Williamsport defeats Boyertown in Eastern Conference football championship

BOYERTOWN >> While watching film to prepare for the Eastern Conference Class 5A/6A championship game, Boyertown knew that Williamsport was a much better team than its record indicated. And the Millionaires proved that and then some with a 57-21 win over the Bears Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Nasir Hennigan ran for 167 yards and four touchdowns while passing the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the year and George Whaley passed for 281 yards and four touchdowns for Williamsport (5-6). Cole Yesavage ran for 149 yards and two scores for Boyertown (5-6).

Hennigan agreed that his team, which was coming off a 69-7 win against Tunkhannock, was better than its 4-6 record coming into the contest.
“For sure,” Hennigan said. “We started out the season with State College (now 10-0) and scrimmaged Harrisburg (7-2) before that. I think they’re two of the top teams in the state.”

“Watching them on film, they’re a better team than that,” Bears coach Justin Konnick said. “We knew our guys were going to have a battle tonight.”

The Millionaires drove 77 yards for a touchdown on their first possession with Vazhir Slaughter pulling in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Whaley. Then Boyertown came right back with an 88-yard drive to tie it as Yesavage broke off a 45-yard run and finished up the march with a 15-yard rushing score.

The Millionaires went right back on top when the 5-10, 197-pound Hennigan scored from four yards out late in the opening quarter. They could have gone up by even more on their next possession, but Boyertown senior Cole Marinello recovered a fumble at the 3-yard line and took it 49 yards the other way to get the Bears out of trouble.

But Boyertown’s drive stalled at the Williamsport 31-yard line and the Millionaires marched 69 yards for a 21-7 lead late in the half.
“They competed from the very first kickoff,” Konnick said on Williamsport. “They’re a great tackling team with great speed. A couple penalties here and there burned us bad. We adjusted a little bit at halftime. We were able to move the ball down the field.”

After Hennigan scored again to make it 28-7, the Bears closed the gap on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Ryder Gehris to Gavin Chamberlain to make it 28-14 after three quarters.

But Williamsport was too much for Boyertown to handle after that as Whaley threw touchdown passes to Jamaire Harden (nine receptions, 138 yards) twice and Jahkia Kline to break the game open for good.

Hennigan needed 95 yards coming in to pass the 1,000-yard milestone and did that with a 21-yard run early in the third quarter.
“Me knowing it was going to be my last game with the team, I wanted to make it historical,” he said.

Williamsport finished with 508 total yards to 301 for Boyertown.

“It really came down to us just executing,” Hennigan said. “We had a really good week of practice and we had to translate that over to the game. We really progressed during the season.”

And so ended an up-and-down season for the Bears, who won their first game, lost the next two and then alternated wins and losses the rest of the year. It was the end of the first year as head coach for Konnick.

“They welcomed me with open arms and I love them for that,” he said. “That’s not always easy to do.”

The Bears will graduate 18 seniors.

“We do have a lot of good players coming back,” Konnick said. “But these seniors for us are always going to be the foundation of the program.”

Williamsport 57, Boyertown 21
Williamsport 14 7 7 29 – 57
Boyertown 7 0 7 7 – 21

First quarter
W-Slaughter 24 pass from Whaley (Poole kick)
B-Yesavage 15 run (Ch Sennott kick)
W-Hennigan 4 run (Poole kick)
Second quarter
W-Hennigan 1 run (Poole kick)
Third quarter
W-Hennigan 1 run (Poole kick)
B-Chamberlain 51 pass from Gehris (Ch Sennott kick)
Fourth quarter
W-Harden 27 pass from Whaley (Poole kick)
W-Harden 12 pass from Whaley (Poole kick)
W-Kline 43 pass from Whaley (Poole kick)
W-Hennigan 33 run (Kline pass from Poole)
B-Yesavage 12 run (Ch Sennott kick)
First downs 17 12
Rushing yards 227 216
Passing yards 281 85
Total yards 508 301
Passes C-A-I 16-18-0 4-15-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 13-130 12-110
Punts-Avg 2-44.5 6-26.2
Williamsport: Hennigan 26-167, 4 TD’s; Kline 1-40; Harden 1-14; Whaley 4-6
Boyertown: Yesavage 20-149, 2 TD’s; J Oakes 5-71; Ca Sennott 3-12; L Oakes 2-(-5); Gehris 1-(-11)
Williamsport: Whaley 16-18-281, 4 TD’s
Boyertown: Gehris 2-6-45, 1 TD; A Panarello 2-9-40
Williamsport: Harden 9-138, 2 TD’s; Kline 4-54,1 TD; Dixon 1-40; Hennigan 1-25; Slaughter 1-24, 1 TD
Boyertown: Chamberlain 1-51, 1 TD; Ca Sennott 1-34; J OAkes 1-6; Yesavage 1-(-6)
Interceptions: none
Sacks: W-Rice, B-Marinello,

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