CHESTER >> The music was popping at Chester Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon. So loud, in fact, that it was difficult to hear exactly what the Clippers had to say after their 48-6 rout of Overbrook High.
“We… to …” senior running Devan Freeman said over a dance remix of Seduction’s “Two To Make It Right.”
What? Say again? Hey, Mr. DJ, turn it down a little … just for a second.
“We like facing opponents who are better than us right now,” Freeman, clearly not referring to Overbrook, said.
Chester was far and away the better squad Saturday.
“We enjoy it,” he continued, “but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Chester’s message was loud and clear … even if it took time to hear it. The Clippers needed a win in the worst way following three straight defeats to start the season. Among those losses was a heartbreaker at home to Spring-Ford two weeks ago. The Clippers gave Cardinal O’Hara a decent run last Friday night, but fell 24-6.
“We wanted to turn it around,” running back Cahron Wilmore said.
Oh, you bet they did.
With help from a stout offensive line, including Khalid Watkins, Darnell Jones and Ian Jones, the Clippers ran roughshod over an overmatched Overbrook.
— Matt Smith (@DTMattSmith) September 16, 2017
Freeman amassed 202 yards on 13 carries. He had 115 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.
Wilmore came on strong in the second half and finished with 170 runs on 13 totes. He had gains of 47 and 50 yards after halftime.
“It’s all about the line,” said Freeman. “Just following those guys up front.”
Freeman and Wilmore make a formidable tandem that could do a lot of damage in the Del Val League.
“We’re a one-two punch,” Freeman said. “It’s good to have that.”
Chester coach LaDontay Bell sees the same potential from his workhorse running backs, who led a run offense that produced a whopping 407 yards.
“It’s a beautiful thing when you can get a young man (Freeman) a breather, who is really a horse,” Bell said. “To have another kid come in, it changes the face of the game for us. (Wilmore) did a phenomenal job.”
Chester led 28-0 after the first quarter. The Clippers scored three touchdowns in the span of one minute, 32 seconds.
Freeman got his team on the scoreboard with a 13-yard scamper. On Overbrook’s first play offensive play, a snap out of the shotgun sailed into the end zone. Chester lineman Demar Dill pounced on the loose ball for a touchdown.
Then, after an Overbrook three-and-out, Freeman sprinted 58 yards to paydirt to give the Clippers a three-score cushion.
Quarterback Tahree Fuller-Bryan (2-for-5, 47 yards) scrambled nine yards to the end zone with five minutes to play in the quarter to make it 28-0. As the saying goes, the game was over before it started … or so it seemed.
Meanwhile, Chester’s defense came to play. Sophomore defensive back Rafiqe Hilliard had several tackles, big hits and pass breakups. Dill was a menace at defensive end.
“We’re working hard at practice and always fighting, no matter what,” Hilliard said.
The Clippers did a good job with their gang tackling and disrupting the backfield. Overbrook rushers managed only 28 yards on 32 carries. The quarterbacks — all three of them — completed only 9 of 23 passes for 100 yards.
“This happened prior to practice starting. I told them, I have a vision that you guys will be swarming this year,” Bell said of his defense, which forced three turnovers. “They’re starting to do it and they’re starting to believe in themselves. They’re swarming.”
Bell and his coaching staff hope for a similar performance next Saturday when Reading High comes to town.