Friday, November 9, 2012
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)
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
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.