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Cougars claw out of a hole, beat the Knights

Written by: on Saturday, September 19th, 2015. Follow Paul Sarpen on Twitter.


paulweek32015In what could be an early contender for game of the year in District 1 as a whole, the Downingtown East Cougars beat a perennial District 1 powerhouse in the North Penn Knights.  There could possibly be a rematch down the line, during the District 1 AAAA playoffs.

Early on, it seemed that North Penn would run the Cougars out of their own stadium, as the Knights cashed in on two early miscues.  Downingtown East fumbled the opening kickoff in their own territory, and North Penn used the short field to take a 7-0 lead on a 1 yard plunge by Nick Isabella.

Things went from bad to ugly for Downingtown East, as Saunders Healy & Jack Kincade fumbled an exchange on 4th down and short.  Justin Ostopowicz took an end around 43 yards to the Downingtown East 1 yard line, and Reece Udinski snuck it across the goal line to put North Penn up 14-0.

Downingtown East would answer back, as Healy hit Jake Hanford twice with passes into the flat to pick up crucial first downs.  Healy hit Hanford on a screen pass from 10 yards out to cut the lead to 14-7. North Penn got their lead back up to 14 points, as the Knights hit a big play in their run game when Delaware State bound running back Nyfease West scampered 47 yards for a 21-7 lead.

From here it was all Downingtown East, as the Cougars relied on their huge offensive line to run over North Penn’s smaller defense.  A second Saunders Healy touchdown pass, this one to Cary Angeline from 5 yards out, cut the lead to 21-14 at halftime.

Following a North Penn three and out, Downingtown East drove down the field to tie the game at 21, when Saunders Healy scored on a sneak two plays after a 29 yard pass to Noah Hahn.  Another empty possession by North Penn, and the Cougars completed the comeback when Jack Kincade scored from 25 yards out for a 28-21 lead.

The Knights would add a field goal by Brett Bealer to cut the lead to 28-24, which set the game up for the late game drama.  After a failed fourth down conversion by Downingtown East deep in North Penn territory, the Knights had a little over 2 minutes to drive down the field.

They were successful in reaching Downingtown East’s 10 yard line, when Cary Angeline intercepted a Udinski pass to end the threat.  In this sequence North Penn had a 7 yard touchdown pass nullified by an illegal procedure penalty on Keith Earle (a North Penn team captain) as he started towards the line before the snap.

In a game that had many big plays by many star players (Jack Kincade ran for 125 yards on 25 carries, Nyfease West ran for 191 yards for North Penn), an unsung hero tonight was Downingtown East’s kicker and punter, Drew Brennan.  Brennan nullified any chances at kickoff returns by North Penn when all five of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.  On top of that, Brennan’s two punts tonight averaged 57 yards (66 and 48 yards).

After the game, Downingtown East’s coach Mike Matta was pleased with his teams performance. “They played well, and believed in themselves.  We stumbled out of the gates early, because we were too jacked up.  North Penn is a quality team led by a quality coach in Dick Beck, it’s a great win”.

He singled out Jack Kincade as being “…tough, and a hard worker.  As soon as we get him out for a breather, he wants back in.  He works hard in the weight room.”  Regarding Cary Angeline’s interception, “Big time players make big time plays.  He freelanced on the interception. He was supposed to jam the tight end.  He read the play, and made the play. He’s that kind of an athlete.”

Tailback Jack Kincade stated, “We killed them with our tempo and hard work.  We were able to use our size to wear them out.”

NP- Nick Isabella 1 run (Bealer kick)
NP- Udinski 1 run (Bealer kick)
DE- Hanford 10 pass from Healy (Brennan kick)
NP- N. West 47 run (Bealer kick)
DE- Angeline 5 pass from Healy (Brennan kick)
DE- Healy 1 run (Brennan kick)
DE- Kincade 25 run (Brennan kick)
NP- Bealer 32 FG

DE        NP
First Downs-                 17         18
Penalties-Yards        2-15       6-35
Fumbles-Lost              3-2        1-0
Rushes-Yards         46-217   54-293
Comp-Att-Int       10-13-0      9-23-1
Yards Passing          107        115
Total Yards                324        408

Individual Stats
DE- Kincade 25-125 (TD), Aivado 3-20, Healy 16-51 (TD), Hanford 2-19
NP- Udinski 12-22 (TD), Ostopowicz 8-55, West 18-191 (TD), Isabella 5-16 (TD)

DE- Hahn 1-29, Hanford 3-27 (TD), E. Harris 2-19, Angeline 4-31 (TD)
NP- West 3-16, Isabella 2-41, Johns 1-12, Ostopowicz 1-8, Harrison 1-9, Earle 1-26, Bevan 1-12

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