Coatesville, Shana­han post big Ches-Mont wins on road

Key in­ter­cep­tion keys Shana­han as Ea­gles pull away in sec­ond half to stay perfect

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter DiGio­vanni pd­gio­ @PeteDLN on Twit­ter

WEST GOSHEN >> At half­time of Fri­day night’s key Ches-Mont Na­tional Di­vi­sion matchup be­tween Bishop Shana­han and West Ch­ester East, the two teams were knot­ted at 14-14, although Shana­han clearly had the edge in play on both sides of the ball. But a kick­off re­turn by the Vik­ings’ Jared Cooper and a bad snap that re­sulted in East re­cov­er­ing a fum­ble in the end zone had the game tied.

But in the de­ci­sive sec­ond half, Shana­han got a big boost from its of­fen­sive line, which dom­i­nated the Vik­ings up front to the tune of 260 rush­ing yards and the Ea­gles’ de­fense gave the squad a big boost when Josh Burke in­ter­cepted a J.T. Thompson pass at the Shana­han 5 yard line, to help the Ea­gles stay perfect with a 3121 tri­umph.

“I told Bren­dan Dear­ing that we had to do something there with them driv­ing the foot­ball,” Burke said. “I think the quar­ter­back tele­graphed the pass and I just jumped it, caught the ball and took off run­ning. We were mad at our­selves at half­time be­cause of the mis­takes but the se­niors took over and coach (Paul) Meyers gave us a quote from Mike Tyson.

“He said Tyson said that every­body has a plan un­til they get punched in the mouth. That re­ally

got us go­ing and we took over the sec­ond half.”

West Ch­ester East (0-1 Ches-Mont Na­tional, 2-2 over­all) had trou­ble run­ning the ball all night as the Vik­ings could only muster 26 rush­ing yards. Thompson threw for 262 yards on 30 at­tempts, but the Ea­gles picked off three of his passes. Although Shana­han (1-0, 4-0) con­trolled the game from the out­set, Cooper’s 85-yard touch­down on a kick­off re­turn and Tom Silva’s fum­ble re­cov­ery of a Nick Skul­ski fum­ble off a bad snap kept the Vik­ings even at half­time.

“We have cre­ated turnovers all sea­son but tonight in the sec­ond half we made them,” said West Ch­ester East head coach Dave Gueriera. “Our quar­ter­back played well and he is com­ing on but we re­ally wanted the win here tonight on home­com­ing. We just made too many mis­takes tonight.”

Shana­han took a 17-14 lead early in the third pe­riod when John Ge­orge ended a long Ea­gles drive with a 31-yard field goal. Then, the Vik­ings got go­ing with Thompson hit­ting Alex Hirsch and Mike Sal­loum with passes. Then on third down, Burke jumped a route and ran it back to the Vik­ings’ 34-yard line. Runs by An­drew Smyth and Joe Gueriera took the ball down to the Vik­ings’ six yard line and Skul­ski hit Smyth with a six yard swing pass for a 24-14 Ea­gles lead. Skul­ski threw for 134 yards and ran for 110 more in an­other very im­pres­sive per­for­mance.

East then took the en­su­ing kick­off and went nowhere. After a punt, the Ea­gles drove down the field for the clinch­ing score. Be­hind their phys­i­cal of­fen­sive line, led by Jake Colby and Noah Smith, the Ea­gles pounded the ball right at the Vik­ings. Skul­ski fin­ished the nine-play drive by rolling in from four yards out to make it a 31-14 game early in the fourth quar­ter.

“Our of­fen­sive line has been real good all sea­son and it makes run­ning be­hind them easy,” Gueriera said. “And Jake and Noah are just so big and strong and phys­i­cal. We were mad at half­time that we were not up in the game and the se­niors made it a point to take over the game in the sec­ond half.”

East did not quit, how­ever. It only took the Vik­ings 1:12 to come back down the field and make it a 31-21 game with a lit­tle over 10 min­utes to play in the fourth. Thompson sud­denly got hot and hit Hirsch and Sal­loum with passes. Hirsch hauled in nine passes on the night. The touch­down came when a wide open Sal­loum hauled in a Thompson strike for a 42-yard score.

After Shana­han took five min­utes off the clock and fi­nally punted the ball away to the Vik­ings, the Ea­gles de­fense stopped Hirsch a yard short of the first down chains with 3:22 to play and Shana­han had its fourth straight win and kept its perfect sea­son in­tact with a home game with West Ch­ester Hen­der­son loom­ing next Fri­day.

“All week in prac­tice we chal­lenged our of­fen­sive line,” said Bishop Shana­han head coach Paul Meyers. “And tonight we were re­laxed at half­time be­cause we knew we were play­ing well and we would be al­right if we cleaned up the mis­takes. We did that in the sec­ond half and moved the ball on the ground. And West Ch­ester East is a very good team. Dave has done a great job here.”


Bishop Shana­han quar­ter­back Nick Skul­ski fires a touch­down pass to An­drew Smyth, at right, dur­ing Fri­day’s game.


West Ch­ester East’s Mike Sal­loum dives for a touch­down to try to keep the Vik­ings in the game in the fourth quar­ter.


Bishop Shana­han de­fender Steve Sweeney breaks up a pass in­tended for East’s Michael Gray late in the game.

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