DOWNINGTOWN >> As the Bishop Shanahan Eagles shouted after another convincing victory Friday night, “It’s East Week!”
Heading into their Ches-Mont opener next Friday against Downingtown East, the Eagles’ performance needle is definitely going due north.
Their 50-6 pounding of Pottstown made the Eagles 3-0 in the non-conference slate while showing a gaudy point differential of 135-25. They’re really rolling to this point, but the serious business starts now.
“We have a lot of momentum going in,” said senior defensive back Andrew Smyth. “I love East week. Favorite game of the year for me personally.”
“We’re going to watch a lot of film,” added Bishop Shanahan quarterback Nick Skulski, who gave the Trojans fits with his arm and legs. “It’s a great rivalry. We really want to win and they really want to win.”
Pottstown’s chances to win basically diminished with a bang-bang sequence of offensive miscues against a dominant, swarming Eagle defense. In the second quarter, trailing 13-0, Pottstown fumbled in its own end zone and Smyth recovered for a touchdown.
“I saw a mixup in backfield and jumped on the ball,” Smyth said.
The next time the Trojans got the ball, they didn’t have it long, as Owen Morton was intercepted by Brendan Deering. That gave the Eagles the ball at the Pottstown 22, and five plays later Josh Burke rushed for his second TD of the night to make it 27-zip.
“The turnovers hurt us and the momentum,” Pottstown coach Gary Rhodenbaugh said. “But I was really proud of how our guys fought and didn’t quit. Bishop Shanahan’s a good football team but we have to get ourselves better.”
Pottstown (0-3) has been outscored 113-18 thus far but again Friday there were bright spots. Senior running back Isaiah Mayes made some good bursts between the tackles on occasion; there just wasn’t consistent room to operate against the Eagles’ quick defense. Morton can pass the ball well and has some good receivers in Aaron Diamond and Jamal Adams. And Larry Wingo ran back a third-quarter kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
The Eagles, leading 30-0 at halftime, outgained the Trojans in the first half 245-65. Bishop Shanahan has a balanced offense, with depth at running back and Skulski able to make big plays on the ground or via air. He had a 47-yard run to set up the second score.
“We went over the play call on the sidelines and realized that, with our motion, they were shifting over and that we could run a nice iso in there,” Skulski said. “But really it all starts with the line.”
Center Jake Colby, guards Ryan McLaughlin and Danny McGinn, and tackles Mac Barry and Noah Smith led the way for a running game that netted 315 yards. Skulski topped the rushing chart with 106 yards on nine carries. He also threw for 109.
“We realized that their linebackers were moving outside trying to stop things, leaving one middle linebacker for the line inside and allowing a lot of open running room for me,” said Skulski.
Pottstown’s offense crossed midfield only once.
“Our defense had a dominant performance, and I thought everybody played well, especially our linebackers Alec Walter, Dominic Fusco, Jack Whelan and Liam Dearing,” Smyth said. “We kept their athletes contained.
“But we’ve got to keep it rolling. We’ve got a lot of good energy right now.”