Downingtown East West showdown a Cougar Mowdown!
Tonight saw the closing of the regular season in most of the state of Pennsylvania, and also brought us one of the biggest rivalry games in Chester County in the annual clash between the Downingtown East Cougars and Downingtown West Whippets.
Despite the packed house at Kottmeyer Stadium tonight, the anticipation that surrounded this game last year was not there, due in part to the Whippets entering the game with a 4-5 record (the first time that either school went into the game with a losing record). In most rivalry games, you can throw the records out the window. Unfortunately for Whippet fans, tonight was not the case for Downingtown West, as the Cougars ran all over the Whippets by a score of 42-20, in a game that could have been far worse for Downingtown West.
Downingtown East established their dominance up front on their first drive, as the Cougars went down the field behind running backs Jeremy Jennings and Dan Liaudatis picking up huge chunks of yardage. The drive was capped off by Liaudatis plowing in from six yards out.
Following a three and out by West, the Cougars were back at it, however a Bryce Lauletta pass intended for Jeremy Jennings on 4th & 8 on the Downingtown West 10 yard line was intercepted by Kenny Costello, and returned 99 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 7-7.
The tie score was short lived, as it took Downingtown East all of two plays to re-take the lead, when Jeremy Jennings bolted 69 yards to paydirt, to go up 14-7. Unfortunately for West, the Cougar onslaught was just getting started. Dan Liaudatis scored on runs of three and two yards to go up 28-7 at halftime, and expanded to 35-7 when Jeremy Jennings scored his second touchdown of the night from seven yards out.
Although most teams would have folded when their starting quarterback went down to an injury, as Downingtown West starter Kyle Geiser did tonight, Downingtown West did not fold. They played Downingtown East fairly even in the second half (both teams scored two second half touchdowns). Kenny Costello scored from four yards out to close the gap to 35-14. Brassir Stocker answered back to make it 42-14. Cole Zapf closed out the scoring on a four-yard reception from backup quarterback Mitchell Micale.
After the game- Downingtown East tailback Dan Liaudatis said, “Our offensive line has been lifting since January. This win is all them. Despite going to the playoffs, the West game is the most important game of the season, and it’s a great feeling to beat them again.” Coach Mike Matta echoed his tailback’s sentiments, saying, “Our line dominated tonight. They lift hard. This game was a ‘Wasser game’. He works our kids hard in the weight room. Beating West is more important than any playoff game, as tonight is an annual celebration of Downingtown Football.”
A dejected Whippet head coach Mike Milano said, “East has a huge offensive line that we have not matched up well with for a while. Combined with a tough runner, they’re difficult to stop. We cannot sacrifice in the secondary, because they have the skill players to make you pay.”
Statistically, Downingtown East ran for 403 yards and had 499 total. Dan Liaudatis (37 carries, 207 yards, three touchdowns) and Jeremy Jennings (seven carries, 135 yards, two touchdowns) led the way. Jennings also had 87 yards receiving, for 222 total. The Cougar defense smothered the Whippets, holding them to 124 yards. The leading rusher for Downingtown West was Cole Zapf (42 yards and 73 total offensive yards).
NOTES: Despite this being the fourteenth year since Downingtown High School split into East and West, there have only been 13 games played between the two schools. Downingtown East leads the series eight wins to five, and there was no game in 2007. This was Downingtown East’s third win in a row, and sixth win in the last seven years.
DE- Dan Liaudatis 6 run (Nelson kick)
DW- Kenny Costello 99 yard INT return (Biscardi kick)
DE- Jennings 69 run (Nelson kick)
DE- Liaudatis 3 run (Nelson kick)
DE- Liaudatis 2 run (Nelson kick)
DE- Jennings 7 run (Nelson kick)
DW- Costello 4 run (Biscardi kick)
DE- Stocker 10 run (Nelson kick)
DW- Zapf 4 pass from Micale (kick blocked)
Downingtown East- 22
Downingtown West- 9
Downingtown East- 8-75
Downingtown West- 6-61
Downingtown East- 1-1
Downingtown West- 2-2
Downingtown East- 3-27.3
Downingtown West- 5-29.6
Downingtown East- 55-403
Downingtown West- 35-78
Downingtown East- 5-9-1
Downingtown West- 6-14-0
Downingtown East- 96
Downingtown West- 46
Downingtown East- 499
Downingtown West- 124
Downingtown East- Lauletta 2-8, Liaudatis 37-207-3tds, Jennings 7-135-2tds, Stocker 6-42-td, Munnelly 10, Umberger 1-4, Day 1-0, Brkich 2-7
Downingtown West- Geiser 2-(minus 9), Zapf 12-43, Costello 8-6-td, Micale 7-12, Ciliberto 5-19, McNulty 1-(minus 5)
Downingtown East- Lauletta 4-8-92 yards-INT, E Harris 1-1-4 yards
Downingtown West- Geiser 4-8-34 yards, Micale 2-6-12 yards-TD
Downingtown East- Jennings 3-87, Kiely 1-4.
Downingtown West- Zapf 3-31-td, Costello 1-(minus 4), Williams 1-11, McNulty 1-8.
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