Downingtown East stays in playoff hunt by beating West

DOWNINGTOWN – It took the Downingtown East football team nine games to put all the pieces together and become a dominating, physical football team. Friday night at a soldout Kottmeyer Stadium, the Cougars finally found their groove.

The Cougars limited the Downingtown West running game to 91 yards and pressured quarterback Tyler McNulty all night as East rolled to a convincing 34-13 Ches-Mont League National Division win over its archrivals.

East got big games from quarterback Andrew Hudson, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Keith Conner, who rushed for 168 yards and scored twice. Receivers Cary Angeline and Dan Chisena both had big games catching the football.

“This is a great feeling, Conner said. “I approached this game like it was the last game I would ever play. We beat them senseless tonight. That is Downingtown football, running the football and knocking people over and that is what we did.

“I have to give a shout out to our defense, because they were great, and our offensive line, because they were knocking people over.’

East got rolling early, taking the opening kickoff and going 80 yards on 12 plays to score. Angeline made a great catch for a 14-yard touchdown pass from Hudson to make it a 7-0 game. East ran the ball effectively during the drive against the smaller Whippets defense.

West came right back to score the next 14 points on touchdown runs from Jake Barr and Jimmy Disantis to take a 14-7 lead. East then went on its roll.

Another long Cougar (3-2 Ches-Mont, 6-3 overall) ended when Conner bulled his way in from three-yards out to tie the game midway through the second period. Then, the East defense hit McNulty as he was attempting to pass. The ball sailed into the hands of Adam Starta deep in West territory close to halftime.

Two plays later, Hudson threw a 22-yard strike to Dan Chisena (5-for-54) for a 21-14 lead.

“We started out fast and kept it going,’ Chisena said. “We came to play and we ran the football really well tonight.’

With East up at halftime, West took the opening kick in the third period. but, the East defense forced a three and out and the Whippets (3-2, 6-3) forced a three-and-out and took over its 27-yard line.

“We had some chances in the first half and we did not make the plays,’ West head coach Mike Milano said. “In the first half they made plays and we had some drops. Then, we could not protect our quarterback and they got a lot of pressure on us.

“But, give them all the credit. They took it to us tonight and they were the more physical team out there.’

East took the punt and marched down the field with Conner churning up yardage breaking tackles. The drive ended when a wide open Angeline (5-84) hauled in a 31-yard strike from Hudson to make it a 27-14 game.

Connrer finished the scoring late in the third, breaking more tackles, going 25 yards as East took a 6-5 lead in the Battle of Brandywine and kept its playoff hopes alive with a home game next Friday against West Chester Henderson.

“We are a physical running football team and West is a team that is well coached and executes,’ East head coach Mike Matta said. “We ran the football tonight and we challenged our seniors to make their defining moment. And tonight they did. They beat West and they took pictures under the scoreboard and 20 years from now they can look back on this night with good memories.’

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