Whip­pets, Knights breathe new life into cam­paigns

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

Some very in­ter­est­ing things came out of Week 6 of the foot­ball sea­son, but I think two of the big­gest were a pair of redemption wins by Down­ing­town West and West Ch­ester Rustin, two pro­grams that are usu­ally at or near the top of the district but got off to 1-4 starts.

Both kept their flick­er­ing play­off hopes alive, but maybe more im­por­tantly, showed the pride and char­ac­ter of their coach­ing staffs and the kids in the two pro­grams.

The Whip­pets ush­ered Bishop Shana­han out of the un­beaten ranks with a con­vinc­ing 38-7 win, thanks largely to the Whip­pet de­fense. West, which had given up a ton of points this sea­son, held the Ea­gles to just seven points, and blanked Shana­han af­ter the first drive of the game.

There has been some ug­li­ness com­ing from the stands this sea­son at Down­ing­town West games, and some were even ques­tion­ing head coach Mike Mi­lano, which is to­tally lu­di­crous be­cause the Whip­pet boss has long been one of the best coaches in District 1.

The Whip­pets took it to Shana­han phys­i­cally and showed the rest of the Ches-Mont League they are in for a fight when the Whip­pets come call­ing on their sched­ule. As far as play­off hopes, no­body at West will talk about such things, but Down­ing­town West should be fa­vored in its next three games, which would put them at 5-4 go­ing into the big ri­valry game with Down­ing­town East. A win over the Cougars would put the Whip­pets at 6-4 and that may be enough to get West in the 6A dance be­cause of the points ac­cu­mu­lated dur­ing their bru­tal non­league sched­ule.

West Ch­ester Rustin got off to a 1-4 start as well, and it was the way Rustin lost games that had peo­ple puz­zled. Golden Knights head coach Mike St. Clair and his teams have al­ways been phys­i­cal, dis­ci­plined squads that come right at you and beat you at the point of at­tack. But, penal­ties and turnovers ruled the day early in the sea­son for the Knights, es­pe­cially in the red zone. 1. DOWN­ING­TOWN EAST 2. COATESVILLE 3. MALVERN PREP 4. DOWN­ING­TOWN WEST

Fri­day night at Great Val­ley, Rustin came away with a hard-fought 3127 win over a very ex­plo­sive Great Val­ley club. Rustin did it the old Golden Knights way, run­ning the foot­ball ef­fec­tively with Bran­don Fra­zier rush­ing for 233 yards. Fra­zier has more than filled the void left by Ty Pringle, who has not played in the last three games. Kevin Sweeney added 65 more yards and the Golden Knights had to have a goal line stand at the end of the game with Great Val­ley parked at the 7 yard line.

Both Down­ing­town West and West Ch­ester Rustin are still long shots to make the the district play­offs. But ques­tion­ing the coach­ing staff and the com­mit­ment of the kids, as some have been do­ing this sea­son, is com­pletely out of whack when it comes to these two pro­grams. In this busi­ness, you try to not root for any­body and stay im­par­tial, but with all the non­sense sur­round­ing the two pro­grams from out­side forces, it was hard not to smile Fri­day night when those two scores came in.

*** In a non­league matchup Fri­day night, Imhotep Char­ter ran roughshod over one of the best teams in the state in Malvern Prep to the tune of a 48-7 beating.

Now, re­mem­ber Malvern Prep had al­ready beaten La Salle and a very good prep school from New Jersey in Pope John XIII. This Imhotep Char­ter team will again be state champs, this time at the 4A level, and they likely will beat their play­off op­po­nents by an aver­age of 50 points or so, mak­ing a farce of the PIAA play­offs.

It is time to make Imhotep play up to the 5A or 6A level and maybe, just maybe, find some real com­pe­ti­tion. Although this year, it looks like they would walk through those clas­si­fi­ca­tions also.

Neu­mann Goretti plays up in bas­ket­ball, and although Imhotep is some­thing to watch, there has to be a level of com­pe­ti­tion and in­ter­est when it comes to the state play­offs in my es­ti­ma­tion. Imhotep has outscored its five op­po­nents by a com­bined score of 260-13. In­hotep is an all-star team, and that is fine. But please make them com­pete against the best the state has to of­fer.

PIAA, are you watch­ing?

Peter DiGio­vanni cov­ers high school foot­ball for Dig­i­tal First Me­dia. You can reach him at pd­gio­vanni07@gmail. com. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @PeteDLN.

Peter DiGio­vanni

Colum­nist

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