|Staff photos by Tom Kelly IV/ Downingtown East's Dayne Foley catches a touchdown pass over Roman's AJ Frazier during their Friday night football game at Downingtown West.|
By PETER DiGIOVANNI
DOWNINGTOWN - Wow. That is just one word to describe what Downingtown East did to highly-regarded Roman Catholic on Friday night at Kottmeyer Stadium in nonleague action. East had ample heroes on both sides of the ball as they dominated all phases of the game en route to a 42-20 rout that was not that close.
The Cougars (2-0) held a 7-6 first-period lead before they reeled off 36 straight points on their way to envoking the mercy rule. Quarterback Kyle Lauletta hit on 14 of 19 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those TD throws went to senior Chris Beals, who Roman (0-2) could not cover all night. Beals and the rest of the Cougars seemed two steps quicker and in much better shape than the tired Cahillites.
“We like to throw the ball to a lot of different people,” Beals said. “I just try to do my job. We knew they were a very good football team but it looked like they were wearing down. That is one thing that does not happen here. We practice full speed all the time with not a lot of breaks and it pays off during the games.”
The Downingtown East defense was ravenous all night, recovering four Roman fumbles and getting an interception from Andrew Scavicchio, who also recovered an onside kick.
The Cougars broke the game wide open in the second quarter, outscoring Roman 29-0 to take a 35-7 halftime lead. Beals hauled in an eight-yard toss from Lauletta to open the flood gates, and then four plays after a Roman fumble, Lauletta called his own number and went 11 yards on a quarterback draw to put Roman back on its heels.
The RC offense only struck once when the game mattered, when Mike Keir hit Notre Dame-bound Will Fuller on a 59-yard slant pattern for an early lead. The rest of the night belonged to a fired-up East defense, which got big games from Eli Griffin, Dylan Lucas-Murphy and Josh Ganzelli.
The Cougars sacked Keir five times and shut down explosive running back Dimetri Kelly to the tune of 28 yards on 13 carries.
“We said coming into the game that they are a good team but we wanted to punch them in the mouth from the first play, and that is what we did,” Ganzelli said. “They were back on their heels and we just kept going after the quarterback. The turnovers put our offense in good positions and we were in better shape than them.
“You could see them coming out after halftime, they were leaning on their knees and they were through. We played tough football tonight.”
Downingtown East totaled 317 yards of total offense, and that was with the starters playing only two minutes into the third period. Roman scored two late touchdowns on the reserves to make it a 42-20 final score.
“We spread the ball around to a lot of different receivers like we did last week,” East coach Mike Matta said. “And our defense put us in great field position by forcing those four fumbles. We played real well against a good football team.
“And I have to credit our strength coach Darrin Wasser because he keeps our kids in great shape. You do not see any sloppy kids on our team and he deserves all the credit for that. It was a good win for us tonight.”
Downingtown East 42, Roman Catholic 20
Roman Catholic 7 0 0 13 -- 20
Downingtown East 6 29 7 0 -- 42
D- Beals 4 pass from Lauletta (kick failed)
R- Fuller 59 pass from Keir (Isaac kick)
D- Beals 8 pass from Lauletta (run failed)
D- Foley 14 pass from Lauletta (Zahnieser run)
D- Lauletta 11 run (Zahnieser run)
D- Zahnieser 1 run (White kick)
D- Harris 4 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
R- Jones 60 run (Isaac kick)
R- Jones 2 run (Isaac kick)
First downs 12 16
Yards rushing 147 91
Yards passing 131 226
Total yards 278 317
Passing 8-16-1 14-19-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 3-2
Penalties 9-80 10-75
Punts-Avg. 1-37.0 3-26.5
RUSHING - Roman Catholic: Jones 8-115 2 TD; Kelly 13-28; Chaney 3-10; Lopez 1-2; Keir 6-(-8). Downingtown East: Zahnieser 13-33 TD; Lauletta 6-19 TD,; Bovard 3-14; Lucas-Murphy 2-13; DiStefano 3-3; Buban 2-9.
PASSING - Roman Catholic: Keir 8-16-1 131 yards, TD. Downingtown East: Lauletta 14-19-0 226 yards, 4 TD.
RECEIVING - Roman Catholic: Fuller 3-81 TD; McCourt 3-30; Cruz 1-21; Kelly 1-6. Downingtown East: Beals 6-138 2TDs; Zahneiser 2-30; Harris 4-20 TD; Foley 1-14 TD; Reichwein 1-24.
SACKS - Roman Catholic: Shields, Illenworth. Downingtown East: Lucas-Murphy, Stevenson-Panchin; Griffin, Hearns.
INTERCEPTIONS - Roman Catholic: None. Downingtown East: Scavcchio.