WEST GROVE—Over the first four weeks of the season, West Chester East has had arguably the most potent rushing attack in the area, with Pierre Marchant and his 510 yards leading the county, and teammate Kyle Cichanowsky just behind with 397. One began to wonder if any team could shut them down.
Avon Grove answered that question definitively Saturday afternoon. Marchant and Cichanowski combined for a mere 33 yards, while the Vikings (3-2, 0-1) totaled just 121, with 53 of them coming on one run from John Wilaczek. It was the Red Devils (3-2, 1-1) that ran effectively, led by workhorse Sean Glatts’ 163, and celebrated Homecoming Day with a 34-14 victory.
“We went into our 30 front as we focused for the run all week,” said Avon Gove coach Harry O’Neill. “We thought our three down guys could at least throw off some gaps and make the linebackers make some tackles. Matt Walsh and Eric Yurkovich played really well today, especially since we just moved Yurkovich inside. The three down linemen and our linebackers were just great today.”
The Devils set the tone early. After scoring on a 56-yard pass from JT McDonald to Tyre Stead, the Devils forced a three-and-out on the Vikings’ first possession, and then went to work on the ground game.
On the second possession, the Devils marched off a clock-consuming, 6-play, 75-yard drive, with Glatts finding the end zone on a 6-yard run. By halftime, after a touchdown run from Colby Riddell, it was 21-0.
“Our defense was amazing and the o-line was just amazing today,” said Glatts, who scored a pair of TDs on the afternoon. “This game is going to give us a lot of confidence going forward.”
Avon Grove piled up 314 yards rushing. In addition to Glatts’ big day, Colby Riddell had 72 yards on 7 carries, and Wyatt Kirby added another 58 on six carries. Both also reached the end zone for the Red Devils.
“We wanted to try to run the football today,” said O’Neiil. “It’s the first time we’ve really committed to the running game all year. We’ve got some big strong guys up front, and we ran a lot of double tight end stuff today. We had that attitude on Monday that we were just going to roll behind that offensive line.”
Down 28-0 late in the third, the Vikings finally got on the board. After taking over near midfield, East needed just one play to take the goose egg off the scoreboard, when John Wilaczek broke loose for a 53 yard touchdown. They struck again in the fourth when Ryan Cassidy connected with Wilaczek for a 20-yard scoring pass.
“We knew that Avon Grove is a tough team with big guys up front that were going to try to take out the run,” said Vikings’ coach Scott Stephen. “We just didn’t respond today. But it’s a long season. We just have to hunker down and get to work on correcting our mistakes. There have been a lot of things we’ve done well over the first four weeks, though. It’s the ebbs and flows of football.”
WC East 0 0 6 8–14
Avon Grove 14 8 6 6–34
AG—Stead 56-pass from McDonald (Kirby run) 8-0
AG—Glatts 6-run (Pass failed) 14-0
AG—Riddell 5-run (Paschall pass from McDonald) 22-0
AG—Glatts 3-run (Pass failed) 28-0
WCE—Wilaczek 53-run (kick failed) 28-6
AG—Kirby 3-run (Run failed) 34-6
WCE—Wilaczek 20-pass from Cassidy (Marchant run) 34-14
First downs 9 16
Rushes-yards 21–121 45-314
Passing 9-18 5-9
Passing yards 68 103
Total yards 189 417
Punts 3-37 1-38
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-50 8-60
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