UPPER DARBY — Football can be a simple game. Run forward, gain some yards, move the chains. Rinse, wash, repeat, touchdown.
Kareem McAdams followed that idea Friday.
Upper Darby’s emerging tailback rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns as the Royals earned a decisive 41-28 victory over Strath Haven to move to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the Central League. They never trailed. They did just enough defensively against Kevin Clancy’s tricky Wing-T.
McAdams made it happen offensively. His plan harkened back to the bygone days of the sport — three yards and a cloud of dust. Well, slightly more than three.
“Coach told me — three-point-five yards, every time,” McAdams explained. “That’s what he told me, that’s what I kept in the back of my head every time I ran the ball — three-point-five yards.”
The junior bruiser gained at least those three-and-a-half yards on all but three of his 27 carries. Only two — including a first-quarter 44-yard touchdown run — went for double digits. It mostly six, seven, eight yard runs. Over and over again. McAdams carried the ball on 17 of Upper Darby’s first 18 plays of the second half.
As this was happening, Royals coach Rich Gentile wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. The Panthers (3-2, 3-1) were getting worn down by the play. McAdams kept running at them and running over them. His penultimate carry was an early fourth quarter eight-yard scoring burst. He trucked a Strath Haven defender right on the goal line.
“It’s nice when you can run downhill,” Gentile said. “He might have the best forward lean out of any back that I’ve seen in awhile. I mean, he does not go backwards.”
McAdams delegated well. His numbers were a career-high, he knew that much. But it was achieved because of the line, the team. Fullback Max Avoutsou keyed blocks. Speedster Marson Weh kept the defense honest on the outside. Rashid Edgefield spelled him when needed.
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