Barr’s 4 TD’s lead Downingtown West past Bishop Shanahan

DOWNINGTOWN — Jake Barr admitted there were two reasons why he has been a touchdown scoring machine for Downingtown West this season.

The equation is simple with the situations Barr has been added into through seven games with the Whippets.

“First, our offensive line opens up huge holes on plays where I get the ball,’ Barr said. “And I get the ball inside the red zone a lot and it just clicks. Our play calls are outstanding.’

Barr was outstanding in the first half for Downingtown West as he scored four touchdowns to lead the Whippets to a 46-21 victory over Bishop Shanahan in a Ches-Mont National Division game at Jack Mancini Field Saturday afternoon.

The win kept the Whippets (2-1 league, 5-2 overall) alive in the National Division race while the Eagles (1-3 league, 4-3 overall) is eliminated from division title contention with their third straight loss.

Barr’s four touchdowns give him 18 on the season, which leads the Ches-Mont. He’s been a key piece to a Downingtown West offense that leads the league with 35.2 points per game.

“Jake’s a very talented football player,’ said West head coach Mike Milano. “He possesses a skill set that I haven’t had in a while. He’s elusive and can be tough when he needs to be. He’s got a great set of hands and can run a little bit. He’s a great football player.’

Barr set up his first touchdown as he took a Shanahan punt for 54 yards to the Eagles 12-yard line. Two plays later, Barr scored from one yard out to give the Whippets a 14-0 lead with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

West earned a short field on it’s next possession after blocking a Shanahan punt. Barr was there to capitalize.

He took a 6-yard toss into the end zone to give the Whippets a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.

West quarterback Tyler McNulty helped set up Barr’s third touchdown with a 53-yard completion to Jimmy DiSantis two posessions later.

Four plays after the catch, Barr swept to the right side and scored from two yards out to put West up 27-0 with 9:09 left in the second quarter.

After Shanahan went three-and-out, Barr scored his fourth and final touchdown of the half courtesy of a 70-yard punt return to give West a commanding 33-0 lead with 5:44 left in the second quarter.

Thomas Mattioni, who went 3-for-3 for 68 yards and a touchdown filling in for McNulty in the second half, is certain Barr and the West offense can put up big numbers similar to their first half performance every week.

“We’re dynamic everywhere,’ Mattioni said. “We have a lot of speed and we can use that. It all starts with the offensive line.’

That offensive line assisted the Whippets to 252 rushing yards on the afternoon. Mike Riddick led the ground game with 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Barr finished with 70 total yards (58 rushing, 22 receiving).

West built a huge lead by shutting down Shanahan’s offense. The Eagles were held to 48 total yards in the first half, 23 of which came on their final drive of the second quarter that was capped by a 5-yard run by Pat Corcoran to make it 33-6 heading into the half.

Murphy was just 4-for-8 for minus-1 yard and an interception in the first half. He was also held to minus-11 rushing yards.

The Whippets’ game plan was to stop Murphy. They succeeded.

“In our two losses, we felt as a defense we couldn’t get the job done,’ said Lucas McMahon. “We did what we were supposed to do today. Offense was supposed to score as fast as they can and the defense is supposed to stop them as quick as they can. We stepped up when we needed to today.’

Shanahan’s offense, which has stuggled for the past 10 quarters, found some rhythm in the second half.

It all started with Murphy, who completed all 10 of his passes for 156 yards, including a 81-yard touchdown strike to Corcoran in the fourth quarter.

Murphy finished 10-for-14 for 155 yards while Corcoran caught four passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Downingtown West is determined to make the National Division race interesting in the season’s final three weeks. Milano preached his team is 12 inches away from being undefeated and the Whippets are feeding off those words.

“I have full confidence we can win the division,’ McMahon said. “Not being cocky, but just confident. When we play our game, I believe we are one of the best (teams).’

“We’ve been our own worst enemy for a while,’ Milano said. “We’re just going to take care of our own business and not worry about what’s on the other side. To our credit, the kids played their best game today.’


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