|Staff photo by Tom Kelly IV/ East QB Pat Downey (2) drops back to pass and is sacked by Rustin's Sean Steinmetz (56) causing a fumble during the West Chester Rustin at West Chester East football game.|
By PETER DiGIOVANNI
WEST GOSHEN - Turnovers in crucial situations will give a head football coach a sleepless night. If Friday night’s performance from West Chester East against West Chester Rustin in nonleaue action is any indication, then East head coach Dan Ellis will be tossing and turning for awhile.
The Vikings (1-2) turned the ball over three times in their own territory in the first half which led to 20 points as the Golden Knights remained perfect (3-0) on the season with a convincing 37-7 thumping of the young Vikings.
“You cannot turn the ball over like we did tonight,” Ellis said. “And we turned it over on our side of the field. Our defense played well. It took them some time to score, but they did not have far to go. We are young and tonight we made a lot of young mistakes that we have to clean up.”
The first mistake came on the Vikings’ first play of the game when quarterback Pat Downey, subbing for the injured Jon-Jon Roberts, threw a interception right into the hands of T.J. Kirk. In typical Golden Knights fashion, Rustin rammed the ball down the throats of the Vikings, with Adam Burke and Matt Lamberjack carrying the football down to the one.
The East defense held up well and forced a fourth-and-goal, but Lamberjack rammed in over the right side for a 7-0 Rustin lead. Most of the night, the Knights ran behind Sean Steinmetz and Nick Liuzzi.
“We have a saying here that says right side, strong side,” Steinmetz said. “Tonight, we ran the ball very well and we took advantage of their turnovers and jumped on them early. To beat a West Chester team is a big deal to us. We have three goals. The first one is to win West Chester, then win the Ches-Mont and then to make the playoffs. It was a big win for us and the way we did it was good also.”
The Rustin defense, led by Steinmetz, held the usually potent Vikings attack to less than 100 yards of total offense, giving up 97 -- 57 on the ground and 40 through the air.
When Downey fumbled early in the second period, Rustin’s Eric Bunion recovered at the East 43-yard line and the running attack, which piled up 289 yards, went to work again.
Burke went 11 yards down to the 24, then Burke powered over the right side to the 19. Lamberjack then pounded down to the eight before the touchdown machine, Burke went in for the first of his three scores, which gives him 10 in three games.
The Golden Knights had complete control of the game, and after another turnover, they showed a side of their offense they usually do not feature.
With the ball at the Vikings 30, quarterback Dave Fithian threw a frozen rope to a streaking Dan Walls for a 30-yard score and a 20-0 lead. Dylan Jenkins would add a 32-yard field goal just before half and the Golden Knights were well on their way to another impressive victory.
“We like to run to the right side because Steinmetz and Liuzzi are big guys, but we run left slde because those guys can move people also,” Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair said. “We got those turnovers early and took advantage of them and they were up against it and had to throw the football.
“The kids are playing really well right now and they are believing in each other. We take things one game at a time.”
A bright moment for the Vikings came late in the game when Alex Corialos returned a punt 57 yards to the Rustin 13. One play later, Jordan Jackson broke up the shutout with a nice run around the right side for the final 37-7 verdict.
“We made too many mistakes and Rustin and Saint (St. Clair), are a very good football team and you cannot make mistakes against a team that good.” Ellis said.
West Chester Rustin 37
West Chester East 7
W.C. Rustin 7 16 14 0-37
W.C.East 0 0 0 7-7
R-Lamberjack 1 run (Jenkins kick)
R-Burke 8 run (kick failed)
R-Walls 30 pass from Fithian (Jenkins kick)
R-Jenkins 32 FG
R-Burke 3 run (Jenkins kick)
R-Burke 4 run (Jenkins kick)
E-Jackson 13 run (Rodgers kick)
First downs 18 5
Yards rushing 289 57
Yards passing 46 40
Total yards 335 97
Passing 4-6-0 4-11-1
Fumbles-lost 3-3 1-1
Punts-avg 3-32.5 2-36.0
Penalties-yds 3-18 7-45
Rushing: Rus: Burke 19-75 3TD’s; Pernsley 9-55; Lamberjack 8-54, TD; Loper 4-40; Kirk 2-26; Love 1-6; Peterson 1-1; Mulliawan 3-28; Simpkins 1-1; Romanowski 1-3. East: Costa 11-24; Genthert 3-13; Jackson 1-13, TD; Downey 8-1.
Passing: Rus: Fithian 4-6-0 46 yards TD. East: Downey 4-11-1 40 yards.
Receiving: Rus: Walls 2-42, TD; Burke 2-4. East: A. Corialos 3-34; Ritrovado 1-6.
Sacks: Rus: Lamberjack. East: None.
Interceptions: Rus: Kirk. East: None.
Follow Peter DiGiovanni at twitter.com/dlnsports.