RADNOR — Dymire Bradham made a direct impact on the two biggest plays of Upper Darby’s season.
Bradham intercepted Radnor quarterback Sam DiLella with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter of a tie game. The pass was deflected and the ball landed in the hands of Bradham, who sprinted roughly 20 yards to the Radnor 5-yard line. Moments later, on fourth-and-goal, senior James Tuayemie broke the deadlock with a two-yard scoring run.
Radnor rallied. The Raiders had two cracks from inside the Upper Darby 5-yard line with 30 seconds left. On fourth down at the 1, Taylor Margolis tried to hit the edge, but defensive end Jim Basler and Bradham forced him out of bounds four yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Game over. Upper Darby 27, Radnor 20.
The Royals’ third win of the year was their gutsiest.
— Matt Smith (@DTMattSmith) October 5, 2019
“On the pick, I got help from my middle linebacker Delva (Jean-Baptiste), I was there, got the pick and tried to score as best as I could,” said Bradham, a 5-8, 160-pound senior cornerback. “It was a great play and a big play at the right time. I just wanted to make sure we scored and we won the game.”
Basler, a Bonner-Prendergast transfer, caused havoc all night. He got off his block quickly on the final play and forced the speedy Margolis to run in a straight line until Bradham stepped up and knocked him out of bounds.
“I had the team behind me,” Basler said. “We all did it, we got this win. It feels good.”
Upper Darby coach Rich Gentile believes the victory could put his team on the right track. The Royals (3-4, 3-2 Central League) entered Friday night on a three-game losing streak.
“That was our concern after the Ridley game last week (a 35-14 loss),” Gentile said. “We were saying to the kids, if we don’t win Friday night then we could really lose this team. This was our season, basically.”
Gentile nearly lost his cool on the sidelines when his defense forced an incompletion in the end zone, only to be called for pass interference. The flag didn’t get the Raiders an automatic first down, but did improve their chances of finding paydirt.
“It can never be easy. I thought we had them, then they get the penalty in the end zone and they get the ball at the 3,” Gentile said. “Like I told the kids, I think I have a pretty good memory about all that’s gone on at Upper Darby and I’d be hard-pressed to find a better goal line stand against a team that has athletes.
“They did everything they were supposed to do at that time and it’s amazing that it happened. ”
Upper Darby erased a 12-0, first-quarter deficit. Junior quarterback Corey Robinson, who was starting only his second varsity game after the Royals lost Kevin Kerwood to injury, had three scoring runs. Five players ran for at least 30 yards. Tuayemie, who shifted from wide receiver to running back after All-Delco Kareem McAdams went down a few weeks ago, led the Royals with 67 yards on 19 carries. Darryl Farmer (51 yards), Max Avoutsou (35), Robinson (30) and Makhi Mayo (30) all chipped in on the offensive end.
To give the kids credit, we called them out and they said to us, ‘Coach, we’re with you.’ And in a game like, where we go down 12-0 in the first quarter, they could have packed it in and given up, but they didn’t. They continued to fight,” Gentile said.
The offensive line of Pat Kerwood, Kevin Redden, Enoch Louis, Josue Denis and Basler were excellent.
“I think this was a defining moment for our offense because they scored 27 points and played well all night long,” Gentile added.
Radnor went ahead by a touchdown thanks to a 12-play drive in the third quarter. DiLella found Brendan Surbeck in the back of the end zone. But Robinson engineered another scoring and ran four yards to the end zone to even the score at 20-all.
” I know I have my teammates behind me,” said Robinson, who 6 of 11 for 37 yards through the air. “That gives me confidence.”
Scott Belveal paced the Radnor offense with 130 yards on 22 carries. DiLella, who entered the night with more than 1,000 yards passing, finished 10 of 26 for 148 yards. Surbeck made four catches for 84 yards.
“It was a great game to watch in the stands tonight. Unfortunately for us, we came up a little short,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “Our kids battled on both sides of ball. We had our chances, but couldn’t get it done.”