Bears roll past Hatters
There’s nothing like a little bit of experience – in life and football. Upper Moreland used the lessons gained over past seasons when it faced Hatboro-Horsham in their annual Thanksgiving Day clash on Thursday.
Two years ago, Upper Moreland was coming off of a tough District One Class AAA playoff loss and came RuW flDW DnG ORVW WR WKH HDWters. This time, the Bears didn’t let a playoff loss ruin their Thanksgiving Day as well.
Robert Knox led the way, rushing for 149 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears rolled to a 35-7 victory over their long-time neighborhood rivalry.
Coach Dave Heying was wary of the letdown, but those worries evaporated early in the week.
“On Monday we watched WKH fiOP DnG buVWHG HDFK RWKer’s chops,” he said. “It kind of lightened the mood. We had a pizza party and had a punt, pass and kick contest.
“We wanted to liven it up and say ‘you’re still high school kids, you gave us your best and now it’s time to go out on top.’ A lot of them really understand this is their last game.”
The Bears took advantage of an H-H mistake on the fiUVW SODy RI WKH JDPH WR JHW out to a quick start.
When the pitch by Hatters’ quarterback Steven Palo hit the back of Jeff Panara’s helmet, Upper Moreland’s Torian Grumm was there to scoop up the carom at the H-H 25-yard line.
Five running plays later .nRx SLFNHG uS KLV fiUVW touchdown with a 1-yard run just three minutes into the game.
“The turnover was big early,” Heying said. “We wanted to get up on them early, so that was nice.”
The Bears made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter when Chris Kitchens, the Bears’ Thanksgiving Day defensive MVP, scooped up the second of three Hatters fumbles and returned it nine yards for the touchdown.
“I was actually really surprised, the ball just popped up,” Kitchens said. “I kind of got lucky. I looked up and no one was ahead. It just bounced right to me and I
“ObYiously that was UHal costly,” H-H coach GaUy 3aJliaUo saiG. “7hH fiUst thUHH touchGowQs wHUH UHal touJh. 7hH fiUst play IUom scUimmaJH we fumbled inside the red zoQH aQG lHt thHm JHt momHQtum with thH fiUst scoUH. 7hHQ we had the fumble in the other UHG zoQH. :H JaYH up somH YaluablH fiHlG positioQ aQG it tuUQHG out to bH costly.”
The Hatters responded quickly as Jimmy Murphy returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yaUGs to thH 8ppHU 0oUHlaQG 31. ChUis EMimoQyeugwo took care of the rest, carrying the ball twice, the sHcoQG oQH IoU 24 yaUGs aQG thH touchGowQ.
But Upper Moreland wasn’t going to let this one JHt away.
DaQ CummiQJs UHtuUQHG thH kickoII to QHaU miGfiHlG, then hooked up with quarterback Charlie Hooker for a 51-yaUG touchGowQ pass.
“The biggest play that JaYH us momHQtum was that fade to Cummings,” Heying saiG. “HH maGH a biJ play, , was UHally happy IoU him.”
The Bears were a little shaky coming out in the secoQG halI. 7hH HattHUs UHcoYered an onside kick to open thH halI, but coulGQ’t moYH thH ball. 7hHQ, whilH GUiYing in for another score, the Bears fumbled at the H-H 5-yaUG liQH.
But when the defense held aJaiQ, KQox accouQtHG IoU 60 yaUGs oQ two caUUiHs, thH sHcoQG a 21-yaUG touchGowQ UuQ to put thH BHaUs up 28-7 with 3:18 left in the third TuaUtHU.
Upper Moreland iced the game less than two minutes into the fourth quarter when KQox took a GiUHct sQap aQG scoUHG IUom 11 yaUGs out.
KQox, who was 8ppHU 0oUHlaQG’s oIIHQsiYH 0V3 on Thursday, remembered two yHaUs aJo.
“I was playing my sophomore year and those guys were really disappointed and it’s tough to come back after you had such high aspirations for the tHam,” hH saiG. “But pUac- tice was good all week aQG wH wHUH Must ablH to HxHcutH toGay.”
It was a great way for the BHaUs to fiQish a JooG sHasoQ.
“There’s no better way than to end the year or a career than to get a win on 7haQksJiYiQJ,” hH saiG. “I’m really happy to be able to JHt it GoQH toGay.
“You come in here, it doesn’t matter what your record is, both teams are JoiQJ to fiJht thHiU haUGHst. 7hHy waQt to wiQ this game, it’s a great tradition, aQG ,’m Must happy to bH paUt oI it.”