Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chichester holds off Shanahan, 27-21


DOWNINGTOWN - Two years ago the Chichester High School football team didn’t win a single game. They’ve improved leaps and bounds since then.
On Saturday afternoon, Chichester got two key second-half touchdown runs from running back Na’Ceem Antenor and their defense stopped host Bishop Shanahan on downs inside the 10-yard line with under a minute to go as they held on for a 27-21 victory in an exciting nonleague game.
Chichester (1-2 overall), who won for the first time this season after closing last year’s campaign with four victories in its final five games, led most of the day. They held a 27-14 advantage with 11 minutes remaining, before Bishop Shanahan (1-1) cut it to 27-21 with 9:31 to go.
Bishop Shanahan got a huge interception from Jeff Zebrowski with 6:28 left to give the Eagles the ball at their own 38-yard line. They proceeded to march all the way down the field inside the 10, but a crucial holding penalty against Shanahan was a killer, pushing them back to a first-and-goal at the 23-yard line with 1:05 to play. Shanahan was eventually faced with a fourth-and-goal at the 9 with 28 seconds on the clock, but a bad snap allowed multiple Chichester defenders to sack quarterback Justin Cook to seal the win.
“I feel like a proud father right now,” said Chichester coach Ryan Smith, whose team lost to Harriton and Archmere Academy (Del.) in the first two weeks. “I’ve watched this team come back from so much adversity over the last couple of years. They always show tremendous character.
“We had our backs against the wall on that last drive. Our guys dug down deep and showed a lot of heart to make the stop at the end.”
Antenor rushed for a team-high 66 yards on 10 carries. His first touchdown on a 6-yard run midway through the third quarter gave Chichester a 21-7 lead. Antenor’s second score, though, was the backbreaker as he busted a 52-yard run down the sideline to make it 27-14 with 11:06 remaining in the contest.
Chichester also got a tough performance from fullback Dejuan Santana, who added 65 yards rushing on 12 carries and scored on a 13-yard run in the second quarter. Quarterback Duffy Gilhool finished with 38 yards rushing, and was an efficient 10-of-16 passing for 88 yards.
“It feels great to get our first win of the season,” said Antenor. “We had one of our best weeks of practice in a while coming into this game, and it definitely helped because this was a mentally and physically draining game.”
Bishop Shanahan got a rock-solid afternoon from sophomore running back Pat Corcoran, as he rushed for a game-high 112 yards on 13 carries. Freshman Braden Harper added nine carries for 63 yards, and he scored on a 5-yard run with 9:31 to go to bring Bishop Shanahan to within six points of the lead, 27-21.
The comeback, though, came up just shy at the end for a young Shanahan squad, who suspended eight players coming into the season for off-the-field issues, including five starters.
“After the game I told the kids how proud I am of them,” said Bishop Shanahan coach Paul Meyers. “Everything we’ve gone through with this team -- that fight they showed today -- I certainly can’t ask for anything more than that.
“Sometimes a loss early in the season is a good thing, and we’ll see how we bounce back. Give [Chichester] credit. They are a much improved football team and they played very well.”
Shanahan out gained Chichester, 275-259, as both teams were able to move the ball all day and put points on the board.
Chichester struck first midway through the opening quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Gilhool to Vlenale Byrd to make it 7-0. Late in the first quarter, Shanahan tied it 7-7 on a 12-yard run by Cook.
Chichester got a 13-yard touchdown run from Santana with 7:33 to go in the second quarter, and carried that 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Antenor upped the Chichester lead to 21-7 with 6:47 remaining in the third on his 6-yard scoring run. Bishop Shanahan answered right back as Vince Angelini hauled in a 15-yard scoring pass from Cook to make it 21-14 with 2:47 to go in the third.
Chichester made the plays it needed to down the stretch to break into the win column.
“Shanahan is good football team,” said Smith. “Getting our first win feels good, and hopefully it makes us hungry for more.”

Chichester 27,
Bishop Shanahan 21
Chichester     7 6 8 6 -- 27
Bishop Shanahan     7 0 7 7 -- 21
CHI-Byrd 6 pass from Gilhool (Beck kick)
BS-Cook 12 run (Johnson kick)
CHI-Santana 13 run (Kick failed)
CHI-Antenor 6 run (Byrd pass from Gilhool)
BS-Angelini 15 pass from Cook (Johnson kick)
CHI-Antenor 52 run (Kick failed)
BS-Harper 5 run (Johnson kick)
Team Totals
    CHI     BS
First downs     12    16
Yards rushing     171    176
Yards passing     88    99
Total yards    259    275
Passing     10-16-2    11-20-2
Fumbles-Lost     1-0    3-0
Penalties    9-65    2-20
Punts-Avg.     1-22.0    1-32.0
    Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Chichester: Antenor 10-66, 2TDs; Santana 12-65, TD; Gilhool 7-38; Jackson 1-2. Bishop Shanahan: Corcoran 13-112; Harper 9-63, TD; Angelini 9-20; Cook 5-(-19), TD.
PASSING - Chichester: Gilhool 10-16, 88 yds, TD, 2INTs. Bishop Shanahan: Cook 11-20, 99 yds, TD, 2INTs.
RECEIVING - Chichester: Byrd 3-28, TD; Jackson 3-25; Beck 2-14; Nyemah 1-11; Santana 1-10. Bishop Shanahan: Oakes 4-43; Angelini 3-22, TD; Corcoran 2-10; Zebrowski 1-16; Gueriera 1-8.
SACKS - Chichester: Taylor 2. Bishop Shanahan: none.
INTERCEPTIONS - Chichester: Jackson 2. Bishop Shanahan: Oakes, Zebrowski.

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