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Chester County Press

Downingtown West holds off Kennett, 38-20

09/20/2016 01:05PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter of last Friday's Ches-Mont football game at Kennett High School, the visiting Downingtown High School Marching Band kicked into their rendition of the theme from “Rocky.”
Given that their football team was enjoying a 38-6 lead at the time, the choice of a tune that celebrates the underdog seemed misplaced, and completely unnecessary.
Behind quarterbacks Kyle Geiser and back-up Mitchell Micale – who took over after Geiser went down with an injury in the first half – the Whippets notched their first win of the year with a commanding 38-20 over Kennett, who fell to 2-2 on the young season, after two straight wins against Chichester and Twin Valley.
D-West got on the board early in the game when Geiser marched his team from its own 35-yard line to the Kennett seven-yard line on a series of runs by running back Kenny Costello. With 8:32 left in the first quarter, running back Michael Riddick bolted into the end zone to give the Whippets a lead they would not relinquish.
Later in the first quarter, following a Kennett fumble, D-West kicker Massimo Biscardi booted a 42-yard field goal to give D-West a 10-point lead, but after Kennett got the ball back on its next series of downs, quarterback Jake Dilcher took the Blue Demons on an 80-yard drive that featured a 17-yard run by running back Myles Robinson, and two nice catches by receivers Mitchell Kosara and Dominic D'Angelo. The drive ended with a three-yard TD run by running back Myles Robinson with just eight seconds left in the quarter. The PAT was blocked.
Any momentum that Kennett may have acquired after getting on the board was promptly wiped away on the subsequent kickoff, when kick returner Cole Zapf took the return the length of the field as time expired, to give the Whippets a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kennett head coach Doug Langley said Zapf's TD run took the wind out of his team's sails.
“We were moving the ball and doing things pretty well, but when something like that happens, I could definitely see that it took some air out of us at that point.”
With momentum on their side, the Whippets got on the board on their first possession, when Micale rolled out of the pocket near midfield and sprinted to the Kennett 13-yard line. Carries by Costello and Riddick moved the ball to the one-yard line, and with 7:18 left in the half, Riddick plunged over the line for his second TD of the game to extend the D-West lead to 24-6.
Riddick scored his third touchdown of the first half with 32 seconds remaining, with another one-yard scamper.
To many, overcoming a 31-6 deficit in 24 minutes of play seems like an insurmountable task, but Kennett did not get to this point of the season with a winning record by giving in to lopsided numbers. Despite a nine-yard TD run by D-West's Josh Willenbrock that gave the Whippets a 38-6 lead late in the third quarter, Dilcher gave clear evidence that his team's 273 total yards was not a fluke. With 3:07 left in the game, he found tight end Kerry Tomasetti in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD strike. With less than two minutes remaining, safety Xavier Feliciano recovered a D-West fumble, which then led to a 50-yard TD strike from Dilcher to Robinson with 1:21 left in the game.
With the win, D-West is 1-3 in the early campaign, with a game against Ches-Mont National rival Coatesville on Sept. 23.
As his team prepares to take on 1-3 Octorara on Sept. 23, Langley said that he wants to focus his energies on his players' approach to the game. “We're still trying to improve on the mental side of the game, we have to makes sure we know how to practice, how hard we need to practice, so we can carry that through the week into next Friday. We're still trying to work on that so we can put it together on both sides of the ball.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].