By STEVE PILONI
DOWNINGTOWN -- It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means.
But Downingtown East did a lot of things right in beating visiting Avon Grove, 42-6, in a Ches-Mont League National Division football game on Friday.
The Cougars, ranked No. 1 in the Daily Local News Football Poll, rolled to a 35-6 halftime lead, and used a lot of different players in the second half.
It was a game in which Downingtown East could have come out flat after posting an emotional win over Coatesville last week. That didn’t happen as quarterback Kyle Lauletta passed for four touchdowns and ran for another.
“We had a lot of injuries going into this game,” said Lauletta, who completed 11 of his 13 passes for 209 yards. “We harp on playing the same way every week. We still prepare the same way.
“Our young guys stepped it up tonight and made some good plays. We had some solid drives on offense. I had that one bad turnover (a fumble in the first quarter), but other than that we did what we had to do.’’
The Cougars (2-0, 5-0) established their running game early as Ryley Angeline pounded out 130 of his 131 yards in the first half.
Jay Harris had another all-around solid game with 47 yards rushing and a touchdown, along with two catches for 36 yards and a TD.
Chris Beals caught four passes for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had one run for 58 yards. Mike Reichwein hauled in a 14-yard scoring pass.
“We knew what we wanted to do,” said Lauletta. “Ryley did a great job running the ball, which helped set up our play-action passes. A lot of people stepped it up tonight.”
Although Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta wasn’t happy with all aspects of the Cougars’ night, he couldn’t complain about the final outcome.
“It’s important to play at our level,” he said. “That’s the key whenever we play anyone. We had a couple of turnovers and some penalties, but I thought we stayed strong.
“We work hard for everything. I’m really proud of the young guys for playing well tonight. They got a lot of experience.”
Although they were overmatched by Downingtown East’s strength and speed, the Red Devils (0-2, 0-5) played hard the entire way.
Their only touchdown came late in the first half when quarterback Tanner Peck connected with Jared Braxton on a 23-yard scoring pass. Braxton finished with four catches for 71 yards.
Avon Grove wasn’t able to run the ball effectively, which put a lot more pressure on Peck, who managed to hit on 10 of his 18 passing attempts for 107 yards. He also did a lot of scrambling.
“We knew they were a powerful team,” said Avon Grove head coach Doug Langley. “We had some sparks here and there, but you can’t turn the ball over against a team like that. You can’t lose your focus.”
“They will be a good program again,” said Matta. “He’s a first-year coach and they’ve got some things to work on. But they battled the whole way, and he has them going in the right direction.”
Downingtown East 42
Avon Grove 6
Avon Grove 0 6 0 0 -- 6
Downingtown East 21 14 7 0 -- 42
DE-Beals 37 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
DE-Lauletta 1 run (White kick)
DE-Harris 32 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
DE-Harris 6 run (White kick)
DE-Reichwein 14 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
AG-Braxton 23 pass from Peck (kick blocked)
DE-Beals 27 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
First downs 6 20
Yards rushing 28 330
Yards passing 107 209
Total yards 135 539
Passing 10-19-2 11-14-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties 7-60 4-15
Punts-Avg. 7-21.3 1-29.0
RUSHING - AG: Davis 10-12; Taylor 2-10; Smethurst 2-9; Braxton 1-9; Peck 6-(-12). DE: Angeline 17-131; Beals 1-58; Harris 4-47, TD; Lauletta 6-26, TD; Ambrogi 4-19; Buban 6-37; C. Lucas-Murphy 8-16; Bovard 1-1; DiStefano 1-1; Kozlowski 1-(-6).
PASSING - AG: Peck 10-18-2, 107 yds., TD; Kush 0-1-0. DE: Lauletta 11-13-0, 209 yds., 4 TDs; Kozlowski 0-1-0.
RECEIVING - AG: Braxton 4-71, TD; Davis 3-3; Kush 2-19; D’Aquanno 1-14. DE: Beals 4-99, 2 TDs; Harris 2-36, TD; Reichwein 3-35, TD; Foley 2-25; Coyle-Nicolas 1-14
SACKS - AG: Smethurst 2. DE: Smith, Fell.
INTERCEPTIONS - DE: DeFrances, Davis.