Allen’s three interceptions add up to easy win for Delco Christian

NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Jake Allen wasn’t going to allow one missed assignment in the defensive secondary to shatter his confidence.

Delco Christian’s junior cornerback realized the error he made when a Kutztown receiver managed to sneak behind him and catch a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter of Saturday night’s season opener.

Knights coach Drew Pearson gave Allen a pat on the black and offered a few words of encouragement.

“We were just joking around there,” Pearson said.

“He was beaten on a fade route for a touchdown and one of the things we always talk about is come out and play the next play. The last play is in the past, so focus on the next one.”

At the time, Allen already had one interception. After fixing his mistakes, Allen registered two more INTs.

“He didn’t get down on himself and went out there and had three picks,” Pearson said.

Powered by Allen’s three interceptions and an eye-opening performance by first-year quarterback Devin Hill, Delco Christian kicked off the 2015 season with a 39-13 rout of Kutztown.

Allen’s three picks bested his previous single-game career high of two.

“I kind of experienced it last year when we played Valley Forge and I had the opportunity to have two interceptions,” Allen said. “It’s a good feeling, because I really messed up in the (second quarter). I was able to overcome adversity. I returned, I made a play and I redeemed myself. I helped myself and the team.”

The visiting Cougars were no match for the reigning District One/12 Class A champion Knights, who wore down their opponents with their patented four-back offensive attack.

“It was a good win, a good way to start,” Hill said. “I felt like we had a few doubters after last year since we lost some key players. It was good to come out and set the tone in the first game, to let people know that we’re a force to be reckoned with and we’re someone that you should be worried to play. I think winning this by a lot as we did, it shows people that we’re a team you have to put a lot of work in to beat.”

Hill managed the offense with aplomb. The Knights have several athletes who can take the ball to the house, notably seniors Amir Dorsey and Nazim Trammell-Wells, who was the second-leading rusher in the county last year.

But Hill has the entire package: Size, speed and strength.

He exploded for 163 yards on the ground with two scoring runs. As a first-year quarterback making the transition from running back, Hill was impressive.

To prepare Hill for the new challenge, Pearson brought in a quarterbacks coach to work with him during the offseason. The name might ring a bell to Delco football fans: Ridley legend and Delaware County Hall of Famer, John Waller.

“Everyone rallied around me and my whole team was there to help me out,” Hill said. “I had to work on my footwork and a lot of different things so that I can be successful. I got a lot of great help.”

The Knights were in control from the outset. Pearson reached into his bag of tricks and called an onside kick on the opening kickoff.

Ford Harvey booted the ball off the tee just right and Allen came away with the recovery.

Three plays later the Knights scored their first points  off a 41-yard scamper by Hill.

Delco Christian amassed 359 yards rushing while its defense — led by Giho Park and Stephen Mitchell — limited Kutztown’s offense to 207 yards, most of which came during garbage time in the fourth quarter.

In recent seasons the Knights have struggled with their first game. Saturday night, they looked like the reigning district champs.

“It’s the farthest along that we’ve been at this point in the season in the last three years, since I’ve been here,” Pearson said. “Our guys really took it upon themselves to train in the offseason, work on some specific things. We talked about just being better than the year before. “

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