Upper Dublin takes down Plymouth Whitemarsh

WHITEMARSH >>Ryan Stover was miffed.

Sure, he’d just thrown for what is believed to be an Upper Dublin High football record five touchdown passes, and ran for another as the Cardinals continued their season-long roll with a 42-0 win over host Plymouth Whitemarsh, but somewhere along the way he’d lost his custom-made mouthpiece.

It might have been the only thing that could have ruined his evening.

Stover and the Cardinals were said to be facing their toughest test of the season Friday night against a Colonials team that has always seemed to give Upper Dublin a hard way to go.

Instead, it was the Cardinals that had it all their way.

“I can’t tell you how many times I walked out of here disappointed,” said Upper Dublin head coach Bret Stover after his state-ranked team managed its seventh win of the season. “This is always a tough place for us to play.

“(PW head coach Dan Chang) does a great job putting his best athletes on the field, and he and his coaches are so good at what they do.”

“I’m more banged up than I’ve been all year,” Ryan Stover said. “This is such a great place to play, the atmosphere is always great and I love playing here.”

As for the record number of touchdown passes, the quarterback was not about to accept congratulations.

“I don’t know if (the school) has ever kept track of it,” he said. “But it’s just how the cards fell.

“(PW’s defense) were stacking the box and the passing lanes were open.”

The visitors led by only two scores at halftime, but exploded in the second half as Stover tossed scoring passes to four different receivers.

But early in the game it was the Cardinals defense that got it going, halting a Colonials drive with the help of a Henry Winebrake sack of Joe Stoberl after PW had reached the Upper Dublin 43.

“Our defense is our best unit,” Coach Stover said. “I said that before Week One and I still say that.

“They fley to the football, and they really get after it.”

From their own 20, the Cardinals went 80 yards on eight plays, including Stover’s 21-yard hookup with Kaleif Lee and a 25-yard strike to Michael Sowers.

Stover’s 19-yard scoring pass to Sowers had the visitors up, 7-0, with 4:36 left in the opening quarter.

The Colonials fumbled the ball away on their next possession, and Upper Dublin went 33 yards on five plays with Stover scoring from the four-yard line to double the lead just five seconds into the second quarter.

The Colonials’ defense stiffened from that point, blunting the next two Cardinals possessions with the help of Luke Mascio’s 16-yard sack of Stover, and then an interception by Mike Swider.

But the Colonials offense could not generate a scoring drive of its own, and the Cardinals carried a two-touchdown lead into halftime.

But the second half turned into a disaster for the Colonials, who fumbled the ball away midway through the third quarter, leading to a Stover pass to Lee for a 9-yard score.

Another fumble on a punt attempt led to another scoring pass to Lee, and yet a third fumble became a Stover touchdown pass to Cole Swiger, and the game clock was running non-stop.

For good measure, Stover hit Rocky Wright in the right corner of the end zone for the contest’s final score.

“They’re pretty good,” Chang said of the Cardinals. “They have a nice system going, Stover’s one of the best quarterbacks in the state and their defense flies around and puts you in binds.”

Making the evening even more of a challenge for PW was a shoulder injury that had leading rusher and team leader Nafeese Nasir at something less than 100 percent.

“He’s banged up,” Chang said, “but he’ll be OK by next week.”

“We wanted to execute on both sides of the ball,” Ryan Stover said, “and we did some nice things.

“There’s never a blowout when these two teams play.”

But there was one Friday night, and while the Cardinals are headed toward a meeting next week against once-beaten Upper Moreland, things are a bit more dire for the Colonials.

“I guess you could it shaky,” Chang said. “We’re fighting for our playoff lives now.”

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