DiSands lends hands to Interboro’s blowout

PROSPECT PARK >> Matt DiSands knows he’ll rarely be the recipient of a ton of targets in Interboro’s offense.

The 6-0, 165-pound junior understands it’s part of playing for the Bucs. Interboro coach Steve Lennox has enjoyed one of the finest coaching careers in Delaware County by sticking to tried-and-true principles of running the ball, playing good defense and limiting turnovers.

So as a wide receiver, it’s often difficult for him to get the ball. The Bucs ran the ball 45 times Friday night in their 31-0 Del Val League opening win over Glen Mills and countered with all of five passes. That nine-to-one ratio isn’t ideal for a wideout to get the ball, but DiSands proved he doesn’t need many chances to beat a defense.

Interboro quarterback Dan Mea, left, escapes for a touchdown past Glen Mills' defenders Orphius Blacksher, center, and Brandon Goodwyn Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)
Interboro quarterback Dan Mea, left, escapes for a touchdown past Glen Mills’ defenders Orphius Blacksher, center, and Brandon Goodwyn Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

With the Bucs (5-1, 1-0 Del Val) up 8-0 after Lamar Shaw scored a two-yard touchdown, DiSands got to work. He drew single coverage and skied to catch Danny Mea’s 26-yard pass at its highest point despite strong coverage. That snag set up a seven-yard touchdown run from Mea that gave the Bucs a 16-0 lead at the break.

DiSands wasn’t done there, though. One quarter later, he ran a great post route that helped him distance himself from double coverage. Mea hit his favorite target for a 32-yard touchdown that cemented the Bulls’ fate.

“It was ‘iso’ left and it was a backside post,” DiSands explained. “I’m usually the third option there. (Mea) checks off to the left, then he checks off to the fullback. I was surprised. He never throws it to me and he finally threw it to me and it was the perfect ball from Danny Mea. He’s been throwing great. In the second game, he had a bad game, but ever since then, he’s been throwing the rock like crazy.”

Of course, receivers with the DiSands name making plays for Interboro is nothing new. Matt’s father, David, and uncle, Bobby, were both standouts out wide for the Bucs. Bobby was a two-time All-Delco selection to boot, and to hear Matt say it, he didn’t have to go very far to learn the position’s nuances.

“I started at the youth level and some of my youth coaches played here for some of the best Interboro teams,” DiSands said. “My uncle and dad taught me a lot, too. They always told to attack the ball. Never let it hit your chest. I think (being a receiver) was really my only choice. I wasn’t really a running back. I just knew that I was going to be a receiver when I was eight. I would run routes out of the backfield at the youth level. I’d have two guys on me and still catch the ball. It felt a lot more natural to me catching it than running it.”

He still looks the part. His two-catch, 58-yard night won’t blow anyone away, but it was instrumental in helping the Bucs roll to their fifth straight win over the overmatched Bulls (1-4, 0-1). Glen Mills looked out of sync all night, fumbling five times and only scraping together 102 total yards.

Interboro quarterback Dan Mea fires a pass during Interboro's 31-0 win over Glen Mills Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)
Interboro quarterback Dan Mea fires a pass during Interboro’s 31-0 win over Glen Mills Friday night. (Times Staff/Tom Kelly IV)

“Our O-line had trouble getting off the ball and block down on blocks, and (the Bucs) were way more powerful than we were,” said Bulls running back Raisheem Rochwell, who cobbled together 52 yards on 15 carries to go with all 20 of Glen Mills’ receiving yards on four catches. “We didn’t come out wanting to win. That’s how we lost. If we would have come out wanting to win, I think we would had a much better game.”

The rain didn’t help the Bulls, either. Both teams had to deal with it, but Interboro’s smashmouth, I-formation offense was more conducive to productivity than Glen Mills’ cutback running style. Fullback Quadir Gibson (11 carries for 35 yards) moved north and south, but quarterback Javon Thomas (20 passing yards, -3 rushing yards) and Rochwell struggled to find their footing when looking for gaps to cut through.

“I’m not really a downhill running back,” said the 5-8, 148-pound Rochwell. “I’m more of a sweeping running back, so it was really difficult for me to cut and get up the field.”

Shaw had no such problems. The big, bruising fullback battered the Bulls for 81 yards on 16 carries, not one of which went for negative yardage. Chris Hummel (48 yards on six carries), Chris Thomas (38 yards on 14 carries) and Mea (29 yards on six carries) helped grind down Glen Mills to highlight Interboro’s 45-carry, 209–yard outing.

“All credit to our line because without them, the holes are not going to be there,” Shaw said. “We knew we were going to drive the ball down the field. That’s our goal. We’re a running team. We know we should be 6-0 right now. We let up on Springfield, got complacent and gave them two plays. That stays in the back of our head. Now, we’re preparing for the Del Val. We want the Del Val championship more than anything. You can’t get that without winning your first game.”

Shaw knows that it’s never easy to play Glen Mills, either.

“They’re physical kids,” Shaw said. “When they hit you, you feel it, but we’re physical, too.”

Maybe even physical enough to take home a Del Val title.

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