|Photo by Bill Rudick/ Jordan Jackson turns the corner for a 73-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Friday's victory over Oxford.|
By BILL RUDICK
WEST GOSHEN — West Chester East finally put it all together.
The Vikings ran the ball well. They threw the ball well. They made the defensive stops when they needed to, and they capitalized on Oxford’s turnovers.
The end result was a 36-26 victory to put an end to a losing streak that had reached eight games.
“We’ve been banged up all year,” said East coach Dan Ellis. “We’ve had 28 kids miss time because of injury, but we’ve battled and battled. Tonight we had some turnovers that got us in the hole, but the kids battled back and did what they need to do to win.”
The first half featured a ton of offense from both teams, and the see-saw scoring reflected it.
East struck first, with Jordan Jackson scoring on a six-yard run that capped a 55-yard drive. Jackson would find the end zone three times on the night, rolling up 112 yards on 19 carries.
But Oxford asnwered right back with a pair of touchdowns from Colton Turns. The first came after the Hornets recovered a fumble deep inside East territory, and Turns ran it in from three yards out. The second came after the Hornets forced a three-and-out, and Turns took it to the house from 71 yards out on a first-and-ten play.
Oxford seemed poised to extend its lead to two scores when, after recovering another East fumble, the Hornets had advanced to the East four. But the Vikings made a goal-line stand and took over on downs.
In what was a huge turning point in the game, East then marched off a14-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a two y-ard plunge from Jason Costa. The extra point gave East a 13-12 lead.
The punch-counter punch continued, as Oxford regained the lead with a touchdown run by Brad Way, and Turns tacking on the two-point conversion.
After Jackson scored his second touchdown of the day, it was 20-20 headed into the break.
“I’m really proud of the way these guys battled back,” said Ellis. “They got behind, but didn’t get down on themselves and fought back in it.”
While East threw the ball often and well in the first half, with Jon Jon Roberts throwing for 136 of his 168 yards passing on the night just in the first half, they took to the ground game in the second half, and the end result was a balanced attack that totaled 358 yards, 168 through the air and 184 on the ground.
“We knew they would be blitzing early, and they did,” said Ellis. “We wanted to catch them with things in the air, and then when the blitzing stopped, we could run more effectively.”
The Vikings took the lead at 29-26 with a 23-yard field goal from John Lavoie, then put the game away when Jackson broke one to the outside, then covered 73 yards for the touchdown.
“I saw Kevin Murphy had his guy pinned down, so I just tried to take it outside,” said Jackson. “Once I turned the corner I just used my speed and took it to the house. I’m just really happy we could get a win for our seniors on senior night, and let them get a win in their last home game. I really am just glad they got to go out with a win. I’ve still got next year.”
W.C. East 36, Oxford 26
Oxford 12 8 6 0 -- 26
W.C. East 6 20 0 10 -- 36
WCE-Jackson 6 run (kick fail)
OX-Turns 3 run (kick fail)
OX-Turns 71 run (kick fail)
WCE-Costa 2 run (Lavoie kick)
OX-Way 2 run (Turns run)
WCE-Downey 1 pass from Roberts (Lavoie kick)
WCE-Jackson 1 run (kick fail)
OX-Sumner 36 pass from Herb (kick fail)
WCE-Lavoie 23 field goal
WCE-Jackson 73 run (Lavoie kick)
First downs 6 20
Yards rushing 142 184
Yards passing 103 168
Total yards 245 352
Passing 7-12-0 19-33-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 2-1
Penalties 4-40 6-65
Punts-Avg. 4-25.3 1-24.0
RUSHING - Oxford: Turns 18-114, 2 TDs; Way 4-19; Herb 3-8; J. Lopez 1-3; Sumner 1-3. W.C. East: Jackson 19-112, 3 TDs; Ritrovato 6-40; Roberts 3-24; Costa 3-5; Manes 1-3.
PASSING - Oxford: Herb 7-12-0, 103 yards, TD. W.C. East: Roberts 19-33-1, 168 yards, TD.
RECEIVING - Oxford: Sumner 3-41, TD; Way 3-18; Hubley 2-32; Davis 1-12. W.C. East: Ritrovato 7-64; Downey 6-35, TD; McKenna 5-60; Harsh 1-8.
SACKS - None.
INTERCEPTIONS - Oxford: Sumner.