Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coatesville rebounds in impressive fashion

By PETER DiGIOVANNI
cpn11716@comcast.net

So much for Coatesville  having a letdown after their last-second loss to Downingtown East last week. Coatesville, and quarterback Emmett Hunt, simply destroyed a very good Unionville squad. Right now, Coatesville may be playing the best football of any area team not named Downingtown East.
Head coach Matt Ortega simplified the playbook against Unionville, spreaded the Indians defense out and went with the arm of Hunt and the hands of Chris Jones and company. Big-time statement win for the Red Raiders in a game a lot of people around the county liked Unionville in.

It seems that West Chester Rustin brings out the best in every team it plays. When you are four-time defending Ches-Mont League American Division champs, that’s the way it is. Kennett was the latest to take a shot at Rustin and the Blue Demons showed they are ready for prime time, but in the end it was the Golden Knights coming back for a huge win that keeps them in good shape for the Class AAAA District 1 playoffs.
Great Valley is the next team to see if they are for real. The Patriots host Rustin this Friday in a game that will impact Great Valley’s playoff hopes. Quarterback Chris Geiss will be a handful for the stout Rustin defense.

With four weeks left to play in the regular season, the matchups of West Chester Henderson’s Spencer Rymiszewski against the likes of Downingtown East’s Jay Harris and Chris Jones of Coatesville are going to be quite the battles. Rymiszewski is the best defensive back in the Ches-Mont, while Harris and Jones are the two best receivers, so their duels should be classics. Henderson faces Coatesville on Oct. 19 and Downingtown East on Nov. 2.

Speaking of Henderson, the two Mitten twins, Phil and Chris, seem to be in the right position on almost every play. Being sons of head coach Steve, one might expect that, but I was really impressed by the play of the duo in Henderson’s 50-10 win over Bishop Shanahan.
Shanahan sophomore running back Pat Corcoran left the game with a bum shoulder and may not play this week against Coatesville. It was another tough break in a very tough year for the Eagles. but with a ton of freshman and sophomores seeing playing time right now, you may not want to see thems next year because they will be very tough. And one of my new favorites is sophomore linebacker Cody Smith, who will be a force in the Ches-Mont next season.

The Central League had a funny week with Garnet Valley going down to Springfield (Delco) and Penncrest taking out Strath Haven. If Conestoga keeps rolling along and runs the table, then they will get a good spot in the District 1 playoffs.

The road does not get any easier for Downingtown East as the Cougars travel to Delaware to take on 4-0 St. Mark’s. Look for the Cougars to get the win and run the table the rest of the way.

Daily Local News
Football Top 10
Records through Sept. 30.

1. Downingtown East (5-0): Cougars stay on top after ripping Avon Grove.
2. Coatesville (3-2): The Red Raiders look absolutely awesome in taking apart Unionville.
3. Malvern Prep (2-2): The Friars get ready for date with Upper Darby.
4. W.C. Henderson (5-0): The Warriors get big test at Downingtown West on Friday.
5. Downingtown West (4-1): The Whippets looked good on defense against W.C. East.
6. Unionville (3-2): The Indians get stepped on by Coatesville.
7. W.C. Rustin (4-1): The Golden Knights survive scare by Kennett.
8. Conestoga (3-2):  Andrew DeStefano leads the county in catches.
9. Kennett (3-2): The Blue Demons almost break through against Rustin.
10.Great Valley (4-1): The Patriots get another big running game from Chris Geiss against Oxford.

Follow Peter DiGiovanni at twitter.com/dlnsports

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Coatesville shakes off tough loss to rout Unionville

By BRAD SPAHR

bspahr@dailylocal.com


EAST MARLBOROUGH - Oh, I think it’s safe to assume the Coatesville High School football team was more than just a little ticked off one week after suffering a devastating 35-34 loss on the last play of the game to Downingtown East in their Ches-Mont League National Division showdown.
The Red Raiders were an angry bunch on Saturday afternoon as they bounced back in a big way with a 42-0 dismantling of a very good Unionville team in a nonleague cross-over contest between two of the better squads in the Ches-Mont.
Coatesville (3-2 overall) put together about as impressive of a 48-minute display of football as you’ll see, dominating the game in every way. It was so one sided that the mercy-rule, running clock was in effect for virtually the entire second half.
Red Raiders senior quarterback Emmitt Hunt was phenomenal. He completed 9-of-13 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns, and he also rushed for a score in the rout.
“Last week’s loss was definitely still in our minds,” said Hunt. “We came out here and pretended they were Downingtown. That was all the fuel we needed.
“Unionville is a great team, and we came out and dominated them on both sides of the ball. I don’t think anyone would’ve beat us today.”
Coatesville set the tone right from the start as junior Daquan Worley took the opening kickoff of the game 99 yards for a touchdown that completely silenced the Unionville homecoming crowd, as he went untouched down the left sideline.
The Red Raiders were sensational defensively. They limited a physical and tough Indians running game to just 66 yards on the ground, and to 143 total yards. They also held Unionville quarterback Tom Pancoast to minus three yards rushing on 10 carries, and sacked him four times.
Unionville (3-2), who was coming off a huge American Division win over rival West Chester Rustin the week before, simply ran into a buzz saw on this day.
“We got thoroughly outplayed in every phase of the game,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “Coatesville is a very good football team and they took it to us.
“When you lose a game that bad the first thing you have to do is look at the coaching. It starts with me. I’m confident, though, that this team will do a better job from here on out and bounce back from this.”
Coatesville got a team-high 62 rushing yards from Worley, and senior receiver Dre Boggs also had a big afternoon with three catches for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
After Worley returned the opening kickoff of the game for a touchdown, the Red Raiders quickly forced Unionville to punt after going three-and-out. On Coatesville’s ensuing drive, Hunt found Boggs for a 14-yard touchdown pass that upped the lead to 14-0 just over three minutes into the game.
Hunt added a 1-yard touchdown run with two seconds to go in the first quarter to make it 21-0, which took all the wind out of Unionville’s sails and turned what many thought would be a down-to-the-wire battle into a one-sided affair.
Coatesville eventually took a 28-0 cushion into the locker room at halftime after Hunt hooked up with Jay Stocker with 1:12 to go in the second quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Hunt added two more long touchdown passes in the third quarter. First, he hit Vinnie Williams for a 55-yard score with 8:16 to play in the third that made it 35-0 and put the mercy rule into effect. Then, four minutes later he unleashed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Boggs.
“This was the biggest win we’ve had in the four years I’ve been here, in terms of margin of victory over a very good team,” said Coatesville coach Matt Ortega. “We had a little edge to us today.
“We decided to simplify things on offense. We tried to let Emmitt make some easier throws and by spreading out the field it allowed our running game to have an easier time.”
Ortega added that his players didn’t miss a beat at practice this past week following their loss to Downingtown East on a touchdown pass as time expired.
“Our kids know that we are a damn good football team,” said Ortega. “We are two plays away from being a top 10 team in the state I think.
“We had to come out and prove it against a good football team, and we definitely did that.”

Coatesville 42, Unionville 0
Coatesville     21 7 14 0 -- 42
Unionville     0 0 0 0 -- 0
Scoring
CV-Worley 99 kickoff return (Bollenbach kick)
CV-Boggs 11 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
CV-Hunt 1 run (Bollenbach kick)
CV-Stocker 21 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
CV-V. Williams 55 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
CV-Boggs 61 pass from Hunt (Bollenbach kick)
Team Totals
    CV     U
First downs     11    8
Yards rushing     95    66
Yards passing     284    77
Total yards    379    143
Passing     12-18-0    8-17-1
Fumbles-Lost     2-0    3-2
Penalties    7-55    4-29
Punts-Avg.     0-0.0    2-45.5
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Coatesville: Worley 9-62; Miles 10-28; Hunt 5-8, TD; D. Williams 2-3; Baynard 2-0; Boggs 1-(-6). Unionville: B. Pechin 11-38; Christopher 3-20; Scargill 3-10; Stradling 1-1; DiBiaggio 1-0; Pancoast 10-(-3).
PASSING - Coatesville: Hunt 9-13, 241 yds, 4TDs; Baynard 2-2, 22 yds; Jones 1-1, 21 yds; Pawling 0-2. Unionville: Pancoast 5-11, 48 yds, INT; A. Pechin 3-6, 29 yds.
RECEIVING - Coatesville: Boggs 3-82, 2TDs; Jones 3-69; Warren 2-22; V. Williams 1-55, TD; Stocker 1-21, TD; Hunt 1-21; Worley 1-14. Unionville: Johnson 4-39; Christopher 1-16; Barnes 1-12; B. Pechin 1-8; Stradling 1-2.
SACKS - Coatesville: Leslie, Flamer, Morgan, Boykin. Unionville: none.
INTERCEPTIONS - Coatesville: Flamer. Unionville: none.

Lions gets first win in wild shootout over JCSU

By Bill Rudick

brudick55@gmail.com


LOWER OXFORD — In a CIAA football game that featured as much scoring as a basketball tilt, it was defense that proved the difference in giving Lincoln University its first win of the season, a wild 55-53 affair over Johnson C. Smith University at Frank “Tick” Coleman Field on Saturday.
Lincoln led 48-47, when All-American defensive lineman Tim Green picked off a pass and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown that gave the Lions an eight-point lead with 3:40 to play, but as was the case all afternoon, when one team scored, it seemed the other always had an answer.
JCSU replied on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rashin Wallace to Matt Jeffries with 54 seconds to play, It came down to the Lions’ defense having to make one final stop to keep the Bulls out of the end zone on the two-point conversion try. The Lions chased Wallace out of the pocket, who lofted a pass that landed harmlessly out of bounds and Lincoln (1-1, 1-4) broke into the win column.
“Defense was kind of a bend but not break prospect for us today,” said Lions’ coach OJ Abanishe. “It might have broken a little here and there, but the defense really brough us the win today with two interception returns for TDs, along with making the stop on the two-point conversion.”
Lincoln found itself in a pretty good size hole in a hurry. Not four minutes into the game, they were down 14-0, the first score came on a Michael Coats interception return. Lincoln cut the lead in half when quarterback Doug Cook connected with Kester Lewis on a crossing pattern that went for a 75-yard score. Lewis caught five balls for a career-best 147 yards, and scored three times.
“I just did what I’ve been coached to do,” said Lewis. “I got open and covered as much ground as I could after the catch. I think I still have quite a bit of room to improve, and I’ll keep working hard to get better.”
Cook, the CIAA offensive player of the week for last week’s 463-yard, five-touchdown effort versus Livingstone, came back with another strong performance, throwing to six different receivers for 363 yards and four TDs, including one second-quarter, five-yard strike to Phillip Jean-Juste with a trio of Bulls defenders hot on Cook’s heels. Lincoln also used a bit of trickery as Coook hit Jethro Spikes an a tackle eligible for a score.
“I saw on my first read I was going to have to make the play with my feet,” said Cook on Jean-Juste’s touchdown. “I just got my feet going and ran around a bit to give my receivers time to get open.  I found Phil and he made a great catch, tip-toeing to stay in bounds. I give all the credit for that touchdown to Phil.”
That score made it 28-28 and the points just kept coming. Lincoln’s Steven Morris picked off a pass and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown, then  Lewis capped the Lions’ 27-point second on a 44-yard pass from Cook with 24 seconds left.
When the Bulls’ Alfred Ntiamoah was good on a 31-yard field goal as time expired on the first half, there were already 75 points on the board, with Lincoln taking a 41-34 lead into the break, the first time it has led at the half all season.
During halftime, Lincoln honored its inaugural Hall of Fame class, including Dr. Frank “Tick” Coleman, who played a major role in bringing football back to Lincoln.
“I’m sure Tick was up there screaming that we need to run the ball,” said Abanishe. Lincoln obliged as working out of a power-I, Gerald Swain
finished just two yards shy of notching the Lions’ first 100-yard game of the year.
“We’ve been concentrating on finishing in the red zone, including implementing more of a power running game,” Abanishe. “I thought we ran the ball well today, and when you run, you keep defenses honest, and it’s a lot harder to defend.”
With the Lions clinging to a 48-47 lead, the Bulls started driving, marching 67 yards on nine plays and eating up 4:03 in the process.  On first-and-ten from the 19, Wallace dropped back to pass intending to hit a short pass to one of his backs.  But Green read it all the way, and went up high to make the pick, and then rumbled the distance to take it to the house.
“The coaches were yelling to watch for the screen,” said Green. “I just played the ball, pulled it down, and then my teammates made it easy for me to go all the way.”
Green finished with a game-high 11 tackles, including to for a total nine yards lost, as the Lions posted its first win over the season.
“It was an exciting day,” said Abanishe. “I’m glad the newly inducted Hall of Famers got to see us put up a win.  I know Dr. (Leonard) Bethel was pacing the sidelines all afternoon, but he was grinning from ear to ear at the end.”

Lincoln 55
Johnson C. Smith 53
 Johnson C. Smith    28 6 7 12 -- 53
Lincoln     14 27 0 14 -- 55
Scoring
J-Coats 61 interception return (Ntiamoah kick)
J-Anderson 4 run (Ntiamoah kick)
L-Lewis 75 pass from Cook (Jaski kick)
J-Anderson 1 run (Ntiamoah kick)
L-Cook 1 run (Jaski kick)
J-Scott 29 pass from Wallace (Ntiamoah kick)
L-Spikes 3 pass from Cook (Jaski kick)
L-Jean-Juste 5 pass from Cook (Jaski kick)
L-Morris 81 interception return (Jaski kick)
J-FG Ntiamoah 25
L-Lewis 44 pass from Mitchell (Jaski kick)
J--FG Ntiamoah 31
J--Johnson II 45 fumble recovery (Ntiamoah kick)
L-Lewis 6 pass from Cook (Jaski kick)
J-Scott 5 pass from Wallace (Ntiamoah kick)
L-Green 77 interception return (Jaski kick)
J-Jeffries 11 pass from Wallace (pass failed)
Team Totals
    JCS     L
First downs     27    23
Yards rushing     248    92
Yards passing     294    387
Total yards    542    479
Passing     18-37-4    28-44-2
Fumbles-Lost     1-1    0-0
Penalties    16-153    4-52
Punts-Avg.     2-37.0    2-25.5
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - JCS: Anderson 20-161, 2 TDs; Hartley 13-64; Wallace 7-23; Jones 1-0. LU: Swain 18-98; Mitchell 1-1; Team 2-0; Cook 9-(-7), TD.
PASSING - JCS: Wallace 18-37-4, 294 yds., 3 TDs. LU: Cook 27-43-2, 343 yds., 4 TDs; Mitchell 1-1-0, 44 yds., TD.
RECEIVING - JCS: Scott 8-107, 2 TDs; Hutchison 6-97; Jeffries 4-90, TD. LU: Jean-Juste 10-94, TD; Mitchell 7-78; Lewis 5-147, 3 TDs; Coston 2-68; Swain 2-(-5); Gardner 1-2; Spikes 1-3, TD.
SACKS - JCS: Shine, Rankin, Talton. LU: Johnson.
INTERCEPTIONS - JCS: Coats, Shine. LU: Morris 2, Lockley, Green.

Late splurge helps WCU pull off upset of No. 6 Cal

By NEIL GEOGHEGAN

ngeoghegan@dailylocal.com


CALIFORNIA, Pa. – They should be expecting an inquiry from Rand McNally or Google Earth down in south campus.
The West Chester football squad officially put itself on the map with one of the biggest road wins of head coach Bill Zwaan’s 10-year reign. Saddled with back-to-back losing seasons in 2010-11, the unranked Golden Rams signaled the program’s return to national relevance by making the biggest statement a PSAC team can possibly make these days by edging sixth-ranked California (Pa.) on Saturday in crossover action at Adamson Stadium in crossover action.
“On the road, at Cal – there is no question, this was an important victory to get West Chester’s name back out there again,” Zwaan confirmed. “It hasn’t been for a couple years. The goal was to make sure that when people saw this score around the country, they would say, ‘watch out, West Chester is back.’”
The Rams have won four straight, improve to 4-1 overall, and have yet to drop a game to a Division II opponent. To put the latest victory in perspective, Cal (4-1) entered the game with a stellar 24-5 record versus PSAC East opponents in the last decade. It certainly wasn’t easy, however.
Running back Rondell White notched his second 200-yard rushing game this season, and his second of two touchdowns with just over three minutes remaining put the Rams in front by 10. But it wasn’t over yet – not by a long shot.
Just one week after scoring nine points in the final 52 seconds against PSAC West rival Indiana (Pa.), the Vulcans (4-1) roared back with a 78-yard march that took just 1:06. That’s when senior safety John O’Donnell delivered one of two monumental plays on the day by controlling the crucial onside kick. It was something IUP was unable to do.
“Everybody looks to John to make a big play, and he does it,” Zwaan said.
“During practice this week, I missed a couple, so I was pretty worried,” O’Donnell admitted. “I got a big hop so I tried to attack it and jumped on it.”
But it still wasn’t over until linebacker Ronell Williams cradled a tipped pass for an interception with just over a minute on the clock.
“We know Cal can come back, and they went right down the field and took very little time to do it,” Zwaan said. “It was a little nerve racking, but I believe in our defense and I thought they’d make a play. I honestly never had a doubt.”
The Vulcans never led on Saturday, and trailed by 14 at the half. But they knotted the score, 27-27, late in the third, to set the stage for plenty of last period heroics. Reeling at the time without a point in the second half, the Rams ended the drought with a 43-yard Shawn Leo field goal to inch ahead with 7:28 on the clock. And then White bulled into the end zone from the one for what ended up being the game-winner with 3:22 remaining,   
“It’s probably the biggest win we’ve had in three years,” Zwaan acknowledged. “But like I told the kids afterwards, we can’t leave it here. This can’t be the high point of the season.
“It’s big – no question about it – and we should feel good right now. But, if we don’t use this as a springboard, then we will be disappointed down the road.”
Playing in one of the region’s most challenging venues, WCU got off to a dream start with an early defensive touchdown from O’Donnell, followed by a lengthy sustained scoring march on its first offensive possession. But the Vulcans are used to trailing early, as they have in every game so far this season.
“We had a couple turnovers, they got back in the game and we had to battle back – and we did. We showed a lot of character today,” Zwaan said.
 “Cal is ranked No. 6, so somebody out there is got to be noticing,” added White, who rolled up 280 all-purpose yards, including 200 on the ground. “The goal was to win and put West Chester back on the map. We did that.
“This is the biggest win of my college career, but we have big goals to achieve and this is just one game. We can’t afford to celebrate this one for too long.”
On the fifth play of the game, safety Shawn Krautzel forced a fumble and O’Donnell scooped up a loose football, and his 48-yard return gave WCU the early lead. It was 14-0 soon thereafter as quarterback Mike Mattei found Kelly in the end zone to culminate a 56-yard drive.
The Rams just missed a chance to increase the lead early in the second quarter after tackle Anthony McCloskey dropped back into coverage and picked off Lalich in Cal territory. Leo’s 45-yard field goal attempt was long enough but bounced off the right upright.
There were plenty of offensive fireworks in final eight minutes of the half, with West Chester and Cal exchanging four touchdowns. Mattei continued his hot hand by connecting on scoring tosses of 22- and 51-yards to White and Kelly, respectively, with the second coming at the 1:26 mark. But Leo missed his first PAT of the season (in 21 tries) to make it 27-13 at the half.
Cal came roaring back to start the third quarter, picking off a tipped Mattei pass and eventually turning it into a TD. The point after attempt was wide, but on the ensuing possession, White coughed it up in enemy territory. Cal went on to converted it into eight more points thanks to a scoring pass and a two-point conversion late in the third period.
“We were coming back from a rivalry game against IUP that means everything in the west, so you would worry about a letdown if this was against a team our guys felt good about beating,” Vulcans’ head coach Mike Kellar said. “But with West Chester, we don’t have to get our guys up for them. They know how good they are.”
Mattei was 23 of 43 for 289 yards and three touchdowns, and engineered an offense that rolled up 500 total yards. Kelly was once again his favorite target, hauling in eight passes for 123 yards and a pair of scores.
“The last two years we fell off the map, but this was a huge win against a big-time opponent,” Kelly said.
“Coming to play here is a little more than the usual road game,” O’Donnell pointed out. “It’s a heck of an environment, they have an excellent football team, so pulling out a win like this extremely satisfying.”

NOTES: One week after sustaining a scary neck injury, junior defender Eric Edwers not only suited up on Saturday, but made an impact on the field with five tackles, including a first period sack … Kelly, who replaced injured starter Tim Keyser in the starting lineup, has now accounted for five TDs in the last three games … O’Donnell’s first quarter interception return was his second touchdown of the season – and both covered 48 yards.

West Chester
West Chester 14 13 0 10--37
California (Pa) 0 13 14 7--34
Scoring
WCU -- O’Donnell 48 fumble return (Leo kick)
WCU -- Kelly 7 pass from Mattei (Leo kick)
Cal -- Knox 2 run (Nuzzo kick)
WCU -- White 22 pass from Mattei (Leo kick)
Cal -- Scott 44 pass from Lalich (kick failed)
WCU -- Kelly 51 pass from Mattei (kick failed)
Cal -- Knox 3 run (kick failed)
Cal -- Johnson 12 pass from Lalich (Williams pass)
WCU -- Leo 43 FG
WCU -- White 1 run (Leo kick)
Cal -- Johnson 15 pass from Lalich (Nuzzo kick)
Team Totals
    WCU     Cal
First downs     25    22
Yards rushing     211    73
Yards passing     289    342
Total yards    500    415
Passing     23-44-2    29-47-2
Fumbles-Lost     1-1    1-1
Penalties    7-54    2-17
Punts-Avg.     4-37.8    7-39.1
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - West Chester: White 36-200 1TD, Mattei 3-12, Lee 1-5, Team 3-(-6). California: SMith 14-40, Knox 7-26 2TDs, Cook 3-10, Lalich 1-(-3).
PASSING - West Chester: Mattei 23-43-2 289 yards, 3TDs, Team 0-1-0. California: Lalich 29-47-2 342 yards, 3TDs.
RECEIVING - West Chester: Kelly 8-123 2TDs, White 6-80 1TD, Dempsey 4-24, Brundige 2-20, Beahan 2-14, Lee 1-28. California: Johnson 11-120 2TDs, Williams 6-55, Scott 3-95 1TD, Brown 3-33, Smith 3-20, williamson 2-11, Thomas 1-8.
SACKS - West Chester: Edwers. California: Stevens.
INTERCEPTIONS - West Chester: Williams, Bragg. California: Miles 2.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Geiss powers Patriots past Oxford

By BRAD SPAHR
bspahr@dailylocal.com

OXFORD - Unlike the Phillies, the Great Valley High School football team is going to be playing some meaningful games in October, and they couldn’t be more excited about the challenges that lie ahead.
The Patriots kept themselves tied for the Ches-Mont American Division lead on Friday night as they stayed perfect in league play with a gritty 26-12 road victory over Oxford in which they piled up a whopping 425 yards on the ground.
Great Valley (2-0 American, 4-1 overall) got a sensational performance from senior quarterback Chris Geiss, who rushed for a game-high 252 yards and scored on two key second-half touchdowns runs to help his team swing the momentum in what was a tight battle throughout.
Oxford (0-2, 3-2), which has now dropped two straight after a strong start, trailed 13-6 with 7:45 remaining when it appeared the Hornets had struck for a big touchdown pass that would’ve left them just an extra point away from tying the game. Quarterback Ethan Herb (206 yards passing) let loose on a perfectly thrown 27-yard pass on the play that hit a wide-open Collin Dawkins in stride in the end zone, but the ball bounced off his chest, and making matters worse for the home team, Great Valley’s Matt Morrison was there to make an interception as the ball bounced in the air following the drop.
Moments later, Geiss busted an 81-yard touchdown run on third-and-11 to give the Patriots a commanding 20-6 lead with 6:02 to go.
“Matt made a huge play for us on that interception, and we were riding the momentum from that point forward,” said Geiss. “On my run I just saw some daylight and took it.
“This was a great team effort. It was a huge win too, because now it sets up a really big game for us next week against West Chester Rustin.”
Oxford, to its credit, refused to go down easily as the Hornets got right back into the game less than a minute after what appeared to be a back-breaking scoring run by Geiss. They did so when Herb hit receiver Ryan Hubley on a 37-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 20-12 with 5:37 to go. Hubley had a big game for the Hornets, finishing with seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Great Valley answered the bell when the pressure was on, though. They responded by marching right down the field on a clock-eating drive that featured a key 44-yard run by Geiss on third-and-three. It ended with Geiss breaking free on a 25-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left to make it 26-12.
“[Geiss] is the engine that moves our offense,” said Great Valley coach Mike Choi. “We have all the faith in the world in him and he really was outstanding tonight. He made the proper reads, and executed our option fantastically.”
Great Valley also got a terrific game from junior Cyree Ames, who picked up 120 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Oxford suffered a tough loss right before the half when leading rusher Musty Mahmud went down with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. Mahmud had a team-high 65 yards on 12 carries before suffering the injury.
“Losing him really hurt,” said Hornets coach Mike Pietlock. “I feel like we played with Great Valley all night. We had three turnovers in their end of the field, and obviously if we would’ve caught that touchdown pass in the fourth quarter it’s potentially a tie game.
“Great Valley is good. I give Geiss credit -- he was the best player on the field -- and he won the game for them.”
Max Burgess scored for Great Valley on the very first drive of the game, plowing into the end zone on a 2-yard run. The Patriots would carry that 7-0 lead all the way into halftime.
They upped their advantage to 13-0 midway through the third quarter on a 5-yard scoring run by River Johnson.
“Oxford blitzes from everywhere, and our assistant coaches did a great job game planning, and our offensive line was absolutely fantastic,” said Choi. “Any time you can get a league win -- it’s huge. We want to challenge for the league title, and we think we are capable of that.”

Great Valley 26, Oxford 12
Great Valley     7 0 6 13 -- 26
Oxford     0 0 6 6 -- 12
Scoring
GV-Burgess 2 run (Cavanagh kick)
GV-R. Johnson 5 run (Kick failed)
OX-Hubley 19 pass from Herb (Kick failed)
GV-Geiss 81 run (Cavanagh kick)
OX-Hubley 37 pass from Herb (Kick failed)
GV-Geiss 25 run (Kick failed)
Team Totals
    GV     OX
First downs     15    14
Yards rushing     425    114
Yards passing     31    206
Total yards    456    320
Passing     2-6-0    13-31-2
Fumbles-Lost     2-1    2-1
Penalties    6-55    5-45
Punts-Avg.     2-31.0    3-32.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Great Valley: Geiss 23-252, 2TDs; Ames 12-120; Burgess 3-25, TD; R. Johnson 6-24, TD; Temple 3-4. Oxford: Mahmud 12-65; Turns 9-40; Rosa 4-11; Lopez 1-0; Herb 2-(-2).
PASSING - Great Valley: Geiss 2-6, 31 yds. Oxford: Herb 13-31, 206 yds, 2TDs, 2INTs.
RECEIVING - Great Valley: R. Johnson 2-31. Oxford: Hubley 7-128, 2TDs; Turns 2-37; Sumner 2-22; Dawkins 1-11; Davis 1-8.
SACKS - Great Valley: Durkan. Oxford: Bentz.
INTERCEPTIONS - Great Valley: Temple, Morrison. Oxford: none.

Dynamic duo strikes again for Conestoga

By STEVE LEITZEL
steveleitzel@yahoo.com

BERWYN – Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly. Mario and Luigi. Rhythm and blues. 
Some pairings simply cannot be beaten. The most prolific pass-catch combo in Chester County proved as much in a 42-0 rout of Radnor on a cool night from Leader Field. Conestoga’s dynamic duo, seniors Joe Viviano and Andrew DeStefano, continued to pad their stats and rewrite school records while pacing the Pioneers (2-2 Central League, 3-2 overall).
“They’ve been playing together forever,” said Conestoga head coach John Vogan. “They really read each other’s minds.”
Despite the lopsided final score, the Raiders (0-4 league, 0-5 overall) did have one bright spot in Jimmie Blake. The junior tailback accounted for 134 of the team’s 201 total yards from scrimmage. Strikingly, Blake was able to amass such yardage with the Pioneers defense focusing on him primarily.
“Radnor runs the ball about as well as anybody,” said Vogan. “Number two (Blake) runs hard.”
The Conestoga defense started quickly, forcing and recovering fumbles on the Raiders’ first two possessions. Shortly thereafter, fullback Nick Prestipino opened the scoring with a 20-yard jaunt. The senior took the handoff on a counter play to the right, threw a Radnor defender to the ground with a monstrous stiff-arm, and dove into the end zone for a 7-0 advantage.
In what would become an alarming trend, the Raiders would again cough up the football on the ensuing drive. On the evening, they turned the ball over seven times, leading to 28 of the Pioneers’ 42 points. After eight plays, Viviano hit wideout Martin Dorsey on an 11-yard out. The sophomore barreled over two defensive backs to break the plane, pushing the lead to 14-0 in favor of Conestoga.
Radnor would suffer its fourth fumble on the first play of the following drive, giving the Pioneers great field position. Two plays later, Viviano hit DeStefano on a deep slant pattern, who shook one would-be tackler and ran over another for a 29-yard score.
And if two’s company, then three’s a crowd. With just 50 seconds remaining till halftime, senior running back Marcus Burton got in on the act with a 5-yard carry over the left side for a touchdown of his own. On the night, Burton ran for 121 yards on just 16 carries.
“Marcus has done a tremendous job this season,” said Vogan. “He has really raised the level of his play and it’s really helped us. It’s helped to take the pressure off Joe.”

Conestoga 42, Radnor 0
Radnor      0 0 0 0 - 0
Conestoga     7 21 7 7 - 42
Scoring
CON – Prestipino 20 run (Toroni kick)
CON – Dorsey 11 pass from Viviano (Toroni kick)
CON – DeStefano 29 pass from Viviano (Toroni kick)
CON – Burton 5 run (Toroni kick)
CON – DeStefano 7 pass from Viviano (Toroni kick)
CON – Cook 4 run (Toroni kick)
Team Totals
RAD CON
First downs  14  10
Yards rushing 201 155
Yards passing  0  102
Total yards 201 257
Passing 0-3-1 7-9-0
Fumbles-Lost 7-6 0-0
Penalties 4-30 3-20
Punts-Avg. 2-35.0 2-33.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING – RAD: Blake 26-134; Cohen 4-34; Hockersmith 4-22; Galloway 2-8; Brady-James 2-7; Thompson 1-0; Schaefer 7-(-1); Leighton 2-(-3). CON: Burton 16-121, TD; Prestipino 1-20, TD; Gallagher 5-7; Viviano 3-4; Cook 4-3, TD.
PASSING – RAD: Schaefer 0-3, INT. CON: Viviano 7-9, 102, 3 TD.
RECEIVING – RAD: none. CON: DeStefano 4-68, 2 TD; Dorsey 1-11, TD; Silverstein 1-23; Prestipino 1-0.
SACKS – RAD: King. CON: none.
INTERCEPTIONS – RAD: none. CON: Robinson.

Stout defense leads Whippets past Vikings


By NATE HECKENBERGER
nateheckenberger@gmail.com

WEST GOSHEN -- If it seemed like a ho-hum win Friday night, it’s probably because it was just business as usual for Downingtown West.
With a 28-9 win over West Chester East at Harold I. Zimmerman Stadium, the Whippets have now gone, in a seven-season stretch from 2006 to the present, 30-5 in the first halves of those seasons, a Chester County high.
The win moves West to 4-1 overall, 1-0 in the Ches-Mont National, meaning the Whippets have had four or more wins in the first half of the season in six of the past seven years. But first-half wins don’t mean as much if the second half total doesn’t equal playoffs, and West is hoping to flip the script from last fall when it started 5-0 and finished 7-3.
For now, a victory with a banged-up offense and a stout defense against a pesky East team sets the Whippets on their desired track.
“Our goal is to put ourselves in position to win the Ches-Mont,” West coach Mike Milano said. “East was (Friday night), and I know that’s cliche. We didn’t play our best, and we’re still wounded and shorthanded. We have a lot of young kids … and it just wasn’t smooth. It was not very smooth or polished, but you have to give (East) credit. They played physical and they were excited to see us.”
Things could not have started worse for the Vikings (0-2, 1-4). After East received the opening kickoff, freshman quarterback Jon Jon Roberts was picked off by Evan Wolf on a roll-out pass to the left. East forced a 47-yard field goal try by Nick Caruso, which sailed wide left.
On the very next play from the 20-yard line, Roberts was stripped on an inside run, and linebacker Lucas McMahon scooped it up and ran it in to give West a 7-0 lead.
“The defense has been great all year,” Milano said. “They’ve been averaging seven points against per game, and it stayed that way (Friday night). And it ended up a wash with us scoring one. We’re, for the most part, able to platoon, and that helps us later in the games to stand up when teams try to make a run. Evan Wolf is a first-year guy playing safety for us, and Ian Nanni and Danny Speca are tough inside. And we have a tiny little 10th grader, Lucas McMahon, at linebacker who’s doing a real nice job.”
Roberts was able to rebound, however, showing some of the potential that won him the starting job. Following his two turnovers on the first two plays, Roberts ran for 45 yards in the first half and threw for 103 yards and his first career touchdown. The TD was a perfect strike to Rob Ritrovato from 28 yards out on a fourth-and-14.
“You take away those first two, he played really well after that,” East coach Dan Ellis said of Roberts. “That was a big-time throw for the touchdown on fourth-and-14. Yes, he’s still young and still 14, but he’s getting better.”
West, who was without top back Tino Bunhu for the third straight week, lost Mitchell Meleski after one carry in the first quarter and had to rely on a trio of juniors to move the ball on the ground.
Jonathan Reyes found the end zone twice on the night and led all runners with 65 yards, quarterback Nick Pagel scored on a backbreaking 19-yard run with 16 seconds left in the half, and Elijah Tinson made up for slipping in the end zone for a safety with some tough second-half running.
East, which has not had a defense to write home about in a long time, really had a beat on West’s playcalling and held the Whippets in check most of the night.
“We played a lot better,” Ellis said. “I told the kids, we didn’t win the game, but we played pretty good defense. We had four turnovers, and a lot of that was silly stuff. Part of that is having a freshman quarterback, but we gotta toughen up and be smarter with the ball. I was very happy with the defense, though.”
West’s defense had a lot to do with the Vikings’ misfortunes, offensively. Teddy Varano added a fourth-quarter interception, Nanni recovered a fumble, and Speca, who was unblockable at nose tackle, recorded a sack.
With the biggest hurdles in the schedule yet to come, Speca knows his team must elevate its execution.
“Practice has got to be better,” Speca said. “Everyone knows you play the way you practice and wins come from practice. It doesn’t count for style points, so a win in the Ches-Mont is a win.”
As good as West has been in the first half of seasons, its biggest nemesis has been West Chester Henderson, who’s next on the schedule. The Whippets and Warriors have split the series in the last six contests.
“Our games against Henderson have always been classic,” Milano said. “There’s been years where they were favored and we upset them, and other years where we’re favored and they upset us. There’s been years where both teams are good and there’s been wars. I expect no different this year.”

Downingtown West 28, West Chester East 9
Downingtown West     14  7  0  7  -  28
West Chester East     0  9  0  0  -  9
Scoring
DW- McMahon 19 fumble return (Caruso kick)
DW- Reyes 2 run (Caruso kick)
WCE- Tinson tackled in end zone for safety
WCE- Ritrovato 28 pass from Roberts (Rogers kick)
DW- Pagel 19 run (Caruso kick)
DW- Reyes 3 run (Caruso kick)
Team Totals
DW WCE
First downs  10 9
Yards rushing  194 46
Yards passing  34 155
Total yards  228 201
Passing  3-8-0 12-27-2
Fumbles-Lost  1-0 3-2
Penalties 9-70 8-42
Punts-Avg.  4-29.3 4-24.5
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - DW: Reyes 16-65, 2 TDs; Pagel 12-56; Sauder 6-45; Tinson 11-22; Hess 2-4; Meleski 1-2. WCE: Roberts 19-38; Costa 3-4; Jackson 2-4.
PASSING - DW: Pagel 3-8-34. WCE: Roberts 12-27-155, TD, 2 INTs.
RECEIVING - DW: Sauder 1-22; Varano 1-9; Tinson 1-3. WCE: Ritrovato 6-102, TD; Downey 3-17; Casey 2-11; McKenna 1-25.
SACKS - DW: Speca. WCE: Murphy 2; Rovi.
INTERCEPTIONS - DW: Wolf, Varano. WCE: none.

Braves overwhelmed by resurgent Sun Valley

By PETE SCHNATZ
Journal Register News Service

ASTON — Sun Valley’s football resurgence continued Friday when the Vanguards treated an overflowing Homecoming crowd to a 35-14 romp past Octorara in a Ches-Mont American mismatch.
The treatment Dan Griffin and the Vanguards dealt Octorara (1-4 overall, 0-2 league) was somewhat less cordial.
Griffin, the workhorse senior running back who alternates between running over and away from tacklers, rumbled for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
And it was his heads-up defensive play on the initial snap from scrimmage that put the Vanguards (4-1, 2-0) in immediate control.
In a formation that has become a staple of Sun Valley practices, senior lineman Vaughn Fulton lined up at nose guard in an effort to distract the opposing center. The plan worked when the Braves botched their first center-quarterback exchange, with Griffin falling on the fumble.
“Vaughn got in (the center’s) head, gave him something else to think about other than just snapping the ball,” Griffin said. “It was great to get the ball that quick, especially at that end of the field.”
The turnover led to a four-play, 28-yard scoring drive that was capped by Juwan Chandler’s 15-yard stutter step, end-around run down the right sideline for a 7-0 lead just 2:02 into the game.
Sun Valley got the ball back 2 ½ minutes later and quickly doubled the lead to 14-0, going 65 yards on seven plays. Griffin started the scoring march with a 38-yard jaunt, and quarterback T.J. Mancini capped it with a 1-yard keeper.
“The first quarter has been very good for us, I think we’re averaging two touchdowns (in the first 12 minutes) this year,” Vanguards coach Jim Grugan said. “It also helped that our offensive line really stepped it up in the first half.”
Mancini (3-for-6, 104 yards and one touchdown passing) thrived behind that line, particularly when he directed a 65-yard TD drive in the final 1:36 of the first half. The junior connected with Leon Hunter on a 54-yard catch-and-run that reached the Octorara 15-yard line. Griffin — who churned out 95 yards on a dozen carries in the first two quarters — took it from there, bulling his way over right tackle from 5 yards out to make it 21-0 just before intermission.
Griffin reached 100 yards on his first carry of the second half and added an 8-yard burst through the right side of the line for a touchdown that widened the advantage to 28-0 midway through the third quarter.
Even after Octorara made some noise with a pair of scoring runs by quarterback Alex Gooden (20 carries, 159 yards), the Vanguards refused to led the Braves creep any closer.
On a beautiful pitch and catch over the middle on a play-action pass, Ryan Riddle made a leaping catch of Mancini’s long toss over the middle for a 40-yard touchdown that closed out the scoring with 10:01 to go in the game.
“I’m not the primary target on that play,” said Riddle, who also had a pair of long kickoff returns and a key pass breakup in the second half.
“We usually go to the tight end or the wide receiver on the outside,” Riddle added. “T.J. found me and made a great throw. It was pretty exciting.”
As for the Vanguards, another impressive effort is helping make last season’s 0-12 debacle a distant memory.
“The kids read all the stuff people are saying, I don’t really pay attention to it,” Grugan said. “But it’s nice that people think enough of you that they expect you to win games now.”

Sun Valley 35, Octorara 14
Octorara 0 0 7 7 - 14
Sun Valley 14 7 7 7 - 35
Scoring
S- Chandler 15 run (Cioeta kick) 9:58
S- Mancini 1 run (Cioeta kick) 3:41
S- Griffin 5 run (Cioeta kick) :29
S- Griffin 8 run (Cioeta kick) 6:53
O- Gooden 1 run (Bylery kick) 4:35
O- Gooden 57 run (Bylery kick) 11:50
S- Riddle 40 pass from Mancini (Cioeta kick) 10:01
Team Statistics
SV OCT
First downs 15 9
Rushing 269 190
Passing 104 25
Total yards 373 215
Passing 3-6-0 4-8-0
Punts-Average 2-33.0 2-34.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 2-15 3-23
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Sun Valley - Griffin 26-179, 2 TDs; Riddle 6-48; Chandler 13-45, TD; Mancini 3-(-3), TD. Octorara - Gooden 20-159, 2 TDs; Cooper 5-17; Devlin 6-16; Norris 1-(-2).
Passing: Sun Valley - Mancini 3-6-0, 104 yards, TD. Octorara - Gooden 4-8-0, 25 yards.
Receiving: Sun Valley - Hunter 1-54; Riddle 2-50; Octorara - Butler 1-12; Dinorscia 2-9; Thompson 1-4.

Undefeated W.C. Henderson crushes Shanahan, 50-10

By PETER DiGIOVANNI
cpn11716@comcast.net

WEST CHESTER - Late in Friday night’s Ches-Mont League National Division tilt between West Chester Henderson and Bishop Shanahan, someone in the crowd at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium said aloud “How many things can one guy do to beat you?”
That pretty much sums up the night of Henderson’s Spencer Rymiszewski, who ran for two touchdowns, scored on a 58-yard punt return, intercepted a pass and threw a 69-yard halfback pass to Chris Mitten for a score, and along with Phil Mitten, Chris Mitten and a bunch of fired up defenders, put the clamps on the Eagles on the way to a 50-10 thumping.
“Coach (Steve) Mitten has a different philosophy for each game and he has us ready week in and week out,” Rymisszewski said. “He prepares us and we practiced that halfback pass this week.“
The Eagles (1-1 Ches-Mont National, 2-2 overall) started strong when super sophomore Pat Corcorna broke free for a 67-yard scoring run on the first play of the game. In fact, it was only a 14-10 Henderson lead after the first quarter. But Corcorna left the game early in the second due to a shoulder injury and that is when the Warriors (2-0, 5-0) defense stacked the box on the Eagles and dared quarterback Justin Cook to beat them.
“It definetly hurt us when Pat went out because he is one of the best guys in the league,” Shanahan head coach Paul Meyers said. “But, they are a good team and sometimes it is not what you don’t do, it is what the other (team) does.”
What that other team did was outscore the Eagles 36-0 after the first period, racking up 265 rushing yards with Rymiszewski going for 109 on just three carries and Garrett Girafalco scampering for 117 and a score on seven carries.
Henderson put the game away in the second when Rymiszewski went 71 yards untouched for a touchdown. On the next Eagles drive, Henderson forced a three-and- out. After a punt, Rymiszewski found the Eagles napping, hitting Chris Mitten in stride for a touchdown and the rout was on.
The Warriors in the first half scored on two long counter runs and a halfback pass, something that rankled Meyers.
“They got us on three counter plays on the game and we practiced all week on that and the halfback pass and we got beat on them.” He said.
The Warriors defense had only allowed 13 points in their first four victories, and they shut down the depleted Eagles offense with the Mitten twins, Adam Weaver and friends just pinning back their ears and hitting anything that moves. Phil Mitten commented that the Warriors take a lot of pride in their defensive play.
“We are defending Ches-Mont champs and we did it last year with our defense and this year we know we have to play just as hard and study film,” Mitten said. “Guys take film home and study. We are real proud of the way we play defense.”
Henderson now travels to Kottmeyer Stadium to take on Downingtown West next week and Steve Mitten is happy that his team is heading into the showdown off a good performance.
“Spencer had a great game and he is a special athlete and a special kid,” Mitten said. “Coach Lunardi (John) has done great things with our defense and tonight they made all the plays again and we are goiung to have to make plays if we are going to play with the big boys of Downingtown and Coatesville.”

West Chester Henderson 50, Bishop Shanahan 10
Bishop Shanahan 10 0 0 0-10
W.C. Henderson   14 15 21 0-50
Scoring
S- Johnson 24FG
H- Girafalco 74 run (Engle kick)
S- Cook 1 run (Johnson kick)
H- Rymiszewski 58 run (Engle kick)
H- Rymiszewski 71 punt return (Engle kick)
H- C. Mitten 69 yard pass from Rymiszewski (Engle kick)
H- Girafalco 25 run (Engle kick)
H- Rymiszewski 50 run (Engle kick)
H- C.Mitten 50 interception return (Engle kick)
Team Totals
S                   H
First downs                11       11
Yards rushing            166        263
Yards passing             89        125
Total yards                255      388
Passing                     9-20-2  4-5-0
Fumbles-lost               0-0      1-0
Punts.avg                  4-29.5   1-41.0
Penalties-yds                6-50   3-45
 Individual Statistics
Rushing: Shan: Corcoran 7-71; Harper 16-53; Angelini 4-30; Stein 4-12; Cook 7-0. Hen: Girafalco 7-117, 2TD’s; Rymiszewski 3-109, 2TD’s; Green 5-19; Matonti 7-16; Bement 2-3; Armstrong 1-5; Patton 1-0; Bady 1 (-6).
Passing: Shan: Cook 9-20-2 89 yards. Hen: Rymiszewski 1-1-0 69 yards, TD; Costello 1-1-0 20 yards; Bady 2-3-0 36 yards.
Receiving: Shan: Zebrowski 4-55; Oakes 3-24; Angelini 2-10. Hen: C. Mitten 1-69, TD; P. Mitten 1-25; Girafalco 1-11; Rymiszewski 1-20.
Sacks: Shan: None. Hen: White.
Interceptions: Shan: Gueriera. Hen: Rymiszewski.

Follow Peter DiGiovanni at twitter.com/.dlnsports.

W.C. Rustin rallies in fourth quarter to stun Kennett, 29-26

By ANDY EDWARDS
aedwards@dailylocal.com

WESTTOWN -- Still smarting from its first loss to Unionville in five years, West Chester Rustin was itching to take out a week’s worth of pent-up aggression on someone.
A week removed from being knocked from the ranks of the undefeated itself, Kennett was the first to face the firing squad. It turns out the Blue Demons had plenty of bullets of their own. In the end, they just couldn’t dodge Rustin’s last one.
Adam Burke racked up 91 yards and scored three two-yard touchdowns and the Golden Knights (1-1, 4-1) rattled off 22 unanswered points in a six-minute, fourth-quarter barrage to earn a much-needed 29-26 victory over upset-minded Kennett on a cool Friday evening at their home stadium. Jordan Lardani rushed for 140 yards and a pair of scores, including a 10-yard touchdown with 1:47 to play that brought Kennett to within a field goal, but the Blue Demons (1-1, 3-2) couldn’t corral the ensuing onside kick and Rustin ran the clock out on a game it was desperate to win.
“It was a great rebound for us,” said Burke, whose third score finally gave the Knights their first lead with just under nine minutes to play. “It was a total team effort…It took everybody to get this win, and it was huge for us.”
Terry Loper led the Knights with 111 yards on 15 carries as Rustin finished with 285 yards on the ground.
“We just had to stick to Rustin football,” Burke said. “We just had to keep pounding the rock, and we knew eventually we would break it.”
The Knights did, but it took them until the final quarter to finally bend Kennett’s defense to the breaking point. Trailing 18-7 after a scoreless third period, Burke and the Knights’ power running game went to work. The senior’s second touchdown of the night capped a 14-play, 69-yard drive with 10:33 to play, and quarterback Dan Fithian found Frank Hosking in the back of the end zone to complete the two-point conversion and pull Rustin to within 18-15.
Facing third-and-long deep in their own territory on the ensuing drive, the Blue Demons committed their first and only turnover of the game as Jordan Jones threw on the run and into a crowd of Rustin defenders. T.J. Kirk pounced on the opportunity, picking off the errant throw and taking the return all the way down to the 2-yard line. Burke found pay-dirt for the third time of the game- and 15th time this season - on the next play to give the Knights their first lead of the contest.
After Rustin’s defense forced another punt, Fithian hit Dan Walls in the corner of the end zone on 3rd-and-12 for the game-winning score.
“When I knew I was getting closer to the sideline, I knew I had to be careful about how much more I ran over,” Walls said of his clutch reception. “I just used my awareness and got my feet down and caught the ball.”
Kennett’s next drive covered 65 yards in 10 plays, Lardani capping it with a 10-yard burst and running in for the two-point conversion to make it 29-26. Brett Rose’s onside kick was a good one, but Rustin was able to pounce on it after several dangerous bounces to seal the victory it badly needed after a hard-fought loss to Unionville.
“Any win this year is a huge win,” said Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair. “We had a tough loss last week and our kids rebounded well…We’re just trying to get better each week.”
The scrappy Blue Demons have certainly improved on a weekly basis. After recording its first 3-0 start in program history in head coach Scott Green’s third season at the helm, Kennett has now lost two in a row. Two years ago, though, taking the Knights to the wire would have been unthinkable. Now, Green’s bunch knows it’s close to being on the other side of close games.
“It’s just really heartbreaking for the kids, because I know how badly they wanted to win,” Green said. “To get a win against a team like Rustin would have been a dream come true.
“Make no mistake about it, Rustin is well-coached and they have tough kids. All of that said, we want to win these close games. I really feel that for our program to take the next step we have to start winning these games.”
Kennett’s undersized defense was up to the task most of the night, stuffing the high-powered Rustin ground game on fourth down three times in the opening half, the last of which produced the biggest of momentum swings.
The Golden Knights looked poised to take their first lead late in the half, but Burke was stacked up on 4th-and-1 and brought down inches short of the Kennett 15-yard line. The Blue Demons had 42 seconds to work with and little in the way of an explosive aerial attack to traverse nearly the length of the field. It didn’t matter.
Carl Lowe took a handoff and turned the corner, making several nifty moves to gain the second level. The senior speedster broke into the secondary and outran everybody for an 84-yard score that shocked the Knights’ home crowd into silence and gave the Blue Demons an 18-7 lead.
Lardani’s 65-yard burst down the left sideline and a two-point conversion had Kennett up 11-0 midway through the second quarter. Kennett racked up 240 yards on the ground in the first half, but St. Clair’s defense buckled down and surrendered just 72 in the final two periods.    
“Scott does a great job with that team,” St. Clair said of the Blue Demons. “They’re a great team and very hard to defend. In the first half we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized and held us in check for a little bit.”
Not quite long enough, however, to hand the Knights a second straight deflating loss.
“We played our hearts out that game (against Unionville) and came up a little bit short,” Walls said. “We really needed it. There’s a big difference between 4-1 and 3-2.”
A difference that, despite their best efforts, the Blue Demons know all too well.

West Chester Rustin 29, Kennett 26
Kennett     3 15 0 8 -- 26
W.C. Rustin     0 7 0 22 -- 29
Scoring
K- Rose 23 field goal
K- Lardani 65 run (Chew run)
W- Burke 2 run (Jenkins kick)
K- Lowe 84 run (Rose kick)
W- Burke 2 run (Hosking pass)
W- Burke 2 run (Jenkins kick)
W- Walls 16 pass from Fithian (Jenkins kick)
K- Lardani 10 run (Lardani run)
Team Totals
    K     WCR
First downs     13    22
Yards rushing     312    285
Yards passing     35    32
Total yards    347    317
Passing     3-8-1    4-6-0
Fumbles-Lost     0-0    0-0
Penalties    3-15    2-10
Punts-Avg.     4-34.3    1-51.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Kennett: Lardani 21-140, 2 TDs; Lowe 6-103, TD; Jones 11-52; McQuiston 1-17. Rustin: Loper 15-111; Burke 19-91. 3 TD; Lamberjack 6-42; Pernsley 8-36; Peterson 2-4; Fithian 3-1. 
PASSING - Kennett: Jones 3-8-1, 35 yards. Rustin: Fithian 4-6-0, 32 yards, TD.
RECEIVING - Kennett: McQuiston 1-23; Rochester 1-8; Lardani 1-4. Rustin: Walls 2-26, TD; Seal 1-5; Burke 1-1.
SACKS - Kennett: None. Rustin: Steinmetz, Dunion.
INTERCEPTIONS - Rustin: Kirk.

Downingtown East routs Avon Grove, 42-6, to stay undefeated

By STEVE PILONI
spiloni@dailylocal.com

DOWNINGTOWN -- It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means.
But Downingtown East did a lot of things right in beating visiting Avon Grove, 42-6, in a Ches-Mont League National Division football game on Friday.
The Cougars, ranked No. 1 in the Daily Local News Football Poll, rolled to a 35-6 halftime lead, and used a lot of different players in the second half.
It was a game in which Downingtown East could have come out flat after posting an emotional win over Coatesville last week. That didn’t happen as quarterback Kyle Lauletta passed for four touchdowns and ran for another.
“We had a lot of injuries going into this game,” said Lauletta, who completed 11 of his 13 passes for 209 yards. “We harp on playing the same way every week. We still prepare the same way.
“Our young guys stepped it up tonight and made some good plays. We had some solid drives on offense. I had that one bad turnover (a fumble in the first quarter), but other than that we did what we had to do.’’
The Cougars (2-0, 5-0) established their running game early as Ryley Angeline pounded out 130 of his 131 yards in the first half.
Jay Harris had another all-around solid game with 47 yards rushing and a touchdown, along with two catches for 36 yards and a TD.
Chris Beals caught four passes for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had one run for 58 yards. Mike Reichwein hauled in a 14-yard scoring pass.
“We knew what we wanted to do,” said Lauletta. “Ryley did a great job running the ball, which helped set up our play-action passes. A lot of people stepped it up tonight.”
Although Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta wasn’t happy with all aspects of the Cougars’ night, he couldn’t complain about the final outcome.
“It’s important to play at our level,” he said. “That’s the key whenever we play anyone. We had a couple of turnovers and some penalties, but I thought we stayed strong.
“We work hard for everything. I’m really proud of the young guys for playing well tonight. They got a lot of experience.”
Although they were overmatched by Downingtown East’s strength and speed, the Red Devils (0-2, 0-5) played hard the entire way.
Their only touchdown came late in the first half when quarterback Tanner Peck connected with Jared Braxton on a 23-yard scoring pass. Braxton finished with four catches for 71 yards.
Avon Grove wasn’t able to run the ball effectively, which put a lot more pressure on Peck, who managed to hit on 10 of his 18 passing attempts for 107 yards. He also did a lot of scrambling.
“We knew they were a powerful team,” said Avon Grove head coach Doug Langley. “We had some sparks here and there, but you can’t turn the ball over against a team like that. You can’t lose your focus.”
“They will be a good program again,” said Matta. “He’s a first-year coach and they’ve got some things to work on. But they battled the whole way, and he has them going in the right direction.”

Downingtown East 42
Avon Grove  6
Avon Grove     0 6 0 0 -- 6
Downingtown East     21 14 7 0 -- 42
Scoring
DE-Beals 37 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
DE-Lauletta 1 run (White kick)
DE-Harris 32 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
DE-Harris 6 run (White kick)
DE-Reichwein 14 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
AG-Braxton 23 pass from Peck (kick blocked)
DE-Beals 27 pass from Lauletta (White kick)
Team Totals
    AG     DE
First downs     6    20
Yards rushing     28    330
Yards passing     107    209
Total yards    135    539
Passing     10-19-2    11-14-0
Fumbles-Lost     1-1    3-1
Penalties    7-60    4-15
Punts-Avg.     7-21.3    1-29.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - AG: Davis 10-12; Taylor 2-10; Smethurst  2-9; Braxton 1-9; Peck 6-(-12). DE: Angeline 17-131; Beals 1-58; Harris 4-47, TD; Lauletta 6-26, TD; Ambrogi 4-19; Buban 6-37; C. Lucas-Murphy 8-16; Bovard 1-1; DiStefano 1-1; Kozlowski 1-(-6).
PASSING - AG: Peck 10-18-2, 107 yds., TD; Kush 0-1-0. DE: Lauletta 11-13-0, 209 yds., 4 TDs; Kozlowski 0-1-0.
RECEIVING - AG: Braxton 4-71, TD; Davis 3-3; Kush 2-19; D’Aquanno 1-14. DE: Beals 4-99, 2 TDs; Harris 2-36, TD; Reichwein 3-35, TD; Foley 2-25; Coyle-Nicolas 1-14
SACKS - AG: Smethurst 2. DE: Smith, Fell.
INTERCEPTIONS - DE: DeFrances, Davis.

Great Valley rushes for 425 yards in 26-12 win over Oxford

By BRAD SPAHR
bspahr@dailylocal.com

OXFORD - Unlike the Phillies, the Great Valley High School football team is going to be playing some meaningful games in October, and they couldn’t be more excited about the challenges that lie ahead.
The Patriots kept themselves tied for the Ches-Mont American Division lead on Friday night as they stayed perfect in league play with a gritty 26-12 road victory over Oxford in which they piled up a whopping 425 yards on the ground.
Great Valley (2-0 American, 4-1 overall) got a sensational performance from senior quarterback Chris Geiss, who rushed for a game-high 252 yards and scored on two key second-half touchdowns runs to help his team swing the momentum in what was a tight battle throughout.
Oxford (0-2, 3-2), which has now dropped two straight after a strong start, trailed 13-6 with 7:45 remaining when it appeared the Hornets had struck for a big touchdown pass that would’ve left them just an extra point away from tying the game. Quarterback Ethan Herb (206 yards passing) let loose on a perfectly thrown 27-yard pass on the play that hit a wide-open Collin Dawkins in stride in the end zone, but the ball bounced off his chest, and making matters worse for the home team, Great Valley’s Matt Morrison was there to make an interception as the ball bounced in the air following the drop.
Moments later, Geiss busted an 81-yard touchdown run on third-and-11 to give the Patriots a commanding 20-6 lead with 6:02 to go.
“Matt made a huge play for us on that interception, and we were riding the momentum from that point forward,” said Geiss. “On my run I just saw some daylight and took it.
“This was a great team effort. It was a huge win too, because now it sets up a really big game for us next week against West Chester Rustin.”
Oxford, to its credit, refused to go down easily as the Hornets got right back into the game less than a minute after what appeared to be a back-breaking scoring run by Geiss. They did so when Herb hit receiver Ryan Hubley on a 37-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 20-12 with 5:37 to go. Hubley had a big game for the Hornets, finishing with seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Great Valley answered the bell when the pressure was on, though. They responded by marching right down the field on a clock-eating drive that featured a key 44-yard run by Geiss on third-and-three. It ended with Geiss breaking free on a 25-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left to make it 26-12.
“[Geiss] is the engine that moves our offense,” said Great Valley coach Mike Choi. “We have all the faith in the world in him and he really was outstanding tonight. He made the proper reads, and executed our option fantastically.”
Great Valley also got a terrific game from junior Cyree Ames, who picked up 120 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Oxford suffered a tough loss right before the half when leading rusher Musty Mahmud went down with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. Mahmud had a team-high 65 yards on 12 carries before suffering the injury.
“Losing him really hurt,” said Hornets coach Mike Pietlock. “I feel like we played with Great Valley all night. We had three turnovers in their end of the field, and obviously if we would’ve caught that touchdown pass in the fourth quarter it’s potentially a tie game.
“Great Valley is good. I give Geiss credit -- he was the best player on the field -- and he won the game for them.”
Max Burgess scored for Great Valley on the very first drive of the game, plowing into the end zone on a 2-yard run. The Patriots would carry that 7-0 lead all the way into halftime.
They upped their advantage to 13-0 midway through the third quarter on a 5-yard scoring run by River Johnson.
“Oxford blitzes from everywhere, and our assistant coaches did a great job game planning, and our offensive line was absolutely fantastic,” said Choi. “Any time you can get a league win -- it’s huge. We want to challenge for the league title, and we think we are capable of that.”

The Patriots rushed for 425 yards in their 26-12 Ches-Mont League American Division victory, and they have now rushed for 1,465 yards to lead the area.Quarterback Chris Geiss rushed for a game-high 252 yards on 23 carries, and scored two touchdowns. Geiss now has 577 rushing yards so far this season, along with six touchdowns.

Great Valley 26, Oxford 12
Great Valley     7 0 6 13 -- 26
Oxford     0 0 6 6 -- 12
Scoring
GV-Burgess 2 run (Cavanagh kick)
GV-R. Johnson 5 run (Kick failed)
OX-Hubley 19 pass from Herb (Kick failed)
GV-Geiss 81 run (Cavanagh kick)
OX-Hubley 37 pass from Herb (Kick failed)
GV-Geiss 25 run (Kick failed)
Team Totals
    GV     OX
First downs     15    14
Yards rushing     425    114
Yards passing     31    206
Total yards    456    320
Passing     2-6-0    13-31-2
Fumbles-Lost     2-1    2-1
Penalties    6-55    5-45
Punts-Avg.     2-31.0    3-32.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - GV: Geiss 23-252, 2TDs; Ames 12-120; Burgess 3-25, TD; R. Johnson 6-24, TD; Temple 3-4. OX: Mahmud 12-65; Turns 9-40; Rosa 4-11; Lopez 1-0; Herb 2-(-2).
PASSING - GV: Geiss 2-6, 31 yds. OX: Herb 13-31, 206 yds, 2TDs, 2INTs.
RECEIVING - GV: R. Johnson 2-31. OX: Hubley 7-128, 2TDs; Turns 2-37; Sumner 2-22; Dawkins 1-11; Davis 1-8.
SACKS - Great Valley: Durkan. Oxford: Bentz.
INTERCEPTIONS - Great Valley: Temple, Morrison.

downingtown west - west chester east notes

video

Downingtown West nose tackle Danny Speca talks about the game, 
as well as next week's matchup against West Chester Henderson.

A win is a win for Downingtown West. Without its top two running backs and a passing game that's yet to take off, the Whippets continued using its recipe for success this season: making enough plays with the running game and playing tough defense. Running back Tino Bunhu, who's missed three straight games now, was dressed Friday against West Chester East, but did not play at all. Don't be surprised to see him back against Henderson next week. Mitchell Meleski, the Whippets' leading rusher, carried the ball only once Friday and looked pretty hobbled after the game.

West has given up 35 points defensively in five weeks, good for second only to Henderson in the Ches-Mont. The Warriors are certainly a more veteran team, but West has limited turnovers and kept teams out of the end zone and that is a good way to continue winning football games.

The Vikings' defense was impressive against West. It seemed East's staff knew what to expect a lot of the time, presnap, and held the Whippets running attack to just over four yards per carry. Jon Jon Roberts had his struggles, but the fact that he didn't just pack it in after two turnovers his first two plays showed his resolve. He will continue to make mistakes this season, but he will also continue to show flashes of his athleticism that will make him a dangerous playmaker in the next three seasons.

Rob Ritrovato also impressed for East, with six receptions for 102 yards. His physicality stood out the most, especially when he ran over a West defensive back after a reception and picked up 10 extra yards. With East being a mostly finesse team the past five seasons, players like Ritrovato will help change the culture at East.

Nate Heckenberger

Downingtown West - West Chester East halftime

The West Chester East Vikings looked to capitalize on the game's opening possession, but saw both of their first two drives end in turnovers to the Downingtown West Whippets' defense.

Freshman starting quarterback, #3 John-John Roberts, threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage which led to a long field goal attempt by the Whippets.

After a close miss to the left of the uprights, the Vikings took over possession and again fumbled on the drive's first play. But this time, the Whippets defense converted when #9 McMahon took the ball back to the end zone.

The Whippets took a 14-0 lead when #2 Jonathan Reyes carried it in. He had 46 rushing yards in the half.

The momentum swayed in East's direction when the defense picked up a safety and Roberts got the ball back.

Rob Ritrovado made it a game when he brought of his five catches in for a score. He had 86 yards on his five receptions.

With the score at 14-9 and a rejuvenated East crowd chanting "we believe that we will win," the Whippets buckled down with just over 2:40 left on the clock and drove down the field to impressively the quiet the home side.

On a fourth and two situation, Whippet quarterback #19 Kegel ran 19 yards for the touchdown. He had 31 passing yards to compliment his 36 yards on the ground.

At halftime the Whippets lead the Vikings, 21-9.

Matt Cassidy

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Conestoga duo have otherworldy connection

By NATE HECKENBERGER

nateheckenberger@gmail.com


TREDYFFRIN -- Conestoga coach John Vogan can’t prove it, but he has a theory on when his prolific quarterback-wide receiver combo’s connection was spawned.
“I bet they were in the nursery together and Joe threw a pass to Andrew,” Vogan surmised. “And Andrew probably caught it.”
While that hypothesis is probably a few years premature, Conestoga quarterback Joe Viviano and wide receiver Andrew DeStefano have been connecting on passes since weight ball. Nowadays, no duo connects more frequently.
And if the Pioneers are to get back to their first postseason since 2009, it will be over a decade of practicing for it, fulfilled.
“It’s huge,” DeStefano said. “Coach Vogan reminds us that no one on this team has made the playoffs. It motivated us throughout the offseason and we’re working hard to get there.”
The Pioneers do things a little differently than teams around Chester County. They are just over 50 percent with running plays, using the short to intermediate passing game as a way to move the chains and get their talent out in space.
Vogan and offensive coordinator Chris Gicking have had some good QB-WR tandems -- Billy Flately and Dexter Bridge for one -- but Viviano and DeStefano are about to blow any previous numbers away.
Through four games, DeStefano has 40 catches for 459 yards and six touchdowns. As a junior he led the Pioneers with 51 for 799 and seven scores. Bridge, in 2010, had 55 catches and 12 TDs.
“We’ve gotten a lot from practicing it a lot,” Viviano said. “We really started in our eighth-grade year, and we worked with each other every year to get better. Sophomore year we could hardly complete a pass together. And now it’s really hard to stop us.”
Viviano, who’s heading to Harvard next fall to continue his football career, went the final three games last season and the first two this fall without throwing an interception. He currently has 892 passing yards, nine TDs and two picks after passing for 2,072 yards as a junior.
With his recognition and decision-making getting better each game, Viviano relishes toting the burden of leading his squad back to the postseason.
“I like that the coaches trust me to do that,” said Viviano of his ability to throw so much. “It puts the game in my hands. If it’s complete, it’s because of me or if it’s incomplete, it’s because of me. I like that excitement.”
Vogan credits Gickling for all his work done with Viviano and DeStefano, as the trio worked tirelessly during the summer. Viviano, who is listed at 6-foot-5, has little trouble finding DeStefano (5-foot-10) thanks largely in part to all the outside drilling.
Things will have to go the way it was practiced the final six weeks, however, after starting 2-2. With Garnet Valley and Ridley getting the better of the Pioneers in weeks two and three, Conestoga faces a schedule with its toughest tests behind it. But trips to Strath Haven and an improved Haverford High are still on tap.
If 7-3 didn’t get the Pioneers in last fall, it might not this year. And Vogan is confident he has the type of kids to get ‘Stoga back into the spotlight.
“With those two kids, and our other two captains Riley Pritchett and Nick Prestipino, we have four very strong kids to lead our football team,” Vogan said. “All of them have the same attitude. They want to see the team succeed and are willing to sacrifice to make that happen.”
That brings us to DeStefano and his torrid pass-catching pace. At this point he’s on pace for exactly 100 through a full season. Last year, Mike Brown of West Chester East led the area with 49 receptions. DeStefano might beat that mark next game, let alone in 10 regular season games. But the latter number is really all the senior cares about this season.
“I don’t really think about the catches much,” DeStefano said. “I’m hoping we’ll be playing a little longer than a 10-game season. I don’t care about stats. I care about extending our season as long as possible.”
Yet another thing Viviano and DeStefano can unite on.

Football season comes to halfway point

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

cpn11716@comcast.net


Week five is already upon us and since we are at the halfway point of the regular season, it is time for some teams to see which direction there seasons are headed. A big nonleague battle between Coatesville (2-2) and Unionville (3-1) on Saturday afternoon at Unionville is the marquee game on this week’s docket and Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega, who has to pick his team up after a tough 35-34 loss to Downigntown East, now faces another very strong opponent in the Indians.
“We are just going to have to get back to practice and get ready for a very good Unionville team,” Ortea said. “This may be our toughest game of the year and the most physical. Unionville is so well coached by Pat Clark and they like to play ball control.
“Their quarterback (Tom Pancoast) is very good and their linemen are always big and strong. We are going to have to be ready. We have some guys banged up a little, but they should be all right. Two guys who really played well against Downintown East were Emmett Hunt and Mike Boykin.
“Emmett has the confidence of all his teammates and he threw five touchdown passes last week. Mike is a strong district champion in wrestling and he does everything a good linebacker should do. This will be a very tough and physical game.”
The Indians are coming off a bruising win against Rustin as Tom Pancoast ran for almost 200 yards and two scores.
Pick: Coatesville has too many athletes to lose here. Coatesville 28, Unionville 21.
Friday’s games
Avon Grove (0-4) at Downingtown East (4-0), 7 p.m. The Cougars are flying high after their one-point win over Coatesville. This one should be over quickly.
Pick: Downingtown East 42, Avon Grove 7.
Radnor (0-4) at Conestoga (2-2), 7 p.m.
The Pioneers’ Joe Viviano was a very efficent 13 of 18 passing last week and the ‘Stoga defense finally played up to its potential in a 21-0 shut out of Marple Newtown. Radnor has allowed 35 points a game in its four losses.
Pick: Conestoga 34, Radnor 10.
Downingtown West (3-1) at West Chester East (0-4), 7 p.m.
The Whippets rolled over a bad Penn Wood team last week while the Vikings have only scored seven points in their last two games. Look for Downingtown West to gain a lot of yardage on the ground here.
Pick: Downingtown West 28, West Chester East 7.
Great Valley (3-1) at Oxford (3-1), 7 p.m.
The Patriots think they are major players in the American Division. We will see here. If they truly are, they will beat Oxford soundly.
Pick: Great Valley 31, Oxford 14.
Octorara (1-3) at Sun Valley (3-1), 7 p.m.
Sun Valley is a surprising 3-1, while the young Braves have been struggling.
Pick: Sun Valley 24, Octrorara 21.
Kennett (3-1) at West Chester Rustin (3-1), 7 p.m.
Both teams are coming off their first loss of the season. Kennett, like Great Valley, thinks they can win the Ches-Mont American this year. Kennett had turnover troubles against Haverford School and a similar game will spell doom against the Golden Knights.
Pick: W.C. Rustin 21, Kennett 14.
Bishop Shanahan (2-1) at West Chester Henderson (4-0), 7:15 p.m.
The Eagles piled up more than 400 yards of total offense against Avon Grove last week in a 57-14 win. But Henderson has been playing the best defense in the county, allowing 737 yards total on the season, and should be able to hold the Eagles down.
Pick: W.C. Henderson 28, Bishop Shanahan 7.

Follow Peter DiGiovanni at twitter.com/dlnsports

Daily Local News 'Two-Minute Drill'

Join Daily Local News football writers Pete Di Giovanni and Nate Heckenberger each week as they discuss the goings on in the Chester County area. The two will break down the top games of the weekend and fill you in on all the news from the gridiron.
video

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kennett tops Cougars, 1-0, for third straight win

By BRAD SPAHR
bspahr@dailylocal.com

UWCHLAN - It’s been a front-loaded schedule for the Kennett High School boys soccer team so far this fall, as most of their early season games have been against not only tough nonleague opponents, but some of the top teams in the Ches-Mont League as well.
The Blue Demons have been able to keep their heads above water during this difficult stretch, and now they’re hoping to make a late run in what they view as a number of winnable games from here on out.
Tuesday afternoon Kennett faced yet another difficult challenge against a Downingtown East squad that sat in a three-way tie for first place in the National Division standings coming in, and they handled it very well by posting a 1-0 road shutout.
The Blue Demons (3-2-1 American, 5-4-1 overall) got the lone score of the match from junior midfielder Louis Carrillo, who netted the game-winning goal early in the second half, with 38:24 remaining, on a long shot from well outside the box.
“We didn’t start off as strong as we wanted this season,” said Carrillo, “but it’s how you finish that is the most important thing.
“On my goal I was open outside the box and I was able to get a good look at the net before taking my shot. I had to take it with my left foot but I struck it well, and it was a great feeling seeing it go in.”
For Downingtown East (3-3 National), it was a tough loss as the Cougars had plenty of quality scoring chances throughout but were unable to get one past Kennett goalie Alex Giarrocco (nine saves), as he earned his fifth shutout of the season.
With the game scoreless late in the opening half, Downingtown East had a pair of great opportunities to take the lead in the final two minutes, but was unable to convert on either.
Moments after falling behind 1-0, Austin Warren of the Cougars rumbled into the box from the left side with a great chance but was robbed of a goal by Giarrocco. East also had two more solid chances with a little more than 13 minutes to go when they got a direct kick from just outside the box, and then a corner kick a minute later.
“We know we are going to be involved in a lot of low-scoring games, and our defense is going to have to be strong for us,” said Kennett coach Dean Temple, whose Blue Demons haven’t allowed a goal in their current three-game winning streak. “This was a great win for us to come out and get today.”
Kennett received some terrific play from senior midfielder Connor Dalphon, who was all over the field throughout.
Kennett has already faced fellow American Division unbeatens West Chester Rustin and Great Valley, who are tied atop the division standings. With Tuesday’s win, the Blue Demons moved into a tie for third place with Oxford.
With a lot of season left to go, Kennett is expecting to make a serious push down the stretch.
“We gotta make a run here,” said Temple. “We had a tough, tough schedule early on. Our first eight games were all very difficult and we came out of them at five hundred, which wasn’t bad. Now we are hoping to get on a big roll from here on out.”

Kennett 1, Downingtown East 0
Kennett     0 1 -- 1
Downingtown East     0 0 -- 0
Kennett goal: Carrillo.
Goalie saves: Giarrocco (K) 9; Maino (DE) 7.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Despite anxious moment, West Chester squashes Kutztown

By NEIL GEOGHEGAN
ngeoghegan@dailylocal.com

KUTZTOWN – Up and down football performances happen every single weekend, but rarely do you see the dichotomy of emotions that the West Chester football squad experienced Saturday in Kutztown.
Notching the program’s most impactful triumph in at least three seasons, WCU signaled its return to PSAC East title contention by blasting the Golden Bears, 45-24. But the Golden Rams walked off University Field with a huge victory in their pockets and an even bigger sense of relief in their hearts after teammate Eric Edwers went down with what initially appeared to be a serious neck injury.
Moments after batting down a third quarter pass attempt, the junior defensive end lay motionless on the turf. Paramedics loaded the junior defensive end onto a stretcher and he was transported to a local hospital -- but not before giving his worries teammates the thumbs up.
“I think he’s OK,” reported head coach Bill Zwaan. “But as a precaution, they had to take him to the hospital, and they didn’t want him to move until they took x-rays.
“Eric was conscious the whole time and had total movement and feeling everywhere.”
Incredibly, the resilient Rams proceeded to outscore the reigning PSAC champs 21-10 the rest of the way to improve to 2-0 in the division (3-1 overall), and certainly have the look of a squad capable of making a run at WCU’s first Eastern Division crown since 2008.
“Eric is a brother to us and once we lost a family member, we knew we had to step it up a notch,” said junior runner Rondell White, who scored three rushing touchdowns.
“I don’t know if there were people out there who didn’t think we are contenders, but after this game they should believe that we are capable of winning any game we play,” added senior quarterback Mike Mattei.
In addition to the injury, the Rams were faced with a variety of challenges, including yet another special team’s blunder to start the second half. But the squad overcame it all, rolling up 403 yards of offense in the process and winning the turnover battle 3-0.
“This is a different team mentally than we’ve had in the last couple years,” Zwaan acknowledged. “They feel like they are going to handle whatever problems come along and they have a lot of confidence. We were shaken by what happened to Eric, but we kept fighting. And everybody is frustrated by the kickoff return, but we went right back out and scored.
“We are getting a lot of contributions from a lot of guys right now.”
Down by 10 at the half, the Bears (0-2, 1-3) got back into contention in a hurry when Curtis Wortham returned the second half kickoff 99-yards. Amazingly, it was the second straight game in which WCU surrendered a touchdown to start the third period.
But unlike two years ago at University Field – when Kutztown scored the final 35 points to overcome a halftime deficit -- the Rams responded positively, forcing a quick punt and then scoring on a 38-yard strike from Mattei to Adam Dempsey to convert a third-and-16.  
The glow didn’t last long, however, as Edwers went down on the ensuing possession. But just two plays after watching their teammate carted off the field, the WCU defense forced the play of the game when quarterback-turned-linebacker Matt Carroll forced a KU fumble, and freshman tackle Andrew Cohen scooped it up and rambled into the end zone.
“We think we have something special brewing on defense,” said tackle Andrew McCloskey, who had 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack.
“If you take that the return, and their last touchdown against the second team, our defense played tremendous,” Zwaan added. “They were flying around and causing all kinds of problems.”
The Rams then closed it out with a methodical, time-consuming 73-yard march early in the fourth quarter, culminating with the final scoring run by White, who finished with 78 tough yards on 29 attempts.
“The scoreboard reflects how we practiced this week,” White said. “We are trying to get a PSAC East title. This is a big road victory, especially after last year when (Kutztown) came to our place and shut us out (24-0).”
Defensively, West Chester limited the explosive Bears to less than five yards per play despite a shaky start. Wortham gained 57 of his 90 yards in the ground in Kutztown’s first series, which put WCU in a 7-0 hole.
But the defense made adjustments and the offense bounced back nicely on the next three series, beginning with an 80-yard drive, with emerging wideout Jim Kelly wrapped it up with a 29-yard toss from Mattei. West Chester inched ahead on a 48-yard Shawn Leo field goal, and then linebacker Ronnell Williams grabbed a key interception with KU threatening.
The Rams parlayed the turnover into another White TD, but it was Mattei who delivered a pair of third-and-long conversions with passes to Kelly and Erick Brundidge. He finished the day 19 of 26 for 318 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.
“Kutztown didn’t have their QB (Kevin Morton), but we were playing our second guy too, and he did a pretty darn good job,” Zwaan said of Mattei, who replaced injured starter Sean McCartney in the season opener. “After the first series, he did exactly what we needed him to do.”
In his last two outings, Mattei completed 76 percent of his passes for 676 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I know I can make all the throws and I’ve been running the offense for five years,” Mattei said. “The coaches are putting me in a position to succeed, the o-line keeps playing well and the receivers keep catching, so that makes it easy.”
West Chester travels to PSAC West favorite California (Pa.) next weekend before a third straight road game at division foe East Stroudsburg.
“Unlike last week against Millersville (a 56-14 victory), this is a win we can gauge,” Zwaan said. “Our kids were ready to play this game, we made some big plays on both sides of the ball.”
  
WCU 45, Kutztown 24
West Chester     7 10 14 14 -- 45
Kutztown     7 0 10 7 -- 24
Scoring
K-Wortham 11 run (Ruggieri kick)
WC-Kelly 29 pass from Mattei (Leo kick)
WC-FG Leo 48
WC-White 1 run (Leo kick)
K-Wortham 98 kickoff return (Ruggieri kick)
WC-Dempsey 38 pass from Mattei (Leo kick)
WC-Cohen 4 fumble return (Leo kick)
K-FG Ruggieri 41
WC-White 4 run (Leo kick)
WC-White 8 run (Leo kick)
K-Reed 25 pass from Luckenbaugh (Ruggieri kick)
Team Totals
    WC     K
First downs     20    21
Yards rushing     85    68
Yards passing     318    306
Total yards    403    374
Passing     19-26-0    36-53-2
Fumbles-Lost     0-0    1-1
Penalties    9-62    7-73
Punts-Avg.     3-26.7    3-42.0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - WCU: White 29-82, 3 TDs; Monk 4-18; Carroll 1-(-1); Team 1-(-2); Mattei 1-(-4); Elliott 1-(-4). Kutz: Wortham 20-95, TD; Fehr 1-1; Luckenbaugh 3-(-23).
PASSING - WCU: Mattei 19-26-0, 318 yds., 2 TDs. Kutz: Luckenbaugh 36-53-2, 306 yds., TD.
RECEIVING - WCU: Lee 6-70; Kelly 5-100, TD; White 3-30; Brundidge 2-62; Dempsey 2-49, TD; Beahan 1-7. Kutz: Smith 12-86; Snyder 5-35; Tuell 4-39; Wortham 4-33; Fox 4-32; Kelly 2-14; Pirolli 1-25; Reed 1-25, TD; Michalak 1-6; Sterling 1-6; Garneau 1-5.
SACKS - WCU: Williams, Carroll, McCloskey. Kutz: Greenwald.
INTERCEPTIONS - WCU: Williams, Shabazz. Kutz: none.

Turnovers doom Blue Demons in first loss of season

By BILL RUDICK

brudick55@gmail.com


KENNETT SQUARE — Take out a big gain on a run by Haverford’s Matt Galambos after the game was pretty much in the bag and, statistically
speaking, Haverford School and host Kennett were just about even.  Except for one key number — turnovers.
The Fords picked off three passes and forced another fumble to win the turnover battle.  More importantly, they converted every one of those turnovers into points on the way to handing Blue Demons their first loss of the season, 34-14, on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve been battling turnovers all season,” said Kennett coach Scott Green. “Today it caught up with us, and it’s something we’re going to have to work on going forward.”
Haverford School (2-2) scored first on a one-yard plunge by Stephen Fitzgerald, his first of four on the afternoon, but missed the extra point. Kennett (3-1) responded as quarterback Jordan Jones scored on a nine-yard jaunt for a 7-6 lead after one quarter.
Fitzgerald’s scored touchdown on the day, early in the second, put the Fords up 12-7, and it looked as the back-and-forth would continue as Kennett answered right back with a nice drive of its own.  But with just under two minutes to play in the half, Matt Galambos picked off a Jones pass and returned it to the Kennett 17-yard line. Two plays later, Galambos ran it in from the two to extend the lead to 20-7 at the break.
“I just made my reads and dropped back into my zone and let it come to me,” said Galambos. “It made a huge difference in our confidence going into the half up by two scores.”
Kennett came out of the break with another long drive, this one a 15-play, 65 yard drive that ate up over nine minutes and culminated when Jones ran it in from the nine to get the Blue Demons back to within a touchdown at 20-14.
“We talked at the half about what we needed to do,” said Green.  “And we came out and we did it. We moved the ball pretty well all day, really.  We just put ourselves in a bad situation when we didn’t cover up the onside kick.”
Haverford recovered Kennett’s attempt at its own 46, seven plays later and barely a minute into the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald scored once again, this time from ten-yards out.
“I might have an advantage as someone who has coached in a triple option offense like Kennett runs,” said Haverford coach Michael Murphy.  “You know that there will be times when you’re facing the triple that you are going to give up long drives.  You just can’t panic, and just make sure you take advantage when you have the ball. You can’t afford a three-and-out and put the ball back in their hands.”
Kennett appeared to catch a break when they recovered a Fords fumble with eight minutes to play. Taking over at its own 22 and still needing a pair of scores, the Blue Demons went to the air. Jones connected with three different receivers to move the deep into Haverford territory. Facing a second-and-eight at the Haverford 24, Jones threw over the middle, but Darren Watson stepped in front and picked off the pass, the third for Haverford on the day.
Following a 40-yard run from Galambos, Fitzgerald ended the scoring, rumbling in from the 15.
Galambos led all rushers on the day, rolling up 125 yards on 12 carries.  Jordan Lardani paced the Blue Demons with 69 yards on 22 carries.  Jones chipped in with another 33 on 13 carries.
“Haverford is a big, skilled athletic team,” said Green.  “But these kids really played hard from start to finish.  We found some things we need to work on, so we’ll work on them, make the adjustments we need to make, and get back at it next week.”

Haverford School 34, Kennett 14
Haverford School 6 14 0 14--34
Kennett     7 0 7 0--14
Scoring
HV--Fitzgerald 1 run (Kick failed)
K--Jones 9 run (Rose kick)
HV--Fitzgerald 1 run (Kick failed)
HV--Galambos 2 run (Galambos run)
K--Jones 1 run (Rose kick)
HV--Fitzgerald 11 run (Morgan kick)
HV--Fitzgerald 15 run (Morgan kick)
Team Totals
    H     K
First downs     11    13
Yards rushing     219    118
Yards passing     84    96
Total yards    303    214
Passing     4-7-0    6-11-3
Fumbles-Lost     1-1    2-1
Penalties    7-76    3-30
Punts-Avg.     1-31.0    0-0
Individual Statistics
RUSHING - Haverford School: Galambos 12-125 TD, Fitzgerald 3-46 4TD, Hill 10-37, Morgan 1-17, Giubilato 1-4. Kennett: Lardani 22-69, Jones 13-33 2TD, Niewinski 2-16.
PASSING - Haverford School: Fitzgerald 4-7-0, 84 yards. Kennett: Jones 6-11-3, 91 yards.
RECEIVING - Haverford School: Giubilato 3-68, Watson 1-16. Kennett: McQuiston 2-32, Niewinski 2-26, Lardani 1-22, Clarke 1-16.
SACKS - Haverford School: Galambos. Kennett: None.
INTERCEPTIONS - Haverford School: Galambos, Morgan, Watson. Kennett: None.