EAST WHITELAND — In a battle of banged up teams, Thursday night, Great Valley simply had more options.
And the Patriots used just about all of them.
Using 10 ball carriers in the first half, Great Valley torched Kennett on the edges and rode a commanding first half to a 37-8 Ches-Mont American Division win.
Kennett was without dual threat quarterback Jake Dilcher, who was injured last week, and a wounded Great Valley team took advantage.
“I’m proud of the way the kids played,” Great Valley coach Dan Ellis said. “We played Saturday night and then had to get ready for a Thursday game and had a lot of injuries. We were putting kids in positions they didn’t traditionally play. They competed and did a really good job and it’s hard not to be pleased given the circumstances.”
Owen Banavitch opened and closed the scoring in the first half for Great Valley (2-2 division, 3-3 overall), taking one of the many jet sweeps employed by Patriot wideouts seven yards for the opening score. With five seconds left in the half, Banavitch hauled in a 22-yard pass from Jake Prevost. In the second half he added an interception to his already stellar night.
“I’m happy with the way Owen played,” Ellis said. “We had been trying to get him the ball more and just hadn’t been successful, so we tried to get him the ball, running the ball and he had a nice deep ball to him at the end of the half. It was a concerted effort to get him the ball more because we’re trying to be a more dynamic offense.”
In between Banavitch’s two scores, Damien Carter ran the first of two touchdowns in, on his way to a game-high 142 yards.
Late in the second quarter, one play after the Pats stuffed Kennett on fourth-and-inches, Prevost found Brendan O’Donnell open down the seam for a 42-yard touchdown.
Kennett (0-3, 2-4), meanwhile, reached Great Valley territory three times in the first half but couldn’t finish. Mitch Kosara took his first snaps at quarterback since his freshman year in 2015, and led the Blue Demons with 135 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“When he plants his foot and takes off, he does a great job at getting upfield,” Kennett coach Josh Kauffman said of Kosara. “He’s a weapon with the ball in his hands. We just didn’t get enough consistency out of our offense and when it’s all about rhythm, it’s hard if you don’t have it.”
Kennett struggled in the passing game without Dilcher, completing just seven of 19 attempts for 37 yards, with three interceptions.
“It’s hard to rep game speed,” Kauffman said. “Mitch had a good week in practice and for his first time playing quarterback he did well. Just some of the little things he didn’t know how to handle and maybe I put a little too much on him, but overall I thought he handled it well.”
Great Valley also got interceptions from Graham Muscella and O’Donnell, and even mixed in three kickers. The third, Jose Hernandez, finished the scoring with a 28-yard field goal in the third.
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