Saturday, October 21, 2017
By ERIC FORTUNE
To say the Girard High School football team’s offense has been unstoppable this season might be an understatement.
Averaging 50 points a game, the Indians have been nearly perfect with quarterback Mark Waid under center.
The trend continued Friday night in a 55-21 win over LaBrae in an All-American Conference Blue Tier game.
Waid came into the contest with 25 passing touchdowns, 14 rushing touchdowns, 2,206 yards passing yards and 828 on the ground.
“Mark is an unbelievable leader on this team,” Girard coach Pat Pearson said. “The things that people don’t realize about Mark Waid is that he was on the most unselfish kids. Mark wants success for the team. He doesn’t care if he’s running it or throwing it.
“The strength of this team is their ability to play together and be a family. It’s an unselfish group. Obviously Mark is making a ton of plays. I think he’s one of the best players in the state.
“The core around him and how they take care of him and how he takes care of them is what makes it special.”
Waid added to his already impressive totals with two rushing touchdowns and one through the air finishing with 191 yards passing and 66 on the ground.
His night ended after a half with his team scoring on six of their seven possessions with two special teams’ touchdowns.
The Indians (9-0, 5-0) averaged more than 10 yards a play in the first half.
“As a team, we’ve come so close together of the course of the season,” Waid said. “It’s crazy to think how we just get closer and closer.
“This isn’t a team, this is a group of brothers that go out and perform for each other. I can’t be prouder of my team. We came out and played amazing tonight.”
Morgan Clardy backed up Waid’s big night with 172 yards rushing with a rushing touchdown and one on the receiving end.
As a whole, the Indians had 444 total yards at the half with 18 first downs with five touchdowns consisting of more than 40 yards and five different individuals getting touchdowns.
“We have a lot of weapons,” Pearson said. “The two sophomores that play for us, Jimmy Jones and Morgan Clardy, are two of the weapons. Those guys maybe don’t get as much press, but when they have the ball in their hands, their explosive.”
And while the Indians were putting up points with regularity in the first half, the defense was huge with four interceptions and limiting the Vikings (4-5, 3-3) to 93 total yards and just five first downs.
“It’s really all three phases of the game,” Pearson said. “Our defense is really doing a great job.
“The offense obviously has big strike capability. We can also pound it a little bit. We have a lot of guys touching the ball. The offensive line has been phenomenal.”
The Indians will meet up with the Liberty Leopards (7-2, 5-0) in “The Battle of Belmont” for the league crown and for an undefeated season.
“We’ve been growing every week,” Pearson said. “We got to keep going. The task every week is going to get harder and harder. We have a great one in front of us now.”