West Chester East stymies Kennett’s offense, 35-710/18/2023 06:17PM ● By Richard Gaw
As students and fans began to file into Kennett Stadium on Oct. 13 before the divisional tilt between the Blue Demons and West Chester East, the evening already had everything going for it.
It was Senior Night, and all soon-to-be-graduating Blue Demon football players and cheerleaders – as well as their accompanying parents – were introduced to the appreciative crowd. The home team’s student section began their usual raucous chanting. The raffle coordinated by the school’s Unite for HER group was going briskly on its way to raising approximately $2,500 for the organization to enrich the lives of those battling breast and ovarian cancer. Lastly, the Blue Demons were coming off a come-from-behind defeat of Unionville the week before and headed into the game with a respectable 3-1 record in the Ches-Mont American Division, with an opportunity to remain in the tick of the divisional hunt with a win against the Vikings, who came into the contest with an identical 3-1 divisional record.
Despite the sufficient build-up, the game did not end for the Blue Demons according to plan.
Behind wide receiver Tyler Wileczek’s four touchdowns and a Viking defense that shut down Kennett’s offense, West Chester East cruised to an easy 35-7 win – a victory that now puts them atop the Ches-Mont American with a 4-1 record.
Wileczek’s brilliant evening began early, when with 8:38 remaining in the first quarter, he ran a slant pattern across the middle, reeled in a pass from quarterback Nate DeRosa and scampered 77 yards untouched for his first touchdown. At the end of Kennett’s next possession, a fourth-down punt attempt was blocked by linebacker Fenton Kulp with 6:59 left in the quarter and gathered in at Kennett’s 35-yard line. After a pass to wide receiver Michael McAlinney and two carries by running back Coby Jaramillo moved the ball to the 23-yard line, DeRosa found Wileczek on a curl pattern with 5:25 remaining in the first quarter to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
Meanwhile, three of Kennett’s top playmakers – quarterback Chase Patalano, running back Ian Guyer and wide receiver Jackie Good – were given no opportunities to make the big plays that have kept Kennett – despite a lengthy injury list -- in the playoff hunt this season. One of the bright moments in an otherwise stunted first half was Guyer’s punt late in the first quarter – a 54-yard boot that put the ball on the West Chester East 1-yard line. The highlight was short-lived, however, as a carry by Kulp from the 7-yard line gained 35 yards and set up Jaramillo’s carry to the 33-yard line and a DeRosa-to-Wileczek touchdown with 5 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Vikings completed the remainder of their scoring in the second quarter, coming first on Wileczek’s 19-yard TD run with 6:10 left in the half that staked West Chester East to a 28-0 lead. With 2:33 left in the half, an 8-yard run by Jaramillo closed out East’s scoring.
Subbing for Patalano in the fourth quarter, freshman Garrett McCracken engineered Kennett’s only scoring of the game, when with 2:45 left, he found wide receiver Aiden Ritch for a 6-yard TD strike.
Now 3-2 in the Ches-Mont American and 3-5 overall, Kennett will travel to Sun Valley on Oct. 20 and close out its season at Great Valley on Oct. 27. Sporting a 4-1 divisional record, West Chester East (4-4 overall) is now in second place in the Ches-Mont American behind Bayard Rustin with upcoming games against Oxford on Oct. 20 and Henderson on Oct. 27.
West Chester East stymies Kennett’s offense, 35-7