Cougars down Vikings in thriller, 27-24
In an opening round District 1 AAAA playoff game, the Downingtown East Cougars did not earn any style points. Nor did they win pretty. Not to mention the game going down to literally the final seconds. However ugly and style-less the game was, the Cougars eliminated the Perkiomen Valley Vikings by the score of 27-24, on a Drew Brennan 25-yard field goal as time expired.
Although Perkiomen Valley was able to hit some big plays in the passing game, Downingtown East’s defense was solid throughout the game. They forced three and outs on five of Perkiomen Valley’s first six possessions and a fumble on the Vikings’ seventh possession. In the first seven series covering the first half, the Vikings’ offense managed only four first downs.
After both teams traded three and outs to start the game, Downingtown East only had to move the ball 49 yards (on 16 plays) to take a 7-0 lead, when Andrew Hudson hit Cary Angeline on a two-yard pass. Following Perk Valley’s second straight three and out, Downingtown East moved the ball 25 yards down to the Vikings’ 23 yard line before passing on a roughly 40 yard field goal. They turned the ball over on downs. Although the Cougars didn’t score, they set the tone in the first half, showing that their offensive line could control the Vikings.
After the third three and out by Perkiomen Valley, the Cougars moved the ball 32 yards in six plays, when Drew Brennan put Downingtown East up 10-0, on a 38-yard field goal. Perkiomen Valley did threaten to get points before halftime, on a 12-play drive, which included a conversion pass on a fake punt from Liam Grande to Justin Jaworski that covered 33 yards. The drive bogged down at the Downingtown East 25-yard line, when a pass fell incomplete.
Once Downingtown East got the lead to 10-0, their offense started to bog down. A menagerie of mistakes plagued the Cougars on their next few drives including a turnover on downs, a cross up on a shotgun snap reminiscent of the Broncos’ first drive in Super Bowl 48 plus two three and outs and an interception where the defensive back undercut Cary Angeline. These all left the Cougars unable to put the Vikings away. On top of that, the Vikings were able to take a 17-10 lead. Stephen Sturm hit Justin Jaworski on a 39 yard pass to cut the deficit to 10-6, Garrett Patla made a 21 yard field goal to make it 10-9. Sturm hit David Williams on a five-yard pass (and Ryan O’Donnell on the two-point conversion) to put Perk Valley up 17-10.
This is where the fun started. The first three quarters featured a total of 19 points. The final quarter featured 32. Jack Kincade’s two-yard run capped off a six-play, 70-yard drive to tie the game at 17-17. The big play was a 57-yard pass from Hudson to Ben Davis. Undeterred, Stephen Sturm hit Taiyir Wilson for a 69-yard touchdown. Downingtown East re-tied the game on Andrew Hudson’s second touchdown pass to Cary Angeline (58 yards). Once the Cougars’ offense was able to tie the game, the defense took control (forcing a fumble at midfield) of the game, and set up Drew Brennan’s heroics at the end.
Both quarterbacks threw for over 200 yards, but the receivers had drops at crucial times.
After the game, Mike Matta (Downingtown East’s coach since the split) stated that “This is just like the NCAA Tournament, there are no style points here. The objective is to survive and advance. Two years ago, a team more talented than this team was faced with adversity and did not rise up. This year’s team rose up, and I am proud of them. Our defense played great all night, we had a few breakdowns, but the kids stepped up. We had kids who were injured fighting to get back in.”
Regarding Taiyir Wilson, “… 21 is a Temple commit. The kid is a baller, and he can play. We put a sophomore on him.” Regarding Keith Conner’s foot, “He will be ready to play next week. On offense, we had three sure touchdowns dropped.”
Offensively Andrew Hudson threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 11-31 passing. Cary Angeline had 102 yards and two touchdowns (seven receptions), and Ben Davis had 65 yards on two catches. Caleb Fell, Adam Stata, and the Cougars front seven made a boat-load of crucial plays in crunch time.
For Perk Valley, Stephen Sturm threw for 296 yards on 22-37 passing. Justin Jaworski had 118 yards receiving (seven catches), Taiyir Wilson had 118 yards on five catches. Brett Capobianco had an outstanding game for Perk Valley.
Up next for fifth seeded Downingtown East (8-3), is a second round game against fourth seed Quakertown (10-1), who downed their Thanksgiving Day rival Pennridge 14-10. Perkiomen Valley’s season ends with a 9-2 record.
DEHS- 7-3-0-17- 27
PVHS- 0-0-9-15- 24
DE- Angeline 2 pass from Hudson (Brennan kick)
DE- Brennan 38 FG
PV- Jaworski 39 pass from Strum (kick blocked)
PV- Patla 21 FG
PV- Williams 5 pass from Strum (O’Donnell pass from Sturm)
DE- Kincade 2 run (Brennan kick)
PV- Wilson 69 pass from Sturm (Patla kick)
DE- Angeline 58 pass from Hudson (Brennan kick)
DE- Brennan 25 FG
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: