UPPER CHICHESTER >> Chichester had no answer for Phoenixville running back Matt Garcia as the senior rushed for 234 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns, leading the Phantoms to a 34-12 win over the host Eagles.
“We knew he was a dynamic player,” Chichester head coach Ryan Smith said after the game. “We expected to match it but we couldn’t do it.”
Phoenixville (2-2) jumped out to a 7-0 lead on its first possession following a three-and-out by the Eagles (2-2).
Phantoms quarterback Troy Rossman connected with Shyheim Abernathy on a 23-yard strike in the corner of the end zone.
The Eagles made some runs, but each drive in the first half ended with a punt.
Phoenixville’s offensive line, led by junior tackle Jon Miller, opened holes for Garcia who scored on runs of 13 and six yards to help the Phantoms end the first half with a 20-0 lead.
Smith said they saw a lot of film on Miller, listed at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds.
“They ran left a lot behind No. 79,” Smith said. “They followed their game plan and were successful.”
Miller said he loves blocking for Garcia, a 5-6, 165-pound speedster.
“He’s really a personality and teammate,” Miller said of Garcia. “He always congratulates us (the O-line) when he has a big run. He’s a great player.”
Miller — who also plays on the defensive line — said the offensive line wanted to set and dictate the tone from the start. He credited his position coach for their successful evening.
“Our offensive line coach, we have to credit him,” Miller said of coach Bubba Gray. “He pushes us to be our best with our double teams, our footwork…all our techniques. All that helped us tonight.”
As a team, the Eagles rushed for 132 yards and a late TD. Greg Allman rushed 17 times for 47 yards and scored on a 65-yard punt return early in the third quarter to make the score 20-6. Allman, a senior, also caught two passes for 14 yards.
“Greg is a nice player,” Smith said. “He’s got talent. We have a couple of good backs we can go to to keep everyone fresh.”
Blaine Lewis-Thompson rushed 10 times for 58 yards and backup quarterback Damian Thompson came in after halftime, rushed for 38 yards on five carries and a one-yard sneak with 1:30 left in the game. The sophomore was 4 of 8 passing for 37 yards.
Smith said he wasn’t worried about hitting the reset button with his players after a tough loss.
“It’s not about resetting,” Smith said. “We just gotta understand that we’re in the league (games) now. We’ve got a nice little bit of time to prepare for Interboro and dive into the tapes and put together a good game plan and follow it.”
Smith said whether his team wins or loses, he won’t let his players dwell on the game that just happened. It’s always about the game in front of them.
“That’s got to be it immediately,” Smith said. “A win or loss. We have to flush that out and get on to the next one. That will be on us to shift into gear and get ready for Interboro.”
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