UPPER DARBY — Haverford’s C.J. Weh has one job on passing plays.
“It’s my job to go where the quarterback goes and try and get him to the ground,” the senior defensive lineman said.
But on the final play of his final game as a Ford Thursday, Weh decided to do something differently.
“He was rolling away from me toward the sideline and I knew I would never make it to him,” Weh said. “So in the moment I thought I would drop back into the end zone to help the guys who are out there.”
And then he did something he has never done before at any level of organized football. He intercepted a pass.
In this instance, it was the game-deciding play in a thrilling 14-13 win for the Fords at rival Upper Darby in their traditional Thanksgiving clash. It was the ninth consecutive victory for Haverford in the storied rivalry, which the Fords lead 48-43-6.
Upper Darby had just scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining on a one-yard plunge by quarterback Kevin Kerwood. Ever the gambler, coach Rich Gentile decided to go for two and the win rather than kick an extra point and head to overtime.
“I felt like it was the right decision,” said Gentile, who has been thinking about this for the past year. “In last year’s game we were down 14-7 and we were driving and I thought then, if we score we’ll go for two. We didn’t score in that one, but I was thinking the same thing this time. We were moving the ball pretty well and I thought we could make the three yards we needed to win the game.”
And he was right. His team had just completed a 16-play, 81-yard drive, that lasted 7:38. Kerwood and Kareem McAdams were chewing up the Haverford defense, and the play Gentile called was a good one. Kerwood rolled to his left and just before he reached the sideline threw back to the middle of the end zone where receiver Shawn McCullough was wide open.
Thing is, no one expected Weh to flash into that open area. Not even Weh’s coach.
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