WC East’s defense, Gaspard fend off Avon Grove


EAST GOSHEN — Earlier in the week the West Chester East coaching staff decided to move senior TJ Gaspard from defensive end to outside linebacker.

Friday night, Gaspard made his coaches look like geniuses.

Gaspard recorded three sacks and blocked a punt as the Vikings’ defense flipped the script and bailed out its offense, stifling Avon Grove for a 14-6 home win in Ches-Mont National Division action.

The Vikings (1-1 division, 2-3 overall) mustered up two goal line stands against the Red Devils (0-2, 2-3) to earn a one-score victory after losing two consecutive of that type.

“It feels great and I feel good for the kids,” East coach Dave Gueriera said. “After two tight losses like that it was great for them to experience a win in another tight game. Avon Grove is a good, tough, hard-nosed team.”

Avon Grove ran 67 plays to East’s 35, but first-half mistakes were almost exactly duplicated in the second half.

On the Red Devils’ opening drive, they had a first-and-goal from the East one, but the Vikings stopped three straight run attempts and defended a fourth-down pass to turn Avon Grove away. On the Red Devils’ next drive, Gaspard blocked Nate Jones’ punt and recovered it on the Avon Grove 23. Jared Cooper scored on the next play to give East a 7-0 lead.

“Our kids fight and they fight to the last minute, last down and last yard,” Gueriera said. “Three games now the game came down to the last drive and their resiliency is unbelievable.”

A six-yard touchdown run by Jones in the second quarter got Avon Grove on the board, but a missed extra point on the blustery, rainy night went wide to keep the score at 7-6.


The Red Devils opened the third quarter with the ball, but a high snap on a punt play set East up 24 yards away from the end zone. The very next play, quarterback Jon Jon Roberts sprinted around the edge for a TD to make it 14-6.

Avon Grove responded, taking almost seven minutes off clock to get to the East two yard line. Again, the Vikings pushed back, forcing a fourth-and-goal, which resulted in an interception by Mike Salloum, who ended up fumbling on the return right back to the Red Devils. East managed one more stop, holding Henry Buchanan a half-yard short on fourth-and-six.

“Our coaches were yelling to do it again and we just knew we had to do it,” Gaspard said. “We knew we had to do it and we just did it.”

Avon Grove ran 18 plays inside the red zone and totaled 30 yards with just one score. Three times the Red Devils had goal-to-goal situations, and they managed three yards on nine plays, with one touchdown.

“We gotta learn to finish games when we play better than the other team,” Avon Grove coach Harry O’Neill said. “We don’t value special teams because we don’t have enough depth so we have to play starters and they’re tired and make mistakes. We gave up two special teams touchdowns, basically. (East) never moved the ball on us and we contained everything they did.”

East only ran one play in the third quarter, Roberts’ touchdown. The Vikings, coupled with the weather, made it hard on Avon Grove’s pass game, and the Red Devils just could not find answers.

“It hurts us because we don’t know how to finish drives because we’re not used to finishing drives and finishing games,” O’Neill said. “We’re young and haven’t experienced success. It’s different if you have a team full of juniors and seniors who learned to win over a period of time, but we haven’t learned that, obviously, and we got stuffed twice.”

Roberts went over the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight week and is now the Vikings’ rushing leader with 355 yards on the season.


West Chester East 14, Avon Grove 6

Avon Grove 0   6 0  0  — 6

West Chester East 7   0 7 0 — 14


WCE- Cooper 23 run (Phillips kick)

AG- Jones 6 run (kick failed)

WCE- Roberts 24 run (Phillips kick)



First downs 15 5

Rush – yards 50-166 25-163

Passing yards 56 54

Total yards 222 217

Passing 7-17-1 7-10-0

Punts-Average 2-24.5 3-37

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-Yards 3-15 7-45.5


Rushing: AG- Jones 27-133, TD; Francis 13-45; McLaughlin 8-17; Buchanan 1-(-1); team 1-(-28). WCE- Roberts 14-114, TD; Cooper 11-49, TD.

Passing: AG- McLaughlin 7-17, 56 yards, INT. WCE- Roberts 7-10, 54 yards.

Receiving: AG- Buchanan 3-24; Francis 2-24; Vahey 1-5; Jones 1-3. WCE- Carroll 4-51; Hirsch 2-(-4); Wolov 1-9.

Sacks: AG- none. WCE- Gaspard 3.

Interceptions: AG- none. WCE- Salloum

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