Falcons upset Whippets in Overtime
In the minds of most residents of Chester County, a rematch of the Downingtown Civil War between the two Downingtown High Schools seemed to be a foregone conclusion. After the first round of the district 1 4a playoffs, any hope of a rematch between the schools has been dashed.
Tonight, the defending district 1 champion Pennsbury Falcons defeated the Downingtown West Whippets in the first round for the second year in a row, by a score of 35-28 in overtime.
Granted, tonight’s game was not the 63-55 shootout of last year, but tonight’s game was an absolute slug fest. Pennsbury stuck to their mantra of running the ball behind a massive offensive line and wearing opposing defenses out.
The Falcons from Fairless Hills jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first period of play, when Pennsbury got a 45 yard kickoff return and a 49 yard drive (which consumed 5:30) capped off by a Rob Daly 3 yard run.
Another long drive was capped off by a rarity for Pennsbury, the forward pass, when Mike Alley hit Luke Snyder on a four-yard pass on the last play of the first quarter. Including tonight, Pennsbury has only attempted 35 passes this season.
Downingtown West roared back to tie the game at 14-14 before halftime, on short runs by Jake Barr (two yards), and TJ Simmons (one yard).
The second half was comparable to a prize fight. Pennsbury would hit a haymaker, Downingtown West would respond with one of their own.
Rugged Pennsbury fullback Chris Rupprecht bulled his way in from nine yards out, for a 21-14 Falcon lead. A 27 yard pass from Tom Mattioni to Jake Barr tied it up. Pennsbury responded with a Mike Alley snuck one in from two yards out, only to have Jake Barr tie it up at 28-28.
At the end of regulation, Pennsbury ran a gutsy play. Following a 40-yard pass from Alley to Quenton Davis that put the ball on the Downingtown West 11, the Falcons lined up for a 28 yard field goal attempt. Or one would think so. In a designed fake, Alley’s pass was intercepted by Whippet defensive back Mike Anderson to force overtime.
On the only possession of overtime for Pennsbury, Mike Alley scored from two yards out. The Whippets failed on their drive when Mattioni was intercepted.
After the game, a somber West head coach Mike Milano stated, ”The game was a war. No doubt it was physical. The Suburban One mega schools play big boy football. After our last score, we considered going for two. Give them credit. They made plays.”
Pennsbury coach Galen Snyder stated, ”Both teams played great. Both teams battled and made plays. We do not quit. The fake field goal was a designed play. I felt more confident in my senior quarterback vs my sophomore kicker.”
Falcon quarterback Mike Alley stated, “Downingtown West is a great team. The Suburban One League is physical, and we stick to it. The fake field goal was a designed play.”
Statistically- Pennsbury was led by Mike Alley who was 3-6 passing (94 yards & a score), and ran for 131 yards & two scores on 24 carries. Chris Rupprecht had 108 yards on 17 carries, and Rob Daly ran for 93 yards & had 53 receiving. As a team, Pennsbury had 431 yards (334 rushing) on 66 plays.
For Downingtown West, Tom Mattioni threw for 141 yards & ran for 66. Jake Barr had 147 total yards (62 rushing, 85 receiving).
Fifteenth seeded Pennsbury (8-3) plays at tenth seeded Perkiomen Valley (10-1), while Downingtown West’s season ends at 9-2.
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