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Whippets wins “Character Building” game, Down Shanahan 27-16

Written by: on Saturday, October 10th, 2015. Follow Paul Sarpen on Twitter.


paulweek62015In week 6 of High School football in District 1, the Downingtown West Whippets earned what most people would consider a “character building” win over the Eagles of Bishop Shanahan High School.  The Whippets were punched in the mouth early and often tonight. They faced a two score deficit in the third quarter, did not pack it in, and “won ugly” against the smallest school in the Ches-Mont League’s National Division (Bishop Shanahan is the only AAA school on that side).  Despite being 3-3, Bishop Shanahan proved that they will be a difficult battle for the rest of the league and are capable of making some trouble in the AAA playoffs.

Both teams played short handed tonight. Both teams were missing a key offensive player.  The Whippet’s bruising tailback Michael Riddick was held out due to a bruised knee. Eagle receiver Mike Sprague was held out with a couple of injuries from the Henderson win.

Downingtown West set a physical message on the game’s first drive, and put themselves in a 7-0 lead after a 80 yard drive.  Running back Jake Barr (who had a game sealing interception as well) made an impressive catch of a Thomas Mattioni pass and scored from 20 yards out.

Bishop Shanahan would not go away. The Eagles capitalized on two Downingtown West turnovers in the second quarter.  A lost fumble by Jake Barr turned into a Brendan Dearing 44 yard run to cap off a two play, 51 yard drive to tie the game.  On Downingtown West’s next possession, Shanahan linebacker Dan Neuhaus made an one handed interception that would impress Odell Beckham Junior.  The Eagles turned that into a 25 yard field goal by John George, to make the lead 10-7 at halftime.

When Bishop Shanahan scored on a three yard run by Jake Guinan to go up 16-7, the possibility of an upset was very real.  When Guinan scored, the silence in Kottmeyer Stadium was deafening.

Downingtown West then went on a tear offensively, as they systematically wore the Eagles out.  The Whippets’ offense ground out three touchdowns, and forced two crucial turnovers.  Quarterback Thomas Mattioni’s seven yard run closed the deficit to 16-13. Former Shanahan Running Back Braden Harper scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Mattioni to put the Whippets up 20-16. Kevin Kyriakos scored the game’s final touchdown on a six-yard run.

The sequence that set up Kyriakos’ run was huge.  While preserving a 20-16 lead, Downingtown West intercepted Shanahan quarterback Nick Skulkus in the end zone to set the clinching drive up.  An interception by Jake Barr put the nail in the coffin.

After the game, a frustrated by very upbeat Shanahan coach Paul Meyers felt his team, “…played hard.  The interception in the end zone killed us. Our game plan worked. We hit them in the mouth early. We were able to run the ball on them.  I am very proud of our team.”

Paul Meyers deserves a HUGE amount of credit for the building and evolution of football at Bishop Shanahan High School.  Meyers started that program from scratch 16 seasons ago, and built the Eagles into a battle for anyone.  Last season, the Eagles won their first district playoff game on the gridiron.  The evolution continues next week, as Bishop Shanahan hosts Oxford in the first night game in Shanahan’s history on it’s new turf field.

Downingtown West improves to 6-0 (2-0 Ches-Mont National), and plays West Chester East.  Shanahan hosts Oxford.

DWHS- 7- 0-13-7-27
BSHS-  0-10- 6-0-16

DW- Barr 20 pass from Mattioni (Biscardi kick)
BS- Dearing 44 run (George kick)
BS- George 26 FG
BS- Guinan 3 run (kick failed)
DW- Mattioni 7 run (kick blocked)
DW- Harper 28 pass from Mattioni (Biscardi kick)
DW- Kyriakos 6 yard run (Biscardi kick)

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