By earning the first win in a District One Class AAA playoff game in program history, Marple Newtown earned a date with No. 2 Upper Moreland in Friday night’s semifinal round. The sixth-seeded Tigers hit the road for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
It has been a successful season for the Tigers (9-2), who began the year undefeated after six weeks. But they don’t want to stop here. One playoff win is not enough.
“We were excited about the win, but it was right back to the film room, right back to work and right now trying to get ready for Upper Moreland,” MN coach Chris Gicking said Monday night.
Upper Moreland (9-2) disposed of seventh-seeded Pottstown, 33-6, by scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half. Meanwhile, the Tigers outplayed No. 3 Pottsgrove, picking up a 20-7 decision.
The Golden Bears were carried by running back Rodney Morgan, who racked up 304 yards and two scores on just 21 carries. UM amassed 452 yards rushing in the blowout victory.
“I’m trying to find a weakness, but I can’t,” Gicking said. “Top to bottom, they’re a good football team.”
As is Marple Newtown, which caused five turnovers, including four interceptions, in the win over Pottsgrove. Abel Hoff, who is the No. 1 receiver in Delco with 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns, caught five passes for 101 yards and a score. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Paoletti threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs.
“Their running back is unbelievable,” Gicking said. “We have our work cut out. It’s going to be tough, but our guys will be ready.”
In another District One Class AAA semifinal game:
No. 4 Great Valley (8-3) at No. 1 Academy Park (11-0), 7 p.m.
The Knights survived a shaky performance on offense to dispatch Springfield in the quarterfinals, 14-7. Teddy Wright had two big interceptions, including the one that sealed the win for the Knights, who haven’t lost on home turf since last October.
DeAndray Covert scored both touchdowns for the Knights, who have outscored their opponents, 336-54.
Great Valley also used a strong defensive performance to get past Interboro. The Patriots forced the Bucs into four turnovers on downs as Interboro’s offense failed to find the end zone.
Mark Derobertis iced the game for Great Valley with a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
In a District One Class AAAA quarterfinal-round game:
No. 6 Upper Darby (10-1) at No. 3 Upper Dublin (11-0), 7 p.m.
The Royals claimed the program’s first district playoff win, a 59-34 triumph over No. 11 Council Rock North. It was an instant classic. Senior running back Isaiah Bruce rushed for 337 yards and seven touchdowns, breaking school records in both categories. With 1,234 yards and 34 touchdowns, Bruce needs only three yards to break Simoni Marco Lawrence’s single-season rushing record at Upper Darby and two TDs to become the county’s all-time single-season scoring leader.
But it won’t be easy. Upper Dublin dominated No. 14 Garnet Valley, 35-3, thanks in large part to a defense that limited the normally potent Jags to 172 yards of offense. Quarterback Ryan Stover accrued 126 yards on the ground and 221 through the air as Upper Dublin finished with 501 yards of total offense. Upper Darby, on the other hand, put up 568 yards of offense in its first-round win.
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