Patriot Games

Poles, Penn Wood make it look east against Ox­ford

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Matt Smith matt­smith@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @DTMat­tSmith on Twit­ter

Penn Wood se­niors Ed­mund Den­nis and Kennedy Poles were in agree­ment Satur­day night.

That 28-7 on the score­board at Kerr Field looked ... OK. Not bad, not great. OK. The Pa­tri­ots had routed pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Ox­ford. It was sup­posed to be a bat­tle pit­ting Del Val League and Ches-Mont League pow­er­houses. In­stead, it was ugly, and it was one-sided.

The of­fen­sive slugfest never hap­pened. The Pa­tri­ots played their C-mi­nus game on of­fense and still scored three touch­downs. Penn Wood’s other score was a 45-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn by Aliyoh Tu­ray.

In his post-game talk, coach Ato Troop gave his guys a stern talk. Not good enough, men. You’ve got to be bet­ter.

This Penn Wood team has dis­trict and state cham­pi­onship as­pi­ra­tions. By the way, even if they weren’t on their A-game, they are 4-0 and the No. 2 team in the Daily Times Su­per 7, so there’s no rea­son to be down on the Pa­tri­ots.

But they were sloppy Satur­day night. It showed in the 100 yards of penal­ties and three turnovers. It showed in the eight times star quar­ter­back Des­man John­son was sacked.

De­spite the of­fense’s strug­gles, this was a game that Penn Wood’s de­fense could be proud of. The unit was mean and nasty and left Ox­ford play­ers want­ing no part of re­turn­ing to the field, es­pe­cially in the fourth quar­ter when the Hor­nets (3-1) ca­su­ally ran their hur­ryup of­fense but with no real sense of ur­gency.

Sopho­more de­fen­sive end Chris­tian Su­ber wore a big chain around his neck. Hang­ing from it was a cus­tom li­cense plate with the Penn Wood Pa­tri­ots logo.

They call it ... the Turnover Chain. PW’s de­fense forced Ox­ford to turn the ball over on three oc­ca­sions. Line­backer Dhymere John­son and end Dashawn Brickle com­bined for a hand­ful of tack­les-for-loss.

“They were ex­actly like the team we planned on in prac­tice,” Su­ber said. “But we were ready for them.”

Ox­ford man­aged only 59 yards rush­ing on 34 at­tempts. Hor­nets quar­ter­backs Brett Kochman­sky and Tom Repetz went a com­bined 7-for-26 through the air for 90 yards and two picks.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Hor­nets, Kochman­sky, their No. 1, had to be helped off the field in the first quar­ter. He got his an­kle wrapped and did not re­turn.

Penn Wood’s de­fense com­mit­ted only one real mis­take and that’s when Ox­ford got its only big play of the night. Bran­don McWil­liams was left wide open out of the slot, caught a per­fect pass from Repetz and sprinted 47 yards for Ox­ford’s only touch­down in the sec­ond quar­ter.

“Busted cov­er­age,” Den­nis said. “No­body needs to blame any­one. We knew what hap­pened.”

Den­nis is one of the top DBs in Delco ... and no­body ever throws in his gen­eral vicin­ity. That has left the se­nior feel­ing frus­trated be­cause he never gets in­ter­cep­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties. But his per­sis­tence and hard work paid off in the fourth quar­ter. Repetz threw an er­rant pass across the mid­dle and Den­nis was wait­ing.

“My first pick since sopho­more year,” he said. “It feels good ... real good.”

Poles scored on a 41-yard touch­down in the first quar­ter. Delco’s lead­ing re­ceiver was in mo­tion when the ball was snapped. John­son tossed it to him com­ing across and Poles darted for the cor­ner. It’s very jet-sweep-like but in Penn Wood’s play­book ... it’s a pass-and­catch.

“I just fol­lowed my blocks. Ac­tu­ally it all hap­pened be­cause of (wide re­ceiver) Brian (Parker),” Poles said. “He had the key block, opened it up for me.”

Poles wasn’t done. With the Pa­tri­ots (4-0) lead­ing 20-7 in the sec­ond quar­ter, John­son hit Poles in stride for a 32-yard touch­down. John­son’s third touch­down pass come in the wan­ing sec­onds of the first half, rolling to his right and find­ing run­ning back Tayshon Har­mon for a two-yard score.

The Pa­tri­ots did all of their dam­age in the first half. The of­fense sput­tered in the fi­nal 24 min­utes. John­son com­pleted 50 per­cent of his at­tempts (9 of 18) for 176 yards. He threw two in­ter­cep­tions and was sacked eight times.

“He’s got to learn to get rid of the ball. He did the same thing last year, and we’re try­ing to work with him to get out of that cy­cle of tak­ing sacks,” Troop said.

“We were play­ing with our backup cen­ter to­day, so he had to step up. I give (Ox­ford) credit be­cause they did some things up front, like shoot­ing gaps, and we didn’t help our­selves. I don’t know how many penal­ties and sacks we had, but those just killed our drives. It killed all mo­men­tum. I think we have to work on a lot of lit­tle things this week. There are times, I think, when we can be a lit­tle bit com­pla­cent and we can’t do that. We’ve got

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Penn Wood’s Kennedy Poles is run­ning ahead of the pack en route to his sec­ond touch­down in the sec­ond quar­ter Satur­day at Kerr Field.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Penn Wood re­ceiver Kennedy Poles is feel­ing strong now af­ter a first-quar­ter touch­down Satur­day night. The un­beaten Pa­tri­ots de­feated a pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Ox­ford team 28-7.

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