UPPER MERION >> And when it was over, when Upper Dublin High’s football team had completed the program’s first undefeated regular season via a 56-13 victory over Upper Merion, all the Cardinals could do was look ahead.
It’s playoff time beginning next weekend, and the Cardinals will be looking at either a three or a four seed in the District One Class AAAA bracket.
Can they catch lightning in a bottle like last season?
Only time will tell.
“We have to keep working hard,” said Cardinals linebacker/tight end Jack Rapine, who snatched a touchdown pass in the contest that was virtually over at halftime. “The last couple weeks have not been tough games, but we know we’ll see nothing but tough games from here on.”
“It’s the waiting game for us,” said Cardinals head coach Bret Stover. “We did all we could do, now we have to see who we’ll get.”
Whoever the Cardinals get will have its hands full, as the Cardinals demonstrated Friday.
With six starters out nursing various injuries, UD was still potent.
With Kaleif Lee rushing for 171 yards and two scores in the first half, the Cardinals built a 35-7 lead after only one quarter, then took their feet off the gas pedal in half two.
Quarterback Ryan Stover got it going on the game’s first drive when he capped an 80-yard, seven-play march with a 24-yard touchdown run.
After the Vikings answered right back on one play, an 80-yard touchdown reception by Isaiah Graham-Mobley, the visitors owned the remainder of the half.
Lee’s 56-yard scoring run made it 15-7 with 8:41 left in the first quarter.
After another stop by the Cardinals defense, a partially blocked punt set their offense up at the Upper Merion 43-yard line.
Evan Scott scored from the 4-yard line five plays later, and it was 21-7.
Another blocked punt on the Vikings’ next possession led to a 19-yard scoring pass from Stover to Rapine.
And the rout was on.
“It’s amazing to go undefeated and it’s really special to score a touchdown in the game,” Rapine said.
In all, Upper Dublin scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half possessions, and could have easily made it seven for seven if Lee hadn’t fumbled the ball out of the end zone after a 51-yard run in the second quarter on a play ruled a touchback.
It was 49-13 at the break, and the Cardinals starters would not see the field in the second half.
As for the Vikings, they got a solid effort from quarterback Liam Stutzman and Graham-Mobley.
But this was the Cardinals’ night to crow.
“A lot of these guys were here last year,” Stover said. “They know the feeling.
“We want to make sure we get everything taken care of before next week.”
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