MALVERN Not many people saw this one coming.
What was expected to be a close Inter-Valley Conference game between the Ridgewood Generals and Malvern Hornets quickly became a blowout.
Malvern scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and rolled to a 32-7 victory Friday night to improve to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the league.
See more photos from the Malvern vs. Ridgewood game
“We’re going to enjoy this one,” said Malvern head coach Dave Tucci. “We haven’t had much success against Ridgewood in recent years. We bounced back from a tough loss last week (to Garaway) and made some big plays tonight.”
• "Game Night" has details of the Malvern victory:
The Hornets marched 69 yards in nine plays after receiving the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead with 7:41 left in the first quarter. A roughing-the-punter penalty against Ridgewood kept the drive alive.
Max Kapron scored the touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Trey Tucci, who found the 6-foot-5 receiver wide open in the end zone. Anthony Ruegg kicked the extra point.
After the Generals went three and out, Malvern needed just three plays to extend its advantage to 13-0 at the 3:42 mark of the first period.
Again, it was Kapron doing the honors. Lining up at quarterback in the Hornets’ “WildKap” formation, Kapron raced 67 yards around right end and crossed the goal line untouched.
“I just turned and ran as fast as I could,” said Kapron, noting that he is the fastest player on the team. “This win is a credit to our line. They just hit and hit and hit.”
Malvern made it 20-0 midway through the second stanza when Cobin Plessinger capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a 4-yard TD run. He took game rushing honors with 113 yards on 29 carries.
The Generals drove to the Hornet 20 just before halftime as time ran out after an incomplete pass in the end zone.
But the visitors were not to be denied after receiving the second-half kickoff. They drove 69 yards in seven plays to make the score 20-7. Ryan Lowe connected with Dillon McPherson on a 23-yard touchdown pass and Brett Mitchell booted the extra point.
Ridgewood owned the momentum at that point, but Marcus Johnson of Malvern quickly put the Hornets back in command. Johnson intercepted a Lowe pass and raced 21 yards for a touchdown to make it 26-7 with 8:54 to go in the third period.
Plessinger wrapped up the scoring midway through final quarter with a 2-yard TD run.
“I thought we really were flat coming out tonight,” said Ridgewood head coach John Slusser. “We had some opportunities but didn’t get it done. They dominated us in the trenches.”
Slusser alluded to his team failing to convert an interception and a fumble recovery in Malvern territory.
Tucci was very proud of his team’s defensive effort.
“Except for their first drive of the third quarter, our defense played very aggressively,” said the Hornet coach. “And it was critical that we were able to get some negative plays.
“In the second half, we were just trying to run the clock. The interception by Marcus was huge for us.”
The Hornet defense totaled 10 plays in which Ridgewood lost yardage.