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Defense helps Upper Moreland outlasts Wissahickon

UPPER MORELAND >> One of the main issues contributing to Wissahickon’s struggles this season has been its inability to finish drives.

“When we scored points, it was usually in bunches,” Wissahickon coach Randy Cuthbert said. “Our kids fought hard. We moved it up and down.”

As the Trojans traveled to Upper Moreland Friday night for a Suburban One League American Conference matchup, their inability to finish off drives came back to bite them again. Upper Moreland held the Trojans scoreless in the first half as a second half defensive hold with enough offense to win the game 25-6.

Wissahickon found some success moving the ball on the ground however penalties and an inefficient passing game kept the Trojans behind the sticks and off schedule.

“We had some mistakes,” Cuthbert said. “The penalties. You just can’t win games with penalties. There were a lot of penalties on both teams and it just got really sloppy.”

Upper Moreland did not exactly do a bang up job of finishing off its drives either as turnovers — a couple coming on big plays — killed the Golden Bear drives. It was a pair of Sterlen Barr lost fumbles that proved most costly as he did a lot of heavy lifting throughout the game. Barr finished the game with a game-high 142 yards rushing and one touchdown.

“Turnovers hurt us,” Upper Moreland coach Adam Beach said. “It was clicking at times (but) we turned the ball over and it kept them in the game.

The positive for Upper Moreland was its defense really picked it up when it needed it. A couple turnovers in its own territory held Wissahickon without points. Though the Trojans did put in a couple touchdowns late the Bears defense did a stellar job from preventing the Trojans from scoring.

“I thought we played a really good team game tonight,” Beach said. “Offensively, defensively and special teams. I thought we were effective, it was just that one turnover point in the game where we kept giving the ball away.”

The turning point of the game came about midway through the second quarter. With the Bears already leading by seven points, Ryan Mowery busted through the Wissahickon line to block a punt and recovered it at the 10-yard line. The first play after the block quarterback Casey Decker hit Billy McKenna for a 10-yard score.

“It was a great play on special teams,” Beach said. “We got the blocked punt, we got the score.”

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