|Staff photo by Brad Spahr/ West Chester Henderson quarterback James Bady tosses the ball to one of his running backs prior to getting hit by Chestnut Hill’s Pat Dooley during Friday night’s nonleague game|
By BRAD SPAHR
WEST GOSHEN - The West Chester Henderson High School football team used a ferocious defensive effort and a big night from junior running back Garrett Girafalco to destroy visiting Shadyside Chestnut Hill Academy on Friday night.
Henderson’s defense surrendered a total of 70 yards, and Girafalco rushed for three touchdowns in a 42-6 nonleague victory at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium in which the mercy rule kicked into affect for the final five minutes of the contest.
The Warriors’ (2-0) defense has allowed a combined six points in starting the season undefeated. They held a sloppy Chestnut Hill (0-2) squad to 25 yards rushing, four first downs, and forced five turnovers.
“Our defense was phenomenal,” said senior middle linebacker Adam Weaver. “We’ve always played tough defense at Henderson, and we take a lot of pride in that. Our goal is to make it as painful as possible on opponents.”
Girafalco led a Henderson rushing attack that grounded out 253 yards on the night. The junior tailback carried 20 times for 94 yards and scored early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run, and added a pair of 3-yard scoring runs in the second half.
Senior Derek Matonti (12 carries, 45 yards) found the end zone on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter, senior Spenser Rymiszewski (6 carries, 38 yards) scored on a 1-yard run in the first half, and Weaver added a 2-yard touchdown plunge. Senior quarterback James Bady also had a strong game for the Warriors, as he rushed for 66 yards on nine attempts.
“We’re an option football team and that’s what we do is run the ball,” said first-year Henderson coach Steve Mitten. “We were able to make some decent plays tonight on the ground, and our tight end, Tom Delaney, did an outstanding job for us blocking out there.
“[Chestnut Hill] was an unknown to us. I hadn’t seen them live. They had a lot of really good athletes, but we really did a great job defensively. John Lunardi, our defensive coordinator, really had the kids prepared.”
After shutting out Chester, 39-0, on the road to open the season, Henderson built a 21-6 halftime lead in front of a big crowd at its home field. Chestnut Hill’s only score of the game came with 1:49 to go in the second quarter on Bobby Keyes’ 23-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Michael Hayes. Prior to that drive, they had amassed one first down and 22 yards of offense.
Henderson put the game away in the second half, outscoring the Blue Devils 21-0 following the break. Although it was another impressive win by the Warriors to start the season, they were far from perfect. They fumbled the ball five times, turning it over on four of those occasions, and they also committed eight penalties for 100 yards.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” said Mitten. “There are plenty of things we need to clean up. The good thing is our kids played extremely hard from start to finish.”
Henderson will travel to Plymouth-Whitemarsh next Friday looking to keep its early season roll going.
“This is where we wanted to be at this point,” said Mitten. “I’m pleased with our start, but we are far from satisfied.”
NOTES: Prior to the game, West Chester Henderson observed a moment of silence to honor Tom Weeks, who passed away following a battle with cancer. Weeks was a Henderson graduate, and for over 20 years worked the home football games as part of the chain crew. He also was an assistant girls and boys basketball coach at the school for many years. The football team, who has dedicated the season to Weeks, will wear stickers on its helmets all season with his initials.
W.C. Henderson 42, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy 6
Chestnut Hill 0 6 0 0 -- 6
W.C. Henderson 6 15 14 7 -- 42
WCH-Weaver 2 run (Kick failed)
WCH-Girafalco 1 run (C. Mitten run)
WCH-Rymiszewski 1 run (Engle kick)
CH-Keyes 23 pass from Hayes (Run failed)
WCH-Matonti 1 run (Engle kick)
WCH-Girafalco 3 run (Engle kick)
WCH-Girafalco 3 run (Engle kick)
First downs 4 15
Yards rushing 25 253
Yards passing 45 37
Total yards 70 290
Passing 5-22-3 2-5-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 5-4
Penalties 11-54 8-100
Punts-Avg. 2-38.0 0-0.0
RUSHING - Chestnut Hill: Hayes 7-10; Rall 4-10; Brockenbrough-Johnson 3-5. W.C. Henderson: Girafalco 20-94, 3TDs; Bady 9-66; Matonti 12-45, TD; Rymiszewski 6-38, TD; Lind 2-5; C. Mitten 2-4; Weaver 1-2, TD; Armstrong 1-(-1).
PASSING - Chestnut Hill: Hayes 5-20, 45 yds, 3INTs; Dooley 0-2, 0 yds. W.C. Henderson: Bady 2-5, 37 yds.
RECEIVING - Chestnut Hill: Keyes 2-45, TD; Poole 2-12; Dooley 1-11; Rall 1-0. W.C. Henderson: C. Mitten 1-28; Rymiszewski 1-9.
SACKS - Chestnut Hill: none. W.C. Henderson: Delaney.
INTERCEPTIONS - Chestnut Hill: none. W.C. Henderson: Rymiszewski, Weaver, P. Mitten.