Football optimistic at the halfway mark

Linebacker Geordy Holmes ’21 fired up after a stop against LaSalle, September 14, 2019 – Ethan Pollack ’21

With only five games into the season, Fords Football has already eclipsed its win total from last season. However, this record does not paint the true narrative, which began with an embarrassing 0–36 loss against Northeast High School on August 30. The Fords Football Twitter attributed their season-opening loss to the “8 turnovers [which] doomed the Fords after only trailing 0-6 at the half.”

     Despite a rough start to the season, the Fords responded  with wins in three of their last four games, moving up to number #60 on’s “PA High School Football Ranking.” In addition, the team’s only loss during that period came on September 14 against LaSalle College High School (now #4 on the same list from

     Sixth Form captain and quarterback Dante Perri, who performed poorly in the Northeast game, took responsibility for the team’s disgraceful loss and praised his teammates for their playing during the game.

     “We saw that as bad as I played throughout the game, the score remained close until the end. That’s a testament to how hard the rest of the team played and how good we can be if our players don’t get hurt,” Perri said.

Coach Murphy leads the Fords to the LaSalle game, September 14, 2019 – photo by Ethan Pollack ’21,

     Sixth Former Patrick Toal, one of the team’s veteran safeties, emphasized the team’s intense motivation after the loss. 

     “People in the area, even some in our own community, were doubting us,” Toal said. “We wanted to prove them wrong.”

     Rather than disbanding after their opening game’s loss, the team became even more closely bonded. The Fords recognized that they should not allow a single game against a strong opponent to dictate their entire season.

     “It was difficult to swallow the first loss, but we knew this team had too much talent and potential to throw it down the drain after one bad game,” Perri said.

 “We can’t win if we don’t trust each teammate will do his part. We’ve become closer by realizing the only way we succeed is together.”

Dante Perri ’20

     And, as a result, the team’s overall chemistry and trust in each other improved drastically, which showed in their recent success.

     “We can’t win if we don’t trust each teammate will do his part. We’ve become closer by realizing the only way we succeed is together,” Perri said.

     Fresh off of this hot streak, and after a bye on October 5, the Fords look ahead to the second half of their schedule against their Inter-Ac opponents. Currently, all of Fords’ Inter-Ac foes lie higher than them on the same ranking list from, with EA ranked at #22, Penn Charter at #23, Malvern at #28, SCH at #39, and GA at #53. These rankings do not discourage the Fords, who have an Inter-Ac title in sight.

     “Everyone truly has one goal this year: win the Inter-Ac. The only person that can stop ourselves from achieving that goal is us,” Perri said.

     The team’s first Inter-Ac opponent is Springside Chestnut Hill, whom they will face on October 12. While the team’s strong chemistry will surely play a key role in leading them to victory, another factor could help the Fords to this victory.

     “Everyone’s starting to buy into what we have going on. The presence of the [student fan section] pumps us up. Seeing the stands filled with students makes us play harder and faster,” Toal said.

Author: Ryan LaRocca '20

Ryan LaRocca is an editor-in-chief of the newspaper, previously serving as the editor of the sports section. Last year, his article "J.R. Leitz emerges as leader in the pool" received third place recognition for sports articles in the Philadelphia-area Scholastic Writing Awards. This year, his piece "Swimming & diving look to spring back" earned a Gold Key and his feature "Rise of the Jewish Student Union" earned a Silver Key. Outside of The Index, Ryan acts as the captain for the water polo team and the vice president of the Entrepreneurship Club. In the classroom, his favorite subject is history.