Front four makes pres­ence felt

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FOOTBALL FRIDAY - By Bruce Adams badams@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @mline­s­ports on Twit­ter

WEST­TOWN >> West Ch­ester Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair was pleased with his en­tire squad af­ter the Golden Knights’ 49-7 win against Oc­torara Fri­day evening, par­tic­u­larly his de­fen­sive line.

“Our front four, [ends] Edem Asamoa and Steve Spak, and [tack­les] Mylek Dur­nell and Con­ner Cum­mings, put a lot of pres­sure on their quar­ter­back tonight,” said St. Clair.

The 5-foot-10, 245-pound Dur­nell, a se­nior, said, “The four of us all worked to­gether tonight. It was team syn­ergy. Con­ner and I sealed up the in­side, and Steve and Edem fin­ished up on the out­side.”

Rustin scored on its open­ing pos­ses­sion, a 58-yard, sev­en­play touch­down drive, then the Golden Knights sacked Oc­torara ju­nior quar­ter­back Trent Pawl­ing twice on the Braves’ open­ing pos­ses­sion, and Oc­torara was forced to punt.

The Braves’ punt was fielded by Rustin sopho­more Collin Hur­ley, who broke free for a 70-yard touch­down that gave the Golden Knights a 14-0 lead late in the first quar­ter.

Two plays later, Rustin se­nior de­fen­sive back Pat Reg­is­ter in­ter­cepted an Oc­torara pass, and early in the sec­ond quar­ter, Golden Knight se­nior run­ning back Kevin Sweeney put his 5-foot-11, 210-pound frame to work, break­ing through sev­eral Oc­tarara tack­les for a 27-yard run to the Braves’ 4 yard line. It was one of sev­eral siz­able power runs by Sweeney, who fin­ished with 98 yards rush­ing on eight car­ries. Two plays later, Rustin se­nior QB Joe Dougherty plunged in for a one-yard touch­down, and the hosts had a 21-0 lead.

“We made too many mis­takes,” said Oc­torara head coach Jed King. “Giv­ing up a punt re­turns for touch­downs, the two in­ter­cep­tions .... Rustin is big­ger and stronger than us, and their de­fense kicked our butts. But we didn’t quit, and we had no men­tal let­downs tonight.”

Trail­ing 21-0, Oc­torara ral­lied briefly for a 75-yard, 16-play touch­down drive that fea­tured sev­eral nice runs by Pawl­ing and cul­mi­nated with a 15-yard touch­down strike from Pawl­ing to se­nior end Nicholas Raabe to make the score 21-7. It was the last time the Braves scored all evening.

Dun­nell said, “Af­ter we gave up that touch­down, our de­fense got back on its horse. It was a team ef­fort - we all came to­gether af­ter that touch­down.”

Be­fore Rustin’s de­fense could come back on the field, the Golden Knights’ of­fense went to work. Rustin got a nice kick­off re­turn to mid­field, then the Golden Kinghts marched 50 yards in 10 plays for a touch­down, high­lighted by a cou­ple of solid com­ple­tions by Dougherty, the sec­ond an 8-yard strike to Sean Hop­kins in the end zone for a TD and a 28-7 lead just 25 sec­onds be­fore half­time.

In the third quar­ter, Rustin’s de­fense clamped down, forc­ing a three-and-out on Oc­torara’s open­ing sec­ond-half drive. The Braves punted to mid­field, Rustin re­turned the punt to the Oc­torara 25 yard line, then on the next play ju­nior run­ning back Ty Pringle broke free down the right side­line for a touch­down and a 35-7 lead.

Pringle fin­ished the night with 138 yards rush­ing on 14 car­ries, and scored four tocuh­down, three of them in the sec­ond half.

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