By STEVEN LEITZEL
MALVERN – Ugly football can be just as effective, if not more effective, than pretty football.
Great Valley exhibited as much in their 31-6 victory over Penn Wood on a cool night from Valley Stadium. The host Patriots kept their strategy simple, outrushing the guest Patriots, 319-62.
Great Valley (2-1) started quickly, as on their second possession, senior quarterback Chris Geiss lined up in the pistol, took an option keeper around left end, was swarmed at the two-yard line, and dragged the pile into the end zone for the game’s initial score. A flubbed snap resulted in a failed conversion and a 6-0 lead.
The visitors answered immediately with a 13-play, 69-yard drive culminating in Karon Lucas-Tillery taking a stretch play to the left pylon for an 11-yard touchdown. The ensuing kick was blocked, leaving the score tied at 6-6 with 1:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for Penn Wood (0-3), things only got tougher the rest of way, as Great Valley rattled off 25 unanswered points. Utilizing the ground attack to perfection, they quickly reclaimed the lead when senior running back Max Burgess took a toss right and powered in from three yards out.
Just three plays into the following possession, Penn Wood gave the football right back by putting it on the ground at their own 24. Great Valley graciously accepted the gift and junior fullback Chris Temple bulled in on a three-yard dive play.
On the opening possession after the break, Geiss tacked on three points by splitting the uprights from 23 yards out. Following a Penn Wood three-and-out, the Division I prospect completed his only pass of the evening – a 20-yard streak down the right sideline to senior wideout Steven Praplaski.
“When you have an offensive line that really just gets after it the way ours did tonight, and has all year, it’s really hard to put the ball in the air when you can control the clock and you can get 5, and 6, and 7 yards at a time,” said Great Valley head coach Mike Choi. “The great thing about our running game is that it’s 5 or 6 deep. We have multiple backs that we really believe in.”
Great Valley 31
Penn Wood 6
Penn Wood 6 0 0 0 -- 6
Great Valley 6 15 10 0 -- 31
GV- Geiss 17 run (run failed)
PW- Lucas-Tillery 11 run (kick failed)
GV- Burgess 3 run (Johnson kick)
GV- Temple 3 run (Burgess run)
GV- Geiss 23 field goal
GV- Praplaski 20 pass from Geiss (Johnson kick)
First downs 6 20
Yards rushing 62 319
Yards passing 38 46
Total yards 100 365
Passing 6-21-0 2-8-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties 7-65 4-45
Punts-Avg. 6-21.2 2-36
RUSHING – PW: Lucas-Tillery 7-45, TD; Zahnee 4-18; Ringgold 7-11; Hamilton 2-1; Jolaoso 2-(-13). GV: Burgess 9-93, TD; Geiss 16-88, TD; Ames 8-50; Johnson 7-36; Temple 5-29, TD; Nelson 4-23; Radzanowski 1-0; Kulendran 1-0.
PASSING – PW: Jolaoso 6-21, 38. GV: Geiss 1-7, 20, TD; Ludwig 1-1, 26.
RECEIVING – PW: Willingham 5-36; Zahnee 1-2. GV: Praplaski 1-20, TD; Mullen 1-26.
SACKS – PW: Willingham, Smith, Doray. GV: Agnew.
INTERCEPTIONS – PW: none. GV: none.