Interboro rises to the occasion once again

THORNBURY – After starting the season 0-3, there were probably some choice adjectives being hurled around about the Interboro football team.

After Friday night’s 35-8 dismantling of Glen Mills, however, the one word that best fits this season’s Bucs is resilient. No matter what key players are injured, no matter who the opponent is, this group of Interboro football players embodies the toughness and “next man up’ attitude that Steve Lennox has been instilling in the program for 22 seasons.

“We’re banged up and the kids just rose to the occasion,’ said Lennox, whose team improved to 5-4. “It was just an awesome team victory. We had a couple of great individual performances, but the kids just fought and played what we call Buc football. It’s might not be pretty or exciting, but man, we fight.’

The stakes were high at Jack Pearson Stadium entering the contest as both squads are involved in a heated race for a Class AAA playoff spot. Aside of possible playoff implications, the game also featured a match-up of two of the county’s most dynamic players in Interboro wide receiver/defensive back Mark Everton and Glen Mills wide receiver Anthony Johnson (four catches, 60 yards, touchdown).

While both players had big plays offensively, it was Everton who provided a big impact on both sides of the ball. The Glen Mills secondary had a boatload of issues in trying to contain talented Everton as he tallied five catches for 170 yards, including two big grabs to set up both of Interboro’s first half touchdowns and an 89-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Sean Menold in the second half.

While Everton’s physical skills are evident, he credited the Interboro game plan and film study for his success in the game.

“We watched a lot of film and we realize that their secondary was really aggressive, so double moves and play-action would get the safeties to bit, which left a lot of the field unoccupied and we took advantage of that,’ said Everton.

In addition to Everton’s offensive display, he had three break-ups of passes intended for Johnson as a defensive back. One of the break-ups thwarted a potential Glen Mills touchdown in the end zone on a fourth-and goal play from the nine-yard line.

“I knew he was a good receiver and I did not want to take him lightly,’ said Everton. “Even when I made a mistake on him, my teammates picked me up. None of us want to lose, but when you start out a season like we did the one thing you can take out of it is that you become closer and more of a family.’

Interboro running back Chris Hummel (44 yards) put the Bucs on the scoreboard with a three-yard touchdown run. On the initial point-after attempt, Glen Mills jumped offside to set up an easy rushing PAT for Chris Thomas (52 yards).

“We wanted to establish the run, so we could get the safeties to bite up on our fakes when we ran play action,’ said Menold. “It all started up front. Our line played got us a really good push tonight.’

The Battling Bulls, however, made a strong charge to end the first half as they embarked on a wild drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass from Jose Santiago-Curet to Johnson.

Johnson, a 6-6 217 pound wideout, used his size perfectly and hauled in the reception to give Glen Mills life. On the point-after attempt, Jaquel Rhodes scored on a rushing attempt to make it a 15-8 game.

That was as close as the Battling Bulls would get, however.

The Interboro defense and special teams repeatedly rose to the occasion and received contributions from several players. Jason Miksit blocked a Glen Mills punt attempt, Thomas and Chase Pattinson recovered fumbles, Hummel had an interception, and Jeremiah Dellispriscoli and Menold each recorded a sack.

“Defensively we knew we just had to contain and wrap them up,’ said Menold, who is one of the few county signal-callers making a contribution defensively. “We knew we had to do a really good job gang-tackling and Mark did a really nice job on No.9 (Johnson). Everybody stepped up and made big plays.’

In the second half, it was all Bucs as Mike O’Chuida and Dan Mea sandwiched touchdown runs around the aforementioned touchdown pass from Menold to Everton. Menold was remarkably efficient under center as he completed nine of his 10 pass attempts for 192 yards and displayed total command of the Interboro offense. When tacking on his punting duties and defensive play; Menold was an all-around threat for the Bucs.

“We’re moving on to next week,’ said Menold. “Our first goal is to beat Chester. We’re 5-1 in our last six games and we’re not going to look past anyone. We’re going to stay together and keep it going.’

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