Downingtown East stays hot, trounces Henderson

DOWNINGTOWN — The Downingtown East football team appears to be playing its best football of the season right now with the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs just a week away. And that may be bad news for the other 15 Class AAAA teams. Friday night at Kottmeyer Stadium, the Cougars put it all together as they did last week against Downingtown West.

This week, the victims were West Chester Henderson. Downintown East stopped two long Henderson drives in the first period and went on to a convincing 28-7 Ches-Mont League National Division triumph. The win gives the Cougars (4-2 Ches-Mont, 7-3 overall) a home game next week against an opponent to be determined.

“Even when we had our great teams we peaked about mid-season,’ Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta said. “And as a coaching staff, we talked about it and talked to other staffs about how to change that. Hopefully we are peaking at the right time. We are playing good football the last two weeks.’

Henderson (4-2, 7-3) took the opening kickoff and drove down to the East 21-yard line, but the drive was stopped there. The Warriors used the hard running of Tre Green, who rushed for 163 yards on 29 carries, to move the ball down the field. But, the Cougars came up big and the offense came right back at the Warriors.

East went on a 12-play, 65-yard drive to make it a 7-0 game when quarterback Andrew Hudson hit Cary Angeline for a six-yard scoring pass. Angeline had six catches for 47 yards on the night and had a big game blocking in the running game.

“We played good football the last two weeks,’ Angeline said. “The defense has been playing great all season and tonight, we put it together. The coaches told us that we need to peak at this time of the year and after the Shanahan game, we have played real good football.’

Henderson took the ensuing kickoff and drove down the field again. But, quarterback Matt Dinacci was intercepted by Adam Strata and another long drive went for no points.

“When you have two evenly matched teams it is the team that makes the mistakes that loses the game,’ Henderson head coach Steve Mitten said. “And tonight, that team that made the mistakes was us. Hopefully, we can rebound in the playoffs next week and win and advance.’

Downingtown East scored again late in the second when Keith Conner ripped off a one-yard for a 14-0 lead at halftime. Downingtown East used a mixture of run and pass during the scoring drive. Hudson completed 12 of 17 passes for 124 yards and a score on the night.

“We told our coaches after the Shanahan loss that we would not quit,’ Hudson said. “And it is great to get a home playoff game because the seniors all wanted to keep playing at Kottmeyer.’

Downingtown East took complete control of the game in the third, outscoring Henderson 14-7 to take a 28-7 lead. The Cougars got touchdown runs from Saunders Healy and a second from Conner.

Conner carried posted 109 yards on 20 carries, while Healy came in for Hudson and ran the wildcat offense for the Cougars.

Henderson avoided the shutout by getting a 16-yard scoring toss from Dinacci to Noah Richard. But, the run-oriented Warriors were up against it against a fired up Cougars defense, which has allowed 21 points to two potent offenses the past two weeks.

“We made some changes on defense,’ Matta said. “We moved Kevin Distefano to linebacker and he really likes it there. It was an unselfish move by him. And Adam Strata has played well all season. Our defense has been making plays for us all season and we are looking forward to next week.’


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