FAIRLESS HILLS — You didn’t need to know a thing about football to spot the big difference in Pennsbury’s exciting 25-14 victory over Upper Dublin in the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals Friday, Nov. 21 at Falcon Field.
Pennsbury (12-1) had Charles Snorweah and Upper Dublin (11-2) did not.
In a tremendous workhorse effort, Snorweah toted the ball a whopping 48 times as the Falcons opted to run a Wing-I offense. The result was a staggering 298 rushing yards and four touchdowns for Snorweah as Pennsbury moved into its second district final in school history.
The No. 2 seed, Pennsbury will next play in the district championship game against No. 1 seed and undefeated Coatesville (13-0) next Friday night. The district final, which is the equivalant of a state quarterfinal round game, will be played on the neutral Souderton High field.
“I’d like to credit my offensive line and my fullback (Luke Snyder),’ said Snorweah, who has now run for an incredible 918 yards and 13 touchdowns in three playoff games alone. “They did a great job blocking for me.’
From the beginning, it was obvious this might be a struggle as underdog Upper Dublin stopped Pennsbury on downs and scored on its first possession when it recovered its own fumble in the end zone after a back was separated from the ball at the 6 yard line,
The early bad breaks then continued for Pennsbury when it put together a drive only to fumble it away on the Upper Dublin 20 yard line. After forcing a punt, however, Pennsbury was able to get on the board when Snorweah raced 61 yards for his first TD of the evening.
Following a missed extra point by Pennsbury, Upper Dublin took a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter with a 75-yard drive, capped by 1-yard run by Kaleif Lee. Cardinals quarterback Ryan Stover was hot in the first half with his passing and also hurt the Falcons with several keepers.
Once again, Pennsbury had the answer as it put together its longest drive of the night when it went 64 yards on nine plays and scored on a 6-yard run by Snorweah. A big play in the drive was a 28-yard hookup from quarterback Mike Alley to Cody Tabeek on the only pass Pennsbury completed all night that was very nearly picked off by David Bryant.
Pennsbury nearly took the lead right before the half, only to see the clock expire with the ball on the Upper Dublin 6 yard line after it had driven 48 yards in less than two minutes.
The missed opportunity left Pennsbury in a 14-13 hole at the half, or pretty much the exact same position it was in the week before against Garnet Valley.
Once again, Pennsbury’s defense picked it up in the second half and allowed the Fort Washington team nothing. The key was an improved pass rush, including a huge sack by Ashanti Rumph in the fourth quarter deep in Upper Dublin territory.
Rumph’s sack came after a long Pennsbury drive was stopped on downs, but the ensuing punt by the Cards from the Upper Dublin end zone put Pennsbury in great shape with the ball at the Cardinals 33 yard line. This time, the Ground and Pound with Snorweah did pay off as the senior headed to Rutgers scored on an 8-yard run to finally put the Falcons on top, 19-14.
Upper Dublin still had time to bounce back with 4:20 remaining, but it then turned the ball over on a on its own 20 after three straight incomplete passes by Stover. Two plays later, Snorweah was in the end zone again, this time on an 11-yard run to complete the scoring.
“Did he really?’ replied Pennsbury coach Galen Snyder when informed Snorweah had 48 carries.
“This was a tough game, but I told the kids at halftime that we had had turnovers and they hadn’t had any. We were once again able to play better in the second half. We got a better pass rush and did what we had to do.’
For those who are counting, Snoreah now has nearly 2,400 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns on the year.
If you have the big horse, you ride him, and Snorweah carried his team right into the finals.