By Tucker Bagley
For Digital First Media
PHOENIXVILLE >> Upper Moreland may have been without their top running back at Washington Field Friday night, but the Golden Bears still steam-rolled Phoenixville, 42-7.
“I think our line came out and controlled the line of scrimmage,” Upper Moreland head coach Adam Beach said. “When we can do that, we can control the flow of the game and that is what we did tonight.
Upper Moreland (2-0) wasted little time, scoring on all three of its first-quarter possessions to build a 20-0 lead that the Phantoms (0-2) were never able to surmount.
“They were blitzing early and they were ready for us,” Phoenixville coach Evan Breisblatt said. “They stopped us early and we had a fumble on the first drive. We just couldn’t stop their offense all night.”
The Golden Bears were led offensively by the duo of quarterback Brendan Olexa and running back Caleb Mead, who managed to put up over 300 yards of total offense and combined for six touchdowns.
Olexa, who had never managed to throw a touchdown in his high school career prior to Friday night, connected for three scores, hitting Bryan Mowery and Ronnie Perrelli for 40-yard touchdowns in the first half and hooking up with Brett Brossman for a 12-yard score that put the game away in the third quarter.
“It was exciting, we were running a lot and the line protected me all game,” Olexa said. “(The receivers and I) have been working all offseason and I am very confident in any of them going up against any defender.”
The Golden Bears’ offense scored a touchdown on their first six drives of the game, only being forced to punt late in the fourth quarter once the game was well in hand.
“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” Mead said. “They have a lot of experience, the holes were open and I was just doing what I do.”
Mead was a workhorse for Upper Moreland during the first three quarters of the game, toting the ball 22 times and picking up 161 yards, while Cole Kitchen added four receptions for 49 yards. Kitchen also had a fumble recovery and an interception on the defensive side of the ball.
Phoenixville’s offense struggled out of the gate, committing five false starts in the first half and only managing 206 total yards of offense, 37 of which, came on a wide receiver pass from Zion Small to Dorian County.
The Phantoms’ lone touchdown came on a 15-yard scramble from quarterback Connor Patania.
Travis Panella put up 85 yards on 15 carries for the Phantoms, leading their rushing attack for the second week in a row. But as Breisblatt put it, the home team was unable to consistently move the ball down the field.
“Our offense worked better when we spread them out,” Breisblatt said. “I expect us to be able to run the football with our offensive line, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties.
“I can’t believe this much has changed in one week (after scoring 31 points against Great Valley), but we’ll watch film and see what we can fix before our next game.”
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