By Peter DiGiovanni
@PeteDLN on Twitter
DOWNINGTOWN >> You cannot dominate a football game more fully than Downingtown East did Saturday night in their Ches-Mont League National Division opener against West Chester Henderson.
The Cougars were flawless in every aspect of the game as they raced out to a large halftime lead before removing all their starters en route to a convincing 41-7 triumph to keep them undefeated.
Downingtown East (1-0, Ches-Mont National, 4-0 overall) held Henderson (0-1, 0-4) to two yards of total offense with no first downs and forced seven punts in the first half. The defense was led by Joe Janik and his ravenous mates as they held Henderson to absolutely nothing the entire first half.
On offense, the Cougars rushed for 371 yards and threw for 149 more for 520 total yards in the demolition.
“We played pretty well tonight, and I think we got enough work out of it,” Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta said. “We had a little meeting with the defense this week at practice and I thought they really respond. We were playing without two starters and had a sophomore at free safety who did a real nice job for us tonight.”
The Cougars opened the scoring early in the first quarter, going on a 10-play, 68-yard drive behind the running of Tim Aivado and Garvey Jonassaint. Aivado ran for 120 yards, while Jonassaint gained 150 more.
Quarterback Bryce Lauletta ended the drive by hitting Spencer Umberger with a four-yard touchdown pass, and the Cougars were off to the races. The drive featured eight running plays and two passes, including the touchdown to Umberger.
With Henderson unable to move the football, the Cougars had plenty of chances to score against the undersized Henderson front line. Aivado finished off an eight-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. After another Henderson three-and-out, Jonassaint took off on a electrifying 73-yard scoring jaunt to make it a 20-0 game. The junior scored on the first play after the fifth Henderson punt of the first half.
“Our offensive line did another great job tonight,” Jonassaint said. “Our motto as a team this year is not to show any mercy, and we did that tonight. All I had to do was get to the line and the holes were big enough to park my car. We dominated the line of scrimmage, which made my job easier.”
Aivado added another touchdown — this one from seven yards — which followed a beautiful 65-yard TD pass from Lauletta to a streaking Stephen Long.
“Stephen Long played a real good game,” added Matta. “Our offensive line dominated, which I expect them to do. But, I was most happy with the defense because we have not played up to our ability on that side of the ball this year.
“(henderson head coach) Steve Mitten is a real good coach and every team goes through ups and downs, but they will be back. And another thing, I thought Bryce did a great job tonight spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved.”
Henderson scored midway through the third period on the East reserves to avert the shutout as Joe Saulino hit Kavond Jones with a 12-yard scoring strike.
“Downingtown East is a very good team and it is a first-class program and we are not a good team right now,” Mitten said. “Mike Matta runs a first-class program and that happens because of a lot of hard work. We have been on the other side of these scores, but tonight, we got it handed to us.”
Downingtown East 41
West Chester Henderson 7
W.C. Henderson 0 0 7 0-7
Downingtown East 7 28 6 0-41
DE – Umberger 4 pass from Lauletta (Choi kick)
DE – Aivado 13 run (kick failed)
DE – Jonassaint 73 run (Choi kick)
DE – Long 65 pass from Lauletta (Choi kick)
DE – Aivado 7 run (Jonassaint run)
WCH – Jones 12 pass from Saulino (Roberts kick)
DE – Uggla 12 run (kick failed)
First downs 5 23
Rushing yards 113 371
Passing yards 22 149
Total yards 135 520
Passing 3-13-1 9-13-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1
Punts-avg. 7-34.5 1-35.0
Penalties. 3-15 3-25
Rushing: Henderson: Pierce 20-67; Thomas 6-51; Preston 2-1; Saulino 2-(-6). Downingtown East: Jonassaint 11-150 TD; Aivado 19-120 2TD; Uggla 7-56 TD; Lauletta 3-8; Diehl 3-21; O’Reilly 1-4; O’Shea 1-4; Glazer 1-8.
Passing: Henderson: Saulino 3-13-1 22 yards TD. Downingtown East: Lauletta 8-12-0 149 yards TD; O’Shea 1-1-0 12 yards.
Receiving: Henderson: Jones 1-12 TD; Preston 1-8; Tracy 1-2. Downingtown East: Long 2-83 TD; Riley 2-29; O’Reilly 1-12; Aivado 1-12; Noble 1-5; Choi 1-4; Umberger 1-4 TD.
Interceptions: Downingtown East: Lieberman.