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Lucas Roselli, Upper Dublin trounce Unionville in District 1 Class 5A football semifinal

Roselli accounted for 181 all-purpose yards, scored three touchdowns, and intercepted a pass as the Cardinals moved closer to their first district title since 2015.

Upper Dublin's Lucas Roselli (25) gains yardage in Saturday's PIAA District 1 Class 5A semifinal playoff romp over Unionville.
Upper Dublin's Lucas Roselli (25) gains yardage in Saturday's PIAA District 1 Class 5A semifinal playoff romp over Unionville.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Lucas Roselli set the tone for Upper Dublin on the team's second play from scrimmage against Unionville.

The 5-foot-8, 155-pound senior escaped along the right sideline en route to an 88-yard score, marking the first of five first-half tallies for the hosts.

Roselli and the No. 2-seeded Cardinals blasted the No. 11 Indians, 40-7, in Saturday afternoon's PIAA District 1 Class 5A semifinal in chilly Fort Washington.

Again pushing aside his smaller frame and an injury that slowed him earlier this season, Roselli carried 16 times for 150 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for a combined 51 yards.

"I think my vision and cutback ability are two of my biggest assets," the 17-year old said. "Also, I make the most of the strong blocking by our linemen."

Upper Dublin (11-1) will face No. 5 seed West Chester Rustin (10-2) for top honors next weekend.

Roselli's 60-yard grab with 18 seconds remaining before intermission gave the hosts a 33-0 cushion.

"It was a check at the line of scrimmage," said Roselli, a midfielder in lacrosse. "I ran a seam route, [quarterback] Mike Slivka pretty much threw the ball up there, and I just ran under it."

The Cardinals opened the second half with an 11-play, 65-yard series that was capped by Roselli's 8-yard TD run and brought on a running clock because of the 35-point mercy rule.

Roselli, who doubles as a free safety, intercepted a pass late in the second quarter at the Upper Dublin 13-yard line to end an 11-play Unionville drive.

The Cardinals' other first-half scores were fullback Mason Novak's 5-yard run, Slivka's 1-yard keeper, and Jason Scott's 12-yard return of John Kohlbrenner's blocked punt.

A stout offensive line was made up of center Connor English, guards Alec Joseph and Bryan Derr, tackles Quinton Derr, C.J. Stehli and Aman Orlena, and tight end Lucas Nina-Boesler.

Quinton Derr has drawn recruiting interest from Monmouth, Stony Brook, Towson, and Villanova. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior has shined after missing the second half of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Upper Dublin's defense limited the Indians to 36 yards rushing on 23 attempts and 16 passing through three quarters.

Unionville, the defending district champion, rebounded from an 0-3 start to finish with a 6-7 mark.

"I'm just thankful for everything this group gave us," Indians coach Pat Clark said. "In this game, we went up against a team that capitalized on every mistake we made."

Unionville 0 0 0 7-7

Upper Dublin 14 19 7 0-40

UD: Lucas Roselli 88 run (Chris Barbera kick)

UD: Mason Novak 5 run (Barbera kick)

UD: Mike Slivka 1 run (kick failed)

UD: Jason Scott 12 return of blocked punt (pass failed)

UD: Roselli 60 pass from Slivka (Barbera kick)

UD: Roselli 8 run (Barbera kick)

U: Connor Schilling 39 run (Dominic Braithwaite kick)