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The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Football Team of the Decade Final Preview

Upper Dublin's Stacey Gardner, 3, is congratulated by Kaleif Lee, 26, after his touchdown against North Penn Saturday, December 5, 2015. (Mark C. Psoras/MediaNews Group File)

The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Football Team of the Decade comes down to Upper Dublin 2015 and La Salle 2012.

Fans will decide the winner by voting on Twitter @ReporterSports. Polls are open through noon on Saturday.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each team.

RESUME

Upper Dublin, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, went 14-1 in 2015. The Cardinals won the Suburban One League American Conference championship and the District 1-4A title. They lost to Parkland in the state semifinals. Noteworthy victories include a 24-14 district semifinal win over Pennsbury and a 46-21 district final win over North Penn.

La Salle, the No. 14 seed in the tournament, went 12-2 in 2012. The Explorers won the Philadelphia Catholic League 4A championship and the 4A City Title. They lost to Coatesville in the state semifinals. Noteworthy victories include a 28-27 win over St. Joseph’s Prep for the PCL crown, a 37-20 win over Frankford in the 4A city championship game and a 28-7 win against Parkland in the state quarterfinals.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Upper Dublin defeated No. 12 Cheltenham 2019 in the first round, No. 4 La Salle 2010 in the quarterfinals and No. 16 Pennridge 2012 in the semifinals.

La Salle defeated No. 3 Archbishop Wood 2017 in the first round, No. 6 North Penn 2016 in the quarterfinals and No. 10 North Penn 2010 in the semifinals.

OFFENSE

Ryan Stover was Upper Dublin’s senior quarterback in 2015. The two-time Times Herald Offensive Player of the Year threw for 2,525 yards and 27 touchdowns to seven interceptions during their district championship season and added 1,003 yards and 13 scores with his legs. Kaleif Lee led the ground attack with 1,028 yards and 19 touchdowns while Stacey Gardner added 528 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jack Rapine and Michael Sowers tied for a team-high five receiving touchdowns. Danny Boggs caught four touchdowns and Gary Fields III and Cole Swiger each caught three. Stover, Lee and Sowers were first team All-SOL American selections as well as guard Henry Winebrake and tackle Isaiah Henrich.

Chris Kane threw for a nearly-identical 2,524 yards in 2012 with 29 touchdowns. Sean Coleman reeled in 64 receptions for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns while Jimmy Herron posted 37-668-9. Herron led the rushing attack with 533 yards and seven touchdowns. Coleman was a first team All-PCL 4A Division selection as well as lineman Patrick Hoffman, tight end Jon Naji and the versatile offensive weapon Mike Eife.

DEFENSE

Upper Dublin’s most impressive defense stretch came when it allowed a total of 13 points during a five-game stretch, including three shutouts. The Cardinals blanked SOL American rivals Springfield Montco, Wissahickon and Plymouth Whitemarsh after holding Cheltenham to six points and before keeping Upper Moreland to seven. Field, Lee and Henrich earned first team All-League honors along the defensive line. Linebackers Rapine and Winebrake also earned top honors as well as Sowers at defensive back.

La Salle had a similar defensive stretch in 2012. Over four games, three of which were on the road, they allowed a total of 19 points in wins over Cardinal O’Hara, Malvern Prep, Archbishop Ryan and Father Judge. The Malvern Prep game was a 31-0 shutout. Defensive linemen Naji and Tom Spiteri were first team All-PCL 4A Division selections as well as linebacker Zaire Franklin and defensive back Dad Poquie.

First round

16 Pennridge 2012 def. 1 Archbishop Wood 2011

8 North Penn 2011 def. 9 Archbishop Wood 2016

5 Upper Dublin 2015 def. 12 Cheltenham 2019

4 La Salle 2010 def. 13 Upper Dublin 2018

14 La Salle 2012 def. 3 Archbishop Wood 2017

6 North Penn 2016 def. 11 Archbishop Wood 2019

10 North Penn 2010 def. 7 Archbishop Wood 2013

15 Pope John Paul II 2019 def. 2 Archbishop Wood 2014

Quarterfinals

16 Pennridge 2012 def. 8 North Penn 2011

5 Upper Dublin 2015 def. 4 La Salle 2010

14 La Salle 2012 def. 6 North Penn 2016

10 North Penn 2010 def. 15 Pope John Paul II 2019

Semifinals

5 Upper Dublin 2015 def. 16 Pennridge 2012

14 La Salle 2012 def. 10 North Penn 2010

Finals

14 La Salle 2012 vs. 5 Upper Dublin 2015

La Salle statistics and All-League information found on tedsilary.com.

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