Downingtown East throttles Henderson
Defense shut down Warriors as East goes to 4-0
You cannot dominate a football game more fully than Downingtown East did Saturday night in their Ches-Mont League National Division opener against West Chester Henderson.
The Cougars were flawless in every aspect of the game as they raced out to a large halftime lead before removing all their starters en route to a convincing 41-7 triumph to keep them undefeated.
Downingtown East (1-0, ChesMont National, 4-0 overall) held Henderson (0-1, 0-4) to two yards of total offense with no first downs and forced seven punts in the first half. The defense was led by Joe Janik and his ravenous mates as they held Henderson to absolutely nothing the entire first half.
On offense, the Cougars rushed for 371 yards and threw for 149 more for 520 total yards in the demolition.
“We played pretty well tonight, and I think we got enough work out of it,” Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta said. “We had a little meeting with the defense this week at practice and I thought they really respond. We were playing without two starters and had a sophomore at free safety who did a real nice job for us tonight.”
The Cougars opened the scoring early in the first quarter, going on a 10-play, 68-yard drive behind the running of Tim Aivado and Garvey Jonassaint. Aivado ran for 120 yards, while Jonassaint gained 150 more.
Quarterback Bryce Lauletta ended the drive by hitting Spencer Umberger with a four-yard touch-
down pass, and the Cougars were off to the races. The drive featured eight running plays and two passes, including the touchdown to Umberger.
With Henderson unable to move the football, the Cougars had plenty of chances to score against the undersized Henderson front line. Aivado finished off an eight-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. After another Henderson three-and-out, Jonassaint took off on a electrifying 73yard scoring jaunt to make it a 20-0 game. The junior scored on the first play after the fifth Henderson punt of
the first half.
“Our offensive line did another great job tonight,” Jonassaint said. “Our motto as a team this year is not to show any mercy, and we did that tonight. All I had to do was get to the line and the holes were big enough to park my car. We dominated the line of scrimmage, which made my job easier.”
Aivado added another touchdown -- this one from seven yards -- which followed a beautiful 65-yard TD pass from Lauletta to a streaking Stephen Long.
“Stephen Long played a real good game,” added Matta. “Our offensive line dominated, which I expect them to do. But, I was most happy with the defense because we have not played up to our ability on that side of the ball this year.
“(henderson head coach) Steve Mitten is a real good coach and every team goes through ups and downs, but they will be back. And another thing, I thought Bryce did a great job tonight spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved.”
Henderson scored midway through the third period on the East reserves to avert the shutout as Joe Saulino hit Kavond Jones with a 12-yard scoring strike.
“Downingtown East is a very good team and it is a first-class program and we are not a good team right now,” Mitten said. “Mike Matta runs a first-class program and that happens because of a lot of hard work. We have been on the other side of these scores, but tonight, we got it handed to us.”
Downingtown East’s Tim Aivado scores against West Chester Henderson during Saturday’s Ches-Mont League National Division contest.
Quarterback Joe Saulino throws a pass for West Chester Henderson against Downingtown East on Saturday.