Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FOOTBALL FRIDAY -

car­ries for 266 yards.

“He’s a spe­cial back,” Mit­ten said. “It doesn’t hap­pen with­out a lot of good block­ing in front of him.”

But, it wasn’t un­til the sec­ond half where the ju­nior run­ning back started to wear down West’s de­fense to the tune of 18 car­ries for 199 yards and a touch­down.

Pre­ston said the block­ing was a big rea­son for his sec­ond-half per­for­mance and he was just fol­low­ing their lead.

At the end of the first half, Pre­ston car­ried the ball 16 times for 67 yards. And, for the most part, Down­ing­town West kept Pre­ston from break­ing any big runs. But on Hen­der­son’s first play of the sec­ond half, Pre­ston broke one for 41 yards. Af­ter that, it was all down­hill.

Pre­ston scored in the third quar­ter on a pitch from the Down­ing­town West 17. As he broke free, the Whip­pets’ Darin Warfield was wait­ing at

the 2-yard line to make a tackle. Ex­cept Pre­ston picked up speed and dove for the end zone to put his team up 14-7.

“I was go­ing to the side­line on a pitch,” Pre­ston said, “and DiFabrizio made a great block af­ter that I knew I had to beat the safety to score.”

A week af­ter scor­ing the game-win­ning touch­down with less than a sec­ond left against West Ch­ester East, the Whip­pets seemed poised to score an­other late touch­down.

West forced and re­cov­ered a fum­ble — one of three they picked up on the night — with 6:54 left in the fourth quar­ter.

The of­fense started with the ball on its own 48-yard line. As the clock ticked down, quar­ter­back Kyle Geiser made some big passes to move the ball down to Hen­der­son’s 4 yard line. Fac­ing 4th and 1 with 1:46 left, the Whip­pets seemed des­tined to tie the game. But, a false start penalty pushed them back a cru­cial 5 yards, and on 4th and 5, Geiser dropped back and tried to hit Bray­den Wil­liams on a slant, only to see the ball drop out of his hands. Hen­der­son se­nior Nick Mascetti was the

man in cov­er­age on Wil­liams, forc­ing the tough play.

“We’ve got 4th and 1 and six guys jump off­side,” said Down­ing­town West head coach Mike Mi­lano. “Af­ter a time­out, we talked about ca­dence and it’s tough. In be­tween, it was a hard-fought game. Like it al­ways is. Our se­ries with Hen­der­son is al­ways seem­ingly a one­point game com­ing down to the last pos­ses­sion.”

Down­ing­town West’s of­fense was less than stel­lar, com­bin­ing for 223 yards and strug­gling to move the ball. Penal­ties also hurt, with seven flags to­tal­ing 66 yards.

“To hold a team like West to seven points was re­ally an ex­cep­tional ef­fort?” Mit­ten said. “Play­ing great de­fense, play­ing great spe­cial teams and get­ting just enough of­fense has been a recipe for suc­cess around here for a long time. That’s what we did tonight.”

Hen­der­son next trav­els to Great Val­ley to face the Pa­tri­ots Fri­day at 7 p.m.

“We’re ex­cited about this one and we’re ready for Great Val­ley,” Pre­ston said. “The train keeps mov­ing.”

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