Cougars win ugly, get him playoff game
In the final week of the regular season here in District 1 territory, the Downingtown East Cougars clinched a top seven seed in the upcoming district 1 playoffs (one of the rare times a 7-3 team gets a home game). They downed the Warriors of Henderson High School. Despite the defeat tonight, the Warriors’ 7-3 record should keep them in the playoffs.
One would expect the Cougars to come out fairly flat, after last week’s win in a rivalry game. That is only partially true, in what was a fast moving game.
For a good part of the game, Downingtown East had the proverbial “bend but don’t break” style of defense, as Henderson was able to move the ball with their triple option attack, led by fullback Tre Green picking up yards in chunks.
The Warriors’ first two drives went 10 plays (49 yards) and 13 plays (70 yards) respectively, before giving the ball up on downs, and an interception by Adam Stata, who had a crucial interception for the second game in a row.
Fortunately for Henderson, the Cougars only cashed in with points on the first of the two drives, on a Andrew Hudson pass to Cary Angeline (5 yards). The second drive stalled at the Henderson two-yard line, when Nik Aivado lost a fumble trying to get extra yards.
With the ball at their own one-yard line, Henderson went three and punt, and the 19-yard punt gave the Cougars a 27-yard field. Downingtown East cashed in this time with a Keith Conner one-yard run. Conner turned in his second 100-yard game in a row (112 yards tonight), combined with his 165-yard game last week, and an ankle injury to Jon Kincade, gave the Cougars a lot of run/pass balance.
Coming out of the half, Downingtown East continued the run/pass balance, employing Saunders Healy as a run/pass threat (2-2 passing for 15 yards, and 6 rushes for 14 yards), which gave the Cougars a few clutch first downs, en route to Healy keeping on a one-yard sneak, to make the lead 21-0.
Another Henderson turnover gave Downingtown East a 40-yard field, and Keith Conner capped off a seven-play drive with a six-yard run. Henderson was able to avert the shutout, when Matt Dinacci hit Noah Richard on a 17-yard pass.
After the game, Cary Angeline and Mike Matta stated that they’re, “Peaking at the right time. Our defense is playing well.” Matta added, “Our defense’s solid performances started after the West Chester East game. Stata is an athletic kid, who also doubles as a lacrosse player. We made a few adjustments. DiStefano changed positions from DB to LB, he’s an unselfish player.”
In the defeat, the Warriors accumulated 304 yards of offense (103 passing, 201 rushing), and 16 first downs. Henderson’s rushing attack was led by Tre Green, who had 169 yards (29 carries). Noah Richard had 47 yards receiving (3 catches) and a score. James Bady had 34 yards (2 catches).
Andrew Hudson turned in another solid game at quarterback for Downingtown East (12-17 passing, 135 yards and a score). Keith Conner churned out 112 yards and a score (19 carries). Cary Angeline (6 catches, 52 yards & a score) and Dan Chisena (3 catches, 31 yards) were East’s top receivers.
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