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Upper Dublin takes on Upper Moreland in SOL American showdown

Upper Moreland’s Caleb Mead tries to break free of Phoenixville’s Alex Washington tackle during their game on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. (Barry Taglieber/For Digital First Media)

Suburban One League American Conference title hopes are on the line Friday when Upper Dublin travels to Upper Moreland in a match-up of two playoff-bound squads.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

The Bears, a perfect 5-0 in the conference and 8-0 overall, can clinch the conference crown with a victory. An Upper Dublin win — coupled with a victory by Quakertown — could create a three-way tie for first between the Bears, Cardinals and Panthers. The Cardinals come into this one 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SOL American. Last week they won a defensive battle over Hatboro-Horsham, 14-7.

Upper Moreland stayed unbeaten by routing Wissahickon 46-26. Enjoying its best season since 2003, the Bears are No. 15 in this week’s Pa. Prep Live Top 20.

Upper Moreland has a pair of dynamic running backs to go to, with Sterlan Barr Jr. and Caleb Mead. Last week Barr Jr. had the big game, reaching the end zone four times.

The Cardinals counter with Malik Bootman, who gained yards in big chunks last week, averaging over five yards per carry.

The regular-season finale between the two could also be a potential playoff preview for down the road. Currently the Cardinals are ranked fourth in District 1-5A, with the Bears up at the No. 2 spot.

Upper Dublin prevailed in the match-up between the two last year, by the count of 41-21. The Cardinals used that victory to go on to a share of the conference title with Plymouth-Whitemarsh in 2016.

But Upper Moreland has been on quite a roll this season, averaging over 39 points per contest. Upper Dublin will need a tremendous performance by its defense, keyed by linebacker Max Winebrake.

The winner of this one gains not only a conference title — or a share of it — but quite a mental edge heading into the district playoffs.

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