Will(iams) Power: West Football Upsets C’Ville in Districts
For the November 17th Bucks County Herald
See Rashaad run.
Run Rashaad run.
If you want a complicated storyline, read Hugo. The storyline of 10-seeded C.B. West’s (9-2) 42-28 Friday night upset at 7-seed Coatesville (8-3) was simple: senior tailback Rashaad Williams ran for 420 yards and five touchdowns as the winningest program in Bucks County history knocked off the winningest program in Chester County history in the first round of District playoffs.
“His performance says it all,” said linebacker Joe DiStefano, the Bucks’ leading tackler on his close friend Williams. “He was pumped all week and 400 yards is self-explanatory.”
“You got a kid like Rashaad Williams who can run like he does, it makes the job a lot easier,” admitted West coach Brian Hensel. “Our offense really stepped up tonight and did a great job. And when our defense needed to make stops, they made some key stops.”
The host Red Raiders opened the game with a 14-play touchdown drive. Just two plays later, Williams burst through the line for a 71-yard touchdown sprint. After West’s defense forced a three-and-out, it was Williams going three-and-in, on a 39 yard, left edge touchdown run on the drive’s third play.
Coatesville quarterback Manny Stocker hit Rashid Baker-Wilson over the middle for a 42 yard gain, leading to a touchdown. Williams, who found holes and burst tackles all night, responded with a 61-yard run that brought the ball to the Coatesville two. DiStefano plunged in for a touchdown, giving West the 21-14 lead that carried into halftime.
West opened the second half with a 15-play scoring march of their own, highlighted by quarterback Ward Udinski’s three completions. Williams’ three-yard touchdown run capped it.
On Coatesville’s opening drive, wideout Kevin Berry snagged a swing pass and sprinted 54 yards, setting up Dae-hon Chung’s second one-yard touchdown dive of the night which cut the lead to 28-21.
Stocker completed his first 10 passes, but West’s Seth Ehlo finally picked him off late in the third. Williams sprinted 53 yards for a touchdown two plays later.
“I saw the openings,” Williams remarked. “Once my line put a hit on someone, I just took the crease and ran.”
A Stocker touchdown run brought the lead back to seven. West then punted for the first time all game but forced a fumble on the return, which was recovered by the Bucks’ Dave Manning.
“That was a difference maker,” Hensel stated.
Given new life, Hensel called Williams’ number and he sprinted 48 yards for his fifth and final touchdown.
Coatesville’s defense is hardly chopped liver. They tied for first in the Ches-Mont National conference with Downingtown East, who nipped the Red Raiders 21-14 in week four. After that, Coatesville rattled off six straight wins to close the regular season; yielding an average of just eight points per game over their final three contests.
West victories, not surprisingly, have been highlighted by points-a-plenty. The 2010 Bucks have scored 36+ points seven times. The running tandem of Jake Poeske and Williams average nearly 240 yards per game and 8.8 yards per carry. Mixing it up is Udinski, who averages over 15 yards per completion.
The Bucks can “D” it up too. They won both games in which they were held to 13 points, their offensive nadir. Twice a tandem of Bucks- Kevin Duggan and Tyler Maconaghy in the first half; Poeske and Leighton Hayes in the second- sacked Stocker in West territory to kill a Coatesville drive.
“Coming into the game, we knew they had a lot of athletes who could make big plays,” commented DiStefano. “We just came out tonight and played well. We let up a couple of big plays but other than that we stopped everything and we played our game.”
This weekend last year, West was closing a forgettable 1-10 campaign having been shutout by Archbishop Ryan 17-0. The ’09 Bucks broke the 20-point barrier just once. Granted, six of those losses were by 10 or fewer points – but the videos of Andrew Elsing’s blocked punt to clinch Mike Pettine’s last state title in 1999 were starting to look very grainy.
“These kids rallied twelve months ago,” recalled Hensel, who was quick to deflect credit to his assistant coaches. “They got into the weight room on December 7th and said ‘We’re never going to let this happen again.’ We can put a lot of plans in place but the bottom line is that these kids are committed and they sell out for each other.”
The Bucks travel to #2-seed Council Rock South this Friday in their second round contest. While C.R. South has posted five shutouts on the year, they have struggled in their last three games.
“My line did a great job. They executed and I executed,” said Williams. “West hasn’t been to the playoffs in ten years and I just wanted to bring West back.”
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