WHITEMARSH >> A crazy fourth quarter defensive stand and three rushing touchdowns from quarterback Joe Stoberl were the story Friday night as Plymouth Whitemarsh’s football team outlasted Upper Moreland, 21-14.
The Colonials led throughout, but had to stand off a late Bears charge to open their Suburban One League American Conference slate with a win.
“We really have to cut out the turnovers,” said Colonials head coach Dan Chang, whose team committed a near-costly giveaway late in the game. “But I thought our offensive and defensive lines played well, and our defensive line has really been good the last few weeks.”
PW had to play a good portion of the second half without D-line stalwart John McGiinley, who went out with what appeared to be concussion-like symptoms.
But PW survived, particularly late in the game, when the Bears threatened to tie the game late.
“Offensively, we had a hard time up front,” said Upper Moreland head coach Adam Beach. “That was the big difference in the game.
“Plus, PW made key plays in key situations, and we didn’t.”
The Colonials scored on their opening drive, going 66 yards on 14 plays, with Stoberl plowing into the end zone from the 1-yard line with 6:48 left in the first quarter.
PW doubled its lead late in the first half after a sack by Terence Robinson of Bears quarterback Casey Decker halted the Bears at the Colonials 30.
On the first play following the sack, Khan Jamal broke off the left side for 58 yards, setting up Stoberl’s second touchdown on the next play, and the Colonials went into the break with a 14-0 lead.
But the joy was short-lived.
Bears speedster Sterlen Barr grabbed the second-half kickoff at Bears 29 and didn’t stop running until he reached the end zone, pulling the visitors within 14-7 just 12 seconds into the half.
PW got its two-touchdown lead back midway through the third quarter when Stoberl polished off a three-play, 48-yard drive with a 36-yard burst up the middle for a 21-7 Colonials lead.
But early in the fourth quarter, after Plymouth Whitemarsh stymied a Bears drive in the red zone, a Stoberl fumble was recovered by the Bears Bryan Mowrey at the PW 12.
Two plays later, Decker circled the left side for a 12-yard score, and it was a one-touchdown game.
But PW hung on.
The Colonials went three-and-out on their next possession, but the Bears, helped along by a personal foul penalty against PW on the ensuing punt, drove down the field.
They faced fourth down at the PW 13, and Beach got the play he wanted.
“We wanted to run an angle route to Pagano,” Beach said. “We got him the ball, but we came up just short of the first down.”
PW took over and went nowhere, giving the visitors one more shot with 2:28 left and the ball on their own 29
But Decker was sacked twice and a fourth-down play was halted well short of a first down as the clock expired.
Top Photo: Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Khan Jamal nears the end zone as Upper Moreland’s Dai-Jahn Dukes goes for the tackle during their game on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)