By MATT CASSIDY
DOWNINGTOWN -- With both teams needing a Ches-Mont League National Division football win badly, West Chester East miscues turned into Bishop Shanahan points and 27-0 victory in front of a happy homecoming crowd Saturday at Jack Mancini Field.
Coming into Saturday’s matchup, the two teams were a combined 1-7 in the league, but the Eagles (2-3, 3-4) scored twice in the first period to cruise to victory and keep the Vikings winless in the National (0-5, 1-7).
After a 24-yard kickooff return by Nick Manes, who had 100 yards returning on the day in what was East’s only area of positivity, the Vikings were forced to punt. The Eagles had a quick four-and-out series followed by four downs and another punt by the Vikings until some offense would finally get started.
The Eagles drove 61 yards to the shadow of the East goal. On first-and-goal, the ball was handed off to Braden Harper who made it to about the 2-yard line before fumbling the ball into the end zone and panicking the home side. Luck was on Shanahan’s side because lineman Jon Weyand pounced on the ball for the score and a 7-0 lead. They never looked back from there.
East, which was without starting freshman quarterback Jon Jon Roberts, relied on backup Pat Downey. His pitch to Jason Costa was fumbled and recovered by Shanahan’s Kris Otto on the 13-yard line. The Eagles wasted no time cashing in on the turnover. Vince Angeleini rumbled 13 yards into the end zone and a quick 14-0 advantage.
The Vikings started to get untracked in the second quarter. Manes returned a kick 42 yards to the East 48. They drove to the Shanahan three, but Costa fumbled again and Matt Evans recovered for Shanahan on its three.
Justin Cook was sacked by the Vikings’ Scott Malik back to the Shanahan one. After avoiding a safety, Cook connected with Jeff Zebrowski for 34 of his 120 yards receiving.
“Every game is a big game but today was definitely the best game of year,” said Zebrowski who also added a touchdown. “It wasn’t just me out there though, our defense came up big today.”
Zebrowski was definitely right.
After Cody Smith caught a 19-yard TD pass from Cook, the rest was left up to the Shanahan defense, who pitched a shutout the rest of the way.
“You know I was proud of our guys today and they seemed to be playing with a lot of emotion due to the homecoming festivities,” said head coach Paul Meyers.
Bishop Shanahan 27, WC East 0
W.C. East 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Bishop Shanahan 14 6 0 7 -- 27
BS -- Weyand fumble recovery in end zone (Johnson kick)
BS -- Angelini 13 run (Johnson kick)
BS -- Smith 19 pass from Cook (kick failed)
BS -- Zebrowski 18 pass from Cook (Johnson kick)
First downs 22 23
Yards rushing 67 105
Yards passing 90 177
Total yards 157 282
Passing 8-21-2 13-19-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-0
Punts-Avg. 2-38 3-39
RUSHING – West Chester East: Manes 8-42; Costa 4-22; Genthert 6-11; Ritrovado 1-2; Hower 3-0; Downey 7-(-10). Bishop Shanahan: Angelini 5-28 1TD; Harper 9-47; Cook 6-24; Ruggieri 3-6; Johns 3-0.
Passing: West Chester East Downey 7-20-2 67 yards; Murphy 1-1-0 23 yards. Bishop Shanhan: Cook 13-19-0 177 yards 2TDs.
RECEIVINIG: West Chester East: Ritrovado 4-65; McKenna 4-25. Bishop Shanahan: Zebrkoski 6-120 1TD; Smith 1-19 1TD; Oakes 5-37; Harper 1-1.
SACKS: West Chester East: Harsh, Malik, Frye; Bishop Shanahan: Judd 2, Terra.
INTERCEPTIONS: West Chester East: None. Bishop Shanahan: Terra, Oakes.