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Green unwraps pair of presents for himself, Chester

PHILADELPHIA >> Jamir Green celebrated his 18th birthday Friday. The only thing the Chester quarterback asked for was a win Saturday.

Green’s two fourth-quarter touchdown runs put the icing on the cake.

Behind Green’s gutsy scrambling and running back Devan Freeman’s 192 yards and two TDs, Chester snapped a two-game skid with a 38-20 victory over Overbrook at the Marcus Foster (Gratz) Supersite.

“We’re coming back together as a brotherhood, as a team,” Green said. “This is what we needed.”

Green’s 14-yard scoring scamper with 6:50 to play in regulation gave the Clippers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Chester (2-2) scored 22 points in the final stanza. Freeman ripped off a 21-yard run to the end zone and followed with a two-point conversion plunge to put Chester up by 10 points with 4:32 to go. Davouge Hopkins picked off Overbrook quarterback Karim Dixon, and Green sealed the Clippers’ come-from-behind win with a nine-yard dash to paydirt with 59 seconds to go.

“All about the o-line today,” said Green, who finished with 82 yards on 14 carries. He was 4 of 11 passing for 92 yards.

The offensive line was a strength for Chester, particularly in the second half when Freeman had 82 of his 192 yards on the ground. Senior guard Demond Hardy Jr. (6-3, 350) was a big factor in the trenches.

“Everybody was working together and everybody has a lot of fight in them,” Hardy said. “We had to make up for last week. We’ve got great running backs and a great quarterback.”

The Clippers suffered a 42-6 loss to Cardinal O’Hara last Saturday. They amassed zero rushing yards in that loss.

“We couldn’t let that happen again,” Hardy said.

Freeman and Green followed the offensive line’s lead as Chester gained 284 yards on 34 carries.

“Up front, it’s straight powerhouse,” Freeman said. “I don’t like messing around, I like going straight ahead. It’s straight-up business, and my big fellas are doing all the work.”

The Clippers gave up a 16-12 halftime lead in the fourth quarter when Overbrook’s Dixon found tall wide receiver Jonathan Hodges on a 17-yard scoring reception. It was the third long touchdown pass of the night by Dixon and the Panthers. Hodges hurt the Clippers most of the night, posting 142 yards on seven catches. Dixon was 11 of 25 for 216 yards.

But when Chester needed a stop in the fourth quarter, it delivered. After the Clippers regained the lead, 22-20, Dixon aired three consecutive incompletions. On fourth-and-10, Dixon scrambled, but fell two yards shy of the first down. The defensive effort in the second half fueled the Chester offense.

“This is the kind of fight that I’ve been looking for,” first-year Chester coach LaDontay Bell said. “We had some mental mistakes and we fought through them. I’m proud of that. We had some mental mistakes that slowed us down, so I told them at halftime, I said, ‘If you find a stone on the ground, you have to kick it out your way to keep moving.’ I didn’t want them to stand around, I wanted to get them moving. I’m proud of what they did.”

Bell noted Chester changed up its look in the defensive secondary, which enabled the defensive backs to get into better position to disrupt the long pass.

“Basically, it was an in-game decision, an audible,” Bell said. “We made a switch and it was for the better.”
Freeman was the Clippers’ workhorse. He gained a huge chunk of his yards after running through would-be tacklers.

“Devan is a good back and I just want him to find his rhythm,” Bell said. “In the beginning, it was kind of slow but in the second half he kept it moving.”

Hopkins put the Clippers on the board first with a 56-yard punt return. He also made a 46-yard in the second half. Braheem Bishop had two catches for 39 yards, and Jhalil Karen recorded the first of two Chester interceptions.

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