Rustin “Rumbles” past Strath Haven 27-14
It was billed as “The Upstarts” against “The Establishment”. A 2-time State Champion against a team playing in only its 33rd game as a high school. The Central League against the Ches-Mont American. Delaware County against Chester County.
In the end, “The Upstarts” showed why their season has not been a fluke as they rode 4 touchdowns by Rondell White as Bayard Rustin stunned Strath Haven 27-14 in a District 1 AAA Playoff game at Harold I. Zimmerman Stadium in West Chester Friday Night.
White started the scoring just 3:53 into the game as he ran 25 yards for the score that capped a 66 yard 7 play drive. The big play of the drive was a 21 yard pass from Nick Michaels to Andrew Register on a third down and 10 that gave the Golden Knights (10-1) a first down on the Panther 45. Will Mau kicked his first of 3 extra points as Rustin went up 7-0.
After Haven (7-4) drove to the Rustin 17 and turned the ball over on downs, the Golden Knights needed just 3 plays to get in the endzone as White “rumbled” 74 yards up the gut to increase the lead to 14-0.
“Their reputation speaks for itself,” said Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair. “It was an honor to play them tonite.”
Their reputation got them back in the game in the second quarter and seemed to shift the momentum as Lonnie Richardson scored 2 touchdowns on runs of 1 and 5 yards to knot the game at 14. Richardson ended the night with 26 carries for 107 yards.
But just when the momentum was trying to shift, it soon swung back in favor of the Golden Knights. And this time it was staying.
On Strath Haven’s first possession of the second half, Rahmir White intercepted a Marco Kopac pass and on the second possession brother Rondell steped in front of a Kopac pass, this one leading to the stay-ahead score as the Golden Knights drove 82 yards on 10 plays as the older White scored his third touchdown of the night from 5 yards out with 2:02 left in the third. White finished the night on 206 yards on 21 carries as Rustin rushed for 311 on the night.
“The change of possessions definitely hurt,” said Panther head coach Kevin Clancy. “But in reality, we knew we would be in for a dog fight. We were outmanned upfront.”
Rustin’s defense tighten up in the second half, due in part to Rustin assistan coach Chuck Carr, who coached at Haven for 19 years.
“He’s been a great addition to our staff,” said St. Clair.
Rustin then ended the scoring with a in-your-face drive in the fourth quarter that consumed 7:49 off the clock as White tacked on his last score from 5 yards out.
With the win, Rustin now makes the trip up Route 100 next week to take on Pottsgrove, a 42-20 winner over Interboro in the District 1 AAA semi-finals. In the other game Owen J. Roberts will travel to Upper Moreland.
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