Hat­boro-Hor­sham tops Up­per More­land in Thanks­giv­ing Day game.

Hat­ters brave cold for win over Up­per More­land

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew Robin­son arobin­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @ADRobin­son3 on Twit­ter

HOR­SHAM >> To those out­side the Hat­boro-Hor­sham and Up­per More­land foot­ball pro­grams, the idea may seem crazy.

Nei­ther team made the Dis­trict 1 play­offs, but their sea­sons didn’t end in Week 10. In­stead, for nearly ev­ery day of the last four weeks, the Hat­ters and Golden Bears have been plug­ging away, prac­tic­ing and work­ing even as tem­per­a­tures dropped and the sun be­gan to set ear­lier and ear­lier.

Thurs­day, they got the pay­off when the teams met for the 86th edi­tion of their Thanks­giv­ing foot­ball se­ries with the Hat­ters rid­ing a huge day by Jor­dan Col­lazo to a 28-12 win.

“For this, it’s ba­si­cally the love of the game,” Hat­boro-Hor­sham line­backer/safety Pa­trick Chap­man, the De­fen­sive Player of the Game, said. “You have to love the game that much to push out the cold and push out the weather and all that.”

The teams met dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, with the Hat­ters edg­ing out a 14-8 win over the Golden Bears. While both teams were dis­ap­pointed to not reach the post­sea­son, their Thurs­day morn­ing clash still means a lot to both pro­grams and the peo­ple who sup­port them.

Even with tem­per­a­tures float­ing around 23 de­grees at first kick, both march­ing bands per­formed, both schools’ cheer­lead­ing squads stayed on the side­lines and a good share of alumni and fans rooted them­selves in the seats.

Those who did come out saw quite a show by Col­lazo, the Hat­ters’ ju­nior tail­back who won the team’s Of­fen­sive Player of the Game honors. Af­ter start­ing the sea­son as a block­ing full­back, the coach­ing staff moved Col­lazo to run­ning back and he took off from there.

“I have to give thanks to the o-line, they were the ones block­ing for me and giv­ing me the holes and space to cut up,” Col­lazo said. “They were all block­ing the right as­sign­ments and pick­ing up blitzers.

“At the end of Oc­to­ber, we were all think­ing ‘it’s go­ing to be cold, this isn’t worth it,’ but we came to­gether. We were here un­til six at night work­ing on our plays, con­di­tion­ing and came out to­day to get the win.”

His first carry Thurs­day went for 17 yards and the 5-foot-11, 195-pound run­ner fin­ished his day with 212 yards and two touch­downs. A late run put Col­lazo over the 1,000-yard mark on the sea­son, a statis­tic he took great pride in af­ter the game.

“Rush­ing over 1,000 yards, it’s spe­cial for me,” Col­lazo said. “They switched me over and let me have a lot of work in prac­tice get­ting hand­offs, read­ing blocks and all that so I feel as though I was get­ting bet­ter all the time.”

Thurs­day was also spe­cial for Col­lazo, who plays de­fen­sive tackle as well, be­cause it was his last time go­ing up against Up­per More­land se­nior Caleb Mead. As kids, Col­lazo and Mead grew up play­ing for the same Warmin­ster youth team and they’ve been close friends for years.

Mead, who was named the Bears’ Of­fen­sive Player of the Game, rushed for 114 yards and two scores him­self as he sur­passed 1,650 yards on the sea­son to cap a stand­out ca­reer. The se­nior, who has an of­fer from New Hamp­shire and is draw­ing in­ter­est from sev­eral other schools, was a leader for a young Bears squad that had a first-year coach­ing staff.

Thurs­day, Mead took a lot of so­lace in the way his team com­peted even in a set­back.

“We wanted to fin­ish the sea­son off strong, that’s not what hap­pened but we’re a young team and we pro­gressed even as the game went on,” Mead said. “I loved the way we fought to­day. We were down a cou­ple touch­downs, scored a few. I love my team.”

Col­lazo gave Hat­boroHor­sham a 7-0 lead on a two-yard first quar­ter run and the score re­mained that way through the half.

The Hat­ters went up 14-0 on the first drive of the third quar­ter when Ry­ley Robin­son ran in from seven yards out. Col­lazo picked up most of the yards on the ground but quar­ter­back Will Riemen­schnei­der had the big­gest carry with a 19-yard pick up. The ju­nior in­jured his knee at the end of the run, sidelin­ing him for the rest of the game and putting Chap­man in un­der cen­ter.

“Will had an in­jury in the mid­dle of the sea­son, so I stepped up there a lit­tle bit,” Chap­man said. “It re­ally wasn’t that ter­ri­fy­ing.”

A poor punt gave Up­per More­land good field po­si­tion and the Bears cap­i­tal­ized when Mead ran in from three yards out.

The very next play, Col­lazo ran un­touched for a 45-yard touch­down to put the Hat­ters back up 21-6.

“Run­ning up the mid­dle, I just fol­lowed all the blocks and was able to light it up,” Col­lazo said. “They blocked their as­sign­ments and did what they had to do. It’s what we prac­ticed for those three weeks, four weeks, what­ever it was.”

Up­per More­land got a four-yard run from Mead to pull within 21-12 where the scored stayed fol­low­ing a testy third quar­ter that saw both teams flagged for a cou­ple of per­sonal fouls.

While the Bears se­nior had more than 100 yards, he didn’t have any of the huge game-break­ing runs he’s thrived on the past two sea­sons. Chap­man said that was due to the con­tain­ment he and the rest of the Hat­ters de­fense played. The Hat­ters had plenty of re­spect for Mead, es­pe­cially in space so they felt the best way to de­fend the UM run­ner was to not let him get into space.

Chap­man, who played line­backer in base sets and moved to safety in covertwo pack­ages, was also ex­tra mo­ti­vated to keep the De­fen­sive Player of the Game tro­phy in the fam­ily. Older brother Nick won the award last year, so Pa­trick was on his game from the start.

“I was work­ing re­ally hard for it, I can tell you that,” Chap­man said. “I want to thank all my coaches for push­ing me, how hard my broth­ers pushed me and my par­ents for sup­port­ing me and ev­ery­one else that was a part of this.”

Hat­boro-Hor­sham put the game away on a 17-yard run from Amir Bookard.

“We got a big boost from ev­ery­one in the stands, the fans, the band, cheer­lead­ers, even the peo­ple stand­ing on the side­line cheer­ing us on,” Col­lazo said. “They gave us some­thing to go off of.”


Hat­boro-Hor­sham’s Jor­dan Col­lazo (24) rushes into the end zone for Hat­boro’s first score of the day in a game against Up­per More­land on Thanks­giv­ing Day.


Up­per More­land re­ceiver Ja­haire John­son (11) makes a big catch down­field to set up UM for their sec­ond touch­down of the day against Hat­boro Hor­sham from Thanks­giv­ing Day.


Hat­boro Hor­sham N’Gianni Cerisier (13) cel­e­brates with team­mates af­ter Amir Bookard (5) scored a touch­down to put Hat­boro up 28-12 over Up­per More­land late in the fourth quar­ter in a game from Thanks­giv­ing Day.

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