[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”27″ display=”basic_slideshow”]WESTTOWN >> Since West Chester Rustin started a football program in 2007, the Golden Knights have been known as a devastating running football team, thanks to head coach Mike St. Clair.
Ground and pound is the mantra of West Chester Rustin football. Friday night in the District 1 Class 5A semifinals the Golden Knights lived up to their reputation. Rustin pounded out 449 yards on the ground, 258 by junior Dayshawn Jacobs, including five touchdowns, as the second seeded Golden Knights punched their ticket to next Friday’s District 1 Class 5A championship at Upper Dublin with a convincing 48-13 drubbing of Wissahickon.
“Coming into every game we really feel we can run the ball right through defenses,” Jacobs said. “Every game that is our game plan and our mindset. Tonight was no different. The offensive line is big and strong and they really opened up some good holes for me to run through. We are excited to be playing Upper Dublin for the district championship and we will try to do the same thing next week.”
Wissahickon (3-3), the No. 3 seed, kept up with the Golden Knights (4-1) for the first quarter on the arm of junior quarterback Aiden Defeo. Defeo was gaining yardage with some quick slants that seemed to give the Rustin defense trouble. Defeo threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter and Jerimiah Clark ran for another in the first frame. But, Jacobs was up to the task, as he scored on runs of 37 and six yards and it was a 14-13 Rustin lead after one quarter.
Rustin then outscored the Trojans, 34-0, the rest of the way. The Golden Knights defense caught up to Defeo and the Trojans could not effectively run the ball, gaining only 47 yards on the ground all night. Defeo was just 15 of 26 for 180 yards through the air, with just 42 yards in the second half.
“We changed some things up on defense,” St. Clair said. “We dropped some more guys into coverage and we were getting pressure on their quarterback with three and four guys. Our defense really stepped up after the first period and it got our offense going. And Jacobs was great. He is a special kid and we expect nights like that because he is a Rustin running back.”
The Golden Knights put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring the Trojans, 20-0, and taking a 34-13 lead at halftime. Jacobs put two more scores on the board with runs of 59 and 42 yards, which left the Wissahickon defenders grasping at the air as he flew by. Then, at the end of the first half, John Crispino hit Mike Lighthill with a pretty 28-yard touchdown pass to make it a commanding 34-13 lead at halftime.
The teams played a scoreless third quarter with the Trojans only having six offensive plays and Rustin poured it on in the fourth, scoring 14 unanswered points on touchdown runs from Jacobs and Crispino, and the Golden Knights were headed to the Class 5A final against Upper Dublin.
“We watched a lot of film on Rustin from last year and this year,” Wissahickon head coach Bruce Fleming said. “We knew that running the football is their identity. We felt we had a real good gameplan to stop them but we did not execute as well as we should have tonight.”