NEWTOWN SQUARE — Asked to explain the magic that he had just performed, Delco Christian quarterback Gator Grim appeared confused for the first time Friday night.
While the senior was elated with the Knights' 42-16 rout of High School of the Future in the District One/12 Class A football semifinal, he was also cautious.
"I can only tell you so much,' Grim said, "without giving away some secrets.'
Although coach Eros Uthman-Olukokun said that his third-seeded Firebirds (3-8) knew exactly what to expect from the Delco Christian attack, the visitors could be forgiven for boarding their buses back to West Philadelphia still mystified by the hocus-pocus that produced a 42-point first half.
Thanks to Grim's slight-of-hand and ever-increasing command of DC's wishbone offense, the Knights kept the defenders, the public address announcer and even the frozen sideline denizens guessing on practically every play which black-and-green-clad player had the ball.
"It has taken a lot of repetition, a lot of hard work and a lot of practice to get to this point,' said Grim. "Every week that goes by, we should get better at it. But it requires great teamwork.'
Grim threw just two passes on the evening, completing both for just 43 yards, but his first toss was a 33-yard dart into the wind to Aaron Elcock for a touchdown on the third play of the game. The rest of the time, Grim and his backfield mates did such a superb job of carrying out their fakes that the Knights' ground game rolled up 259 yards on 49 carries.
A good chunk of that real estate was covered by David Goines, who rushed for four touchdowns and 106 yards on only nine carries. It says something about the team's single-mindedness that the senior halfback took almost as much delight in running without the ball as he did lugging the pigskin.
"We're all like actors, it's up to us to sell it so well that the defense doesn't know who has the ball,' Goines said. "Our line was making great blocks and we came in with the right mindset, to step it up in such a big game.'
Both Grim and Goines joined first-year head coach Drew Pearson in singing the praises of offensive coordinator Tyler Langs.
"What coach Langs brought us was a new way to carry the ball, where it's actually tougher for the defender to see,' Grim said in divulging one itty-bitty secret.
Langs couldn't hide his excitement over how well the game plan had played out in running out to a 42-0 halftime lead, saying "the real thrill is to see three guys getting tackled at the same time because the defense doesn't know who has the ball.'
Pearson, whose second-seeded Knights (8-2) set a program record for wins in a season while earning a berth opposite top-seeded Bristol in next week's title game, also spread the credit around.
"Coach Langs has done an incredible job and what we've accomplished in the first year of this program is remarkable because (running the wishbone) we need all 11 guys doing their job,' Pearson said. "I'm also proud of the way our defense came out and produced several three-and-outs early. We still have a big challenge ahead of us, but this is a great opportunity for our school.'