Dooley, Parsons team up to topple Episcopal

NEWTOWN SQUARE — It’s never hard to find Paul Dooley and Dylan Parsons because if you’ve found one, the other isn’t far behind.

That’s the case during the school day for the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy duo. They came in to the school as eighth graders and five years later, they have four classes together as seniors.

They’re never far apart on the field, either, as Episcopal Academy found out the hard way Friday night. Dooley did a little bit of everything in a 41-7 rout of the Churchmen, including connecting six times with Parsons for 132 yards and a 20-yard touchdown pass.

“I’m never away from him,’ Dooley said with a laugh.

Certainly not, as was evidenced from the get-go. Parsons came up with huge catches on a pair of third downs on the game’s opening drive that helped set up the first of Dooley’s five touchdowns. Try as they may, the Churchmen (5-4, 1-2 Inter-Ac League) had no answer all night for the tandem, but especially not Dooley.

The 6-0, 205-pound quarterback frustrated EA’s defense by constantly breaking contain to find open receivers down field. An All-Inter-Ac selection as a sophomore linebacker, Dooley has turned out to be a pretty darn good quarterback, too. He torched the Churchmen for 248 total yards despite being constantly harassed by defensive end Tyler Will and company and had all the answers for the Blue Devils (7-1, 2-1).

“Our D-line was getting pressure,’ senior two-way lineman John “Moose’ Minicozzi said. “We were flushing him out and he was making throws on the run. Not every quarterback can do that. Most quarterbacks we’ve faced this year can’t do that. Usually, when you flush a QB out of the pocket, the play’s over, but he made some pretty key plays for them. We missed a few tackles, but I feel like our pass rush was pretty good. I don’t remember him making many throws from the pocket.’

At no time was that more obvious than on Dooley’s touchdown to Parsons. The quarterback looked dead to rights on at least two separate occasions, but he deftly moved around to buy himself time before firing a laser that Parsons made a phenomenal catch on. There’s not a lot a defense can do in that situation.

It didn’t help that EA hurt itself on multiple occasions. Running back Dee Barlee was strong yet again, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries before the Churchmen started throwing the ball a lot in catch-up mode. It was Barlee who dashed in from eight yards out to tie the game on EA’s second possession. The only problem is that it was sandwiched by the Churchmen losing a fumble at the SCH 13-yard line and EA losing a fumble at its 20-yard line.

“(Dooley) is a very good quarterback and I’ve got to give it to Chestnut Hill. They played great (Friday), but we shot ourselves in the foot with mistakes in the first half and that came back to bite us,’ wide receiver and safety Christian Feliziani said. “They have really good receivers and a great quarterback and with that combination, it’s kind of hard to stop. I think we started losing confidence after (the fumbles).’

When it wasn’t Dooley having his way with EA, running back Syaire Madden was also enjoying his night. The sophomore tailback churned out 172 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries while also hauling in a 20-yard scoring toss from Dooley.

The loss on EA’s Senior Night effectively ended any chance at an Inter-Ac title, the first time since 2011 that the Churchmen haven’t played for a league championship on its famed EA/Haverford Day. It’s clear that they still have a lot to play for, though, with its top two rivals, Malvern Prep and the Fords, on the docket to close out the season.

“I don’t want it to come because I don’t want this to be over,’ said Minicozzi, one of the headliners of a small EA senior class. “My life for the last four years has been EA football. … Malvern and Haverford are playing for a championship right now, so if we could go in and stun them, I think it would make up for a lot of bad stuff that happened this season.’

It’s a tall task, but counting out the Churchmen in the past hasn’t proved to be a wise choice.

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