Upper Moreland uses two Whitmore TD runs to pull away from Hatboro-Horsham

HORSHAM — For the last two seasons, Upper Moreland’s offensive production has been strictly proportionate with the production of running back Tyler Whitmore. And for three quarters Friday night, the Hatboro-Horsham defense did a good job of keeping all of its eyes on Number 21.

Unfortunately for the Hatters, the Golden Bears figured out how to exploit that.

“I don’t know what they were thinking but it certainly seemed like they were focused on (Whitmore),’ Upper Moreland coach Adam Beach said. “We started play action passing, Josh (Abrams) threw some nice balls and guys made catches and we put points on board anyway we can.’

When Whitmore ran in a four-yard touchdown midway through the fourth — his 29th of the season — he set the Upper Moreland school record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season, but it was his 30th with 3:22 left in the game that put the final nail in the Hatters’ coffin as the Golden Bears won the Thanksgiving rivalry’s 80th showdown for the third year in row — the first time since 1957 — with a 34-19 victory.

“They were chasing history, they understood that,” Beach said.

The biggest play of the game came right before halftime. It appeared Hatters running back Jordan Mason scored a touchdown from the three-yard line, but the referees marked the ball just short of the goal line. The Hatters ran the ball twice from inside the one, but were unable to convert — failing to cut into the Golden Bears’ eight-point lead.

“The short yardage situations have been an issue all year, and it came back to bite us again,’ Hatboro-Horsham coach Mike Kapusta said. “I thought he was very close to being in and the call was short. That was a big momentum swing. It’s tough not to get points there.’

The Hatters looked to be in serious trouble but came roaring back in the late third and early fourth. Hatboro-Horsham quarterback Casey Walsh hit Charlie Obrecht, who made a circus catch for a 10-yard touchdown, cutting the Upper Moreland lead to nine.

After a Whitmore fumble, Walsh closed the gap even tighter, finding Kingsley Nworu for a 28-yard touchdown, making the Bears lead only two. Upper Moreland finished the game scoring on its final two full drives to finish a very thorough victory.

“It’s always nice to send the seniors out on a victory,’ Beach said. “After losing the playoff game, that’s what we told the kids at the end. We got Thanksgiving — we can always end strong and enjoy the victory.’

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