Bar­lee, Church­men make changes late to rally to win

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jack Kef­fer For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

NEW­TOWN SQUARE >> It seems ap­pro­pri­ate that Fri­day night’s con­test be­tween Epis­co­pal Academy and Spring­side-Ch­est­nut Hill marked the open­ing night of In­ter-Ac foot­ball. The game mim­icked the many time­less con­tests played be­tween these teams year in and year out: Ugly, hard­fought, and at times sloppy play paired with the elec­tric, in­cred­i­ble mo­ments you don’t find any­where else.

Epis­co­pal Academy had the fi­nal edge in the grit depart­ment as it willed its way to a 35-26 win.

While the play ebbed back and forth, Todd Fair­lie’s of­fense came up clutch un­der pres­sure. With 8:39 left to go in the fourth quar­ter and Epis­co­pal lead­ing 28-26, DeeWil Bar­lee led a 15-play, 80-yard drive that sucked seven min­utes off the clock.

“The short span in the sec­ond half where we didn’t do well, turn­ing the ball over and other things, and I was like, what are we do­ing go­ing away from our best player?,” Fair­lie said, ref­er­enc­ing Bar­lee. “That was an easy de­ci­sion.”

There were plenty of set­backs, es­pe­cially in the first half. Aaron An­ge­los capped off a 5-play open­ing drive that lasted two min­utes with a 33yard touch­down pass to Rob Gen­tile for the Blue Dev­ils.

Epis­co­pal (6-1, 1-0) fol­lowed with a three and out. Late in the first quar­ter, Aaron Ras­coe rolled left, hit the brakes and switched his run to the other side, only to break loose for a 65-yard score to put his team ahead 13-0.

Mean­while, Bar­lee had just seven car­ries in the first half, dropped a pass in the open field that would have led to a touch­down and lost a fum­ble on the fi­nal drive of the sec­ond half. Their lone score was an 89-yard bomb from Mau­r­cus McDaniel to Jack Bush on a third down.

But the tide changed, and so did Bar­lee.

“Def­i­nitely my mind­set,” Bar­lee said when asked what changed in the locker room at half­time. “First half, I was in my brain. Last first league game with a lot of pres­sure on me and the whole team. I was try­ing to do too much and make a big play on ev­ery play. That’s not how this league works. Sec­ond half, my ap­proach changed, and I took it play by play.”

It only took two plays at the start of the sec­ond half for Bar­lee to find the end zone. The Vil­lanova com­mit sidestepped two of­fen­sive line­men be­fore break­ing through the line for a 38-yard score. That gave Epis­co­pal a 14-13 edge, and the Church­men scored 14 more points over their next two pos­ses­sions to make it 28-13. The de­fen­sive line, led by Jack Pur­cell, was un­re­lent­ing.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Epis­co­pal Academy’s Jack Bush hauls in a pass which he took for an 89-yard touch­down in the first half. EA used a strong sec­ond to rally past Spring­side Ch­est­nut Hill, 3625, Fri­day.

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