UPPER DUBLIN - At some point this season someone is going to have to come up with a fancy nickname for Upper Dublin High's backfield tandem of Kaleif and John Lee.
Maybe something snappy like, "LEEders of the Pack, or "The HappiLEEs.'
Not related, the Lees have emerged as the one-two rushing punch the Cardinals have sought since summer practice began, and Friday night they continued their recent romp through Cardinals' foes by combining for 170 rushing yards and four touchdowns as host Upper Dublin remained unbeaten with a 37-13 verdict over Norristown.
While stopping short of proclaiming the duo his definitive starters, head coach Bret Stover couldn't hide his delight with what he's seen over the past few weeks.
"We're definitely happy with their play,' Stover said, after the Cardinals moved to 2-0 in Suburban One League American Conference action. "What I really like is that they'll block for each other, which is what any coach likes to see.
"They're not shy about doing the dirty work.'
No matter what their current status in the Cardinals offensive scheme, the Lees are thrilled with the opportunity they've been given to show their stuff.
"Both of us have been working hard from the start of camp,' said Kaleif, who got the game's scoring started with a 61-yard run on Upper Dublin's first possession. "I don't know why we're starting right now, but I'm really grateful that we are.'
Seeking to jump out to a quick lead, the Cardinals got just what they wanted.
After forcing a Norristown punt on the game's first possession, it took UD two plays to score, with Kaleif breaking off his 61-yarder.
The key block on the score was — guess what — a kickout block from John.
On the game's next snap, Ray Sitarski intercepted a long pass from Norristown quarterback Desmond Gorski, and the Cardinals were at it again, this time going 69 yards on 10 plays to double their lead.
This time it was John's turn to dent the end zone, which he did from a yard out, although a 37-yard pass play from quarterback John Derr to tight end Marc Conran was the key play on the drive.
After forcing another Eagles punt, Derr drove the Cardinals again, this time getting as far as the Norristown 12 before Derr, under pressure, was intercepted by Sonny Brewer.
The pick not only stopped the Cardinals in their tracks, but temporarily sidetracked the home team's early momentum.
"In that first quarter I thought we were real efficient with our offense,' Stover said, "but starting with that pick we kind of went flat, which has a lot to do with us being so young.'
The Brewer interception, in fact, began a wild myriad of turnovers by both clubs.
The most bizarre was a Norristown punt that was partially blocked by the Cardinals' special teamers. But in attempting to field the punt just past the line of scrimmage, the ball was fumbled away, giving Norristown a fresh set of downs, just three yards back from the line of scrimmage.
After gaining a pair of first downs, Norristown was forced to punt. But again, the Cardinals erred, fumbling the kick and setting up the Eagles at the UD 16-yard line.
But Norristown's good fortune would not last long.
Three plays later, after a Norristown pass completion, Cardinals sophomore defensive back Michael Sowers, all 5-foot-6, 145 pounds of him, ripped the ball loose from the Eagles receiver. Cardinal Matt Thompson scooped up the ball and returned it 66 yards to the Norristown 9-yard line. Three plays after that, Kaleif had his second touchdown of the game, and the Cardinals led, 21-0.
"That, to me, was the key play in the game, when Sowers ripped that ball out,' Stover said. "That play got us going again.'
The Eagles would not go away, however. And triggered by a 37-yard pass play from Gorski to Rashon Lusane, went 65 yards on six plays, with Corey Davenport scoring on a 6-yard TD run to pull Norristown within 21-6 at halftime.
"We settled down and started making plays,' said Eagles head coach E.J. Smith. "But just weren't able to maintain the consistency we needed, and that's something we'll continue working on.'
Upper Dublin began the second half just as it had the first. A 60-yard, seven-play drive was capped by John Lee's 3-yard touchdown, and the Upper Dublin lead was 27-6.
The big play on the march was a 34-yard pass from Derr to Conran.
Norristown was unable to match that score on its ensuing possession, but caught a break by recovering a fumble at the Upper Dublin 36. Aided by a pass interference penalty, the Eagles banged it in seven plays later, with Isaiah Carter scoring from the five to close the deficit to 27-13 with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
But Norristown would get no closer.
The Cardinals capitalized on a fake punt, a 28-yard pass from punter Dan Asper to Gary Fields, to author the put-away touchdown, a 6-yard scramble by Derr with 5:21 left.
An Eagles turnover would result in a late field goal, and the Cardinals were still unbeaten - and on their way to finding their starting backfield.
EXTRA POINTS: Norristown quarterback Desmond Gorski was injured in the first half, and replaced by Sonny Brewer throughout most of the second half. Coach Smith he felt Gorski would be OK, but would have to be evaluated further.