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December 9-11 2021 Scoreboard
 
 

Plymouth Whitemarsh coasts to first round victory over Cheltenham 49-0

Written by: on Saturday, November 6th, 2021

 

Plymouth Whitemarsh knew what to expect coming into their first-round playoff game against their Suburban One American League rivals Cheltenham. Both teams are familiar with each other and have played each other countless times over the year. These two teams had already faced off against each other on October 8th, playing a competitive game decided by single digits. P.W was able to come away victorious 21-13 in a tight game that was decided by a Taj Hubbard pick six.

Coming into the game, P.W was ranked as the 5th seed in 5A, while Cheltenham was the 12th, but despite the difference in seed it seemed that it would be a competitive game with what happened the first time around. It was anything but.

The Colonials were dominant from the jump, and surprisingly came out passing the ball, despite running the ball most of the time in their triple option offense. Junior Quarterback Aidan O’Brien, threw for not one, not two, but three first quarter touchdowns, his most all season. “We definitely can pass the ball and we showed that tonight. Just because we’re a triple option team, it doesn’t mean we can’t throw it.” O’Brien said. “We saw some things that they were taking away so we had to go to a couple other options. Aidan threw some good balls. I was happy with how we were executing in our pass game” said PW Head Coach Dan Chang.

P. W’s first couple of plays didn’t go to plan when they got backed up because of a penalty and O’Brien didn’t get much back on the next two runs. On third and long P.W set up to pass, and O’Brien found Phil Taormina down the field for a 77-yard touchdown to open up the scoring.

“For sure they’re not expecting it. They’ve got to prepare for the triple option, so we definitely catch them off guard” O’Brien said when talking about the passing game for the Colonials. A group of football players Description automatically generated with medium confidence

O’Brien found Nate Kern for a 16-yard score and then hit Taormina for his second touchdown catch of the game to make it 28-0, not even five minutes into the game. O’Brien recorded four total touchdowns in the first quarter alone, with his only rushing touchdown coming from a 29-yard scamper down the right side. O’Brien finished 4/5 in the air for 148 yards and three touchdowns, with 7 rushing attempts for 49 yards.

It never felt like Cheltenham was ever in the game, thanks to P.W’s execution in the first quarter. Seve Spruill, the Colonials kicker pulled off an onside kick after their first touchdown, recovering his own kick, which quickly turned into another touchdown, putting the Panthers behind two possessions early. Cheltenham fumbled on their next possession, which the Colonials turned into another touchdown. By the time it was 21-0, Cheltenham had only run two plays on offense.

“Our guys were laser focused and we came out and executed pretty well in all three phases, so I was happy with that” said Coach Chang

The Colonials were locked in, especially on the defensive end for the second straight week. P.W pitched their second shutout of the season and has only allowed 7 points in the last two weeks after beating Wissahickon 54-7 in their regular season finale. The Suburban One American League champs have been one of the hottest teams in the area, winning nine straight games after losing their first game to CB South 35-27.

Zion East and Nate Kern both got in on the action towards the end of the first half, each scoring on touchdowns from one yard out to extend the P.W lead to 42-0 at halftime.

For the entire second half, P.W put in their backups, and it was an uneventful half, with the only score coming off of a fumble return for a touchdown to make it 49-0, which finished up the scoring for the game.

With the win, P.W gives themselves a date with the defending 5A District 1 champion Upper Dublin Cardinals in the second round. Although they haven’t played each other this season, both teams are familiar with each other and have matched up plenty of times over the years.

“We’re familiar with Upper Dublin.” Said Coach Chang. “Brett Stover does a great job, those guys are going to be prepared and flying around. Those guys make you cover the whole field on defense and we’re going to have to watch the game film and see what we can do to slow them down” He added.

Coach Chang will be looking to get out of the second round of districts for the first time since taking over as head coach. P.W’s last playoff win came against Abington in 2019, when they were in the 6A classification, before losing to Garnet Valley. With plenty of senior leadership, P.W will look to pull off the upset in the second-round next week.

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