First-half explosion leads to 55-36 Oxford win
10/17/2017 01:04PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
Kennett High School quarterback Jake Dilcher is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Ches-Mont League this season, and his resilience in the second half of last Friday's loss at Oxford proved it.
His teammate, Kennett sophomore running back Garrett Cox, is power, speed and balance packed into a 5-foot-10 frame, junior Mitch Kosara is a multipurpose player who can both score and defend, and his receiving comrade Chris Brooks is gifted with stellar hands and speed.
In the second half of the loss, every member of Kennett head coach Josh Kaufman's team demonstrated sheer will in the face of extreme adversity, scoring 36 points in the second half. And yet, football is a game played in two halves, and in the first half, the Blue Demons were met head-on by a freight train.
Before a Senior Night crowd, the Hornets rode the crest of a 38-0 halftime lead on their way to a 55-36 win over Kennett, led by a well-balanced offensive assault that ended with touchdowns by five players. At the center of it all was quarterback Chandler England, who racked up close to 500 yards on the ground and in the air, with the assistance of wide receiver Brandon DeShields (eight catches for 157 yards) and running back Tim Faber, who each scored two touchdowns.
DeShields was the first Hornet to touch the end zone, when with 10:28 left in the first quarter, England found DeShields for an 18-yard TD strike. On Oxford's next possession, England tossed a quickie screen pass to tight end Julian Nadachowski, who ran 48 yards to extend Oxford's lead to 14-0 with 6:50 left in the quarter.
Oxford then converted an interception by Brett Kochmasky at midfield to a 38-yard field goal by kicker Jake O'Connor with 3:14 left to extend the Hornet's lead to 17-0. With 8:15 left in the first half, England threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alijah Thomas, who scampered ten yards up the sideline to give Oxford a 24-0 lead, which was followed by a three-yard run by England with 3:14 left in the half. With one more opportunity to put more points on the board in the first half, the Hornets did, when DeShields took an England pass at midfield and ran straight up the middle for a TD with just 11.3 seconds left in the half.
But in the second half, Kennett outscored Oxford, 36-17. A four-yard Cox run with 8:05 left in the third quarter got the Blue Demons on the board, and after a 30-yard field goal by O'Connor made it 41-6, Dilcher found Kosara for a 52-yard pass and then connected with Brooks for a 42-yard touchdown pass, which was followed up by a two-point conversion.
A pitch from backup quarterback Kochmansky to Faber for a 13-yard score with 10:10 left in the game extended Oxford's lead to 48-14, but with 6:58 left, Dilcher again found Kosara for an 11-yard TD, followed by a two-point conversion. Kosara then recovered an offensive fumble near midfield with 3:11 left in the game and eluded tacklers for a 40-yard touchdown, and after Faber's second touchdown with three minutes remaining rounded out Oxford's scoring, Dilcher connected with wide receiver Brooks for a 12-yard TD strike.
With the win, Oxford is now 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the Ches-Mont, and will travel to Bishop Shanahan for an Oct. 20 game starting at 7 p.m. Kennett, now 0-4 in the Ches-Mont American and 2-6 overall, will play host to Octorara on Oct. 20 with the kickoff at 7 p.m.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email email@example.com.