Downingtown West beats Downingtown East in an unforgettable 63-35 shootout
DOWNINGTOWN, PA — No one expected this. No one expected Downingtown West and Downingtown East to combine for 98 points, 881 total yards of offense, 39 first downs and break every scoring record in the 16 meetings between the rival Chester County schools.
That’s what happened Friday, after the shootout at Downingtown’s Walter E. Kottmeyer Stadium.
Downingtown West fumbled away the opening kickoff and was flagged with a penalty in the first three plays of the game. But the Whippets never panicked, never wavered, and never doubted themselves, responding from a horrid start to overcome East, 63-35.
West now moves to 7-0, while East fell for the first time this year dropping to 6-1.
What the game featured was a record for combined points scored in the 16 games between the rivals, with the most points scored by a winning team (63) and most points scored by a losing team (35).
West senior quarterback Will Howard looked like everything he was billed as. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 281 yards and three touchdown passes, against two interceptions. The Whippets pounded East for 21 first downs and 463 yards of total offense.
East accumulated its fair share of offense, too, garnering 418 yards of total offense and 18 first downs.
But once West’s Tyriq Lewis scored on a six-yard run with 1:28 left in the first half, giving the Whippets their first lead, 21-14, Howard and West never looked back.
West exploded for four third-quarter touchdowns, two coming on a 93-yard kickoff return and 56-yard punt return by lightning-fast junior Julian Williams.
“I don’t know how easy that was, but I have some special athletes on my side and they showed it tonight,” said West coach Mike Milano, whose team last won a Chest-Mont League National Division title in 2013. “We got in our own way (in the beginning).
“There’s a lot of emotion in this game. We preach a big-game mentality and this is going to be a prizefight. You’re going to get punched in the face, and what are you going to do? Are you going to get up, or you don’t?
“We got punched in the face and we responded.”
West had not only Howard and Williams to thank, but Tyriq Lewis scored four times, Alex Rosano caught a game-high six passes for 130 yards, including a 36-yard TD pass, and Sean Pelkisson and Beau Bryan provided huge sparks defensively.
Pelkisson took a fumble 38 yards for a fourth-quarter score that all but sealed the Whippets’ victory. Bryan was a bull in the middle of the defensive line, shutting down the Cougars’ inside rushing attack and making stops when seemingly no one on West’s defense was able to in the first quarter.
On the other side, East used a strong running game behind senior Spencer Uggla, who rushed for a game-high 152 yards on 27 carries and junior tailback Stanley Bryant, who carried 13 times for 127 yards and rushed for three touchdowns.
“They have a lot of weapons and they did a nice job, but I’m proud of the way our kids fought,” East coach Mike Matta said. “We did some things that we have a lot of season left that we have to improve.
“It’s crushing (to give up nine touchdowns, and two came on special teams). I am the special team’s coordinator and I have no one to blame but myself. We have a hard time getting turnovers. Coming in, we only had five turnovers defensively and we get a bunch of turnovers (four) in this game and we lose by a zillion.”
The one constant was Howard.
When the Whippets started off sluggishly, no one said anything on the West sideline. They didn’t have to.
“We knew,” said Howard, who’s looking to leave early for Kansas State. “There was no message that had to be said. We believe in each other. We’re a team that can bounce back from the kind of start we had.
“There was a lot of emotion, but we started executing in the second quarter. Our defense stepped up and played well. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves. We still have work to get done. This was a great steppingstone. It was a good statement win—and we didn’t play our best game.”
East: Stanley Bryant 11 run (Joel Mindek kick), 10:02
West: Tyriq Lewis 3 run (Spencer Mochulski kick), 7:10
East: Spencer Uggla 4 run (Mindek kick), 3:54
West: Lewis 9 pass from Will Howard (Mochulski kick), 1:00
West: Lewis 6 run (Mochulski kick), 1:28
West: Alex Rosano 36 pass from Howard (Mochulski kick), 8:03
East: Bryant 51 run (Mindek kick), 6:58
West: Julian Williams 93 kickoff return (Mochulski kick), 6:46
West: Lewis 34 pass from Howard (Mochulski kick), 2:12
West: Williams 56 punt return (Mochulski kick), :21
East: Bryant 6 run (Mindek kick), 10:48
West: Sean Pelkisson 38 fumble return (Mochulski kick), 9:19
East: Bryant 17 run (Mindek kick), 8:13
West: Evan Wickersham 1 run (Mochulski kick), 1:24
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