McDermott leads Radnor’s comeback charge over Upper Merion

UPPER MERION >> It was a tale of two halves in the season opener Friday night between Upper Merion and Radnor at Upper Merion Area High School.

In the opening 24 minutes, The Vikings defense confused junior Pat McDermott — the Raiders new starting quarterback — and forced him into two interceptions.

In the second half, McDermott got his revenge to the tune of 67 of his 96 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a 21-7 opening-night victory.

“I was a little jittery in the first half,” McDermott said. “I didn’t play as good as I could have. Second half was definitely a lot better. I kind of settled in and got a lot more comfortable.”

“We played a good (first) half and then in the second half they came out and played more aggressive than we did,” Upper Merion coach Hal Smith said. “We just had some bad breaks.”

After falling behind by seven in the first quarter, Radnor ripped off 21 straight points.

“It took us a little while to get going,” said Raiders head coach Tom Ryan, who played college football with Upper Merion’s Smith at West Chester. “As we came out in the second half I think our offense started clicking. I think defensively we played pretty well all night.”

The Raiders responded to Upper Merion’s touchdown immediately with a six-play touchdown drive finished off by a 2-yard touchdown run from junior Naair Williams early in the second quarter.

McDermott led touchdown drives on both of the Raiders’ first two possessions in the second half. On the first drive, he found senior Jack Wilson open in the end zone from 11 yards out to give his side a seven-point lead. The advantage was extended to 14 when McDermott threw a beautiful 34-yard strike to senior Justin DiCarlo that they were setting up all game with short, quick-hitting passes.

“That is not really one of our plays,” McDermott said of the touchdown to DiCarlo. “That is something we set up as a halftime adjustment and it worked really well.”

Upper Merion’s lone score came in the final minute of the first quarter. The first play after junior Jared Skidds intercepted McDermott, the Vikings went deep. Senior quarterback Jarrett Quinn dropped a high-arching pass into the hands of junior Botros Barsoum for a 51-yard score.

The Vikings’ other first quarter interception was made by senior Isaiah Graham-Mobley.

Sophomore Jack Horvath led the Raiders in rushing with 76 yards on 15 carries and DiCarlo was the leading receiver with three catches for 45 yards.

Senior Kori Smith led the Vikings in rushing with 66 yards on 18 carries and Barsoum paced the receivers with his one reception for 51 yards.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply