Springfield overcomes slow start

Posted: September 16, 2012

Springfield (Delco) displayed its resiliency for the second straight week, earning a 28-7 Central League win at Lower Merion on Saturday.

Despite committing an early turnover in its own zone and another to give Lower Merion an opportunity to tie the game in the second half, Springfield rebounded to emerge victorious.

"There's going to be 150 plays. There's going to be lots of good plays, and then we're going to make a mistake here and there," Springfield coach Tom Kline said.

"If you make a mistake, you have to be able to shake it off. We preach that every day, and I think our kids really buy into that."

The Springfield defense held strong despite encountering some pressure, holding the Aces to 132 yards and delivering a momentum-swinging turnover, a third-quarter interception by Barry Foster.

"The one thing about us, our kids, is that they rebound off of adversity," Kline said. "It shows about our kids that they don't give up on anything."

Foster ran for 64 yards and a touchdown, and Rob Murphy picked up 82 yards on 11 carries to lead Springfield's offense.

Ernest Pendleton contributed most of the Aces' offense, picking up 50 yards on the ground and catching a 17-yard touchdown pass.

The Cougars were coming off a 20-point, second-half comeback victory over Harriton, and they didn't start well again, fumbling on their opening possession.

But after the defense forced a turnover on downs, Cameron Durham capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper to put Springfield (2-1 overall, 2-0 league) on top, 7-0.

The Cougars expanded the lead two series later, in the second quarter. John Ferguson came up with a 52-yard catch-and-run on a slant to set up Murphy's 7-yard score.

Durham stopped another Springfield drive with an interception deep in Lower Merion territory late in the first half, and then the Aces (0-3, 0-2) made it a one-score game on the opening drive of the second half.

After starting at their own 48-yard line, Ari Wilen and Steffen Vestal broke off a pair of 11-yard runs to set up a 17-yard touchdown strike from Anton Novehrends to Pendleton.

Springfield responded by driving inside Lower Merion's 35, but another fumble gave the Aces a chance to tie the game.

On the ensuing play, however, Foster undercut Novehrends' throw across the middle to steal momentum back and ignite a 50-yard scoring drive, which he eventually finished with a 6-yard run.

"We want to be aggressive," Lower Merion coach Adam Beach said. "We threw the ball to one of our best kids and our quarterback made the right read, just put a bit too much air under it and their kid made a great play, came underneath, and picked it off."

"The defense needed a play, so I needed to make a play," Foster said. "I was not nervous at all. I told the team that we just have to step it up."

Murphy took advantage of prime field position in the fourth quarter, ripping off a 34-yard touchdown run to close the scoring.

Springfield (D)   7777-28

Lower Merion   0070-7

S: Cameron Durham 1 run (Brad Lord kick)

S: Rob Murphy 7 run (Lord kick)

L: Ernest Pendleton 17 pass from Anton Novehrends (Jake Tischler kick)

S: Barry Foster 6 run (Lord kick)

S: Murphy 34 run (Lord kick)

Contact Nick Carroll at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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