Upper Moreland uses ground game to get past Springfield-Montco

SPRINGFIELD >> It didn’t take long for Springfield to find the end zone Friday night as their offense darted out to a quick 7-0 lead over Upper Moreland after just three plays but unfortunately for the Spartans, their lead wouldn’t last long.

It took just five minutes for the Bears to respond with two scores of their own to take the 14-7 lead and never look back on their way to a 62-14 Suburban One League American Conference victory.

Rodney Morgan, Upper Moreland’s leading rusher, watched the first quarter from the sideline but didn’t let that slow him down at all once he hit the field.

“Rodney was out for a little and he’s fine now,” Upper Moreland coach Adam Beach said. “Rodney is Rodney. The line was giving him good creases to run through and when he was getting downhill and got going all our back are good in that situation.”

In the second quarter alone Morgan rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown and helped the Bears offense overpower the Spartans. He finished with a game high 185 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

With Morgan out early, someone had to take the reins for the offense and that someone was junior quarterback Casey Decker.

“I felt great, it was a good team win,” Decker said. “The o-line was great they blocked well and got off the ball well and we came out and got a good win.”

Decker used both his arms and his legs to get involved in the action, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another on a 29 yard keeper as Upper Moreland jumped out to a 28-14 halftime lead.

“I thought Casey made some really nice reads tonight,” Beach said. “He continues to grow as a quarterback, you see his maturity and they always talk about how the game slows down so he’s starting to kind of settle in and see what the defense is doing and then he’s able to do make the proper decisions and you can see his success, he’s only going to get better.”

Running back Nick DeLucas also played a big role in absorbing the opening punch from the Spartans. The senior, who can sometimes get overlooked by Morgan’s big numbers, was his usual consistent self, carrying the ball 11 times for 93 yards in the victory.

“We knew we were going to have to step up,” DeLucas said. “But big shout out to my line they came out strong reading their keys and it worked out well.”

Springfield would have ideally liked to capitalize on the hot start from their offense but after that opening drive the unit stalled, managing just 139 yards in the opening half compared to Upper Moreland’s 324.

It looked as if the size of Upper Moreland was giving the Spartans trouble all night and you could see them having difficulties holding their ground at the point of attack. They finished the game with just 188 yards and what started out seeming like a promising night quickly turned into trying to play catch up with Upper Moreland’s high powered offense.

“Obviously we don’t think this should have been a 62-14 game,” Springfield coach Chris Shelly said. “We felt like we did some good things in that first half but we couldn’t stop their run game and there’s no schematic magic answer to that they just have some big kids up front and got downhill on us.”

Whether it was the size or the scheme, Springfield, a Class AA school, looks to find some relief as they head to districts to play teams similar to their size after a grueling SOL American conference schedule that consisted of all AAAA or AAA teams.

“I’m not disappointed in the kids’ effort,” Shelly said. “It’s just about us lining up and doing our job. Believe it or not, this is going to help us when we get to that AA level and we tell the kids we will never accept losing but at the same time we don’t want to lose morale after losses like this.”

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