RIDLEY CATCHES FIRE IN SECOND HALF TO KNOCK OFF INTERBORO 47-7 IN THEIR THANKSGIVING DAY RIVAL GAME
The contest was tied 7-7 at the half. Four plays after intermission Bucs star running back and DB Abu Kamara was injured and would not return. The Green Raiders capitalized on the void his loss created.
Interboro High School’s 2022 season was outstanding. The Buccaneers won 10 games, captured he DelVal title and the PIAA 4A District 1 Championship.
The Bucs were knocked of the state tournament last week by District 12 Champion Bonner/Prendie.
Since Interboro’s cross town rival, Ridley was eliminated in the first round of the PIAA 6A District 1 tournament by Spring-Ford, their longtime Thanksgiving Day game was on.
Ridley showed the effects of not playing a game since November 4, committing nine penalties in the first half – two were declined – and turning the ball over twice..
Interboro showed the effects of a letdown after losing in the playoffs after winning two playoff games to make to the states. The Bucs also committed several penalties and turned the ball over.
It was still a great battle with score tied 7-7 at intermission.
Four plays into the second half, Interboro’s standout running back and defensive back Abu Kamara was injured after a four-yard gain and was helped off the field, never to return.
The Bucs did not recover well at all after the loss of the best player.
The Green Raiders defense had done an excellent job of keeping Kamara from having an impact running the ball, holding the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder to just 30 yards on 15 carries before his leg injury.
Kamaro was the one of the defenders who intercepted Ridley sophomore quarterback Ryan Carroll in the second quarter (Peter Gentile came up with the other pick).
Ridley’s talented corps of offensive weapons took advantage of the void losing Kamara left the Bucs, scoring 40 consecutive points to roll to a 47-7 win and ending a disappointing season on a high note.
In addition to being one-and-done in the playoffs, the Green Raiders (8-4) finished third in the Central League this year behind Strath Haven and Garnet Valley.
Senior running back Owen Bosak, who plans to play Division one lacrosse at the collegiate level, said he was glad to see his final game for Ridley end on a positive note.
“It makes up for the season that we had,” said Bosak, who finished with 12 carries for 38 yards and three receptions for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
Carroll finished 15 of 22 for 273 yards, four touchdown passes and two interceptions. He rushed four times for 15 yards.
THE GAME GOT AWAY FROM THEM, BUT THE BUCS NEVER STOPPED PLAYING HARD
While the score was lopsided at the finish, the Bucs played hard until the end.
Senior two-way lineman Logan Roberts battled hard on both sides of the ball. He said he wasn’t going to let one half of football define Interboro’s season or his career.
“The one thing I’ll think of is that we played hard until the end,” Roberts said after the game. “The score doesn’t show it but that is still something to be proud of.”
He admitted losing Kamara at the start of the second half affected their play.
“It’s hard to keep going when you lose your superstar,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing you can do about it, you’ve just got to keep going.”
Roberts says he wants to play at the next level next year. He lists himself at 6-0, 260 pounds. Division III is where he may find interest.
“I hope so,” Roberts said, almost starting a smile. “I’ll play where anyone will take me.”
In rival games like this, emotions can run high and this game was not different. There were scuffles at the end, one Interboro player was ejected.
This may be the last time several players on both sides will put the pads on.
Roberts talked about remembering the positives.
“Yeah, I guess I was looking back at the times that I’ve had here,” Roberts said. “Me and my teammates, no matter what happened here, I can always look on the season with pride. We’re still DelVal Champs…nothing can change that.”
Interboro quarterback Julian Bulovas finished his last game 7 of 16 for 148 yards, one touchdown pass and an interception.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Bulovas, who has no plans right now to play football in college, but would listen to a school who shows interest. “This sucks. But I’m proud of everyone. I’m going to miss the seniors a lot.“
GREEN RAIDERS HEAD COACH SUMS UP GAME AND THE SEASON
Ridley head coach David Wood talked about Interboro and the successful season they had in 2022..
“They’re a good team when you take a look at how far they want (in the playoffs),” Wood said. “They’re running back (Kamara), is a hell of a of a running back. He’s probably one of the best running backs I've seen in my last six, seven years of high school football.”
“And for us, I thought we had some opportunities in the first half,” Wood continued. “We had some penalties. We had some missed opportunities. But really the key was, I know [Kamara] got hurt too, but we did a really good job of really boxing him in…our safeties did a great job coming downhill.
“And I thought our run defense was really really good. It was nothing, really, that we've done differently than all year. Down the stretch, we played a Conestoga team, a Marple Newtown team and Upper Darby, when they got into some tight sets; that was the defense that we used.”
Wood talked about how he and his assistant coaches prepared his players for the Thanksgiving Day game and dealing with the gap in time before kickoff.
His team lost in the first round of the playoffs and his players were down. They had expected much more out the season.
“I just thought that the healing process it's like anything else,” Wood said. “You know, you take the Bowl approach. I was a division III head coach, so take a bowl of approach…get our kids healthy, get our kids mentally ready; coming off a playoff loss. It's tough, right?
“We give them a couple days completely off. We get them just in a weight room, we get them healed. But when we started the last 10 days, it's was very physical, but short practices. And I thought our kids did a great job in those 10 days, and it really showed to today.”
Bosak said Wood and the other coaches told them at the half they weren’t going to change anything, even after all the penalties and two turnovers.
“He said we were going to stick with everything the same,” Bosak said. “He said keep working, stick with the same playbook and it will all fall into place. “We did that, and you saw the score.” *
Email Al Thompson at email@example.com