UPPER DUBLIN >> Upper Dublin High football coach Bret Stover said he knew how good Plymouth Whitemarsh’s football team was.
He just didn’t realize it was as good as it was Friday night.
Stephen Longo booted a 26-yard field goal with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter to give Plymouth Whitemarsh a thriliing 24-21 win over Upper Dublin in a wild and wacky Suburban One American Conference contest.
The game-winning boot brought to a thrilling end a contest that was better than advertised.
PW held a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter, but the Cardinals scored a pair of touchdowns in just over 4:30 to tie the score.
But the contest turned late in the fourth when PW’s Blaise Gravinese intercepted a Justin Horn pass and returned it to the Cardinals 18-yard line with just under 3:40 to play.
After three plays and a timeout, Longo lined up for the game-winner and was true.
“We were kicking it all the way,” PW coach Dan Chang said. “Stephen’s been very good for us all year, and then he missed a couple of field goals last week against Wissahickon, so we wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself.”
The redemption attempt was successful.
Earlier in the second half, the Colonials turned an interception by Chris Loughlin into a 21-7 lead when quarterback Joe Stoberl found Gravinese in the flat for a 29-yard score.
The Colonials had great success running plays to the edge of the defense, and that was a specific goal of the PW offense.
“They dare you to get to the edge, so we tried to get there,” Chang said.
The Cardinals, however, caught a break later in the quarter when Longo was ruled down at his own 15 after kneeling to field a punt.
Cardinals quarterback Justin Horn tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Malik Bootman one play later and the home team was down just one score.
Two drives later, Horn broke off a 52-yard touchdown run and the game was tied.
But the game turned for good on the Gravinese pick and Longo’s game-winning boot.
The game was crazy throughout, as evidenced by the end of the first half, which saw a 16-yard penalty that back the Colonials up to their own 45. Stoberl found Vince Martina behind the Cardinals defense for a 55-yard score and the visitors went into the break with a 14-7 lead.
Earlier, the Cardinals grabbed the lead with 4:29 left in the first quarter when Michael Cottom broke off a 74-yard run, followed one play later by Naiim Huff’s 5-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left in the first quarter.
PW answered early in the second quarter when Stoberl capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive with a half-yard touchdown plunge with 8:51 left in the second quarter.
The loss marked the first time the Cardinals lost since their field was turfed – a span of 16 games.
“Hats off to them,” Stover said. “They did everything we thought they would do, they just did it better than we thought they could do it.”
Top Photo: Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Khan Jamal runs for yardage against Upper Dublins defense during their game on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)
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