Whip­pets

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - H.S. FOOTBALL -

Tru­man had just taken a 2221 lead with 30 sec­onds left when Owen Poul­son capped a long drive by bang­ing his way in from nine yards out, and then com­pleted a two-point con­ver­sion to take the lead. But af­ter West took the kick­off at its own 48yard line, Ryan Wet­zel hit Jack­son Luneberg for 31 yards to the Tigers’ 22-yard line. That set up Byrnes’ hero­ics and set off a wild cel­e­bra­tion at Kottmeyer.

“We just de­cided that our sea­son was not go­ing to be over,” Wet­zel said. “And on that last pass I just threw it up and hoped Danny or Jack­son would come down with it and Jack­son made a great catch.”

Tru­man (10-2) started the game like it was go­ing to blow the Whip­pets (11-1) off the field. The Tigers used their vaunted Wing-T to per­fec­tion and rolled up 258 rush­ing yards in the first half, and had 40 of­fen­sive plays to the Whip­pets’ nine in the open­ing half. Down­ing­town West did not have a first down in the first half, but the West de­fense made two big stops late in the sec­ond quar­ter to give the Whip­pets some much-needed con­fi­dence go­ing into the sec­ond half. Tru­man rushed the ball for 331 yards on the night com­pared to the Whip­pets’ Down­ing­town West quar­ter­back Ryan Wet­zel throws dur­ing Fri­day night’s win over Harry S. Tru­man. 93 yards on the ground.

With Tru­man still hold­ing a 14-0 lead go­ing into the fourth quar­ter, West stormed back to score 21 unan­swered points and take a 21-14 lead with just 3:48 to play. The Whip­pets scored a 51yard touch­down on a tipped pass from Wet­zel to Byrnes for their sec­ond score, ty­ing the game at 14-14. Af­ter the en­su­ing kick­off, Tru­man went three and out and went into punt for­ma­tion. But the Tigers’ punter fum­bled the ball, and af­ter a wild scram­ble, Tyler Al­ston fell on the ball in the end zone for a 21-14 West lead.

“On the sec­ond touch­down it looked like the de­fender was go­ing to pick the ball off but I tried to keep my con­cen­tra­tion and I got the ball and just kept run­ning,” Byrnes said. “I was lucky the ball was slip­pery and he did not hang on.”

With Tru­man down, 21-14, and less than four min­utes to play, the Tigers went on a 68-yard, 10-play drive to crawl within one point of the Whip­pets. Poul­son bar­reled in from nine yards out to make it a 21-20 game. Af­ter a time­out, the Tigers rolled quar­ter­back Dy­lan Snelling out to the right, and he hit a wide open Poul­son in the end zone for the two-point con­ver­sion, and a 22-21 lead with 30 sec­onds to play.

But the Whip­pets caught a break as a 15-yard cel­e­bra­tion penalty on the Tigers was as­sessed on the kick­off, and the Whip­pets took over at their own 48-yard line. Af­ter Wet­zel’s pass to Luneberg, West called a time­out ato set up the field goal. With three sec­onds to play, Byrnes drilled the 39 yard kick, which ap­peared like it would have been good from 50 yards.

“What can I say about th­ese kids,” West head coach Mike Mi­lano said. “I am so proud of th­ese guys. We were get­ting our butts kicked at half­time and th­ese guys kept bat­tling. Th­ese kids a few weeks ago when Will Howard went down with an in­jury and a bad loss to Coatesville. But, they have bat­tled back and they con­tinue to play their butts off and tonight was no dif­fer­ent.”

BILL RUDICK — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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