RADNOR >> Radnor quarterback Sean Mullarkey looked his running back up and down and offered an honest assessment.
“He’s not that big,” Mullarkey said of Matt Cohen. “I mean, no offense, but he’s not that strong either.”
Cohen smirked. Mullarkey laughed somewhat nervously, before finishing his thought: “But he just hits the hole so unbelievably hard. And they can’t tackle him. He does everything you could want in a back.”
In other words, don’t underestimate Cohen, nor Radnor for that matter. Cohen accounted for 295 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns, three of 50-plus yards, as the Raiders whooped visiting Ridley, 63-21.
It was a program-defining win for a team that, seemingly, always came up just short when the big boys were in town.
“I remember last year after games, my locker was next to Sean’s,” Cohen recalled. “And Sean would just be like, ‘why is this the Radnor way? That we always lose close games?’”
The Raiders, with 25 seniors on the roster, have flipped the script, at least through a 4-0 start. And perhaps no one has done more to change that reputation than Cohen, who has rushed for 605 yards in four games.
“Matt has deceptive speed,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “He’s a weight-room kid. He’s not the tallest kid in the world, but he works as hard as anybody.”
Cohen also runs with purpose. Last week, he got caught from behind on one play in the Raiders’ 42-8 victory over Harriton. In his own words, he “worked on that this week,” as if that was something the back could improve on in such a short time.
Well, he did. Cohen broke through holes created by Radnor’s stout offensive line and raced into the secondary. Once he was in the open field, he beat everyone across the goal line.
“I wasn’t really getting hit that much,” Cohen said. “I just saw the end zone, and no one was really there.”
After he started his evening with a one-yard plunge for six — as the Raiders went ahead 7-0 — Cohen filled the highlight reel. He had a 54-yard catch-and-run off a wheel route in the first quarter to answer a Ridley touchdown. He then broke off nearly identical runs in the third quarter, the first of 53 yards, the second 59, to send the result into euphoric territory for the home side.
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