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Downingtown East finds form, pulls away from Bishop Shanahan

DOWNINGTOWN >> The Bishop Shanahan football team had belief after the first half. 

Downingtown East took it away in the third quarter.

The Cougars scored 28 unanswered points as running backs Stanley Bryant and Spencer Uggla combined for seven touchdowns en route to a 49-21 Ches-Mont League National Division victory over Bishop Shanahan at Jack Mancini Field on Friday.

After a sluggish start, East scored on all four of its third quarter possesions — three of them on drives of three plays or less — as they improved to 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the division.

“We started out a little slow in the first half,” said Downingtown East coach Mike Matta. “We didn’t play well, but give them credit, they were feisty and played well.”

Leading 21-14, the Cougars held the Eagles to negative-13 yards on their first possession of the third. In a recurring theme of the quarter, East started in Shanahan territory at the 35. Quarterback found fullback Matt Glazer in the right flat on a 4th-and-3 for a key conversion for 17 yards. Two plays later, Bryant punched in from the two for a 28-13 lead.

After holding Shanahan to four plays, the Cougars took over on the Eagles 35. On the third play of the drive, Uggla stepped out of an attempted tackle and sprinted for a 24-yard score and a 35-14 advantage.

Bryant did it again for the fourth time of the night, he broke through the Shanahan defense and twisting in to score from the 19 to make it 42-14.

“The first half we didn’t play the way we normally do, but in the second half, we played Downingtown football,” said Bryant.

The Cougars ended the quarter with an emphatic home run. Uggla sprinted his way to a 55-yard TD and a 49-14 lead.

“Our O-line opened some huge holes for us,” said Uggla. “I wasn’t touched on a couple of my touchdowns, and I owe it to them.”

Shanahan got on the board one more time early in the fourth as Cooper Jordan posted his third TD of the night, hitting Ryan Smyth for a diving six-yard score.

The defenses were the early stars, holding both teams scoreless through the first possessions. East broke through late in the quarter as Bryant recorded the first of his four scores on a 36-yard jaunt.

Shanahan caught the East defense by surprise on the first play of the second quarter. Wesseh Jordan slipped out uncovered and cantered into the end zone after catching a pass from Cooper Jordan to tie the score.

“We had some big plays in the first half,” said Shanahan coach Paul Meyers. “But, we couldn’t bring tose two guys down. And their kicker (Joel Mindek) did a great job on kickoffs keeping us pinned down. We kept fighting and clawing, but they are a real good team.”

Bryant scored from the five to give the Cougars the lead for good, one play after Uggla galloped 56 yards.

Uggla had another long touchdown as he sauntered 66 yards to make it 21-7. Shanahan closed a long 15 play, 77 yard drive as Ross caughta three-yard pass to close the deficit to 21-14 at the half.

Uggla collected 182 yards on just 12 carries and three scores on the evening. Bryant added 93 yards on 11 toates.

Both teams have big games next week, the Cougars visit Coatesville to face the first-place Red Raiders, and hope to stand in the way of yet another National Division title for the Red Raiders. Meanwhile, Shanahan (4-5, 0-4) visits Great Valley, where a win will most likely earn the Eagles a spot in the District 1 Class 4A playoffs.   

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