Geiss, DeRobertis send Great Valley past WC Henderson


WEST CHESTER — With his team trailing by 14 in the first quarter, Great Valley coach Dan Ellis knew he’d get a good idea of what kind of team he has heading into the postseason.

After 34 unanswered points and a complete turnaround on defense, it’s safe to say Ellis was more than pleased as the Patriots knocked off West Chester Henderson, 34-14, in interleague play at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium, Friday.

Great Valley (7-2) became the first Ches-Mont American Division team to knock off a National Division foe this season in the mandated crossover series. The Pats did so on the efforts of 100-yard rushers, quarterback Rob Geiss and running back Mark DeRobertis.

“I just think it’s this team’s ability to persevere and stay level-headed,” Ellis said. “We stressed all week about tackling the dive, and you can’t simulate that speed in practice. They scored on the second play of the game, but we bounced back and kept playing and did a good job from that point on.”

Henderson (1-8) was the more physical team at the start, scoring on the second play from scrimmage when Dom Palmer raced 51 yards to paydirt. On their second drive, the Warriors went 64 yards on 12 plays to go up 14 when Matt Dinacci snuck a touchdown in from the one.

That was about it for the Henderson highlights, as the Warriors gained 119 yards on the first two drives and 129 the rest of the game. They also went over 18 minutes of game time before their next first down after the second drive of the game.

“Football is about blocking and tackling and if you don’t do either well you don’t win football games,” Henderson coach Steve Mitten said.

If Henderson’s veer option was effective early, Great Valley’s read option was efficient the rest of the night. Geiss ran for a career-high 138 yards and the Pats’ first score. He also threw a touchdown to Dylan Tashjian following an interception by Scott McAneney.

DeRobertis returned to action after missing the previous two games. He notched his fifth 100-yard game of the season with 132, adding three TDs.

“I wanted to get back so bad, especially after missing homecoming against Unionville (two weeks ago),” DeRobertis said. “When Rob has it going it really opens up the entire offense, and our offensive line did a great job and helped us out so much.”


Tashjian had the second interception for the Patriots, who set themselves up to earn a first-round home playoff game with a win against Kennett, next Friday.

The Patriots are now the only American Division team with a winning record in the crossover series instituted in 2013. Great Valley went 1-1 against Downingtown West the prior two seasons before topping Henderson. West Chester Rustin plays Coatesville Friday and is 1-1 currently in the series.

For Great Valley, the focus now shifts to taking care of business as a big favorite against Kennett and getting back to the Class AAA District 1 playoffs to defend its 2014 district title.

“Obviously it’s nice not to be sneaking in,” Ellis said. “We’re playing pretty good football. We played Unionville tough and we’ve won the last two games, so hopefully we can get a little healthier.”
Ryan Hubley, the leading receiver in the American, played only a couple possessions for the Pats before sitting out with a nagging injury.

West Chester Henderson’s Mark Rizzo was taken off on an ambulance after sustaining a head injury, though Henderson personnel were optimistic of Rizzo’s condition.

Great Valley 34, West Chester Henderson 14

Great Valley 0   20 14  0  — 34

West Chester Henderson 14   0 0 0 — 14


WCH- Palmer 51 run (Angle kick)

WCH- Dinacci 1 run (Angle kick)

GV- Geiss 7 run (Tashjian kick)

GV- DeRobertis 6 run (kick failed)

GV- DeRobertis 1 run (Tashjian kick)

GV- Tashjian 32 pass from Geiss (Tashjian kick)

GV- DeRobertis 4 run (Tashjian kick)



First downs 17 9

Rush – yards 44-261 41-205

Passing yards 119 43

Total yards 380 248

Passing 11-17-1 3-8-2

Punts-Average 2-32.5 2-30.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 6-57 8-47


Rushing: GV- Geiss 18-138, TD; DeRobertis 23-132, 3 TDs; Johnson 1-(-3); team 2-(-6). WCH- Palmer 14-107, TD; Preston 10-45; Dinacci 15-40, TD; Walton 2-13.

Passing: GV- Geiss 11-17, 119 yards, TD, INT. WCH- Dinacci 3-8, 43 yards, 2 INTs.

Receiving: GV- Banavitch 3-32; Tashjian 2-44, TD; Johnson 2-12; DeRobertis 2-7; Hubley 1-22; Wineinger 1-2. WCH- DePhillips 2-34; Preston 1-9.

Sacks: GV- McDaid, Ryan. WCH- Boddy-Jacobs, Brida.

Interceptions: GV- McAneney, Tashjian. WCH- Walton.

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