Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Villa Maria captures District 1 title


to that point,” said Iacobucci. “It felt great to get that go-ahead goal. It’s so great to win a district championsi­p. You began to take it for granted, but after missing last year, it’s just so good to win again and go back to states, escpeciall­y as a senior.”

It was the third time the Hurricanes had played Gwynedd Mercy this season, with the two splitting the regular season matchups. It was Villa’s sole loss of the season.

“It was a weird loss, but in a way I think it helped us,” said Villa coach Daan Polders. “But

onto that position. To do that, WCU must win next weekend at East Stroudsbur­g and again in the regular-season finale at Indiana (Pa.).

“We know a loss is going to hurt our playoff run, and that we had to play as hard as we can no matter who the opponent is,” said freshman runner Jerel Elder, who rushed for a career-high 107 yards.

“Nobody expects to lose but we certainly didn’t expect to go up to (Bloomsburg) and get beat 41-10. So this was a game where we definitely didn’t want to come out flat.”

They didn’t. It was West Chester’s first shutout in five years, spanning 58 games dating back to a 59-0 triumph over CU in 2009. In addition, the Rams limited Cheyney to just 47 yards of total offense and three first downs – both of which are WCU school records.

“Everybody understand­s who we are playing and what we are trying to do,” said Rams’ head coach Bill Zwaan. “It was just a great job defensivel­y – 47 yards and three first downs. We were just flying around today.”

It was another dismal performanc­e by Cheyney (0-8, 0-9), who was coming off a competitiv­e outing at Shippensbu­rg but was play- ing without injured starting quarterbac­k Michael Campbell (ribs). The Wolves fumbled four times deep in its own end, went 1-2-3 and out on eight other possession­s, and were largely noncompeti­tive en route to the program’s 30th straight loss dating back to the 2012 opener.

Interim CU head coach Anthony Johnson was unavailabl­e for comment following the game.

“Our kids were fired up to play after last weekend, they were focused and did a great job,” Zwaan said.

“Our seniors wanted to have a good final home game and the rest of our kids wanted them to go out on a good note.”

Ranked 20th nationally, West Chester scored four touchdowns in the opening 11 minutes and all four drives started in Cheyney territory, which wound up being a common occurrence on Saturday. A week after turning it over five times at Bloomsburg, quarterbac­k Sean McCartney saw action in just seven series and guided WCU to five TDs before giving way to backup Andrew Derr well before halftime.

“We had good field position early on offense and we were able to put points on the board – which is what we wanted to do in order to get some of the younger guys in the game,” Zwaan explained.

In all, West Chester amassed 461 yards of total offense. Junior runner Brandon Monk scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground, and wideout Mike Doty grabbed scoring tosses of 5- and 26-yards. McCartney added a third TD pass to Erick Brundidge, and the Rams led 35-0 at the half.

Derr found tight end Tim Brown for a third quarter score, and WCU rounded out the scoring with touchdowns runs by Elder and fullback Camille Max.

Senior defensive end Mike Culbreth registered the best outing of his career with five tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Overall, the Rams allowed just 1.1 yards per play and did not allow the Wolves to convert a single third down (0-10).

“We are looking at it like every game from here on out is playoff football,” said Shabazz, who reluctantl­y admitted that the defense would have a hard time playing better than on Saturday. “Coming out flat was certainly not an option. We were ready to go.

“We are just trying to get back on a winning track. Now we’ve got two more left.”

Senior defensive back Jamil Williams paced Cheyney with nine tackles and an intercepti­on.

NOTE: It was the final regular season home game for 14 seniors, including multi-year standouts like McCartney, Brundidge, Shabazz, Ronell Williams and Mike Labor. Tight end Tim Brown was not honored prior to kickoff, but the tight end reportedly will not be back next season even though he still has one year of eligibilit­y remaining. Another tip-off was that Brown was pictured on the front of the game program along with the rest of the seniors (including Culbreth, Doty, Derek Schatz, Rich Bruno, Jamiel Sims, Cory Scott, Antoine Bland, DeOliver Davis and James Colivas).

 ?? BILL RUDICK -- 21ST CENTURY MEDIA ?? The Villa Maria field hockey team celebrates its District 1 Class AA title Saturday.
BILL RUDICK -- 21ST CENTURY MEDIA The Villa Maria field hockey team celebrates its District 1 Class AA title Saturday.
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 ?? PHOTO BY SCOTT ROWAN ?? West Chester’s Janel Elder carries for a first down as he is brought down by Cheyney’s Marvin Easter.
PHOTO BY SCOTT ROWAN West Chester’s Janel Elder carries for a first down as he is brought down by Cheyney’s Marvin Easter.

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