Scout team to starter, Ehst engineers turnaround for Grove City football team
Josh Ehst’s season with the Grove City football team is something that they write books or make movies about.
The 6-foot, 185-pound freshman from Douglassville and a Daniel Boone graduate, started the season playing safety on defense for the Wolverines because of his athleticism. He’s listed on the roster as a quarterback and stayed at it by running the scout team in practice. In the third week of the season, in a game against Case Western, Grove City’s starting quarterback suffered a season-ending injury.
Ehst saw his first offensive action at the end of that game. He hit 13 of 28 passes for 180 yards with a touchdown. But he was intercepted four times and was sacked three times.
The following week, the team had an open competition for the starting job and Ehst earned the job.
In his first start, the team faced No. 12-ranked Washington & Jefferson and came out on the short end of a 62-10 decision.
Things have changed since then. The Wolverines have won three straight after a 28-3 victory over Waynesburg last Saturday in Grove City. Ehst completed just six passes in 11 attempts but they included touchdown plays of 68, 66 and 61 yards. But the real test came a week earlier when he led the team to a come-from-behind 36-33 victory over Westminster in front of a Homecoming crowd. He ended a 78-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown to Cody Gustafson with seven seconds left in the game.
“On that last drive, the composure Josh had was pretty special,” coach Andrew DiDonato said. “For a freshman to be in front of that crowd and do what he did is very notable. We opened it up in the third quarter and he made some great throws and he played very confident in the second half.”
Ehst has completed 43 of 138 passes for 760 yards and eight touchdowns to help the team go to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play. He hasn’t been intercepted since the Case Western game. He’s also rushed for 77 yards on 40 carries with a touchdown.
The West Chester football team is off to a great start and a key member of the offense is senior running back Mark Dukes.
The Golden Rams, ranked 11th in the latest American Football Coaches Association Division II poll, won their first six games and stand at 3-0 in the PSAC East after a tough come-from-behind 17-14 league victory over Bloomsburg on Oct. 6 in Bloomsburg. Dukes, from Pottstown and a Pottsgrove High grad, scored on an 11-yard run to start the team’s comeback. He finished with 17 carries for 75 yards.
On the season, the 5-foot11, 195-pounder has carried the ball 83 times for 386 yards with five touchdowns. That total includes a college career-high 120 yards on 19 carries in a 4216 league victory over Millersville on Sept. 22 in West Chester. He’s also caught eight passes for 121 yards and one touchdown.
“Mark has transitioned into the No. 1 running back this year quite well,” coach Bill Zwaan said. “He has had a few good games where he has set his own personal record for yards gain.”
The coach calls Dukes his “go-to” player right now.
“Mark has matured both on and off the field since coming to West Chester,” Zwaan said. “His role will continue to grow as the bigger games come up down the stretch.”
West Chester had a bye this weekend and is back in action Oct. 20 at East Stroudsburg.
The junior helped the Seton Hall women’s golf team finish third out of 17 schools at the Yale Women’s Invitational Oct. 5-7 in New Haven, Conn. Sager finished tied for 32nd out of 95 players and was fifth best finisher for the Pirates. She highlighted her performance by shooting a one-over-par 72 in the final round. Earlier she had rounds of 78 and 80 to total 230. Sager finished tied for 29th at the Princeton Invitational on Sept. 29-30 in Princeton, N.J. with rounds of 79 and 74 for a 153 total.
The junior is a key member of the Delaware Valley hunt seat equestrian team. She kicked off the fall season by finishing second in Intermediate flat at the West Chester Show on Sept. 29 in West Chester to help the Aggies tie for the team title. At the Bucks County CC/La Salle College Show on Oct. 6 in Newton, Cliver finished first in intermediate flat to help Delaware Valley finish first. The Aggies return to the arena for the Penn State Berks Show on Oct. 27 in Reinholds.
The 6-foot-2, 229-pound running back is coming off the bench and seeing more action of late for the Lafayette football team, the Leopards 1-4 overall and 0-1 in Patriot League play after a 3124 non-league victory over Central Connecticut on Sept. 29 in Easton. Simpson had 21 yards on 11 carries, caught a pass for five yards and returned a kickoff 17 yards in the game. On the season, he’s carried the ball 35 times for 86 yards,
GROVE CITY’S JOSH EHST.
West Chester running back Mark Dukes (Pottsgrove).