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Interboro’s bruising ground game sharpens for title test

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GLENOLDEN >> Interboro used its punishing rushing attack to defeat Chichester 41-7 at the South Avenue Sports Complex Friday night, setting up a showdown against Academy Park next weekend with the Del Val League title on the line.

Academy Park visits Chester Saturday at noon.

Interboro (8-1, 4-0 Del Val League) controlled the line of scrimmage from the opening kickoff until the final seconds, rushing for an impressive 431 yards on 55 carries and six touchdowns.

Head coach Steve Lennox said his team, in particular his ground attack, has been firing on all cylinders.

“I am very pleased,” Lennox said. “The last number of weeks we’ve been running the ball very well. I think the line’s been doing an outstanding job. Mark (Burrell), our line coach, has been doing an outstanding job the whole year.”

Interboro’s Chris Hummel gets in on the running act as the Bucs churned out 431 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

Interboro’s Chris Hummel gets in on the running act as the Bucs churned out 431 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

Junior running back Chris Thomas led the way with 170 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns. Chris Hummel, a senior, rushed eight times for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Interboro’s other running backs Matthew O’Chuida, Danny Mea, Mike Chamberlain, Matty Long and Joe Forte combined for 153 yards on 27 carries. The Buccaneers were virtually unstoppable all night.

“We have a nice mixture of backs,” Lennox said. “Thomas is a pretty powerful runner and Hummel is quick, shifty; O’Chuida is steady and does a nice job at fullback.”

Thomas said the running game really clicks when everyone is on the same page.

“It’s not just our running backs, it’s our team,” Thomas said. “We come out every week playing as a team, we’re ready to play Bucs football every week.”

After his big night Thomas quickly pointed to his offensive line, including Michael MacMillan, Brandyne Tynes, Brett McLaughlin, Quentin Frangelli, Cameron Brooks plus tight end Chase Pattinson.

“Our offensive linemen do a great job,” Thomas said. “They dominate every single play. We couldn’t be anymore together as a team.”

Interboro dominated the defensive side of the ball as well. Led by Amara Kenneth and Pattinson, the Bucs did not allow a Chichester first down until the fourth quarter and after Lennox put in his reserves.

The Eagles were led on offense by running back Kevin Miller, who had 81 yards on 14 carries, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“We just have to get hungrier,” Chichester head coach Ryan Smith said after the game. “It didn’t seem like we had a sense of urgency on offense. We were just going through the motions. That’s what happens when you get shut out.”

Smith said recovering two Interboro fumbles was a positive.

“We just have to score on those,” said Smith, whose team fell to 3-5 overall, 0-4 in league play. “We need to make (turnovers) work for us. We have to think positive. We’ve got good kids and they play their butts off.”

The Bucs weren’t perfect. There were three fumbles, two lost. Lennox only called for a pass three times in the game and didn’t connect on any them. Two were incomplete, one ball that was caught was negated by a penalty.

“I’ve never had a perfect game,” Lennox said. “It happens … we still scored 35 points or whatever.”

Passing game or not, the Bucs head to a Del Val title showdown next week feeling good about their chances.

“I think we are going to go in there and get the job done,” Thomas said. “It’s going to be a tough game but we’re going to get the job done.”

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