NEWTOWN TWP. >> Delco Christian’s Luke Gutowski bobbed his head as Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” blared over the PA system at Marple Newtown’s Harry R. Harvey Field following the Knights’ 29-12 nonleague victory over Dobbins Saturday night.
You would not expect someone so young to groove to a song that’s twice his age, but there Gutowski was, enjoying that old classic as the coaches spoke to the team.
“That’s how I get my vibe,” Gutowski said. “I was just feeling it.”
Gutowski was feeling it during the game, too. The senior quarterback/linebacker ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns and also had an interception on defense to help the Knights (1-1) bounce back from last week’s disappointing 12-6 loss to Strawberry Mansion.
“The improvement from last week to this week was incredible,” Gutowski said. “Coach (Drew) Pearson said to stay positive, encourage your teammates and don’t give up. That’s what we did and that’s why we got a W.”
Fellow senior Jalen Mitchell also was feeling pretty good. The running back/defensive back ran for a game-high 128 yards and one touchdown and pounced on a fumble in the end zone for another score that put the game out of reach.
Tight end Nigel Ray was fighting his way toward the end zone after catching a 15-yard pass from Gutowski when he had the ball knocked out of his hands and into the end zone. Mitchell was there to make sure the scoring opportunity did not go to waste as time expired in the first half.
“Nigel was pushing for the end zone and he tried to extend the ball, and I saw someone knock it out,” Mitchell said. “There was one person from their team going to the ball, and I was determined that I was going to be the first person to the ball.”
That score, which gave the Knights a 22-12 halftime lead, was set up by Gutowski’s pick.
“One of our corners made a great play on it, and it came right to me,” Gutowski said. “I tried to get to the end zone, but (the Mustangs) made a good play to stop me. But it got us hyped and turned things around.”
It was a much better performance than last week’s loss to a Strawberry Mansion team that had just 13 players.
The Knights ran for 341 yards. Most importantly, though, DC found the end zone four times. The Knights were just as good on the defensive side. Dobbins managed just 24 yards on the ground and 81 yards of total offense.
“We had a really, really tough loss last week,” Mitchell said. “To see my teammates respond so well, especially the offensive line. They worked so hard all week and kept on pushing. As a senior, it was really amazing to see the younger guys commit themselves to getting better.”
And that was reason to celebrate.