Also stolen were iPods, football gloves, sneakers, and clothing. Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt said that Middletown Township police were investigating, and that the school was offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief or thieves.
"In all my years at Neshaminy, we've never had something like this happen," said Schmidt, now in his 16th season. "This is bad. It's horrible. It frustrates me to no end. We're sick about it, really."
At halftime, with the Redskins ahead by 21-3, Abington coach Tim Sorber and his players presented a $500 check to Neshaminy for the Marco Dapkey Leukemia Fund. Dapkey, a senior captain, fell ill in June with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
On Friday, with Dapkey receiving treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, his sister, Tanya, walked to midfield and accepted the check. Dapkey, fighting a bout of pneumonia, has been at Children's Hospital since last Monday, with his mother, Rita, by his side.
"He hasn't had a fever in 24 hours," Rita Dapkey said Sunday. "He's getting better. I'm hoping he's out in a day or two."
At Children's Hospital, Rita Dapkey listened to the game on the radio with her son. Of the money collected by Abington, she said: "Those kids and people at Abington are awesome. I'm going to send Tim Sorber a handwritten letter of thanks, and he can read it to his players."
Longtime rivals, the No. 5-ranked Redskins and the Ghosts have played continuously since 1979. Neshaminy holds a 26-9 advantage in the series.
"It's an unfortunate incident," Jeffrey Fecher, Abington's principal, said of the thefts. "The two schools are working to come together on some [resolution] of the issue. There's been a very positive cooperation. That's all we can ask for in a situation like this."
Schmidt said: "The person in charge of the visiting locker room must not have shut or locked the door. Full restitution will take place. We're embarrassed as hell, and we're going to make sure to find out what happened. We're committed to it."
At Heartbreak Ridge, Schmidt and his players hurried from their locker room to be part of the presentation benefiting Dapkey.
"It was great," he said, "and then things turned horrible. A couple of people from our school or area ruined what had been a terrific evening. This reflects badly on Neshaminy. We don't want it to hurt what we think is a strong relationship with Abington."
According to Ireland, who rushed for 61 yards on 17 carries, Sorber took inventory of the stolen items to give to police when the Ghosts returned to school.
"Yeah, that was a pretty bad feeling to come back after a loss and see the locker room the way it was," the 17-year-old said. "We never expected something like that to happen."
A message left for the Middletown Township Police Department, in Langhorne, was not immediately returned.
Defensive standout. Sam McCain spent part of Sunday afternoon watching Penn Charter product Matt Ryan, his first cousin, quarterback the Atlanta Falcons against the New Orleans Saints.
On Saturday night, McCain, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior, had starred as No. 4-ranked Archbishop Wood held off St. Joseph's Prep, 21-20, in a thrilling nonleague matchup at Plymouth Whitemarsh.
In addition to notching a team-best 10 tackles (four solos) and intercepting a fourth-quarter pass at the Wood 7, the middle linebacker blocked Patrick Bradish's extra-point boot with no time on the clock. Quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg had scored from the 2 on fourth down.
"I lined up between the guard and tackle on the left side," McCain said. "Then I shot right through the gap. I was able to get my left hand on the ball. It was a great feeling."
As a wide receiver, McCain had four receptions for 40 yards. Wood, with two touchdown runs by tailback Desmon Peoples and a 26-yard interception return by cornerback Michael Downs, led by 21-0 late in the first quarter.
McCain, of Warminster, is hearing from the likes of Bucknell, Holy Cross, and Monmouth. The 17-year-old's brother, Pat, is a quarterback for Wood's freshman team.
Mornhinweg, intercepted three times, hit on 12 of 36 throws for 181 yards. Mark Casale gained 70 yards on 20 carries, including a 13-yard TD burst in the third quarter.
Extra points. McCain was helped on defense by outside linebacker James Messina, who had four solo stops, including a second-quarter sack, and a hurry. Cornerback Anthony Roakes posted five tackles, including three solos. . . . For the Hawks' 3-4 defense, outside linebacker Jeff Heath registered 12 tackles, with seven solos, and a hurry. Next in line were inside linebacker Eric Medes (eight tackles) and strong safety Phil Riehl (five). End Guy Cook and inside linebacker Peter Siki each chipped in four tackles and a hurry. . . . In a 238-yard rushing effort in Saturday's 28-12 nonleague triumph at Penn Wood, Malvern Prep's offensive line was made up of center John Bradford, guards Chris Mueller and Joe Smith, tackles Mike Mooney and Connor Mahoney, and tight end Sean Mooney. Carl Nassib filled in at tackle and Joe Nilan at tight end. . . . Friars junior halfback Reiley Syrek left late in the third quarter with a suspected left knee injury.
Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019