NEWTOWN TWP. >> There were only two things that could have stopped DeeWil Barlee Friday.
Either an alien abduction, sucking him from E. Newbold Smith Field into a UFO hovering above, or his coach Todd Fairlie telling him to take a seat on the sideline after a job well done.
Since the first one isn’t likely to happen, unless Episcopal Academy decides to suddenly up and move to a Nebraska cornfield, really, the second option is all there is.
And it happened Friday, in the third quarter of the Churchmen’s 35-8 drubbing of the Hill School. Fairlie called his junior running back over to the sideline, gave him a tap on the helmet and allowed him to relax for the final 16-plus minutes of the game.
After all, Barlee had broken the 100-yard plateau in both rushing (102 yards) and receiving (122 yards) and scored four touchdowns on six offensive possessions for Episcopal (3-0).
This, of course, was a follow up his 259 yards rushing and five touchdowns in Episcopal’s last game two weeks ago against Conwell-Egan.
— EA_Athletics (@EA_Athletics) September 22, 2017
Add in the touchdown he scored in the Churchmen’s opener against Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast and that makes 10 touchdowns in three games.
Let that linger for a second — 10 touchdowns, and there’s still another game to go in September.
“The O-line, led by Adam Klein and Mike McFillin, gets that big push that makes it easier for me to read the defense,” Barlee said. “It’s a huge plus for me when the other team’s D-line is five yards downfield before I even get out of the backfield. I like that a lot.”
He’s really the ultimate weapon for Episcopal. When you average 8.5 yards per carry, and 17.4 yards per reception and score touchdowns once every five touches or so, you are certainly making a difference, no matter how much you try to take the spotlight off yourself by giving credit to others.
It started with a 29-yard touchdown run on his second carry of the game. On Episcopal’s next series, Barlee didn’t score — Adam Robinson did via a 1-yard plunge — but Barlee had runs of 17, 6 and 13 yards and a reception that went for 24.
He had a 37-yard reception that led to a 1-yard touchdown on the third drive and had four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown on the fourth drive.
Get the drift?
After his 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter that made it 35-0, Fairlie decided to give his star back the rest of the game off.
Barlee makes things easier for everyone else — namely quarterback Maurcus McDaniel. McDaniel finished with gaudy numbers passing, completing 12 of 15 passes for 166 yards and running for 47 yards on four carries.
“DeeWil is such a special player and a tremendous person,” Fairlie said. “His football I.Q. is through the roof, and it’s a big help for our offense, especially for Maurcus. Maurcus is getting better every day and to have somebody like DeeWil back there with him, it means everything.”
Only a sophomore, McDaniel’s passes were incredibly accurate. Of his three incompletions, only one was a mistimed toss. One was dropped and the other tipped.
Also benefitting from the prolific offense is the Episcopal defense, which had the freedom to pin their ears back and get after the Rams (0-3), sacking quarterback Syre Gruber six times. Milton Mamula led the way for the Churchmen with 3.5 sacks.
“There’s a completely different mentality around here from last year,” Mamula said. “On defense we’re just going after it. We have great team chemistry and are able to get pressure on the quarterback. We’re looking to destroy everything in the backfield and be aggressive on every play.”
Of course, Mamula had to thank Barlee for making his job easier as well.
“He’s an offensive powerhouse,” Mamula said. “Match that with the strength of our defense and well … it’s working great.”