ABINGTON >> Despite coming off back-to-back 1-8 seasons, the Plymouth Whitemarsh football team set high goals for 2019.
The Colonials wanted to win the Suburban One League American Conference title and win a District 1-6A playoff game.
They came up one yard short of their first goal in a 28-24 loss against Cheltenham on Oct. 4.
As for the second goal, PW had arguably its best offensive performance of the season in a 56-42 first-round win over Abington Friday night at Abington Senior High School.
“Going into this season we had two goals — win the league and win a playoff game,” senior Brian Dresnin, who totaled 312 yards on 24 carries and one reception, said. “Win the league — we weren’t able to do. I think that only made us better because we lost that game in such a heartbreaking manner. I think we all grew stronger and we got closer. We learned to persevere through adversity and we came back. It only made us hungrier to win this playoff game. We said, ‘Really we’ve done nothing this season, we haven’t accomplished any of our goals yet.’ For us, winning this playoff game was a must.”
It was the first playoff win this millennium for PW and the first under head coach Dan Chang.
“Twenty years I think, 1999,” Chang said of the program’s last postseason victory. “I think this was my fifth trip to the playoffs and our first win. It’s awesome, indescribable. These guys care so much about each other and this team. I’m really proud of how they played, how they composed themselves and how they represented PW.”
It was a fitting way for Chang to get his first playoff win. He has been using a run-heavy, option-based attack during his 10-year tenure at Plymouth Whitemarsh. Against Abington the Colonials totaled 477 rushing yards and threw the ball just three times.
PW will try to keep the momentum going when it faces Garnet Valley in the second round Friday night at 7 p.m. at Garnet Valley High School.
Senior Christopher Pierce returned to play against Abington for the first time since suffering an upper body injury prior to the Colonials bye week in September.
He made an immediate impact.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder returned the opening kickoff 33 yards to the Ghosts side of the 50-yard line to give the Colonials offense a short field.
In the fourth quarter he showed off his speed breaking away from the defense for a 64-yard run, but it was called back due to a chop block.
Pierce finished the game with 38 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
“It was great to have him back,” Chang said. “He’s another dynamic element on ‘O’ and ‘D’ and another thing guys have to worry about. We’re hoping he gets back into the swing of things and gets better everyday as he practices more and more. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
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