by Jonathan Vander Lugt
For as talented a quarterback as Germantown Academy’s Jordan Longino is, he might be a little bit underrated.
His appearances have been relatively scarce – he missed all of Inter-Ac play last season and didn’t see much playing time as a freshman two years ago.
And, as a top-shelf basketball recruit, the junior’s achievements on the hardwood have naturally overshadowed his play on the gridiron.
Add these things together and you get a junior QB without a lot of varsity game tape who surely hears whispers telling him to hang up the cleats in order to focus on hoops. It doesn’t make for a high-level prep football celebrity profile.
If he keeps playing like he did in Saturday afternoon’s blowout 48-15 win over Bishop McDevitt, however, that won’t be a problem anymore. It might give him a different one altogether: whether or not to pursue football as seriously as he plays basketball.
“I love both sports,” Longino said. “I want to play basketball in college, but you never know. Football was my first love.
“Quitting football crossed my mind, but deep down I always knew I was going to keep playing,” he went on.
As long as he does, the Patriots will likely do nothing but benefit. Against the Lancers, he went 10-for-16 for 224 passing yards while adding 30 more and a pair of scores on the ground.
“He’s unbelievable,” said GA head coach Matt Dence. “Give that kid a trumpet and in two days he’ll be great at it.
“He’s talented and has an incredible attention to detail,” Dence went on. “He’s a Division-I basketball player, but if we put film together, he’d get Power Five offers.”
Against Bishop McDevitt, Longino facilitated big play after big play. Not counting his six incompletions, only two of the plays in which he was involved failed to go for fewer than 10 yards or a first down.
Think about that for a second: 21 plays (16 passes and five runs) and 13 – almost two-thirds – went for a first down, with most going for more.
He connected with Jerry Griffen-Batchler three times for 92 yards, Tayshaun Mack six times for 86 yards and found Lacey Snowden, who himself had a fabulous day, for a 46-yard screen.
“[Mack] is a guy that can get you yards,” Longino said. “He’s got a big body – he’s tall and athletic. Any time I need a bailout I can go to him.
“My lineman gave me a lot of time and allowed me to get through all my reads,” he went on. “We trust each other.”
Flanking him, Snowden rebounded from a fumble on his second carry of the day to finish with 20 total touches for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
“Me and Lacey are like a one-two punch,” Longino said. “He gets a big run, and I’ll get a big pass. We feed off each other.”
“It was really important to get Lacey going,” Dence said. “He had a calf issue in the first game, so seeing him go for four quarters today was really important.”
The game was close for most of the first half. Griffen-Batchler opened the game with a bang, taking the initial kickoff 86 yards to the house.
Two drives later, McDevitt answered with a 59-yard touchdown pass to knot the score. GA scored the next two – Longino and Snowden runs of one and three yards, respectively – before the Lancers converted a fourth-and-eight late in the second with a 33-yard touchdown pass.
That margin – 21-15 – was as narrow as it would be for the rest of the game. The Pats rebounded to score on a quick five-play drive to go into the half up 28-15 before adding another three touchdowns in the second half.
“If we didn’t put the ball on the ground in the first half, we might have gotten up a little more,” Dence said. “The key was not letting them score at the end of the half. It gave us a bit of a skip in our step to be up by two scores.”
Up next for the Pats (2-0, 0-0) is a date against Father Judge, Dence’s high school alma mater.
“I love that school, and I love the people there,” Dence said. “I have friends and rivalries on the coaching staff.
“Frank McArdle is as good of a football coach there is,” he went on, “and I want to beat the heck out of him.”
GA: 7 21 6 14: 48
BM: 7 8 0 0: 15
GA: Jerry Griffin-Batchler 86 kick return; Nick Niemynski PAT good (7-0; 11:46)
BM: Lonnie Ricee 59 pass to James Bermudez; Eric Wilson PAT good (7-7; 2:29)
GA: Jordan Longino 1 run; Niemynski PAT good (14-7; 11:00)
GA: Lacey Snowden 3 run; Niemynski PAT good (21-7; 6:28)
BM: Rice 33 pass to Joachim McElroy; Rice pass to Gilbert Kinsey for 2pt good (21-15; 3:38)
GA: Snowden 13 runs; Niemynski PAT good (28-15; 1:40)
GA: Longino 1 run; 2pt conversion no good (34-15; 3:17)
GA: Snowden 1 run; Niemynski PAT good (41-15; 9:17)
GA: Zach Thurlow 69 interception return; Niemynski PAT good (48-15; 0:32.3)
Around the Area:
For the second week in a row, area teams did about as well as they could have reallistically hoped.
Springside Chestnut Hill (2-0, 0-0) easily handled Central High School, 41-0, for its second win of the year. Aaron Rascoe picked up where he left off last week and rambled for 86 yards and two scores (along with a 22-yard receiving TD) on just nine carries. Ke’Shawn Williams saw six touches for 137 yards and a score, and junior QB A.J. Graham looked improved with 179 yards and two scores on 8-for-14 passing. The Blue Devils will host Roman Catholic next week. Note: There are a couple of statistical corrections from last week’s SCH game. A.J. Graham finished with 7-of-15 passing for 98 yards, while Ke’Shawn Williams had two receptions for 36 yards. Aaron Rascoe finished with 36 receiving yards, not 46.
Penn Charter (2-0, 0-0) dispatched Conwell-Egan Catholic, 44-21. Matthew Marshall tallied 150 yards on the ground, while Kyle Jones threw for an efficient 134 yards and three touchdowns on 5-of-6 passing. The Quakers will have their own date against Central next weekend.
The La Salle College High School Explorers (3-0, 0-0) continued their stellar start with a 24-13 win over the defending Inter-Ac champ Malvern Prep. They play the Haverford School next week in their final non-conference tilt.