Huge second quarter leads Downingtown West past Avon Grove

Downingtown — It was an old-fashioned shootout at Kottmeyer stadium Friday night as Downingtown West hosted Avon Grove in Ches-Mont league action.

West, behind a three touchdown performance from both senior quarterback Tyler McNulty and sophomore running back Michael Riddick, were able to beat Avon Grove 49-21, marking the Whippets first league win. They are 4-1 overall.

West, who has averaged 364.8 yards per game and 32.2 points a contest punted on both of its first two possessions, which wasn’t indicative of how the Whippets offense performed the rest of the night.

“It was frustrating early,’ West head coach Mike Milano said. “Playing an opponent that we’re probably physically better then, and I want to credit them, their head coach Harry O’Neill, they get after it. I told Harry before the game that it’s obvious the kids are coached and they really competed to the end.’

Avon Grove was driving down the field on their second possession thanks to a nice run by Beau Kush, who finished with 50 rushing yards on the night. However, the drive stalled and they were faced with a 4th-and-4 at Downingtown’s 40 yard line. Instead of trying to pin the Whippets back deep, O’Neill decided to go for it. Junior quarterback Shane Mclaughlin dropped back but was immediately met by Sami Warren and was sacked for a 15-yard loss.

The Whippets gained momentum from that play and the flood gates started to open.

“I should have punted the ball on that second possession,’ O’Neill said in hindsight. “Its 0-0, we are hanging in there but my punt game is not very reliable so I decide I have to go for it but it backfires and they turn around and get seven.’

The Whippets went on a roll after they saw some points on the scoreboard. Riddick started it off with a 10-yard touchdown run and on the very next drive McNulty hit Thomas Mattioni for a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

The next drive was even shorter; it only took West 44 seconds to march down 60 yards as Riddick carried it in

from four yards out this time to make it 21-0.

“I think all of our success came from our offensive line,’ McNulty said. “Jackson Hale, John West, Tommy O’Brien, Quintin Mitchell, and Brendon Peterson opened up lanes all night, the credit goes to them.’

Give Avon Grove credit though. After the Red Devils were in a 21-0 hole in the second quarter, they responded

back with a six-play, 65 yard drive that ended with a beautiful pass from Mclaughlin to JJ Moroz for a touchdown.

Both of those players had a good night. Mclaughlin completed 21 of his 36 attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Nine of those completions went to Moroz who also had 157 yards and two scores.

“They bust their butt every day, O Neill said. “If you came into our locker room you would have no idea that we are 0-5. We didn’t quit, they’re competing all the time, we are playing the right way. We’re making a few mistakes but it’s not because they’re afraid, they’re not dogging it, we just don’t have any experience but we are getting there.’

Downingtown racked up 453 yards of total offense and had 21 first downs. Receivers Jimmy Disantis and Colin Domblesky both caught touchdown passes in the second half. Riddick added another touchdown to go along with his 113 rushing yards and Jake Barr, who sat out the first half, had 30 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Overall, Downingtown was a lot more physical than Avon Grove.

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