Hatboro-Horsham emerges with victory in back-and-forth affair vs. Wissahickon.
Upper Moreland scores seven touchdowns in SOL American win over Plymouth Whitemarsh
It takes a dominating offensive performance to beat a league rival 47-30.
That’s exactly what Upper Moreland displayed Friday night when it handled Plymouth Whitemarsh in a Suburban One League American Conference matchup at Upper Moreland High School.
Running back Caleb Mead was at the head of the attack. The senior finished with 181 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. His scores came from four, 10 and 30 yards away.
“Everything (was working),” Mead said. “It was the line really. Everything came together tonight. I feel like the real key to this game is buying in. Our record that we had before this does not define us. We’re not a losing team. We are a good team. All we have to do is buy in to what the coach is talking about. Everyone came together and you see what happened.”
“Caleb Mead is a spectacular athlete,” PW coach Dan Chang said. “He’s a guy who is just really special. He’s head and shoulders faster than everybody on the field. When you have a guy like that, he’s dangerous every time he touches the ball. I thought a lot of times as I’m watching it we’re in good spots, then he just plants his foot in the ground, accelerates and all of the sudden he’s through a tiny seam. Big credit to him.”
Mead’s partner in the backfield, Safier Barr, ran for 28 yards on six carries.
It wasn’t just the running game that got the Golden Bears (2-3, 1-1) going.
Sophomore quarterback Jon Knight finished 9-for-11 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Both touchdowns went to fellow sophomore Jahaire Johnson.
The two scores were nearly identical plays in the first quarter. Knight lined up in the shotgun with Johnson out wide to his right. Johnson ran go routes and Knight hit him in stride for touchdowns from 53 and 33 yards out.
“I’m excited,” Mead said of the sophomore duo. “They’re going to be a problem. They’re good.”
Johnson finished with six catches for 151 yards — including a few plays where he had to out-
jump a Colonials corner and rip the ball away.
“I just look forward to getting the ball and making a play,” Johnson, who had over 100 yards and a touchdown last week in a loss against Quakertown, said.
“The offensive line played a great game. The QB got the ball out well. Overall a great performance.”
The Golden Bears offense totalled 300 yards. They never punted in the game and every time the offense took the field in the first three quarters they scored a touchdown.
If you had trouble finding parking or went to the bathroom before getting to your seat, you missed a lot.
In the first seven minutes of the game, Upper Moreland and Plymouth Whitemarsh combined for five touchdowns.
It started right out of the gate.
Mead was back deep for the Golden Bears to return the opening kickoff. He got a hand on the ball to knock it down, picked it up and raced around the Colonials coverage team for an 80yard touchdown.
“I was just hungry,” Mead said. “I talked the team up and I feel like I have a lot to prove. That’s basically what happened on the opening kickoff.”
On the first play from scrimmage after the ensuing kickoff, Plymouth Whitemarsh running back Brian Dresnin kept his legs moving to break through a pile and was all alone for a 65-yard score.
That’s two touchdowns in the first 33 seconds.
“It was a crazy first quarter,” Chang said. “I felt like the first quarter took forever. I’m proud of our guys for bouncing back after that first kickoff. I knew once that kickoff went deep to (Mead) we were all holding our breath. I’m happy we
were able to bounce back and make a little play there.”
The Colonials (1-4, 1-1) kicked away from Mead on the following kickoff. It was the right move because Upper Moreland fumbled and PW took over at the Golden Bear’s 38-yard line.
Six plays later — including a 30-yard Michael Paciello run on third-and-16 — Paciello scored from two yards away. He punched in the two-point conversion and it was 15-6 PW with 8:09 left in the first quarter.
“We’ve been through this before,” Mead said. “We’re confident enough to know that no matter how many points they score, we can still score four touchdowns in a quarter because that’s what we’ve done before.”
Knight and Johnson connected on their first touchdown three plays later and — after Plymouth Whitemarsh threw an interception — they did it for the second time to give the Golden Bears a 19-15 lead with 5:07 still remaining in the first.
Upper Moreland quarterback Jon Knight throws for the end zone during game with Plymouth Whitemarsh Friday night.
Upper Moreland’s Jahaire Johnson reaches for a pass as Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Larry McLaughlin defends Friday night.
Plymouth Whitemarsh quarterback Larry McLaughlin goes outside as he is tackled by Upper Moreland’s Jacob Mannon Friday night.