By Dan McCarty
For Digital First Media
UPPER DARBY >> An honest week of practice paved the way to an honest victory for Upper Darby, as the host Royals took apart Lower Merion, 53-0, in a Central League game Friday night.
Once the Royals got moving, there was no stopping them.
“We worked hard all week in practice,” senior quarterback Nate Rimel said. “We played tougher than usual.”
Upper Darby’s Sammy Beweh kicked off and Lower Merion’s Rashon Cooke carried the ball to the 32-yard line.
Quarterback Matt O’Connor and running back Elijah Smith helped get the ball to midfield but the Royals took over on downs at the 50. That soon produced a Rimel touchdown pass to Obadiah Asare with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter. And thus…
“That set the tone,” Asare said. “We knew we would execute.”
Quaron Davis then ran 64 yards for a touchdown and Beweh followed with his for another extra point. And with less than two minutes remaining in the first, Asare intercepted a pass at the Aces’ 10-yard line and brought it in for another touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, Upper Darby turned the game into a rout. Taking over at the Lower Merion 20, it took three rushing plays to get to paydirt, as Christian Ripoli went in from four yards out for a 28-0 lead.
“We kept going and going and we got the win,” Asare said.
The Royals scored again when Rimel hit Asare for a 22-yard touchdown. They then recovered a fumble and Beweh kicked a field goal with seven seconds left for a 38-0 halftime lead.
A win like this would not have happened without the entire team working together on offense and defense.
“Defense played great tonight,” Rimel said. “It worked hard in practice. We help each other.”
Upper Darby, 4-4 on the season, will have a somewhat tougher time of it next week, traveling north to face Archbishop Wood.
“We have four games left,” Royals head coach Rich Gentile said. “A win in one out of the next two is what we need.”