By BILL RUDICK
- QUARRYVILLE — With just under six minutes to play in the game Thursday, Octorara didn’t have a positive yard of offense in the second half. Meanwhile,
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- The end result was a game that started out to be pretty evenly matched, ended with Great Valley taking a decisive 43-20 victory in the Ches-Mont American Division opener for both teams at Solanco High School, spoiling Octorara’s homecoming in the process.
- “The offense was incredible tonight,” said Patriots quarterback Chris Geiss. “We move up and down the field as a family. No one cares about who gets what yards. The only thing that matters are total yards and points on the board.”
- Geiss led the Patriots with 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries as they rolled up 265 yards on the ground. Max Burgess chipped in with another 72 and a TD, followed by Cyree Ames (45, TD), Kasey Carroll (36, TD) and Chris Temple (27, TD).
- “They came out and decided they were gonna run on us,” said Octorara coach Jed King. “And they did.”
- The Braves kept it close for much of the first half, answering each Patriots score with one of their own. Quarterback Alex Gooden, who entered Thursday night’s contest as the Ches-Mont’s second-leading rusher, gave another solid performance, totalling 101 yards and a touchodwn on the ground while throwing for 54 yards and a score.
- After Octorara scored late in the first half to cut make the score 15-13, Burgess fielded a kickoff at his own 18-yard line and took it all the way back for a touchdown a 22-13 halftime lead.
- “That really seemed to take the wind out of our sails,” said King. “We went into halftime with our heads down, and didn’t get our focus back, We made some mistakes to start the second half and Great Valley took advantage. But I think we actually played pretty good fundamentally for most of this game.”
- The Great Valley defense kept Octorara off the board in the second half, effectively neutralizing the Braves’ rushing attack.
- “Our defensive coaches, Don Grinstead, Jeff Martin and James Thorpe, did a great job tonight,” said Patriots head coach Mike Choi. “They recognized the scheme Octorara was playing and made the right adjustments to take away the quarterback option, and it’s tough to get wide on our defense.”
- With time running down, Octorara took to the air and got within two scores when Gooden connected with tight end Anthony DiNorscia for a 27-yard scoring strike.
- After making a defensive stand, the Braves got the ball back and returned to the air. But this time around, Burgess came up with his second interception of the evening, effectively putting the final nail in the coffin.
- “I was actually going to bite on the run, but I heard my mom yelling to look at number seven,” said Burgess. “Seriously, I heard my mom all the way across the field. But I saw seven was moving, and just went for it and took it.”
- Great Valley did tack on another score when Geiss, who was about to be tackled, pitched to Burgess, who ran it 46 yard for the score.
- “I was really worried about tonight (Thursday),” said Choi. “We didn’t have practice Monday, and it rained like crazy Tuesday, so we really only got a day of practice. You get into routines, and it’s weird when you’re taken out of the routine. So it was astrange energy coming in, but we just dug in and played football.”
- With the win, Great Valley improves to 4-1 and looks forward to a showdown with an Oxford team of to a 3-0 start. Don’t look now, but the American side of the Ches-Mont is suddenly very competitive.
- “You could see with the kind of coaches that came into our division the past few years that we were going to see some very improved teams,” said Choi. “All the coaches do a great job of teaching the game and come up with good game plans week in and week out. It’s been fun to see the kind of teams our side has been beating, but I’m not surprised to see it.”
Great Valley 43, Octorara 20
Great Valley 7 15 7 14--43
- Octorara 7 6 0 7--20
GV--Temple 34 run (Cavanagh kick)
OC--Gooden 3 run (Bylery kick)
GV--Carroll 11 run (Ames run)
OC--Devlin 1 run (Pass failed)
GV--Burgess 82 kickoff return (Cavanagh kick)
GV--Ames 5 run (Cavanagh kick)
GV--Geiss 20 run (Cavanagh kick)
- OC--DiNorscia 27 pass from Gooden (Bylery kick)
- GV--Burgess 46 run (Cavanagh kick)
First downs 11 11
Yards rushing 265 147
Yards passing -2 54
Total yards 263 201
Passing 1-3-0 3-6-2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-1
Penalties 6-35 1-5
Punts-Avg. 2-33.0 2-49.0
- RUSHING - Great Valley: Geiss 11-85 1TD; Burgess 7-72 1TD; Ames 5-45 1TD; Carroll 5-36 1TD; Temple 7-27. Octorara: Gooden 18-101 1TD; Norris 3-24; Rossiter 3-11; Baynard 3-7; Cooper 2-3; Devlin 3-1 1TD.
- PASSING - Great Valley: Geiss 1-3-0 (-2 yards). Octorara: Gooden 3-5-1 54 yards, 1TD; Devlin 0-1-1.
- RECEIVING - Ames 1-(-2). Octorara: DiNorscia 1-27 1TD; Baynard 1-17; Thompson 1-10.
- SACKS - Great Valley: Buchholz, Slaats. Octorara: McHenry, DiNorscia.
- INTERCEPTIONS - Great Valley: Burgess 2.