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Losing streak a thing of the past for healthy-again Interboro

GLENOLDEN >> Interboro coach Steve Lennox quickly called to mind the last time his Bucs had a four-game losing streak.

“Never happened,” he said. “Never.”

Another first was not accomplished Friday, as the Bucs ended that skid with a 31-28 victory over Chichester in Del Val action. Interboro (3-4, 1-1) rushed for 223 yards to account for essentially all of its offense.

Both teams, though, scored four touchdowns. The difference? Interboro connected on three two-point conversions and an extra point. Chichester (3-3, 0-2) missed an extra point and a two-point conversion. The peculiar victory will serve as motivation going forward. Or, as running back Joe Forte put it:

“Hopefully just a flame under our butts,” he explained. “That’s how we take it.”

Forte, the fullback in Lennox’s I-Formation attack, rushed for 78 yards and a score. Kalie Kuyateh, the tailback, had 73 and a touchdown. Mike Moore, the other tailback, added 28 yards, two scores, an interception and two sacks.

It was typical Interboro, at least offensively. It ran with power, it ate up yards, it ate up clock. Forte’s one-yard touchdown run capped a 10-play, 40-yard drive. Moore’s first score, a three-yard run, ended a 15-play, 61-yard drive.

There was a 12-play, 85-yard drive during the third quarter, also finished by a Moore run.

“I’ve really got to give it up to my blockers, it all starts up front with them,” Moore said. “I can’t move until they move. Once they go, I can go.”

Interboro led 16-14 at the half and 24-20 after three quarters. Sometimes the deficit was two possessions, but Chichester was never out of the game.

The Eagles received a stellar performance from Andrew Rodriguez, who passed for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those strikes were to Andre Dean, who hauled in 81 yards on four receptions.

Both of those scores came during the first half. Dean added a 33-yard touchdown off a jet sweep during the third quarter. Two possessions later, after Moore’s interception, Kuyateh raced in from five yards out to give Interboro a 31-20 lead and seemingly put the game away.

But eventually, Rodriguez put something together and struck on a four-yard pass to Rashaad Shaw. With 103 seconds left, Chichester was alive.

Alas, its pooch kick, instead of an onside kick, faltered. Interboro ran out the clock from there.

“(Ryan Smith) has done a very nice job,” Lennox said. “The staff, they’ve done a really nice job. They executed really well. I think you gotta give them some props. (Rodriguez) was throwing the ball. They had a couple of drops.”

Interboro will take all the drops it can get. The Bucs finally got healthy this week. They were able to effectively run counters and fakes, Forte explained, to offset their ground-and-pound. The defense did enough. Most of all, they got a win.

The Bucs locker room was loud after the game, as it should be. But there will be no extended celebration. There will be no huge sigh of relief. Work, a lot of it, remains to be done.

“We just try to build on it,” Lennox said. “Just keep working hard. We can’t get a fat head. We put ourselves in a corner with the Del Val, but we’re not out of it. If Penn Wood runs the table, we have the playoffs to maybe shoot for. We have something to shoot for.”

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