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Comeback attempt falls just short for Gouch, Upper Darby

UPPER DARBY >> A single yard separated Upper Darby from potentially taking the lead against Middletown Friday night, the undefeated and top-ranked team in Delaware who at that point led the Royals by six.

After a costly false start set back the Royals five yards for 4th-and-goal from the 6, Upper Darby quarterback Josh Gouch had his pass swatted down at the line of scrimmage.

The Cavaliers (8-0) proceeded to march down the field for a touchdown that all but put the Royals’ comeback hopes to bed with a final score of 27-14.

At times, the Cavaliers moved the ball with ease, like the 79-yard touchdown bomb to receiver Kenneth Edelin just a few minutes into the third quarter that extended a first-half lead to 20-7.

Upper Darby (6-3) went three-and-out on the next possession but bounced back when Gbarwho Flahn made a big-time sack on Middletown quarterback Drew Fry and continued the pressure on 3rd and 26.

Quaran Davis gave Upper Darby a couple big gains in the next series, before the Middletown defense swallowed up Gouch for two back-to-back losses.

A few series later, Fry sent another bomb downfield that was picked off by Upper Darby cornerback Nasir Greer, who returned the ball inside the 10. Gouch tiptoed into the end zone to make the score 20-14 in favor of Middletown.

With time running thin in the fourth, the Royals staged a comeback attempt, with Gouch using his feet to power the march all the way to the Cavs 1.

Down to 4th and 1, it seemed as through the Royals had all the momentum. But the untimely false start penalty was deflating. And Gouch followed with a carry that left him a yard shy of the goal line.

Middletown responded with a ground game that exposed holes in the defense in the final four minutes and marched to another score to make it 27-14.

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