WEST CHESTER >> The word “frustrated” doesn’t even begin to describe how West Chester Henderson was feeling Friday night against Bishop Shanahan.
The Warriors are not the first team to feel that way this season against the Eagles.
Shanahan took out its anger from last week’s loss to Downingtown East with a 42-7 blowout Friday night at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium, bouncing back to the level that allowed them to open the season strong.
“Our mindset was that we needed to bounce back,” said Shanahan’s Aaron Parker. “Big win tonight. We took care of business. We knew we were the better team coming in tonight and we had to play up, not down to their level, and I think we accomplished that today. We had a really good time today. We got our swagger back on offense and defense. We came out on fire so it was a really good time.”
“We kept our cool,” said Shanahan coach Paul Meyers. “We came out quick. We laid back a little and made a couple mistakes and dropped some balls, but we stayed focused and took care of business at the end. We told the kids that in the Ches-Mont, you’re going to run into teams like Downingtown East, Coatesville and all of that and you have to rebound. If you don’t and just feel sorry for yourself, it’s going to be a long season.”
From the moment the game started, Shanahan took off. The offense that was unable to score against Downingtown East was nowhere in sight.
On the first drive. Parker led his team down the field on a series of designed quarterback runs. Once Parker ran Shanahan into first-and-goal on the 10-yard line, it was Connor Whalen’s turn. Whalen punched it from ten yards out to give Shanahan the first points of the game.
The defense quickly got the ball back to the offense on a quick three-and-out. The Eagles would score quickly on their second drive as Steve Sweeney took an end around 49 yards for a score.
“It was supposed to be jet,” said Sweeney. “Our coach always tells us to look for cutback lane on the hashes and on the numbers. My line did a great job at making the cutback lane and when I saw it, I just took off.
Defensive stands and running the ball would be the method to the madness for Shanahan. The Eagles rushed for 289 yards and six touchdowns as a team. Follow that up with two fumble recoveries, two sacks, an interception and multiple three-and-outs from the defense and the Eagles found their path to success.
“We’re fortunate,” Meyers said. “Henderson’s numbers were down. They have guys that go both ways and we knew that. We figured if we could run the ball and sustain it long enough, by the end of the game they would be tired. My defensive coordinator came up with the game plan. We just got at them all week. Last week, Downingtown ran the ball right at us and challenged us. This week, they stepped up.”