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West Chester East takes care of Henderson despite early challenge

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WEST CHESTER >> After a crushing defeat at the hands of Coatesville last Friday, West Chester East came into Friday’s contest against West Chester Henderson ready to get that bad taste out of its mouth.

The Vikings did just that with an emphatic 42-20 victory over the Warriors at J. Oscar Dicks stadium Friday night in a Ches-Mont League National Division contest.

The ground game would shine through for West Chester East after only achieving two rushing yards last week. The Vikings were able to collect 307 yards on the ground versus West Chester Henderson.

A big part of that running attack came from running back Pierre Marchant, who racked up 149 of those yards.

“We just kept doing what we try to do each week and keep grinding and sometimes the holes are there and sometimes they aren’t,” Marchant said. “Today they were.”

On the other hand, winless Henderson (0-9) battled tooth and nail in the first half as it went into halftime trailing only 14-10.

“I think tonight we looked like a good varsity football team,” said West Chester Henderson head coach Stefan Adams. “I know it’s not indicative of the score, but we punched for six rounds but then we ran out of steam with six more to go.”

After a scoreless first quarter where it seemed to be a battle of field position between the two sides, it was the Warriors who would crack the scoreboard first with a Joe Shur 38-yard field goal that split the uprights with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half.

Unfortunately for Henderson, that field goal might have poked at a sleeping bear that is the East offense, as quarterback Ryan Cassidy would find wide receiver John Wileczek on a screen pass that Wileczek would take the distance.

Following a recovered fumbled snap on Henderson’s ensuing possession, the Vikings would capitalize with great field position. It only took one play for that to occur when Cassidy dropped back and tossed a 50-50 ball that his wide-receiver Michael Gray would end up coming down with for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Warriors battled back with an 11-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by Robert Thomas’ 2-yard touchdown.

Coming out of halftime, the Vikings would start to apply the pressure and pull away, using a 28-10 run to close out the game.

West Chester East would outscore the Warriors, 14-0, in the third quarter to build a comfortable lead built off touchdowns from Marchant and Joey Wileczek. Marchant’s came from eight yards out and Wileczek’s going for 20 yards.

“It was tight at halftime, we regrouped and made some slight adjustments to our run game,” said West Chester East head coach Scott Stephen. “We went back to fundamentals, we talk about execution all the time and our first drive coming out of halftime was crucial for us in this game and set a tone that we were able to use to pull away.”

The scoring continued in the fourth quarter for West Chester East as it was able to pick up two more touchdowns. The first came from Kyle Chicanowsky, who took a counter to the right side for 24 yards. The second came from Wileczek, who would cap off his spectacular game with a 58-yard dash across the Henderson goal line.

The Warriors, as they were all night, proved resilient in their efforts in the fourth quarter. Shur would connect on a 28-yard field goal, and backup quarterback Giancarlo Giordany found Jaquil Boggs-Rose for a 13-yard touchdown to end the night’s scoring.

“Today definitely shows how hard we have worked in practice and that we don’t stop and keep pounding away at things,” said Henderson quarterback Pat Esemplare. “That’s been our mentality all year and we continue to play our hearts out each down and in each game.”

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