Football: Haverford School’s massive line strikes through Archbishop Wood

WARMINSTER — After a difficult 35-11 loss to Haverford School Friday, coach Dave Armstrong gave his Archbishop Wood players a quick, one-sentence hot take.

“That,” he said of Haverford School, “is a football team.”

Perfect.

Not that there hadn’t already been indicators, but in improving to 4-0 Friday the Fords continued to show every sign of a special high school football team.

Behind a monstrous line that includes 6-5, 305-pound Matt Pante, Noah Andrewson (6-6, 330), Sean Dugery (6-3, 305), Adon Gross (6-4, 280) and Michael Barnes (6 -2, 25), among others, Matt Brosko ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns.

“The best part,” said Fords coach Brian Martin, “is that those guys are best friends.”

Freshman Jaidyn Rivera added a pair of three-yard rushing scores in the second half. Ivan Harlamov was 5-for-5 on conversion kicks.

“I’ve said it each week,” Brosko said. “We’ve got the best O-line in the state.”

After back-to-back road triumphs at traditional Catholic League powers La Salle and Wood, and in-county wins over Academy Park and Bonner & Prendergast, Brosko’s spin has been difficult to refute. Passing only six times Friday, the Fords controlled the ball, the clock and the scoreboard and rolled to a late 35-3 lead.

The Vikings (1-2) were limited to 106 total yards, 52 coming with 1:18 left when Frankie Mawson connected with Markus Dixon for a touchdown. Luke Shaeffer caught a two-point conversion toss from Mawson. Leo Ricci chipped in a 28-yard, first-quarter field goal.

“When I told some of our alumni and some of our players about our schedule, they said, ‘Are you OK? Did you hit your head?’” Martin said. “I said, ‘Hey, if you want to be the best, you have to play the best.’ And our guys really showed it tonight.”

Down 3-0, the Fords recovered a muffed punt at the Wood 15 late in the first quarter, Brosko capitalizing with a 12-yard scoring burst. Early in the second, Haverford School recovered a blocked punt to take possession at the Vikings’ 15, setting up Brosko for a six-yard scoring burst.

“We’ve got a very well-rounded team,” Brosko said. “That’s always great.”

Rivera’s first touchdown gave indication of a developing breeze, and Brosko made that official with a three-yard scoring run with 8:50 showing.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Martin said of Brosko. “He just grinds. His legs are always moving. He’s always falling forward and getting that extra yard. I’m so happy for him.”

Wood expects to benefit from his matchup with Haverford School.

“We’ll watch the film and learn from the mistakes that we made,” Armstrong said. “That, we’ll start working towards next week. But any time you play a team of that caliber, it is going to toughen you up whether you like it or not.”

After a visit from Landon School of Maryland next Saturday, the Fords will brace for what is expected to be a rugged Inter-Ac schedule, in which five of the six members entered this weekend without a loss.

“Absolutely,” Brosko said. “Absolutely. And we’ve got six more games left … and six more wins.”

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