NEWTOWN SQUARE — James Tuayemie and his Upper Darby teammates wanted to make a statement when they traveled to Marple Newtown Friday night.
For Tuayemie, a junior, it was as easy as letting his actions on the field do most of his talking.
Tuayemie scored on an 80-yard reception in the first quarter and on an 81-yard interception return on the first play of the second quarter in helping the Royals roll to a 42-0 Central League victory over the Tigers (4-4, 3-4).
“We’re not in the (Daily Times) Super 7, and we wanted to do something about that,” Tuayemie said, after Upper Darby rolled up 373 yards of total offense while giving up 186, of which only 38 yards came on the ground.
Kareem McAdams, another junior, got the first of his two scoring runs on the Royals’ second possession. Less than two minutes later, Tuayemie was in the end zone for the first time, hauling in a Kevin Kerwood pass and using his sprinter’s speed to run away from the secondary to complete an 80-yard scoring reception.
“I ran a post (pattern),” Tuayemie said. “When I got the ball, I just cut past the safety.”
McAdams then ran for two points to put UD ahead, 14-0.
Tuayemie’s next reception came on a pass thrown into the flat by Marple Newtown quarterback Brian Joslin. He came up on the ball, made the interception, and just kept running until he heard a whistle and saw the touchdown signal.
“I knew I had to make that play,” he said.
Upper Darby head coach Rich Gentile was delighted with his team’s sixth consecutive victory, particularly with Ridley and Garnet Valley on the schedule for the Royals (7-1, 5-1) in the next two weeks.
“We played well on both sides of the ball,” Gentile said. “Our defensive line played better than it has in the last couple of weeks. And we keep working hard in the secondary.”
Tuayemie, Marson Weh, and Alex Chieves had interceptions for the Royals.
Defensive end Taryale Alexander, a transfer from Sun Valley, was among the Upper Darby defenders who pitched a second straight shutout.
“We wanted to stick with the game plan and not let their quarterbacks run around,” Alexander said.
In the second half, the Royals recovered a Marple fumble and picked off a pair of passes. Upper Darby got a second short scoring run from McAdams, then Darryl Farmer (31 yards) and Shawn McCullough (11 yards) ran for TDs in the fourth quarter.
“Kevin Kerwood keeps getting better running the offense,” Gentile said. “And we’re happy with the way the defense is playing. But we know we have some tough games coming up.”
Marple Newtown head coach Chris Gicking said his team will be hard at work next week getting ready to host Strath Haven.
“All credit to Upper Darby,” Gicking said. “They have a great team and played a great game. We know we have to get better, and we will get better.”
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