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Buccaneers Sports

Springfield Makes Statement with Win Over Interboro

Varsity vs Springfield HS on 9/2/2011 7:30:00 PM
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011 by Matt Smith

GLENOLDEN — Tom Kline flashed a wide smile as his players congratulated him on his first win as a varsity head coach.

No Gatorade bath was necessary when there were group hugs to go around.

Kline guided the Cougars to a convincing 35-21 victory over Interboro in Friday’s season-opening nonleague contest.

“To beat a program like this, and to beat a coach like Steve, is huge for me because I respect that guy,” Kline said. “He’s one of the best high school coaches in this area and we had to work out butt off to get this. So this first win means so much because of the program he has here and what he does.”

The Bucs handed the Cougars a 7-6 defeat on opening night last season. Quarterback Ryan Strain watched film of that game over and over again, trying to improve his play by correcting the mistakes he made against the Bucs one year ago.

Friday night’s contest was a big win for Kline, but it was a crucial victory for the Cougars, who are out to prove they aren’t the Vanilla Ice of the Central League. One-hit wonders they are not. By the looks of it, the Cougars are here to stay.

Springfield blanked Interboro in the second half after allowing 21 first-half points. They received key stop after key stop on defense, whether it was a pass deflection by lineman Mike McGarvey, a momentum-swinging sack by John Ciurlino or the interception by Aaron Coyne that sealed the win.

The Cougars bent a few times on defense, but never broke.

“We were there at the right time I guess,” said Tyler Morrissey, who was a terror at linebacker. “We were preparing for it all week. We knew they are a tough, smash-mouth football team and they’re going to come here and shove (the ball) down your throats. I think once we got that under control, they had to start resorting to other plays.”

The Bucs tried a couple of trick plays, one that worked and one that didn’t Quarterback Josh Breen dropped back to throw the ball 26 times, another indication that Springfield was forcing Interboro to find other ways to produce offense. Springfield’s defense also forced three interception.

“Every time that something bad happened and we would fall behind, we kept coming back,” Lennox said. “We’ll be all right. We obviously have to tackle better on defense.”

The big playmaker for Springfield was junior Rob Murphy, who seems more than ready to assume the role of featured running back. The speedy 5-10, 190-pounder bounced around like a pinball. He carved up Interboro’s defense to the tune of 157 yards on 17 carries. Murphy got the Cougars rolling early, returning a punt return early in the first quarter to make it 7-0.

The only thing that slowed Murphy down was leg cramps late in the game.

“When I took that punt back, I knew it was going to be a good game,” he said. “The line blocked real well and I just followed them and everything worked out.”

Strain finished with six completions and 119 yards. The biggest play he made was a quarterback sneak that was meant for only short yardage but instead result in a 59-yard scoring scamper.

Murphy had 11 carries after halftime, as the Cougars made a concentrated effort to establish the run.

“I think when we had success in the first half throwing the ball and then we started seeing them change their defense up and kind of open a box for us,” Kline said. “We picked up on that. We knew we had to run the ball more and we were successful.”

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