Academy Park 12 8 0 6 -- 26> Marple Newtown 0 0 0 20 -- 20>
AP -- Ferrari 75 run with fumble (kick blocked)
AP -- Carmichael 44 run (run failed)
AP -- Carmichael 18 run (Klein pass from Flynn)
MN -- Barrabee 1 run (Groeber kick)
MN -- Brown 38 pass from Gicking (Groeber kick)
AP -- Carmichael 48 run (kick failed)
MN -- Barrabee 8 pass from Gicking (kick failed)
TEAM STATISTICS APMN
RUSHING -- AP: Carmichael 26-223, Smart 2-10, Klein 3-0, Flynn 4-(-8). Marple: Barrabee 12-74, Iannarelli 5-12, Kidd 1-2, DeCecco 1-2, Gicking 7-(-24).
PASSING -- AP: 2-4-1, 58. Marple: Gicking 19-28-0, 305.
RECEIVING -- AP: Klein 1-31, Smart 1-27. Marple: Maiocco 8-111, Kidd 4-83, Brown 3-95, Barrabee 3-8, DeCecco 1-8.
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