Friday, November 30, 2012

Coatesville's Ortega fosters family atmosphere


DOWNINGTOWN -- Moments after Spring-Ford punched in a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to close the scoring at 59-28, Coatesville coach Matt Ortega met his son, Ricky, on the sideline and reached out his arm for a fist bump.
Ortega, beginning his rounds of hugs and handshakes prior to his Gatorade bath in the waning minutes, probably couldn’t have drawn it up better than that, celebrating a Class AAAA District 1 title with his son.
In his fourth season as head coach of the Red Raiders, Ortega become somewhat of a father figure to many of his players as well and the results have followed.
“I feel as though he’s changed the program a lot,” Coatesville quarterback Emmett Hunt said. “He treats us like sons. Outside the field he tells us not to call him coach. We’re more of a family and he’s a great coach and I love him. He’s the best coach I ever had.”
It’d be easy and obvious to say that Ortega was the right hire in 2009 now that Coatesville has become the first Ches-Mont district champ in 16 years, but that validation came before this postseason even started.
I have covered a fair amount of Coatesville games and had enough phone conversations with Ortega to understand a few things about him. He’s not one for small talk. He has a quiet but firm way about him. And he has an absolute passion for Coatesville football and for winning.
That all-business mentality was just what the Red Raiders needed after three straight non-playoff seasons and a program that had become somewhat disorganized and undisciplined. For a turnaround, Coatesville needed someone who could inspire teenagers both on the field and off.
If there’s one thing to be said about Ortega, it’s that he definitely takes his job home with him. Knowing how to keep his keeps focused each week on preparing for the next game does not always stay within school hours, and Ortega has been willing to put in the time to make sure he is there for his players so they stay committed to each other.
“He gives us a lot of confidence,” Coatesville receiver Chris Jones said. “He made us believe in each other and believe that we could change the program. It took four years to finally get a district championship, but I’m so glad we could do it for Coach Ortega.”
Back in 2008, Coatesville jumped out to a 3-0 start, only to get bumped by an 0-3 Downingtown East team, 19-14. A week later the Red Raiders were shut out, 27-0, on a Saturday afternoon at Unionville. They went on to win four of the next five, but a first-round loss to Downingtown West left an unfulfilling feeling in the air and a switch was made.
The culture change has been the biggest reason for Coatesville’s resurgence. Slowly but surely the Red Raiders have grown from a team that could be shaken when things started to get bad to a team that simply shrugs off adversity.
Even in Ortega’s first game at the helm, a 21-6 loss at the hands of the eventual District 1 champ Ridley, there were signs that better days were ahead.
Those days are here now, and Coatesville has scored 202 points in four playoffs games and Hunt is steering a ship that has a defined direction. If that 2008 loss to Downingtown East was the beginning of the end, the 35-34 loss to the Cougars in week four was the start of something brilliant this season. Instead of a next-week hangover, the Red Raiders stomped on Unionville, 42-0, in week five and haven’t looked back since.
Ortega credits the kids and the structure.
“The biggest part is figuring out how physical you have to be to win in District 1,” Ortega said. “It’s something that started to build each year. We knew we had the right philosophy and right system. To be good in District 1 we knew what we had to do physically to get it done, and we were able to do that (Friday night).”
Sure, the weight room and a strong coaching staff and the right scheme with the right kids all help. But don’t think for one minute that Ortega’s demeanor doesn’t translate in the way his team has played this season. Ortega is meticulous and driven and he’s also a pacer. And his team has been a meticulous, driven team all year long, and not coincidentally, has not yet stopped moving, either.
So, for Ricky, who quarterbacked his 100-pound Kid Raiders team to a Bert Bell runner-up finish this fall, that fist bump probably felt pretty cool, knowing his dad just pulled off something great. The catch is, he’s inherited a whole team of older brothers who think much of the same.

Hunt pulls offense's strings like a master


DOWNINGTOWN -- There’s about two minutes left in the first half, and Coatesville’s Emmett Hunt takes a shotgun snap on third-and-12 at the Spring-Ford 46.
Minutes earlier the Rams scored their third touchdown of the game to make it a seven-point ball game, but none of this seems to faze Hunt, who settles into the pocket. Spring-Ford brings only three down linemen, dropping eight in hopes of finally stopping the Red Raiders and going into half with a chance.
It’s almost as if Hunt has done this before, as he calmly scans the secondary, finding a wide open Chris Jones on the right hash for a 20-yard gain and a crucial first down.
Spring-Ford resists again, forcing a third-and-13 this time, but once again Hunt doesn’t blink, setting Vinnie Williams up with a 25-yard catch and run to the 14 with under 20 seconds. After spiking it to stop the clock, Hunt leads Jones perfectly on a post from the left side and Coatesville heads into halftime up 35-21, but it no longer feels that close.
“He’s in total control,” Coatesville coach Matt Ortega said of his senior signal caller. “He gets better each week and he’s an absolute special player. There won’t a better player in the area for a long, long time.”
The scenario was reminiscent of the week prior when Hunt engineered a final-minute TD to give Coatesville (12-2) a 21-point lead against Neshaminy. This one took a little life out of a team that came in knowing mistakes and deficits were almost a deathwish.
“We had to come out perfect,” Spring-Ford quarterback Hank Coyne said. “We played great in the first half and kept fighting, but that touchdown before the half really hurt us.”
The difference in the Class AAAA District 1 championship game against Spring-Ford was the speed of the game, but not exactly how you might think. Sure, Coatesville’s team speed was too overwhelming for the Rams to match. More, however, it was the Red Raiders’ ability to slow things down and execute with efficiency that stood out from the sidelines.
Hunt oozes coolness and his teammates just feed off it. The result was a team playing downhill (Coatesville) against a team playing on its heels (Spring-Ford).
“Games like this, teams get overhyped,” Jones said. “We stayed even keel all game. We made mistakes, but when we did we didn’t get down. We kept each other up.”
It didn’t take long for Coatesville’s edge in poise to show. In an effort to steal momentum early, Spring-Ford went for it on the first drive of the game at its own 39. Running back Jarred Jones was stuffed a yard short, and you could almost sense an “uh-oh” exude from the home stands.
Knowing the Rams’ ability to pressure the passer, Coatesville countered with a quarterback draw right off the bat for nine yards. Hunt has run the ball 58 times this year for a grand total of 72 yards, and on the first drive alone he had two carries for 22 yards. On the sixth play he connected with Dre Boggs on a 10-yard slant for a 7-0 lead.
“We try to disregard each team we play,” Hunt said. “It’s just another name. We try to execute on every snap. We go against every defensive formation during the week, and sometimes even against 13 or 14 guys on that side, and it helps us.”
Coatesville ran 27 plays on four drives in the first half for 215 yards, scoring on each one of them. It wasn’t until the seventh drive, midway through the third quarter, that the Red Raiders didn’t put points on the board.
The gameplan was right on from the get-go. Hunt continuously got the ball out of his hands swiftly, hitting Jones and Boggs on wide receiver screens or quick stops. The Rams were content with conceding those, but as the game went on the short pops turned into bigger plays as Coatesville’s speed exposed Spring-Ford.
“I think (Spring-Ford) thought they could come in and win the game,” Ortega said. “I just don’t think you can prepare for how fast we are and over time we wore them out with our speed. Once we got a couple of stops on defense we could open up.”
The more the Red Raiders got rolling, the more loose they played. And the faster the game got for the Rams, the more they pressed each offensive possession. With the added pressure, the Rams simply couldn’t execute like they had the first three games and the game turned into a white and black blur.
“You could tell they were nervous,” Hunt said. “They tried to stay hyped in the game, but you could see in their eyes they were nervous.”
That seems to be an emotion Hunt doesn’t recognize. He had just two incompletions in the first half, a drop and a spike, and finished 13-for-18 for 171 yards and four TDs. He now has 2,746 yards and 40 touchdowns, with only two interceptions.
On the field where Pat Devlin became the most prolific passer in Pennsylvania high school history, Hunt took it to the next level, leading the first Ches-Mont team to a District title since 1996. Now he eyes another Downingtown great, Dan Ellis, who quarterbacked the Whippets to the state title 16 years ago. And don’t think Hunt and the rest of Coatesville didn’t relish their accomplishments just a little more at Kottmeyer Stadium Friday night.
“It feels good to win on their field,” Hunt said with a smile.

Fireworks continue as Coatesville wins district title


DOWNINGTOWN - Mission accomplished.
The Coatesville High School football team continued its assault on the rest of District 1 Friday night at Kottmeyer Stadium. Coatesville jumped out to an early lead and piled it on a beleaguered Spring-Ford team for a convincing 59-28 triumph that gave the Red Raiders their first District 1 Class AAAA title since 1992. The 59 points were the most scored in a district title game, eclipsing the previous mark of 55 set by North Penn in 2005.
Coatesville (12-2) received four touchdown passes -- three to Chris Jones -- from quarterback Emmett Hunt and rushed the football for 244 yards, with senior Daquan Worley accounting for 180 of the total to key the rout. Coatesville will now go to the PIAA Class AAAA Eastern Final against LaSalle or Parkland next weekend at a time and place to be determined.
“I can’t even describe the feeling of winning a district title,” Hunt said. “When coach (Matt) Ortega came in, he said it would take him four years to turn the program around and he asked us to trust him. I didn’t know what he was talking about for sure, but the coaches put us in position to win and we have won the biggest game tonight.
“We listened all week to Spring-Ford (12-3) trash talk about us saying we were an average team and that I was just an average quarterback. But tonight, we left no doubt about it.”
As it has most of the season, Coatesville jumped out to an early lead, scoring on its first possession as Hunt hit Dre Boggs on a 10-yard slant for an early 7-0 lead. The Red Raiders would end up scoring on their first six possessions.
After their first turn with the ball when the Rams were stopped on a fourth-and-short, their second ended even worse as it was the Coatesville defense’s turn to make a big play.
Rams quarterback Hank Coyne hit R.J. Sheldon with a pass in the flat, but Jason Totaram leveled the Spring-Ford (12-3) tight end, who fumbled the football. In swooped Devonte Suber, who picked up the fumble and rumbled 33 yards to paydirt for a 14-0 advantage.
“I was just thinking end zone,” Suber said. “We were taking their will away play by play and that fumble was a big one. This is a great feeling to win a district title with my teammates. We are a family here and God is good.”
Spring-Ford did not roll over, however. On the ensuing kickoff, Tate Carter electrified the crowd with a pretty 91-yard touchdown scamper to put the Rams on the board. Carter had a big game for the Rams, catching six balls for 54 yards.
But it was clear right there that the Rams’ defense was no match for the Red Raiders’ blitzkreig attack. With Worley churning up the yardage on the ground and Jones and Dre Boggs making big catches, the Red Raiders went into halftime with a comfortable 35-21 lead.
“This is a great feeling to win a title,” Boggs said. “We did not pay what they were saying any mind. We listened to coach Ortega and took care of business.”
The Red Raiders continued to take care of business at the start of the third quarter, needing just two plays to push the lead to 42-21. Worley took a pitch from Hunt and raced around the right side 51 yards for the score and you could see the Rams slumping down on their sideline.
After a Jon Bollenbach 27-yard field goal, Worley struck again at the end of a six-play drive ending  with the senior going in from 11 yards to make it a 52-21 game and Coatesville could taste the district title after outscoring the Rams 17-0 in the third.
Jones then snagged his third touchdown pass of the game from Hunt in the right corner of the end zone to put the game into the mercy rule early in the fourth, the third straight playoff game that the rule went into effect for the Red Raiders.
The Coatesville defense limited leading rusher Jarred Jones to 42 yards on 15 carries and held Spring-Ford to 201 total yards.
District 1 finals are not supposed to be as easy as this win was. Head coach Matt Ortega talked about his team and what they just accomplished.
“These kids are special,” Ortega said. “They are not cocky, but they are very confident in what they do. They work hard every week and they will get back to it on Monday. We had a four-year plan and here we are as district champs.”
The win was the 10th in a row for Coatesville. They have outscored their four playoff opponents by a combined margin of 202-98.

Coatesville 59, Spring-Ford 28
C-Boggs 10 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
C-Suber 33 fumble return (Bollenbach kick)
S-Carter 91 kickoff return (Gulati kick)
C-Hunt 1 run (Bollenbach kick)
S-Carter 14 pass from Coyne (Gulati kick)
C-Jones 22 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
S-Hopkins 8 pass from Coyne (Gulati kick)
C-Jones 14 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
C-Worley 51 run (Bollenbach kick)
C-Bollenbach 27 FG
C-Worley 11 run (Bollenbach kick)
C-Jones 8 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
S-Lundi 3 run (Gulati kick)
Team Totals
                               S                      C
first downs             9                      19
Yards rushing         83                    244
Yards passing        118                  171
Total yards            201                 415
Passing               14-27-1            13-18-0
Fumbles-lost           1-1                    2-0
Punts-avg              3-26.5               3-36.5
Penalties-yds          6-50                   10-65
Individual Statistics
Rushing: SF: Jones 15-42; Lundi 5-17, TD; Coyne 2-21; Carter 1-3. Coat: Worley 18-180, 2TD’s; Hunt 5-25, TD; Boggs 4-20; Jones 1-13; Hudson 2-7; Ahara 1- (-1).
Passing: SF: Coyne 14-27-1 118 yards, 2TD’s. Coat: Hunt 13-18-0 171 yards, 4TD’s.
Receiving: SF: Carter 6-54, TD; Sheldon 3-35; McDowell 2-15; Hopkins 1-8, TD; Schein 1-6. Coat: Jones 7-107, 3TD’s; Boggs 3-36, TD; Williams 2-26; Worley 1-2.
Sacks: SF: Sheldon. Coat: None.
Interceptions: SF: None. Coat: Flamer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Day game is appetizer for more playoffs


Thansgiving Day football games are getting rare, but one area team, Malvern Prep, has a tasty date with one of the best teams in Pennsylvania in St. Joseph’s Prep. A day after that, two locals continue their playoff drives as Coatesville hosts Neshaminy in a District 1 Class AAAA seimifinal, and  West Chester Henderson battles Interboro for the Class AAA championship.
Malvern Prep (6-4) head coach Kevin Pellegrini said his team is excited to be playing a team the caliber of the Hawks.
“We are excited to be playing the Prep because they ranked in national polls and are a great team,” Pellegrini said. “We did not win our league (Inter-Ac), so we are looking forward to getting together one more time and playing a great team on Thanksgiving Day and seeing what we can do.”
Malvern’s defense rose up two weeks against Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and delivered a 24-7 victory. The Friars held Chestnut Hill to 89 yards of total offense, while Troy Gallen rushed for two touchdowns.
The major question is how will the Prep (9-1) respond from last week’s tough 28-27 loss to La Salle in the PCL Class AAAA final. The Malvern offense will have to crack a defense that has given up double-digit points only four times this year. Vince Moffit, Olamide Zaccheaus and quaterback Chris Martin are keys to the Hawks ground game.
Pick: St. Joseph’s is one of the top two or three teams in the state, look for the Hawks to win this one, 28-14.
Friday’s games
District 1 Class AAAA Semifinal
Neshaminy (10-2) at Coatesville (10-2), 7 p.m.
The Redskins come to Coatesville fresh off two road playoff wins, against Plymouth Whitemarsh and the No. 2  Central Bucks South, so head coach Matt Ortega knows his team is in for a tough fight even though they are playing at home.
“I mean, Neshaminy is a typical Suburban One team in that they are big, tough, physical and they have a lot of weapons,” Ortega said. “They have a good fullback (Blake Sullivan), the tailback (Nate Hall) is very quick and they really get after you on defense.
“We have been working since the summer to beat a Suburban One team in the playoffs. You have to be physical, tough up front and be able to run the football to beat them. In our two playoff losses to Suburban One teams the last two years we still scored points, we just could not defend them. We think we can do that this year.
The defense is playing with a lot of confidence and Tyler Burke has really come on. He has been dominating on defense and playing great at tight end. He is a great blocker and he caught a touchdown pass against Wissahickon. He is a real special player.
“We will have to play well because Mark Schmidt is a great coach and it will be a challenge to go up against him because he is one of the best.”
Hall has run for 1,646 yards on the season, 283 last week against C.B. South. The Redskins don’t throw the ball very much, only 70 completions as a team, but look out for for Justin Andrews, who has 30 catches for 454 yards and six TDs.
On offense, the Emmett Hunt-Chris Jones combination is one of the most exciting around. Coatesville hopes Daquan Worley’s running will help soften up the Redskins’ defense.
Pick: The Redskins defend the run well, Coatesville should get some long pass completions to Jones and Worley will be hard to hold down all game. It all adds up to a trip to the District 1 final, Coatesville 34, Neshaminy 14.
District 1 Class AAA Championship
West Chester Henderson (9-3) vs. Interboro (10-2) at Plymouth Whitemarsh, 7 p.m.
Both teams come into the title game off heart-stopping wins. Henderson pulled off a 31-28 upset over top-seeded Pottsgrove, while Interboro roared back for a 22-21 win over No. 2 Academy Park.
Henderson head coach Steve Mitten has a lot of respect for Interboro and Steve Lennox and knows his team will have to be at their best again Friday night.
“Interboro has a great head coach in Steve Lennox who has been winning games for a long time,” Mitten said. “Interboro is one of the premier teams of Delaware Coutny and they have been a consistently good program for a long time.
“They are big and tough up front and they run the football well. They are a bunch of tough kids and we will have our work cut out for us aainst them. But, the chance to win a district title for the first time in Henderson history is a big thrill.
“I can’t say enough about this senior class. They have won a Ches-Mont League title, knocked off two top seeded teams in the playoffs and are the only Henderson class to win 25 games. They are a special class and they are a very dedicated group.”
The angst fans may have over the ability of Spencer Rymiszewski may be tampered by the emergence of sopomore Tre Green, who exploded for 160 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Pottsgrove. Adam Weaver headlines a defense that held firm when they needed to last week.
The Bucs held Academy Park to 89 yards on the ground last week, but will be tested again against Henderson. Linebacker Sonny Armstrong is the main player to keep an eye on.
Pick: Henderson is definitely battle tested, having played two close playoff games on top of its Ches-Mont schedule. The Bucs are very tough and have a good receiver in tight end Rashon Fentress, who has 27 catches, and a good quarterback in Nick Rentos. But cannot see the Warriors losing this game. Henderson 28, Interboro 14.

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Coatesville's Burke a force on both sides of the ball


Coatesville linebacker Tyler Burke has stood out in his fair share of game films, but early this season the junior was standing out for the wrong reasons.
Opposing coaches surmised that the complacency bug had bitten Burke, while others pondered if the added weight did more harm than good.
It wasn’t until the week four matchup against Downingtown East that Burke found his old self, making an impact, playing fast and standing out on film like the budding star he was as a sophomore.
From there, a 2-2 Coatesville team and Burke have not looked back. With a bigger body and added expectations, Burke started slowly for some, but his performances of late have far surpassed any early season disappointments.
“You always tend to see big-time players really develop in the second half of their junior years,” Coatesville coach Matt Ortega said. “Especially the marquee players, they usually turn a corner in the second half of the year. Tyler is a veteran player and has played some big games and has really produced the last couple weeks.”
While many compared Burke to former West Chester Henderson and current Villanova linebacker T. J. White last year, others believed he had already surpassed that level as a sophomore.
In the offseason, Burke added about 25 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame, getting up to around 240 pounds. At that size, North Carolina State, Maryland and Temple have already offered him a scholarship, according to
But that bigger, stronger frame required time to get used to, as well as his added workload playing tight end on offense.
“The first part of the season was hard on him,” Ortega said. “It was a transition for him, going from one side of the ball to playing both ways. He gained about 25 pounds from his sophomore year to his junior year, and he had to play his way into shape. He definitely turned the corner in the second half, and our defense has been very, very dominant.”
Burke has certainly not been the only reason for the Red Raiders’ emergence, but it’s clear to see that his play sets the tone. Last week in the second round of the Class AAAA District 1 playoffs, Wissahickon attempted to get the edge on a jet sweep on its first drive, but Burke hit the seam perfectly and dropped the Trojan runner in the backfield. The Red Raiders rolled from there.
Burke also had a sack against Wissahickon, not to mention a touchdown reception on offense, and halted Unionville’s comeback attempt in the first round with a late interception.
“I think this is the best I’ve played this season,” Burke said. “I definitely didn’t play up to my abilities early on. Playing both ways this year, the first three weeks I was dead. As I got into shape I got used to it.”
Coatesville has won eight straight games since the one-point setback to East. The defense has allowed just 11 points and 171.6 total yards per game since.
Burke benefits from two bullies in the middle in Dylan Morgan and Mike Boykin, and Joe Phillips at defensive end. Coatesville’s base defense is a 4-3, but its combination of size and speed allows flexibility.
When teams try to spread the Red Raiders out, they stay in that 4-3, with two safeties. But when teams try to pound them, like Neshaminy will Friday, Coatesville slides its defensive lineman toward the strong size, and shifts safety Isaiah Flamer down just off the line on the backside. That adjustment gives the Red Raiders a 4-4, with strength to the tight end side, and extra speed on counters or waggles coming back.
Flamer had two picks against Unionville, and his secondary mates Daquan Worley, Jason Totoram and Jay Stocker have all taken their turn making plays this fall. Especially since week four.
“After the East game, our guys looked at what they did against East for the last two and a half quarters and built on it each week after,” said Ortega, whose defense shut out Unionville the following Saturday. “They were embarrassed that they had underachieved to that point, and they just turned it around.”
In the last 32 quarters of football, dating back to halftime against East, Coatesville’s starting defense has allowed just 10 touchdowns. The offense will continue to get the publicity, and it deserves all it gets. But if Coatesville keeps advancing and helps the Ches-Mont finally clear the Suburban One hurdle, its defense will be every bit as responsible for it.
“We try to say it doesn’t make us mad,” said Burke of the offense getting most of the credit. “But I think we do try to play our best to get our names out there.”
We all remember what happened when the Hulk got mad... Only now, the Hulk wears a black jersey with the big white number nine on it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Green leads Henderson to district final


LOWER POTTSGROVE -- Amidst frosted blades of grass and cold breaths puffing from facemasks, West Chester Henderson’s future bloomed unexpectedly.
Filling in for an injured Spencer Rymiszewski, sophomore Tre Green exploded onto the scene with 160 rushing yards a three touchdowns. His final TD tied the game in the fourth quarter, and kicker Sean Engle’s 31-yard field goal won it, as No. 4 Henderson upset top-seeded, and previously undefeated, Pottsgrove, 31-28, in the Class AAA District 1 semifinal on the Falcons’ home turf.
The only thing that could match Green’s brilliance was the play of Henderson’s defense, which played lights-out football for almost the final three quarters. The Warriors will take on No. 3 Interboro at Plymouth Whitemarsh next Friday night in the Class AAA title game.
“When Spence went down I knew it was my time to step up and make plays and come through,” said Green who had just 19 carries for 81 yards and one TD coming in. “I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity to play this game, and I couldn’t have done it without my offensive line.”
Henderson (9-3) stomached some massive body blows by Pottsgrove (11-1) in the first half after the Falcons raced out to a 14-0 lead on their first two drives. But like so many other times this season, it was Rymiszewski who gave the Warriors their spark, returning a Pottsgrove punt 29 yards to the Falcons’ two-yard line.
Rymiszewski hurt his ankle on the play, leaving it up to Green to put Henderson on the board, which he did on the ensuing play. Rymiszewski returned, but only at cornerback.
“Our coaches have been talking about (Green) for weeks and weeks,” Henderson coach Steve Mitten said. “I said his chance will come and it did (Friday night). And boy, did he take advantage. A star is born in Tre Green.”
Warrior quarterback James Bady played arguably his best game of the season, burning the Falcons a couple times in the first half, and eventually tying the score at 14 on an eight-yard connection with Chris Mitten.
But the Falcons turned a blocked punt in Henderson territory into seven and went to the break up, 21-14.
“It was a slow start for us, but we knew we had it” said Chris Mitten, who recorded half of a sack, recovered a fumble and had 79 total yards on offense. “We knew the defense had it in us, and once we got used to the environment we did good and got the win.”
Pottsgrove, who averaged 328 rushing yards in its 11 games coming in, collected 157 in the first half. The Warriors completely dismantled the Falcons’ ground attack in the second half, holding them to just four yards. Henderson linebacker Adam Weaver was in the backfield all night and the Falcons eventually ran out of options on the ground.
“These guys are exceptional football players and they’re very well-prepared by John Lunardi, our defensive coordinator,” Steve Mitten said. “They make plays and know how to play football. When you play physical defense it starts to take a toll on the other team, and I told them in the fourth quarter to stay close and they’ll start to wear down.”
After Mike Medykiewicz recovered the second fumble by Pottsgrove quarterback Tory Hudgins, Green tied the game at 21 with a four-yard plunge with one tick left in the third.
It was then that Pottsgrove made its last bigtime drive of the season. The Falcons moved the ball 65 yards in nine plays, largely through the air, and took a 28-21 lead with 8:10 remaining.
On offense, Henderson’s toss to its right side became unstoppable, and Green followed Matt Eichman and company for 48 yards the next drive. Green’s capper was a 26-yard tightrope act along the boundary for the tying TD.
The Warriors forced a three-and-out, and just like that, Green was on the move again, breaking a counter to the left for 60 yards down to the Falcon two. But penalties hindered Henderson all night, and No. 13 and 14 eventually led to a fourth-and-goal from the 13. In came Engle, up went the kick and through the uprights went the ball with 2:54 left.
“Anytime you can come up to Pottsgrove in a district game and get a win is something to be relished,” Steve Mitten said.
Hudgins managed two first downs on Pottsgrove’s final drive, but on fourth-and-16 from its own 43, Hudgins was forced to scramble by Tom Delaney and was eventually ruled down 19 yards backwards, launching the Warriors into a frenetic celebration.
A win against Interboro (10-2) would give Henderson its first-ever district championship.
“I was a ball boy back in ‘07 when we lost to Ridley (in the 4A title game),” Chris Mitten said. “No Henderson team has won the district title, and we want to win it and go down in history.”

West Chester Henderson 31, Pottsgrove 28
West Chester Henderson    0 14 7 10—     31
Pottsgrove    14 7 0 7—28
PG- Hudgins 5 run (kick blocked)
PG- Brennan 5 run (Brennan pass from Hudgins)
WCH- Green 2 run (Engle kick)
WCH- C. Mitten 8 pass from Bady (Engle kick)
PG- Brennan 1 run (Klinger kick)
WCH- Green 4 run (Engle kick)
PG- Brennan 1 run (Klinger kick)
WCH- Green 26 run (Engle kick)
WCH- Engle 31 field goal
    WCH     PG
First downs     9    14
Rushes-Yards     254    161
Passing yards     72    84
Total yards    326    245
Passing     5-12-2    5-13-0
Punts-Average     4-23.8    4-31.5
Fumbles-Lost    3-0    3-2
Penalties-Yards     14-102    7-49
Rushing: WCH- Green 16-160, 3 TDs; Rymiszewski 6-45; C. Mitten 2-32; Girafalco 4-7; Matonti 2-7; Bady 10-3. PG- Hudgins 25-43, TD; Dukes 10-38; Barefield 1-29; Polamalu 2-26; Brennan 10-26, 3 TDs.
Passing: WCH- Bady 5-12-72; TD, 2 INTs. PG- Hudgins 5-13-84.
Receiving: WCH- C. Mitten 2-47; P. Mitten 2-15; Green 1-10. PG- Fowler 2-45; Miller 2-25; Brennan 1-14.
Sacks: WCH- Thompson; Delaney; C. Mitten .5; Kane .5. PG- Birch
Interceptions: WCH- none. PG- Barefield; Mayes.

Red Raiders roll into district semifinals


CALN - A week after piling up 307 yards rushing against Downingtown East in an upset win, the Wissahickon football team felt pretty good about its chances of running the wing-T offense against Coatesville on Friday night in the second round of the Class AAAA District 1 playoffs.
But the stingy Coatesville defense stymied the Trojans at all turns, limiting them to just 42 yards of total offense in the first half and holding the visitors to zero points in the decisive first half as the ninth-seeded Red Raiders rolled into the district semifinals with a convincing 42-21 triumph.
Oh, by the way, Coatesville (10-2) got the usual superb offensive production from quarterback Emmett Hunt, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns, running back Daquan Worley, who rushed for 70 yards and two scores.
“We are a total team and it doesn’t matter to me if we run or throw the football,” Worley said. “I like to get the football, but we can do a lot of things and we just do what the coaches tell us. It works either way and that is the most important thing.”
The Red Raiders scored first after stopping the Trojans (8-4) on a three-and-out to start the game. Behind the running of Worley, the Red Raiders marched 56 yards to set up a four-yard by plunge by the junior and an early 7-0 lead.
One play into the second quarter, Coatesville showed its quick strike abiltiy. After a Trojan punt, Hunt hit Chris Jones for a 55-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead and Wissahickon knew they were in trouble.
But the turning point of the game may have come later in the quarter when Hunt fumbled the football on his own 15-yard line and the Trojans’ Joe Gorman recovered. On the next three plays Wissahickon went nowhere and then missed a 32-yard field goal.
“That was a big turning point in the game,” Coatesville linebacker Tyler Burke said. “We just watched a whole lot of film and do what the coaches tell us and fly to the ball. We say that nobody knows us (the defense) because our offense scores like 50 points every week, but we take a lot of pride in our defense.”
Pride is something the Red Raiders defense should have a lot of because the first-team defense held the Trojans to just seven points, with the Wissahickon starters scoring 14 points on the reserves.
Coatesville took advantage of the stop by going on an 11-play, 85-yard drive to make it a 21-0 halftime lead and the Trojans were done for the night and the season. The drive took over six minutes and showed the offense’s versatility. When Worley was not making yards on the ground, Hunt found Jones (seven catches for 95 yards and two TDs) for big gains. The drive was capped ended when Jones caught a nine-yard strike from Hunt in the corner of the end zone.
“We are a scary team right now, but we are not going to get big headed,” Hunt said. “We made it a goal since Monday to score the first time we had the ball and we did that because our defense shut them down on three plays to start the game. Everybody is doing their job right now for us but we have to keep working hard.”
Bruising fullback Dan Murphy plowed in from the one to break the shutout early in the third.
But Coatesville continued to dominate both lines of scrimmage in the second half as Burke, Mike Boykin and Steven Pawling completely shut down the Trojan running attack. The Red Raiders was simply too fast for the Wissahickon line and backs.
Burke even found time to haul a 16-yard scoring pass from Hunt late in the third and the game reached the mercy rule when Jason Totaram recoverd a Dave Stellato fumble in the end zone.
Coatesville will now host No. 13 Neshaminy, an 14-7 upset winner over Central Bucks South, next Friday at 7 p.m.
Head coach Matt Ortega could not be happier over the way his defense played Friday night.
“We watched a whole lot of film with the kids all week, me and my defensive coordiantor Tim Lucci,” Ortega said. “The kids are really comfortable in their reads and they are playing with a lot of confidence.”

Coatesville 42, Wissahickon 21
Wissahickon 0 0 7 14-21
Coatesville   7 14 14 7-42
C-Worley 4 run (Bollenbach kick)
C-Jones 55 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
C-Jones 9 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
W-Murphy 1 run (Brunner kick)
C-Burke 16 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
C-Worley 3 run (Bollenbach kick)
C-Totaram fumble recovery in end zone (Bollenbvach kick)
W-Murphy 23 run (Brunner kick)
W-Stellato 29 run (Brunner kick)
Team Totals
 W  C
First downs  10  10
Yards rushing 152 87
Yards passing 59 156
Total yards 211 243
Passing 7-13-0  11-15-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Punts-avg 3-30.5 1-31.0
Penalties-yds  5-37  5-40
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Wis: Murphy 14-81, 2TD’s; Stellato 8-35, TD; Frankenfield 5-0; Smith 4-26. Coat: Worley 18-70, 2TD’s; Boggs 3-14; Jones 1-6; Hudson 2-2; Hunt 4 (-5).
Passing: Wis: Frankenfield  7-13-0 59 yards. Coat: Hunt 11-15-0 156 yards, 3TD’s.
Receiving: Wis: Smith 5-23; Stellato 2-36. Coat: Jones 7-95, 2TD’s; Burke 2-25, TD; Williams 1-11; Worley 1-25.
Sacks: Wis: Murphy, Coat: Burke.
Interceptions: Wis: None. Coat: None.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Late fumble dooms Vikings

Journal Register News Service

ASTON -- Sun Valley was in jeopardy of losing its final home game of the season to West Chester East before the Vanguards’ defense came up big on a last-ditch goal-line stand inside the final minute of the game.
West Chester East was trailing by just one point as quarterback Jon Jon Roberts attempted to push his way into the Sun Valley endzone from the one-yard line. But, when the Sun Valley defense forced a fumble and sophomore linebacker Mike Fisher emerged with the ball, the Vanguards had sealed the victory, 21-20.
“I knew when our team needed to make a play, we would make a play,” said lineman Ryan France. “As soon as I saw [Fisher] strip that ball I knew it was game over… it was a great feeling, knowing we were going to get in our victory formation. It was pretty cool.”
“We were actually contemplating letting them score and try to get the ball back with time on,” said Sun Valley head coach Jim Grugan. “And I said ‘no let’s play it out and see what happens’ and our kids played and went in ripping. It’s a pretty nice way to win.”
The Vikings began the pivotal fourth quarter with possession of the ball, and they made quick work of the Sun Valley (3-4, 6-5) defense by driving the ball 40 yards on five plays for the score.
Roberts connected with receiver James McKenna for a touchdown pass. The quarterback also added one rushing touchdown.
However, West Chester East missed a critical extra-point attempt that would end up being the difference in the game.
Sun Valley’s following possession resulted in what would be the game-winning touchdown.
Senior Running back Dan Griffin helped lead the drive by running 27 yards on six carries before sophomore running back Juwan Chandler could finish things with a 29-yard touchdown run.
Griffin, who had 67 yards rushing on the day, finished his final season as a Vanguard with 1,000 yards rushing.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Griffin. “We wish it wasn’t so close, but a win’s a win… We needed a win at home just for us 12 seniors. We had to go out like this. It couldn’t be any other way.”
Chandler scored both of Sun Valley’s other touchdowns on passes thrown by junior quarterback T.J. Mancini.
Chandler finished his day with 185 total yards.
Mancini, who threw for 130 yards and completed seven of 15 attempts, gave all the credit to his teammates.
“We played good,” said Mancini. “We needed to finish a few more opportunities, but it did feel really good to win one for our seniors.”
Senior wide receiver Leon Hunter caught four passes for 55 yards, and junior running back Ryan Riddle caught one pass for 18 yards in addition to six rushes for 17 yards and one interception.
Sun Valley will finish the season at Chichester for their annual Thanksgiving day game.

Pats drop double-overtime thriller

By Timothy J. Raub
Journal Register News Service

POTTSTOWN — Standing outside the locker room after their double-overtime victory over visting Great Valley, Saige Reinhart and Monroe Hampton spoke of the performances like it was just another night on the job.
What the Pottstown duo had just been through, though, was anything but routine.
Rolling out of the pocket to his left, Reinhart connected with a wide-open Hampton on an out pattern in the front corner of the end zone for a two-point conversion to give the Trojans a 41-40 victory in the second of two overtime periods.
“If he’s open he’s getting it,” Reinhart said of Hampton. “And he knows it, too. He’s a playmaker, and playmakers want the ball when it matters most.
“It’s just a matter of us fighting, though. Fighting as a team through the ups and the downs of a game and of a season. We just attacked when we had the opportunities, and took advantage of (those opportunities).”
Hampton agreed.
“All night the guys just kept fighting,” he said. “The line blocked well for me and opened the holes so I could just keep running. We knew that if something bad happened, don’t give up.  We just had to keep fighting.”
The theatrics actually started a little earlier for Reinhart and his Pottstown teammates, though.
With just over five minutes to play in regulation, Great Valley capped a 13-play, 62-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run by River Johnson to take a six-point lead at 33-27. The Trojans came up with what turned out to be a monstrous block on the point-after attempt to keep it a six-point game,
After both teams traded stalled drives, Pottstown got the ball back with just 57 seconds to play and 80 yards to go.  Reinhart put his team on his back and marched the Trojans down the field before finding Harvey streaking down the middle of the field as time expired to knot the score at 33-33.
It was then up to Great Valley’s Tim Lamb, who blocked his first of two kicks on the night to send the game into overtime.
Pottstown got down to the Great Valley three-yard line in its first overtime drive before Lamb picked up his second blocked kick of a 21-yard field goal attempt, and Great Valley fared no better when Sean Cavanaugh’s field goal attempt sailed wide right.
Great Valley then started on offense to start the second overtime period and needed just two plays to find the end zone on a six-yard run by backup quarterback Sean Fitzpatrick for a 40-33 lead. But that would be short-lived after Reinhart found Mason Weber in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown to set up the game-winning two-point conversion.
“You know, we’ve got some really great kids here,” Pottstown head coach Brett Myers said.  “It’s been a tough year, coming off three tough losses against three really good teams like we did. Tonight, we played a really good team that was on the verge of being a playoff team in (Class AAAA), and our kids just came to play.”
Although the loss will sting for some time for Great Valley, head coach Mike Choi admitted he couldn’t have asked for much more from his Patriots.
“We knew (Pottstown) was really athletic, and that we were going to have our work cut out for us,” he said. “We came out in more of a cover-two to start the second half and really started to settle down and do what we wanted to do. Their kids kept battling, and our kids kept battling. It’s just a shame someone had to lose this game.”

Pottstown 41
Great Valley 40 (2 OT)
Great Valley     7 14 6 6 0 7 — 40
Pottstown     6 14 0 13 0 8 — 41
PT – Harvey 75 pass from Reinhart (kick failed)
GV – Geiss 75 run (Cavanaugh kick)
GV – Geiss 22 run (Cavanaugh kick)
PT – Hampton 71 pass from Reinhart (Harvey pass from Reinhart)
PT – Brookard 10 fumble return (kick failed)
GV – Johnson 11 run (Cavanaugh kick)
GV – Ames 11 run (kick failed)
PT – Hampton 3 run (Masciarelli kick)
GV – Johnson 3 run (kick blocked)
PT – Harvey 20 pass from Reinhart (kick blocked)
GV – Fitzpatrick 6 run (Cavanaugh kick)
PT – Weber 10 pass from Reinhart (Hampton pass from Reinhart)
Team Statistics
    GV    PT
First Downs    32    24
Rushing yards    552    67
Passing yards    4    360
Total yards    556    427
Passes C-A-I    1-3-0    16-31-0
Fumbles-Lost    3-3    5-0
Penalties-Yards    6-35    7-35
Punts-Avg.    0-0    3-34.3
Individual Statistics
Rushing -  Great Valley: Temple 9-125, Geiss 7-122, 2TDs; Johnson 15-105, 2 TDs; Ames 24-100, TD; Fitzpatrick 11-100, TD. Pottstown: Hampton 12-27, TD; Harvey 5-16; Mohler 6-15; Reinhart 9-9.
Passing -  Great Valley: Geiss 1-2-4; Fitzpatrick 0-1-0. Pottstown: Reinhart 16-31-360, 4 TDs.
Receiving - Great Valley: Temple 1-4. Pottstown: Harvey 6-173, 2 TDs; Hampton 3-74, TD; Moore 2-70; Mohler 2-18; Bookard 1-8; Teller 1-7; Weber 1-6, TD.
Sacks: Great Valley – Guilin. Pottstown – Bookard.

Cougars fall in shocking upset


DOWNINGTOWN -- That is why they play the games.
Not many people gave 16th-seeded Wissahickon much chance to defeat top seed Downingtown East on Friday night in the first round of the Distric 1 Class AAAA playoffs. In fact, much of the pregame talk at Kottmeyer Stadium was how the Cougars would do next week against Coatesville.
Well, Downingtown East does not have to worry about Coatesville or any other team for that matter. A superlative performance by running back Dave Stellato, who scored four touchdowns and directed the final drive to set up a 22-yard field goal from Greg McDonough at the buzzer to give the Trojans a 38-35 victory and shockingly escort the Cougars out of the playoffs.
“I told the kids coming in here that we do not lift all those weights and put in all that hard work since January to just be a good team,” Wissahickon head coach Jeff Cappa said. “We do all that work to be the best in the district and the state. All these guys came in here believing they could win and I could not be prouder of them. Dave had a great game, but all those other guys who worked hard all year and all week allowed him to do some of those things. This was a total team effort against a great team.”
Wissahickon (8-3) gashed the Cougars (10-1) for 305 rushing yards -- 157 by Stellato, who went to the quarterback position for the decisive six-plus minute drive as he carried the ball seven times on the eight-play march.
“I was a quarterback, but I got mono at summer camp and missed time, so I moved to tailback,” Stellato said. “i am very comfortable in the wildcat formation and the offensive line did a great job for me tonight.”
Wissahickon’s special teams put the Cougars back on their heels early in the third quarter as Gordon Bentley returned a kickoff and a punt deep into Downingtown territory. Both long runs led to Stellato scores (10, 8) and the Trojans took a 35-21 lead with just over six minutes left.
But the man who has done it all season for the Cougars, Jay Harris, returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to paydirt to cut it to 35-28 and put the boisterous East fans back into the game.
The Cougars then rose up to temporarily derail Wissahickon’s running attack and put themselves in position to tie the score. They advanced the ball deep into Trojan territory twice in the fourth, but bad snaps, penalties, dropped passes and two fumbles doomed the top-seeded Cougars.
Finally, Harris bolted in from five-yards out with 6:51 to play to knot the score at 35-35. But it would be the last time the Cougars held the football.
Stellato replaced Randy Frankenfield at quarterback, and went to work, driving his team from the Wissahickon 21 to the Cougars’ five with three seconds to play. The drive was aided by a crucial personal foul penalty that put the ball from the East 15 to the eight. One play later, McDonough booted home the field goal to send the Trojans into instant celebrations and shockwaves across District 1.
“We really believed we could win this game,” Stellato said. “And we beat a great team in Downingtown East. I mean the players, coaches and everything. They are a great footbll team and I am so happy right now.”
While the Cougars walked off the field, their hopes of a state title dashed very early, head coach Mike Matta talked about the victors.
“Give Wissahickon and their kids all the credit tonight,” Matta said. “Number one (Stellato) is a great player and they deserved to win the football game.”
Wissahickon will have to deal with another high-scoring team from Chester County next Friday when they face No. 9 Coatesville in the second round.

Wissahickon 38, Downingtown East 35
Wissahickon       7 7 21 3-38
Downingtown East  0 21 7 7-35
W-Stellato 19 run (McDonough kick)
D-Angeline 2 run (White kick)
W-Murphy 1 run (McDonough kick)
D-Harris 43 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
W-Stellato 1 run (McDonough kick)
W-Stellato 10 run (kick failed)
W-Stellato 8 run (Stellato run)
D-Harris 65 kickoff return (White kick)
D-Harris 5 run (White kick)
W-McDonough 22 FG
Team Totals
W                D
First downs          15              13
Yards rushing      305            158
Yards passing       32              152
Total yards          337             310
Passing              2-4-0           12-22-1
Fumbles-lost       3-2              3-2
Punts.avg          2-32.5           3-26.5
Penalties-yds      8-60            10-63
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Wis: Stellato 22-157, 4TD’s; Murphy 17-94; Smith 7-53; Frankenfield 7-1. Down: Angeline 17-85, TD; Lauletta 10-72, TD; Harris 2-1 TD.
Passing: Wis: Frankenfield 2-4-0 31 yards. Down: Lauletta 12-22-1 146 yards, TD.
Receiving: Wis: Smith 1-13; Stellato 1-19. Down: Harris 6-94, TD; Beals 4-28; Bovard 1-11; Kozlowski 1-19.
Sacks: Wis: Jackson. Down: Hearns.
Interceptions: Wis: Bailey. Down: None.

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Red Raiders power past Unionville

Photo by Nate Heckenberger/ Coatesville's Daquan Worley turns the corner during Friday's District 1 Class AAAA playoff clash with Unionville. Worley rushed for 228 yards and a pair of scores in Coatesville's 38-21 win.


EAST MARLBOROUGH -- Early in the season Coatesville wanted to be a power running team, but as that was slow to develop, an explosive passing game was spawned, carrying the Red Raiders to an 8-2 record and trip to the playoffs.
As teams have been loading their secondaries in attempt to slow down Coatesville’s aerial attack, the Red Raiders have begun to reestablish themselves as a powerful running team. Friday, at No. 8 Unionville in the first round of the Class AAAA District 1 playoffs, No. 9 Coatesville may have figured out how to become a balanced powerhouse offense.
Daquan Worley ran for 149 of his 228 yards in the second half, and his two fourth-quarter touchdowns ended a valiant upset effort by the Indians, as Coatesville advanced with a 38-21 victory.
Coatesville was able to stay in the moment and take care of business in the first round. In doing so, it was rewarded with a home game in the second round after top-seeded Downingtown East let No. 16 Wissahickon pull off the upset on the road, and made the Trojans the Red Raiders’ next opponent, negating the much-anticipated rematch.
“We knew it would be a tough game, and Unionville played their butts off,” said Coatesville coach Matt Ortega. “I was proud that our kids came out of halftime and fought through adversity. (Unionville) was dropping eight to take away the pass and No. 4 (Worley) is a team football player. All year we haven’t called his number a lot, but we knew sometime we’d need him to win us a game and that happened (Friday night).”
A 42-0 Coatesville (9-2) win over Unionville (8-3) in Week five made many assume another blowout was in store. But the Indians had other ideas after an early interception by Isaiah Flamer set Coatesville up for its first score, a one-yard sneak by Emmett Hunt.
Unlike the first matchup, Unionville did not let the Red Raiders get rolling, stifling Hunt and the passing game, and the two teams went into half with the score 10-7, Coatesville.
“Our kids played with tremendous effort and “Coatesville” is a really good football team,” Unionville coach Pat Clark said. “They can beat you in a lot of ways. I thought our defense played well and kept us in it.”
Hunt cashed in on another one-yard quarterback sneak to open the second half, making it 17-7. Unionville was hurt by the loss of junior defensive lineman Mark Caputo, who was injured on his second defensive possession.
Tommy Pancoast rallied the Indians on their next drive, connecting with Patch Johnson on a 22-yard TD throw. Unionville forced a three-and-out and drove it to the Coatesville 32 when a fourth-and-10 may have swung the game.
On that fourth down play, Pancoast was forced to flee to his left when he launched a pass against his body towards the end zone. Johnson’s strong effort came up inches short, as the pass drifted just off his outstretched hand.
Worley took it from there, accumulating 50 yards on Coatesville’s 68-yard scoring drive, with the final five on Worley’s first TD run.
“It felt real good to feel like my team needed me and believed in me,” said Worley, who has rushed for over 200 yards in two of his last three games. “
After Unionville turned the ball over on downs its next drive, Worley rushed for 38 yards on two carries, the latter going for a 14-yard score to make it 31-14.
Pancoast connected with Johnson again for a TD on Unionville’s next drive, and the Indians recovered the onsides kick. But Tyler Burke picked off Pancoast three plays later, ending any comeback.
Pancoast ran for 70 yards, threw for 176 yards with three TDs and three interceptions, caught a pass for 13 yards and also intercepted Hunt. Pancoast finished his career with 1,674 passing yards and 20 TDs, and 2,021 rushing yards and 25 more scores.
“I don’t know if there’s a better two-way player in Chester County,” Clark said of Pancoast. “He played great and Patch Johnson and Tim Christopher all gave great efforts.”
Following Burke’s pick, Dre Boggs put the nail in the coffin with a 68-yard TD burst. Surprisingly, it was only Boggs’ third touch all game.
As updates from the Downigtown East game were announced through the speakers, Coatesville fans roared. While it may have been great theater to see the two teams square off again, the Red Raiders will surely welcome an 8-3 Trojans team that snuck into the playoffs on the final day.
“We’re not worried about who we play,” Worley said. “It’s just the next step... We go into games with the mindset that we’re the best and we do what we can do.”

Coatesville 38, Unionville 21
Coatesville 7  3  7  21  -  38
Unionville 0  7  7  7  -  21
CV- Hunt 1 run (Bollenbach kick)
CV- Bollenbach 32 field goal
UV- Scargill 20 pass from Pancoast (A. Pechin kick)
CV- Hunt 1 run (Bollenbach kick)
UV- Johnson 22 pass from Pancoast (A. Pechin kick)
CV- Worley 5 run (Bollenbach kick)
CV- Worley 14 run (Bollenbach kick)
UV- Johnson 13 pass from Pancoast (A. Pechin kick)
CV- Boggs 68 run (Bollenbach kick)
Team Totals
First downs  12 11
Yards rushing  321 75
Yards passing  82 199
Total yards 403 274
Passing  6-15-1 11-20-3
Fumbles-Lost  4-1 4-0
Penalties 4-31 3-16.5
Punts-Avg.  1-49 4-36.8
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - CV: Worley 21-228, 2 TDs; Boggs 3-83, TD; Hunt 8-9, 2 TDs; Flamer 1-1. UV: Pancoast 21-70; B. Pechin 9-28; Scargill 4-6; DiBaggio 3-0; A. Pechin 1-(-9); team 1-(-20).
PASSING - CV: Hunt 6-15-82, INT. UV: Pancoast 10-19-176, 3 TDs, 3 INTs; A. Pechin 1-1-13.
RECEIVING - CV: Jones 6-82. UV: Johnson 4-56, 2 TDs; Christopher 3-100; Scargill 1-20, TD; Pancoast 1-13; Barnes 1-6; B. Pechin 1-4.
SACKS: CV: Boykin .5; Suber .5. UV: Biggs
INTERCEPTIONS: CV: Flamer 2; Burke. UV: Pancoast.

Whippets' upset bid comes up just short


RIDLEY TWP. — The first step is often the hardest, as the Ridley football team knows all too well.
Were it not for a stellar defense effort Friday, that first playoff step could easily have devolved into yet another stumble.
For the first time since its District One title run in 2009, the second-seeded Green Raiders have a playoff win to their names, a narrow 20-17 decision against No. 15 Downingtown West.
“We needed at least to get this first game in,” linebacker Shane Dougherty said. “After we get this, it takes a lot of pressure off, especially since we haven’t won one. Whatever we do now, it’s up to us to see how far we go.”
“I’m happy for the seniors,” Ridley coach Dennis Decker said. “They’ve put in so much time and so much effort to get their first playoff victory. It was a big thing for them, and it’s a monkey off their backs.”
It’s a win that wouldn’t have been possible without a defense that stiffened after some early struggles and yielded just three points in the last three quarters.
The defense inherited a 14-3 deficit after one quarter, unable to cope early on with the hurry-up attack of the Whippets. It didn’t help that their time on the sidelines was short thanks to three fumbles on the evening by the Green Raiders’ enigmatic offense, which even took three possessions to get the first down that finally iced the game.
But in bend-but-don’t-break fashion, the Green Raiders forced Downingtown West into three field-goal attempts, two of which were missed. In the fourth quarter alone, they forced two.
“The first half, (Downingtown West) did a real nice job getting us off the ball,” Decker said. “We made some adjustments at halftime. … Like I’ve said before, we don’t have a lot of individuals on defense. We play as a unit, and I think that showed tonight.”
The impact of the defense was epitomized by the Whippets’ last drive. After two straight completions by Nick Pagel to Teddy Varano set Downingtown West up with a 2nd-and-short at their 41, the Green Raiders decided they would get no further.
Defensive lineman Kenny Oaks burst through the line to corral Sean Sauder for one of his two tackles for loss. The next play, Jabree Savoy made the perfect read on an option pitch, sticking Mitch Meleski in the backfield for a four-yard loss.
“I was just reading the running back,” the junior defensive back said. “It was read and react. I was keying on the running back, I knew I had him and I just did what I had to do.”
Meleski had to be carted off with what was likely a rib injury; he was responsive, but required assistance breathing and remained on the field for about 10 minutes while paramedics attended to him.
“Mitch is like a brother to me,” Downingtown captain Danny Speca said. “He’s so much more than a teammate. You see him go down, and Mitch has been hurt a lot and he’s a really tough kid, so it’s like, ‘alright man, get up.’ And then once you see that cart coming out, your heart just drops. We haven’t stopped praying for him, and we’re hoping for the best.”
After the break, it was Rich Coia who stepped up. In addition to 83 yards on the ground, including a 1-yard score that gave Ridley its only lead, Coia blasted around the end like he was shot out of a cannon, sacking and stripping Pagel on fourth down.
“We knew to keep them to the outside,” Coia said. “We knew they like to screen and all that and we needed to respect everything that they do. I was untouched off the outside, and there was nothing else on my mind than to put the game away. I gave it all I got, and I came out with the play.”
It was a good thing the Ridley (11-0) defense came to play, because the offense didn’t do them many favors, picking up yardage in chunks but unable to convert in the red zone.
Darren Washington, who settled down to rush for 131 yards on 23 carries and a score, fumbled his first carry, which was scooped up by Varano and returned to the 10. Two plays later, Pagel found Meleski on a screen pass to open the scoring.
Meleski found paydirt on the Whippets’ next possession, a 3-yard burst. From there on out, though, it was three points on just eight possession for the upset-minded Whippets (7-4).
“It’s not just the kicker,” Downingtown West coach Mike Milano said about the missed chances. “We’re out there in the zone. We had a big holding call that negated a big play in there once. It’s tough. We felt like we left some points on the field, and we’re crushed that we didn’t win.”
Ridley left points on the field early, but in a rare turn of events, the advantage in the kicking game was decidedly on their side. Kelton Heverly banged home field goals of 26 and 23 yards in the first half, salvaging points from sputtering drives. Ridley finally broke through when Washington burst around left end with 6:21 left in the first half and scampered down the sideline for a 16-yard score.
It sent the Green Raiders into halftime down 14-13, the identical margin by which they were eliminated in 2009 as the No. 1 seed at the hands of West Chester Henderson.
The defense again bailed out the offense in the second half, making a stand when Downintown West’s Speca recovered a Collin Wright fumble near midfield. A bad snap and a minus-7 yard punt set up the Green Raiders at midfield, and after Coia’s 16-yard bullrush got them down to the 2, he finished things off two plays later with the decisive score.
“We know our defense can keep us in games,” said Dougherty, who had five tackles for loss and two pass breakups. “Everyone says offense wins game, defense wins championships. If we want to go far, we need to rely on our defense, and I think we did that tonight.”

Ridley 20, Downingtown West 17
Downingtown West     14 0 0 3 —    17
Ridley     3 10 7 0 —20
DW: Meleski 13 pass from Pagel (Caruso kick)
RID: Heverly 26 field goal
DW: Meleski 3 run (Caruso kick)
RID: Heverly 23 field goal
RID: Washington 16 run (Heverly kick)
RID: Coia 1 run (Heverly kick)
DW: Caruso 37 field goal
    DW     RID
First downs     16    17
Rushing yards    161    269
Passing yards     117    63
Total yards    278    332
Passing     12-23-0    5-11-0
Punts-Average     4-15.0    3-30.7
Fumbles-Lost    2-1    3-3
Penalties-Yards     2-23    2-10
Rushing: Downingtown West — Bunhu 15-95, Meleski 15-51, Pagel 8-17, Sauder 2-(minus-2). Ridley — Washington 23-131, Coia 11-83, Dougherty 7-36, Crowley 4-29, Team 1-(-1), Wright 2-(-9).
Passing: Downingtown West — Pagel 13-22-0, 117; Harlow 0-1-0, 0. Ridley — Wright 5-11-0, 63.
Receiving: Downingtown West — Varano 5-44, Meleski 3-25, Bunhu 2-16, Schmitt 2-12, Sauder 1-20. Ridley — Smoluk 3-41, Washington 1-20, Harris 1-2.

Golden Knights edged out of playoffs

For Journal Register News Service

FAIRLESS HILLS – The Pennsbury High School football team almost saw a mirror image of itself in the first round of the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs Friday night.
Problem was, for long stretches of the game, visiting West Chester Rustin looked more like a typical Pennsbury team than the real Falcons did, as the Golden Knights pounded the run in their own version of the winged-T.
Conversely, Pennsbury got virtually nothing going on the ground, only to have sophomore quarterback Breon Clark toss two long touchdown passes and lead the way to a 21-13 Falcons victory.
Sixth-seeded Pennsbury (9-2) advanced to the quarterfinals to play third-seeded Pennridge in Perkasie. Pennridge defeated Abington, 35-14, on Friday. Rustin, the No. 11 seed, finished its season at 8-3.
Like Rustin, Pennsbury is also best-known for the run-oriented winged-T attack. But the Falcons managed just 11 rushing yards as a team in the first half. Clark accounted for all of that positive yardage.
Meanwhile, Clark tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to halfback Shawn Pepper late in the first quarter, followed by a 52-yarder to split end Anthony Bullaro early in the second quarter as the Falcons took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
Pennsbury’s rushing struggles continued into the third quarter when Rustin narrowed the gap to 14-6 on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dave Fithian to Adam Burke.
Nursing that eight-point lead, Pennsbury finally controlled the ball and the clock in the fourth quarter, stringing together four first downs to eat up almost seven minutes of game clock, then taking a 21-6 lead on Pepper’s 85-yard touchdown run with 1:29 left in regulation.
Pepper’s long run accounted for most of Pennsbury’s 154 rushing yards in the game.
“We were waiting for three quarters to get it going. We’re trying to work it out,” Pennsbury Head Coach Galen Snyder said.
“We could tell they knew what we were doing and we knew what they were doing by the alignments,” Pennsbury defensive back Tony Donovan said. “It came down to manning up. In the second half, we manned up better than they did.”
Rustin seemed more likely to score in the first three quarters. The Golden Knights rushed for 91 yards in the first half and 118 in the game, but they committed two crucial turnovers.
Pennsbury’s Chad Hensor fell on a muffed punt return at the Golden Knights’ 39 to set up the Falcons’ first touchdown. Then Pennsbury’s Tony Donovan fell on a fumble by Rustin’s Burke near midfield to set up Pennsbury’s second score.
“Other than mistakes in the first half, I thought we played them even,” Rustin Head Coach Mike St. Clair said. “I thought our defense was outstanding. The defense played great; the kids played great. We just came up a little short at the end.”
Despite Pennsbury’s ball control in the fourth quarter, Rustin earned a chance to force overtime when it blocked a punt deep in Falcons territory with 3:56 to go in regulation.
Pennsbury’s defense erased the mistake, as Luke Johnson and Victor Delgado sacked Fithian on a fourth-down play.
Pepper’s long touchdown run followed.
Rustin made it a one-possession game with 1:01 to go when Fithian passed 25 yards to Dan Walls for a touchdown, but Pennsbury’s Tommy Hose recovered the ensuing onsides kick.
“The defense played well, but got kind of dicey at the end,” Snyder said.

W.C. Henderson wins 21-14 slugfest over Springfield


WEST GOSHEN - If you like hard-hitting, defensive football than J. Oscar Dicks Stadium was definitely the place to be on Friday night for a smash mouth District 1 Class AAA playoff tussle between West Chester Henderson and Springfield (Delco).
The game, which featured a total of six pass completions, was a battle from start-to-finish in the trenches.
When the dust cleared on a chilly evening, it was the No. 4 seeded Warriors who made the plays when it mattered most down the stretch as they earned a thrilling 21-14 opening round victory over No. 5 Springfield.
Senior running back Spencer Rymiszewski scored the game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard run with 1:10 remaining to send West Chester Henderson (8-3 overall) into the district semifinals, where they’ll play at top-seeded Pottsgrove next Friday night.
Rymiszewski was a wrecking-ball for the Warriors, as he rushed for 166 yards and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns.
With the game tied 14-14 late, Henderson suffered a tough break when they failed to convert on a fourth-and-one at the Springfield 22-yard line with 4:30 to go. Just when it looked like the momentum had slipped away from them, however, the Warriors defense made the play of the night to swing it back their way. Tre Green recovered a fumble at the Cougars 31-yard line just moments later, with 3:53 left, that led to their game-winning drive.
“We were a little on edge after we didn’t make it on fourth down,” said Rymiszewski. “Once we got that fumble everybody got some extra bounce in their steps and we knew we had a chance. I wanted to get that ball into the end zone in the worst way there at the end.
“I have the upmost respect for Springfield. We knew this was going to be a tough, physical battle. We’ve played this way all season and we were up for the challenge again tonight.”
Henderson’s defense was outstanding once again, as they limited Springfield (7-4) to 135 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers. After going in front 21-14, the Cougars took over at their own 21-yard line with 1:10 left on the clock to try and get the equalizier. On the first play, though, quarterback Cameron Durham was intercepted by Henderson’s Phil Mitten to seal the victory.
Offensively, the Warriors pounded out 279 yards on the ground. Aside from Rymiszewski’s big game, junior Garrett Girafalco added 55 yards on 11 carries. Henderson quarterback James Bady had only three completions on the night, but boy were two of them big ones. On the drive following Green’s fumble recovery, Henderson was faced with a fourth-and-eight at the Springfield 28 with 2:35 left. Bady completed a 9-yard pass to Phil Mitten to keep the possession alive. Then on the next play, he hit Girafalco for 14 yards that took to make it first-and-goal.
“We showed a lot of heart tonight,” said West Chester Henderson coach Steve Mitten. “We made a lot of mistakes in this one, and we were certainly fortunate to come out of here with a win. Our defense rose to the occasion time and time again.
“Springfield is one really good football team. They were very physical and they gave us a fight.”
The Warriors indeed make plenty of mistakes as they turned the ball over five times. That number could’ve been much higher as well. They put the ball on the turf a total of eight times but recovered five of those fumbles.
“We will have to be much more disciplined next week,” said Mitten.
Henderson took a 7-0 lead with 5:38 to play in the first quarter when Rymiszewski busted a 61-yard touchdown run. Springfield battled back to tie the game at 7-7 with 9:43 left in the second quarter. Following an interception by Zach Young deep in Henderson territory, Adam Krauter capped the short 14-yard drive with a two-yard scoring plunge.
The Cougars were driving again late in the half in an attempt to take the lead, but it stalled out when Henderson’s Adam Weaver recovered a fumble at the Warriors’ 21-yard line.
The game remained deadlocked until 11:51 left when Henderson seized a 14-7 lead on a 42-yard touchdown run by Rymiszewski.
Springfield, though, again took advantage of a miscue and a short field to tie the game at 14-14 with 8:11 remaining. A Rymiszewski fumble was recovered by Dan Smyth at the Henderson 20 and returned down to the 12-yard line. Moments later, Krauter was into the end zone again on an 11-yard run to pull his squad even.
“We battled so hard,” said Springfield coach Tom Kline. “That fumble by us late was tough. We made a mistake there and they capitalized. Henderson is a great team.
“As disappointed as I am with the result, our kids showed how great they can be and I’m proud of the way they played.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, will now have a week to gear up to face No. 1 seeded Pottsgrove, who downed Strath Haven 32-14 in the opening round.
“Our senior class has been one of the most successful ones in this school’s history,” said Mitten. “They have done some fantastic things.
“We’re excited to still be playing, but I told the kids you don’t celebrate after one win. You celebrate if you are able to get the trophy.”

W.C. Henderson 21,
Springfield (Delco) 14
Springfield     0 7 0 7 -- 14
W.C. Henderson     7 0 0 14 -- 21
WCH-Rymiszewski 61 run (Engle kick)
S-Krauter 2 run (Lord kick)
WCH-Rymiszewski 42 run (Engle kick)
S-Krauter 11 run (Lord kick)
WCH-Rymiszewski 6 run (Engle kick)
Team Totals
    S     WCH
First downs     5    10
Yards rushing     105    279
Yards passing     30    30
Total yards    135    309
Passing     3-6-1    3-7-2
Fumbles-Lost     4-3    8-3
Penalties    2-10    5-40
Punts-Avg.     4-34.5    3-37.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Springfield: Durham 12-50; Foster 5-13; Krauter 2-13, 2TDs; Dougherty 2-9; Murphy 5-8; Coyne 3-7; D. Peyton 1-2; Braconnier 1-2; Fox 1-1. W.C. Henderson: Rymiszewski 17-166, 3TDs; Girafalco 11-55; Matonti 5-25; Bady 5-22; C. Mitten 4-9; Green 1-2; Weaver 1-0.
PASSING - Springfield: Durham 3-6, 30 yds, INT. W.C. Henderson: Bady 3-7, 30 yds, 2INTs.
RECEIVING - Springfield: Murphy 3-30. W.C. Henderson: P. Mitten 2-16; Girafalco 1-14.
SACKS - Springfield: none. W.C. Henderson: C. Mitten.
INTERCEPTIONS - Springfield: Foster, Young. W.C. Henderson: P. Mitten.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Six local teams gear up for district playoffs


The Class AAAA and AAA District playoff seeds are out and the area boasts six teams that are in the postseason dance. In Class AAA, West Chester Henderson is the number four seed and the Warriors will host Springfield (Delco) in first-round action this weekend.
Henderson opened a lot of eyes Friday night as the Warriors took high-powered Downingtown East down to the wire before losing, 6-3. The Class AAA bracket has been talked about as being Pottsgrove and everybody else, but Pottsgrove does not play the schedule Henderson does and the Warriors have a big chance at winning the District 1 title.
Five area teams enter the Class AAAA bracket, with Downingtown East being the top seed. The Cougars will host 16th-seeded Wissahickon Friday night at Kottmeyer Stadium. The spread on this game should be about 25 points as the Cougars will be heavily favored to move onto the second round.
Unionville, the Ches-Mont League American Division champion, comes in at number eight and the Indians have the pleasure of hosting the hottest team in District 1 right now in No. 9 Coatesville. The Red Raiders have already beaten the Indians 41-0 earlier in the season.
West Chester Rustin is the 11 seed and the Golden Knights have to go on the road to play the ground-and-pound group from Pennsbury. The Tigers come in as the six seed and they love to run the football. This will be a tough test for the Knights, but Mike St. Clair’s group is always tough against the run.
Downingtown West got into the playoffs by beating Bishop Shanahan on Saturday and head coach Mike Milano’s Whippets will travel to Ridley to play the second-seeded Green Raiders, who are 10-0 and Central League champs. The only other undefeated Class AAAA team is Downingtown East.
So with the Class AAAA bracket set, the Ches-Mont League comes in with five teams, the Central League put three teams in the top 16, the Pac-10 has one (Spring-Ford) and the Suburban One landed seven teams in the Class AAAA bracket, none of them named North Penn for a change.

Daily Local News Football Top 10
Records through Nov. 4

1. Downingtown East (10-0): Cougars head into district playoffs as top seed.
2. Coatesville (8-2): Red Raiders tune up for playoffs by routing Avon Grove.
3. Malvern Prep (5-4): Friars fall out of Inter-Ac race with loss to Haverford School.
4. Downingtown West (7-3): Whippets get into dance by beating Bishop Shanahan.
5. W.C. Henderson (7-3): Warriors defense may be best in area.
6. Unionville (8-2): Indians win Ches-Mont American with victory over Kennett.
7. W.C. Rustin (8-2): Golden Knights on road for playoffs.
8. Conestoga (6-4): Pioneers end season with win over Upper Darby.
9. Kennett (7-3): Blue Demons have best season ever.
10. Great Valley (6-4): Patriots end season with win over Sun Valley.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Unionville seals American crown with big second half


KENNETT SQUARE -- Championship football teams are able to run the football and stop the run effectively. Call Unionville the 2012 Ches-Mont League American Division champions because they do both things awfully well.
Saturday afternoon at a frigid Kennett Stadium, Unionville rushed the football for 356 yards and the defense clamped down on Kennett offense for a 34-17 win that gave them its first Ches-Mont League championship since 2007.
Unionville (6-0 Ches-Mont, 8-2 overall) scored 21 fourth-quarter points to pull away from the tough Blue Demons (4-2, 7-3). Unionville senior quarterback Tom Pancoast rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns and baffled Kennett all game long.
“It feels really great to bring the Ches-Mont title back to Unionville,” Pancoast said. “Our offensive line really played great today and we knew their defense could not stop our running game once we got going and that is what happened in the second half.”
After taking a 6-3 lead into halftime, the Indians showed their muscle right away at the start of the third. Tim Christopher took the Kennett kickoff at his own 24 and rumbled 26 yards to give Unionville great field position at the 50.
Then, it was all Unionville from there as they took almost six minutes off the clock with eight running plays. Brad Pechin, who had 89 yards on the day, along with Garrett Scargill took the ball down the field as the offensive line opened up some big holes to gash the Kennett defense. Scargill took it the final six yards to make it a 13-3 lead.
“We got good field position and then our offensive line took over,” Christopher said. “Every time I looked Ryan Ford was pancaking somebody. We wanted to bring back the title to Unionville and we worked very hard to get it back.”
Kennett head coach Scott Green said that the opening drive was something that hurt his team.
“We tried to kick it to a place where they weren’t.” green said. “But they got a good bounce and then they got their running game going. We did not want to start the half like that for sure.”
The Unionville defense limited the county’s leading rusher, Jordan Lardini to 71 yards on 11 carries -- 56 of those coming on one run.
Kennett then came right back to score making it a 13-10 game when Jordan Lardani broke free for a 56-yard run up the middle down to the Unionville five. Two play later, Jordan Jones went in from two-yards out and it was still a tight ball game.
Kennett then tried an onside kick, that went out of bounds at the Unionville 44. Two plays later, Christopher broke free for a 44-yard run and the Indians were back in business. Dom DiBaggio went in from the four and Unionville had a 10-point lead at 20-10 early in the fourth.
From there, Unionville could not be stopped on the ground as Pechin, Pancoast, DiBaggio and Scargill wore out the Kennett defense. DiBaggio sealed the title clinching win with a quick 73-yard touchdown run to seal the deal and kill Kennett’s playoff hopes and give Unionville a likely first-round home playoff game next weekend against a team to be determined.
“We wanted to bring the title back to Unionville,” Indians head coach Pat Clark said. “West Chester Rustin had some great teams and Kennett was tough today. Scott Green has done a great job witht his program but our kids take a lot of pride in their abiltiy to run the football and defenively is where we won the game today.
“It was not easy. They worked very hard since the summer and they really wanted to win the Ches-Mont. I am really happy for them. And Dom DiBaggio does a reat job on that run to seal the win for us.”
The loss ended Kennett’s season, but Green had nothing but praise for this group which gave the Blue Demons their best season ever.
“I told the kids that it hurts now but when they look back at this season they will feel a great sense of accomplishment for what they have done.” he said.

Unionville 34, Kennnett 17
Unionville     0 6 7 21-34
Kennett        0 3 7 7-17
U-Pancoast 15 run (kick failed)
K-Rose 30 FG
U-Scargill 6 run (Pechin kick)
K-Jones 2 run (Rose kick)
U-DiBaggio 4 run (Pechin kick)
U-Pancoast 7 run (Pechin kick)
K-Rochester 37 pass from Jones (Rose kick)
U-DiBaggio 73 run (Pechin kick)
Team Totals
                            U       K
First downs          18      6
Yards rushing      356       126
Yards passing       10        41
Total yards          366      167
Passing             1-4-1     2-6-0
Punts-avg            0-0      3-26.5
Fumbles-lost        1-1       1-1
Penalties-yds       3-35      3-35
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Union: Pancoast 17-91, 2 TDs; Pechin 18-89; DiBaggio 3-86, 2 TDs; Christopher 3-59; Scargill 4-23, TD; Stradling 4-8. Ken: Lardini 11-71; Jones 13-36, TD; Lowe 7-7; McQuiston 3-12.
Passing: Union: Pancoast 1-4-10. Ken: Jones 2-6-41, TD.
Receiving: Union: Johnson 1-10. Ken: Rochester 2-41.
Sacks: None.
Interceptions: Union: None. Ken: Rose.

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Bunhu, Whippets lock up playoff berth


Journal Register News Service

DOWNINGTOWN — The stars were aligning for Downingtown West.
The Whippets had gotten the help they needed with other results throughout the district, and now needed a win over Bishop Shanahan at Jack Mancini Field to clinch a berth in the District 1-AAAA playoffs.
Senior running back Tino Bunhu made sure the Whippets would play another day.
Bunhu ran for 257 yards and six touchdowns as the Whippets advanced to the postseason with a 49-13 decision over the Eagles. The running back’s monster game was part of a 413-yard effort on the ground for West, which improved to 7-3 on the 2012 campaign. As of Saturday night, a first-round playoff rematch with rival Downingtown East looked likely.
“We’re not worried about who we play, we don’t want any particular opponent,” said West coach Mike Milano. “We’re happy to be in the playoffs, and more importantly, happy with the way we’re playing.”
Any coach would be happy with an offense that averaged over eight yards per carry, and a defense that caused three turnovers and disrupted numerous drives with tackles in the backfield. After starting the day with a 30-yard carry to set up Bunhu’s first TD, senior Danny Speca turned his focus to defense, where he racked up three sacks and made several more tackles for losses.
Bunhu crossed the goal twice in the first quarter, with the first set up by Speca’s long carry and the second the result of great field position after a short Shanahan punt. The Eagles drove into West territory early in the second quarter before turning the ball over on downs at the West 30. Bunhu’s third TD came on the ensuing drive, a 50-yard burst over right tackle.
“I didn’t know the numbers until now, but I couldn’t be happier for Tino,” said Milano. “He’s part of the heart and soul of this team—he’s a senior, he works hard in the weight room. Tino’s another example of our team coming together at the right time.”
Bunhu wasn’t done yet. On Senior Day at Shanahan, quarterback Justin Cook got the Eagles on the scoreboard in his final game with a 12-yard strike to Cody Smith right before halftime. The Eagles took possession to start the second half, but Lucas McMahon picked off Cook in the red zone to set up Bunhu’s fourth scoring plunge of the day. He would add yet another score in the third quarter before topping off his day early in the fourth with a 72-yard scamper.
Cook would add a second scoring strike, this time to sophomore Jeff Zebrowski, before West’s Elijah Tinson capped the scoring with a 1-yard run with just under five minutes to play.
Freshman Braden Harper led the offensive attack with 72 yards rushing for the Eagles, who finished the season at 3-6. The abundance of youth on both lines and at the skill positions for Shanahan wasn’t lost on coach Paul Meyers, even as he applauded his small group of nine outgoing seniors.  
“I love those guys — they’ve done everything we’ve asked for this program, and they’ve laid the foundation — when they come back in two, three, four years from now and see where we are, they’ll know they were the reason we got it started,” Myers said.
As the Whippets awaited word on their first-round opponent, Milano took a moment to appreciate what’s been accomplished this season as well as what lies ahead
“No one gave these kids much of a chance this season, but they’ve battled through everything to earn this opportunity,” said Milano. “There are a lot of great football teams in this district, and now we get to measure ourselves against them.”

Downingtown West 49, Bishop Shanahan 13
Downingtown West     13 7 14 15 – 49
Bishop Shanahan     0 7 0 6 – 13
DW- Bunhu 11 run (kick missed)
DW- Bunhu 23 run (Caruso kick)
DW- Bunhu 50 run (Caruso kick)
BS- C. Smith 12 pass from Cook (Johnson kick)
DW- Bunhu 9 run (Caruso kick)
DW- Bunhu 3 run (Caruso kick)
BS- Zebrowski 6 pass from Cook (PAT missed)
DW- Bunhu 72 run (Caruso kick)
DW- Tinson 1 run (Tinson 2-pt. run)
DW- Varano 75 kickoff return (kick missed)
Team Totals
            DW    BS
First Downs        16    10
Yards Rushing        413    117
Yards Passing        55    60
Total Yards        468    177
Passing            3-10-1  9-19-1
Fumbles-Lost        1-1    3-2
Penalties        7-75    9-57
Punts/Avg.         0    4/25
Individual Statistics
RUSHING- Downingtown West: Bunhu 22-257, 6 TD; Meleski 13-73; Tinson 4-7, TD; Sauder 3-23; Egan 3-15; Pagel 2-8; Speca 1-30.
Bishop Shanahan: Harper 15-72; Cook 7-6; Ruggieri 3-20; Stine 3-14; Angelini 2-20; Zebrowski 1-3; Lindstrom 1-(minus-18).
PASSING- Downingtown West: Pagel 3-10-1, 55 yards.
Bishop Shanahan: Cook 9-218-1, 60 yards, 2 TD; Lindstrom 0-1-0.
RECEIVING- Downingtown West: Meleski 1-24; Varano 1-18; Bunhu 1-13.
Bishop Shanahan: Zebrowski 4-31, TD; C. Smith 2-21, TD; Oakes 2-0; Angelini 1-8.
SACKS- Downingtown West: Speca 3.
INTERCEPTIONS- Downingtown West: McMahon.
Bishop Shanahan: Oakes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Geiss sends Pats past Sun Valley

Journal Register News Service

After a shortened week of practice due to Hurricane Sandy, Sun Valley put together a strong first half on the road only to get trounced in the second half by a hefty storm of Great Valley offense, as the Patriots rolled up a 55-26 victory in the Ches-Mont American Division battle.
“The hurricane is no excuse for our play tonight,” said Sun Valley head coach Jim Grugan. “It was a disappointing second half and I give [Great Valley] credit but we never came out of the locker room at halftime.”
The game began with Great Valley’s Max Burgess returning the opening kickoff for an 85-yard score. 
“If he gets by you with a full head of steam, there’s no way you can catch up to him,” said Great Valley quarterback and defensive back Chris Geiss with a chuckle. “I’m not used to anyone beating me in a race but he’s a track star and I can’t keep up with him.”
This early blow repeated itself after a Sun Valley touchdown when Burgess took the ball 75 yards to the end zone. 
“Kickoffs have been a problem this year,” said Grugan. “Not every game, but we do break down on those plays in particular.”
After a Sean Fitzpatrick fumble early in the second quarter, Sun Valley took over possession on the Great Valley five-yard line. It took two plays, but Dan Griffin eventually powered through with his head down to make it a one-point game. After the second missed PAT for Sun Valley, the score stood at 13-12.
A solid stand by the Sun Valley defense forced a punt, which shifted the momentum. Both teams at their core were run teams, with only 6 passes in the entire first half. It took until the second quarter for Sun Valley quarterback T.J. Mancini to toss the ball down field. That pass happened to be a 59-yard bomb to Matt Cioeta, who needed a big play after his two missed PATs. Cioeta’s run after the catch set Sun Valley up at the opponent’s two-yard line. Dan Griffin took the handoff two yards for his second score of the day, giving Sun Valley their first lead of the contest. Mancini targeted Kevin McGarvey for the two-point conversion and Sun Valley took a 20-13 lead into halftime.
Unfortunately, Grugan’s boys never left the locker room to take the field in the second half. 
“We didn’t react well to the adversity in the second half,” said Grugan.
Although Sun Valley received the kickoff to begin second-half play, their offense struggled and didn’t find the end zone until it was basically meaningless. When Great Valley took over after a punt, it only took two plays, one of which was a 72-yard run by Burgess, which knotted the game at 20 apiece.
Great Valley went on to score 21 points in each of the final two quarters. To make matters worse, two of the touchdowns were given up by the Sun Valley offense. Geiss had a decent day passing, completing only four passes on six attempts for 107 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. But his defensive play outshined any part of his day on offense. He picked off two of Mancini’s passes and ran them back for touchdowns on consecutive drives. His interceptions were only interrupted by one play of Sun Valley offense, if a loss of five on a carry can be considered offense at all.
“I’ve only played defensive back in two games and the other time I played I also had an interception that I returned for a touchdown,” said Geiss.
Great Valley’s win came from a disciplined team that fought back in the second half and created their own opportunities. The first four of Sun Valley’s seven second-half possessions ended in a three-and-out and a punt to Great Valley. The defensive coordinator must have found a weakness in the Sun Valley offense because the best shot Sun Valley had in those possessions on fourth down to convert was eight yards to go.
Not only did the defense smother Sun Valley but all four of those Great Valley possessions were turned into touchdowns. The ensuing Sun Valley possession was intercepted for a Geiss touchdown and was repeated two plays later.

Great Valley 55, Sun Valley 26
Sun Valley     6 14 0 6 -- 26
Great Valley   13 0 21 21 -- 55
GV-Burgess 85 kick return (Cavanagh kick)
SV-Mancini 1 run (Cioeta kick failed)
GV-Burgess 75 kick return (Cavanagh kick failed)
SV-Griffin 1 run (Ciota kick blocked)
SV-Griffin 2 run (McGarvey reception)
GV-Burgess 72 run (Cavanagh kick)
GV-Johnson 57 pass from Geiss (Cavanagh kick)
GV-Burgess 2 run (Cavanagh kick)
GV-Ames 44 pass from Geiss (Cavanagh kick)
GV-Geiss interception return (Cavanagh kick)
GV-Geiss interception return (Cavanagh kick)
SV-Mancini 1 run (pass failed)
Team Totals
                SV         GV
First downs             25        18
Yards rushing         160      236
Yards passing           68       107
Total yards            228      343
Passing             2-10-2   4-6-1
Fumbles-Lost         1-1        3-2
Penalties            1-5        3-40
Punts-Avg.             6-36        2-34
Individual Statistics
RUSHING – SV: Riddle 9-63; Chandler 12-58; Griffin 14-49, 2 TDs; D’Angelo 1-2; Mancini 7-(-12), 2 TDs. GV: Burgess 5-115, 2 TDs; Johnson 4-33; Ames 5-26; Fitzpatrick 2-23; Temple 6-23; Geiss 9-16.
PASSING – SV: Mancini 2-10-2, 68 yards. GV: Geiss 4-6-1, 107 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING – SV: Hunter 1-59; Riddle 1-9. GV: Ames 2-51, TD; Johnson 1-57, TD; Burgess 1-(-1).
SACKS – SV: None. GV: Durkan 2; Agnew.
INTERCEPTIONS – SV: McGarvey. GV: Geiss 2.