Geiser hits Zapf in fi­nal sec­ond for wild win

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Crossan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia @crossan11 on Twit­ter

WEST CH­ESTER >> Down­ing­town West en­tered Fri­day night with play­off hopes hang­ing in the bal­ance.

The Whip­pets needed nearly ev­ery play of the game to keep those hopes alive.

Quar­ter­back Kyle Geiser hit Cole Zapf on fourth down at the West Ch­ester East 10 yard line and the Whip­pets clinched a 3432 win with two-tenths of a sec­ond left in a wild Ches-Mont League Na­tional show­down at Zim­mer­man Sta­dium.

“That’s the weird­est foot­ball game I was ever in­volved in,” said Down­ing­town West head coach Mike Mi­lano. “Kick blocks, kick re­turns, stops in the red zone, our of­fense stut­tered. It was a weird game.”

The fourth quar­ter saw West Ch­ester East score 19 points and Down­ing­town West score 23. For the first three quar­ters, both teams wouldn’t score more than seven points in any quar­ter.

“I’m go­ing to re­mem­ber this game when I’m 95 years old on a rock­ing chair telling my grand­kids, ‘West Ch­ester East, we won with .2 sec­onds left,’” Geiser said.

Geiser and Zapf came up clutch for their team with the game on the line.

With 1:08 left in the game and the Whip­pets need­ing to score, the of­fense was tasked with driv­ing down from its own 48-yard line. The of­fense made a cou­ple of quick com­ple­tions and a key pass in­ter­fer­ence call on West Ch­ester East placed the ball on East’s 10yard line. Geiser threw a cou­ple

of in­com­ple­tions to bring up fourth down with five sec­onds left on the clock. Geiser dropped back to pass and rolled out to his right to sur­vey his re­ceivers. His first op­tion wasn’t there, so he looked to his left with the rush com­ing from be­hind and found Zapf in the end zone for a touch­down.

“I dropped back and was look­ing at the cross coun­try and it wasn’t there,” Geiser said. “I looked back and the rush was com­ing through and I flushed back. I saw Cole at the last mo­ment with the de­fender there so I threw it over him. I don’t even know how to ex­plain it.”

“I just wanted some­thing to hap­pen, any­thing,” Zapf said. “Barely five sec­onds

“I’m go­ing to re­mem­ber this game when I’m 95 years old on a rock­ing chair telling my grand­kids, ‘West Ch­ester East, we won with .2 sec­onds left,’” — Kyle Geiser, Down­ing­town West

left. I saw the ball com­ing and I was not drop­ping that ball. “

Geiser’s fi­nal stat line con­sists of eight com­ple­tions in 15 at­tempts for 63 yards and one game-win­ning touch­down.

Zapf had three touch­downs on the day — an eight-yard rush­ing touch­down on the Whip­pets’ first drive, a 90-yard kick­off re­turn to start the fourth and he caught the game-win­ning touch­down. He car­ried the ball eight times for 18 yards.

West Ch­ester East beat Down­ing­town West in pass­ing and rush­ing yards, but it was the Whip­pets’ spe­cial teams that helped give them the win.

With Zapf’s 90-yard kick­off re­turn, the Whip­pets’ spe­cial teams man­aged to block and re­turn a field goal for a touch­down.

“The kick re­turn for a touch­down was huge be­cause we were down two scores,” Mi­lano said. “And it kept us in the game. There were many big plays af­ter that.”

TJ Sim­mons re­turned the blocked kick 72 yards, putting West up 27-20 with less than five min­utes in the game.

“It felt fan­tas­tic. It was prob­a­bly the great­est play I’ve ever had in my en­tire life,” Sim­mons said. “We were just look­ing for a spark and I could be that spark. It wasn’t even just me it was ev­ery­body just keep­ing to­gether. At the end, ev­ery­one was link­ing up and you know we are a fam­ily. One per­son can light that spark but it keeps a whole team to keep it burn­ing. I’m run­ning down the field and all I’m think­ing is, ‘Don’t get caught, just don’t get caught.’”

“The blocked PAT and the kick re­turn were huge,” said Gueriera. “You don’t ac­count for it be­fore the game but they had 16 points off of their spe­cial teams.”

Vik­ing tail­back Jared Cooper tried to carry his team to a win, mak­ing big plays through­out the game. The Vik­ings’ opened the game with 16 straight Cooper run­ning plays. He ran for 229 yards on 32 car­ries while scor­ing three rush­ing touch­downs. His three touch­downs were from 18, 20 and 60 yards out. The 60-yard touch­down came af­ter with 3:01 left in the fourth quar­ter. The Vik­ings did not go for the tie, in­stead fail­ing on a two­point con­ver­sion, leav­ing them down, 27-26, in the fourth quar­ter

Up next for Down­ing­town West is a must-win Ches-Mont game at West Ch­ester Hen­der­son Fri­day. West Ch­ester East will head to Sun Val­ley for a non­league cross­over.

“We ran out of time but they are a good foot­ball team,” Gueriera said. “We knew they were go­ing to come in here and give us ev­ery­thing we can han­dle. I’m proud of the way we re­sponded to ev­ery ad­ver­sity we fought through. And I just feel bad for the kids. We are in a must-win sit­u­a­tion next week. We got to get back to the grind. We proved that we can hang with the top teams in the Chest-Mont.”

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