Rustin hangs on, takes down Pa­tri­ots

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

EAST WHITELAND >> When the clock’s wind­ing down late, a mere seven yards can be­gin to feel a lot more like 700 yards.

“Seven yards,” said Great Val­ley head coach Dan El­lis. “We were that close.”

West Ch­ester Rustin’s de­fense forced the Great Val­ley of­fense into three straight in­com­ple­tions in the end zone to put a stamp on a 31-27 Ches-Mont League Amer­i­can Di­vi­sion win over Great Val­ley Fri­day night.

Af­ter tak­ing over at the 7-yard line, the Golden Knight (2-1 Ch­esMont; 2-4 over­all) of­fense took a knee with 0.1 left on the clock be­fore the fi­nal buzzer sounded, sig­nal­ing their sec­ond straight win of the sea­son.

“We were beg­ging for the clock to hit zero as quick as it could,” said Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair of the game’s fi­nal mo­ments. “Our guys were re­ally mo­ti­vated for this one. Our 1-4 start didn’t de­fine us. We came out tonight, played a re­ally good team and won.”

The fi­nal buzzer also dropped Great Val­ley to 2-1 in the Ches-Mont and 4-2 over­all.

Rustin’s back­field gave the Great Val­ley de­fense headaches through­out.

Se­nior tail­back Bran­don Fra­zier led the charge with 233 yards — 165 dur­ing the sec­ond half — for three touch­downs on 24 car­ries, while full­back Kevin Sweeney car­ried it for 65 yards on 11 car­ries, in­clud­ing an 18-yard touch­down rush where he car­ried two GV de­fend­ers on his way to the end zone in the third quar­ter.

“Once the holes opened up, I was able to make a few guys miss and pick up some big chunks of yards,” said Fra­zier. “Gotta thank the line, those guys were cre­at­ing the big holes for me to run through. They were work­ing hard the en­tire game.”

On the other side­line, Great Val­ley was an­swer­ing Rustin’s ground game with a pre­cise pass­ing at­tack. Quar­ter­back Robert Geiss racked up 263 to­tal yards of of­fense. He com­pleted 17 of his 32 pass­ing at­tempts for 186 yards in­clud­ing a pair of scores to Dylan Tashjian (94 yards re­ceiv­ing).

Geiss also rushed it 17 times for 77 yards in­clud­ing a 12-yard touch­down.

For El­lis, Geiss’ show­ing Fri­day was just an­other tid­bit of what is be­com­ing a stand­out sea­son for the se­nior.

“He’s hav­ing an awe­some year,” he said. “There aren’t enough good things I can say about him. He’s been a great leader, he’s vo­cal, he’s ag­gres­sive, he’s been throw­ing the ball well. He’s done a fan­tas­tic job for us so far.”

Mark DeRober­tis added 129 to­tal yards — 97 rush­ing — with a touch­down out of the Pa­triot back­field.

The tail­back was on the re­ceiv­ing end of Geiss’ fi­nal com­ple­tion, a four­yard pass across the mid­dle to set up first down at the 7-yard line.

Although it wasn’t the per­fect fin­ish he had hoped for from the Great Val­ley side­line, El­lis ad­mits the fi­nal stretch didn’t de­cide the night’s out­come.

“It never com­pletely comes down to that fi­nal play or those fi­nal plays,” said El­lis. “We had our op­por­tu­ni­ties, they (Rustin) had their op­por­tu­ni­ties. We just made one less play than they did.

“That’s all it comes down to. One less play.”

Kick­ing & Scream­ing

Af­ter the open­ing score of the game in the first quar­ter, Great Val­ley’s ex­tra point at­tempt was blocked and ruled dead.

Had the Pa­tri­ots been able to con­vert that ex­tra point at­tempt, kicker Pat Sauer likely would have been able to nail a 25-yarder to even the score at 31-31 and push the game into over­time.

Into Thin Air

Rustin quar­ter­back Joe Dougherty didn’t at­tempt a pass un­til his team’s fi­nal drive of the open­ing half. He com­pleted five of his seven at­tempts for 52 yards in­clud­ing a 28-yard strike to Collin Hur­ley.

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