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Downingtown East hammers out big win

WEST GOSHEN >> If you hit something hard enough and long enough with a hammer it is eventually going to fall down. Friday night, that hammer could have been the Downingtown East offensive line, as the Cougar front wall blasted open holes for Downingtown East running backs Garvey Jonassaint and Zach Hamilton and led the Cougars to their sixth straight win, 60-27, over host West Chester East in Ches-Mont National Division play.
The Cougars ground out 477 rushing yards, 282 by Jonassaint and 144 by Hamilton.
The leader of the Cougar offensive line, senior and three-year starter Weston Menzie, said, “We practiced real hard this week and we planned to run the ball a lot. And it is a joint effort.. If we block good, the backs can run through holes. If we block crappy, they run crappy, so it is a team effort.”
West Chester East (3-3, 0-2) did put a scare into the Cougars (3-0, 6-0) in the second quarter, taking a 21-20 lead on the marvelous running of Pierre Marchant, who ran for 220 yards on just 15 carries. Earlier, WC East’s Ryan Cassidy hit Mike Gray with a fourth down touchdown pass for 13 yards in the back of the end zone for a 14-13 lead.
At halftime, Downingtown East led 34-21 behind its powerful running game. In the second half, the Cougar defense clamped down, limiting the Vikings to just six second half points and getting four straight three-and-outs to start the second half.
“We did not do anything different in the second half,” Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta said. “Marchant is pretty good and we called out defenses when he and No. 2 (Kyle Cichanowsky) were in the game. And our offensive line is a work in progress and will only get better when we get Connor Noble back at 100 percent. Coach [Rick] Daniel has taken over the offensive line and he has been coaching longer than some guys have been alive. The kids like him and they are doing a great job.”
Jonasaint scored four rushing touchdowns while Hamilton hammered the Vikings defense for three scores. The big blow that might have done the Vikings in was a 49 yard touchdown pass from Luke Davis to Albert Choi, who easily beat his man and gave Downingtown East a commanding 47-21 lead in the third period.
Davis then finished another long Cougar drive by going four yards around the right side and diving in the end zone for a score.
After that, the Cougars went on a 10 play drive, eight of them runs, and Hamilton went the final three yards to make it a 54-21 game.
Marchant did not quit, however, as he danced 20 yards into the end zone, his third touchdown of the night to make it a 54-27 game.
Jonasaint went in for his fourth score of the night to complete the scoring, as he finished with 282 yards on 27 carries and was the star of the game.
“Running behind this offensive line is easy,” Jonassaint said. “They open the holes and I just find the spots to go through. We felt coming into this game that we could dominate them up front. We feel that every week, actually. We are a very strong team up front.”
Downingtown East will visit West Chester Henderson next week in search of its seventh straight win.

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