HATBORO-HORSHAM 33, UPPER MORELAND 6
Outside of sporadic practices, Chris Edmondson and his Hatboro-Horsham teammates had to wait a month for their Thanksgiving Day contest against Upper Moreland.
"That part is tough," the senior captain said. "It's kind of hard to stay motivated when there's such a long time between games."
Outside of a rash of penalties, H-H looked fairly sharp in its return to action. The Hatters scored on all four of their first-half possessions and blasted the visiting Golden Bears, 33-6, for their first triumph in the holiday series since 2011.
"It was good to finally get back out there," said Edmondson, a two-way lineman. "We set a good tone early on by moving the ball well on offense and not giving up too much on defense."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Edmondson doubled as an offensive tackle and defensive end. He began playing football as a seventh-grader at Keith Valley Middle School.
"Watching my cousin, Kevin James, play football here made me decide to give it a try," Edmondson said. His uncle, Lou James, is H-H's athletic director.
With Edmondson positioned at left tackle, the Hatters totaled 202 rushing yards on 39 attempts. Junior quarterback Chris Edwards connected on 6 of 11 throws for 146 yards and a score.
Over the summer, Edmondson, a second-year starter, bench-pressed 280 pounds, squatted 425, and power-cleaned 260.
"He's a strong player on both sides of the ball," H-H fourth-year coach Mike Kapusta said. "He's in impeccable physical condition, so he's never tired."
Anthony Kwiatanowski, a 5-7, 170-pound junior handyman, found pay dirt for the Hatters (6-5) on first-half dashes of 9, 6, and 8 yards. He rushed 14 times for 79 yards.
"Obviously, he's not the most physically imposing kid," Kapusta said. "But he's strong, durable, and has good balance."
Edmondson, the lone returning starter on the offensive line, was joined up front by fellow tackle Ryan Bruno, guards Tristan Long and Evan Nemath, center Brett Johnson, and tight ends Nick Chapman and Rob Fitzgerald.
Josh Smith's 5-yard run capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive and made it 33-0 in the fourth quarter.
Upper Moreland (5-7) averted a shutout against its Suburban One League American Conference rival on Sterlen Barr's 43-yard TD burst with 4 1/2 minutes to play.
Excluding Barr's score, the visitors - who dressed only four seniors Thursday and were missing nine starters due to injuries - were limited to 62 yards rushing on 27 attempts.
Edmondson received support on defense from fellow tackle Long, linebackers Chapman (second-quarter sack), Smith, and Jordan Collazo, safety Kwiatanowski, and cornerback Brandon Crews (first-quarter interception).
The Hatters, who topped the Golden Bears by 35-14 on Sept. 23, overcame an 0-3 start in producing their first winning campaign since 2007.
One of Upper Moreland's five first downs when it faked a first-quarter punt and Caleb Mead, the upback, took a direct snap and ran 35 yards to the H-H 29.
Upper Moreland 0 0 0 6-6
Hatboro-Horsham 7 20 0 6-33
HH: Anthony Kwiatanowski 9 run (Jin-Wook Kim kick)
HH: Kwiatanowski 6 run (Kim kick)
HH: Robert Fitzgerald 21 pass from Chris Edwards (Kim kick)
HH: Kwiatanowski 8 run (kick blocked)
HH: Josh Smith 5 run (kick failed)