Horvath’s 4 TDs lead Downingtown East past Oxford, 42-2810/04/2022 03:51PM ● By Richard Gaw
Courtesy photo Downingtown East halfback Bo Horvath, left, scored four touchdowns to lead the Cougars to a 42-28 victory over Oxford on Sept. 30.
By Richard L. Gaw
On Sept. 30 at 7:51 p.m., with 4:11 left in the first half of Oxford varsity football game against visiting Downingtown East, the stadium lights abruptly and inexplicably went out, leaving the entire field and grandstands in a shroud of darkness, punctured only by the swirl of cell phone lights.
At 8:07 p.m., the lights came back on and play resumed, but to the dismay of the Oxford players, coaches and the sold-out Oxford Homecoming crowd, Downingtown East halfback Bo Horvath was still there.
The Cougars’ senior running back torched the Oxford defense all night, running for more than 200 years and scoring four touchdowns in a 42-28 win over the Hornets. The win not only saw Horvath surpass 3,000 rushing yards during his high school career, it put a damper on Oxford’s Homecoming festivities and kept Oxford (2-4 overall) from reaching a .500 record midway through the 2022 season.
While Horvath ultimately stole the show, it was Oxford – in particular, the passing and running of quarterback Dustin Long – that kept the Hornets in the contest for three quarters. Inheriting the ball on Oxford’s 41 yard-line in the first quarter, Long led the Hornets with a series of QB keepers and with 4:42 left in the quarter, he connected with wide receiver Justin Tyre for a 29-yard touchdown strike that gave Oxford an early 6-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Downingtown East (5-1 overall) got on the board when QB Jameson Jenkins hit Horvath for a screen pass, found wide receiver Caden Walsh for another gain, and then handed to Horvath, who sprinted 15 yards untouched into the end zone with 10:26 left in the half that gave the Cougars a 7-6 lead. With 6:51 left, Downingtown East increased their lead to 14-6 on a four-yard carry by Michael Waite.
Following a 16-minute power outage, Long resumed leading Oxford on a 72-yard touchdown drive that featured passes to Core Diantonio and finished on Long’s 16-yard TD run with 3:39 left in the half, that was followed by a game-tying two-point conversion on a pass from Long to Landem Turk in the corner of the end zone.
After a fumble by Long led to a Cougars touchdown early in the third quarter, Long scampered 24 yards with 9:08 left in the quarter to tie the score, 21-21. With five minutes remaining in the quarter, Horvath bullied his way up the sideline for his second TD of the game that gave Downingtown East a 28-21 lead that was quickly followed by his third TD that came on a four-yard rush with 44 seconds left in the quarter that gave the Cougars a 35-21 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Oxford fought its way through a penalty-plagued start of the fourth quarter to engineer a 79-yard touchdown drive that was highlighted by a 35-yard TD strike from Long to Ryan Evans that cut Downingtown East’s lead to 35-28 with 8:22 left in the game. Yet, with just under six remaining in the game, Horvath ran for a 28-yard touchdown – his fourth and last of the game.
Oxford will travel to Bayard Rustin for a Ches-Mont matchup on Oct. 7, while Downingtown East – who shares first place in the Ches-Mont National with Downingtown West -- will host Academy Park for a non-conference game on Oct. 7.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].