Phoenixville goes big, gets past Ken­nett for sec­ond straight win.

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Nate Heck­en­berger

KEN­NETT SQUARE » Perched at the rear of the back­field, Phoenixville run­ning back Alex Wash­ing­ton didn’t have to pan one way or the other to scan the de­fense.

With two tight ends and two lead backs in front of him, Wash­ing­ton lit­er­ally had the whole of­fen­sive unit lead­ing the way. Phoenixville em­ployed its “heavy” for­ma­tion on three drives, Thurs­day night, and while the first two tries served only as body blows, the fi­nale proved grand.

Wash­ing­ton fin­ished the night with a game-high 119 rush­ing yards and his touch­down from one yard out in the heavy set with just un­der six min­utes to go was the dif­fer­ence in the Phan­toms’ 21-14 non-league road win against Ken­nett.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple in the box,” Wash­ing­ton said of the heavy for­ma­tion. “It gets a lit­tle hec­tic, but the line per­formed and my lead block­ers per­formed ev­ery time.”

The game was not only played on Thurs­day due to Ken­nett’s Mushroom Fest, which be­gins Fri­day, but de­layed an hour be­cause of light­ning in the area.

As a re­sult, both teams started a lit­tle slug­gish. Af­ter a three-and-out on their open­ing pos­ses­sion, the Phan­toms (2-1) went heavy on their sec­ond and went 53 yards on 12 plays be­fore turn­ing it over on downs.

Later in the game they used it to get into Ken­nett (0-3) ter­ri­tory but again the Blue Demons stopped them on fourth-and-short. A fum­ble the next play gave it right back to Phoenixville, who fi­nally punched one in with Wash­ing­ton five plays later to ex­tend its lead to 14.

“We try to get three­and-a-half, four yards a carry and be phys­i­cal and milk the clock,” Phoenixville coach Don Grin­stead said. “We try to put our guys in good po­si­tions and keep the mo­men­tum go­ing. When it comes down to it, that’s who we are in the end.”

Ken­nett showed some re­silience in the sec­ond half. Af­ter a three-carry first half, run­ning back Gar­rett Cox got fed in the third quar­ter and he put Ken­nett on the board with a four-yard score.

On a night where the Blue Demons com­mit­ted five pre-snap penal­ties on of­fense, they fi­nally found rhythm on a nine-play, 89-yards drive. Sopho­more quar­ter­back Sam Forte did most of the dam­age with his legs, and he lunged in for a three-yard touch­down with 30 sec­onds left to play.

The on­sides kick was re­cov­ered by the Phan­toms and the quest to give new Ken­nett coach Lance Fra­zier his first win was thwarted.

“We have a young team and at half­time they were tak­ing it hard,” Fra­zier said. “When you fo­cus on the neg­a­tive there’s no way to see the pos­i­tive. What hap­pened in the sec­ond half was we start­ing play­ing with some con­fi­dence and hav­ing fun.”

Ken­nett couldn’t find a way to get its most ex­plo­sive player, Mitch Kosara, go­ing. Af­ter putting up 200 yards of of­fense in week two, Kosara had a pair of seven-yard runs on the open­ing drive but didn’t get an­other carry and caught just two passes for nine yards the rest of the way.

“It was a tim­ing thing,” Fra­zier said. “We got the ball to (Kosara) a ton last week, but (Phoenixville) watched the film and made sure we couldn’t at­tack deep. Num­ber 13 (Wash­ing­ton) is a great de­fender and made some plays, but it just wasn’t in the cards to get as many tar­gets to Mitch.”

Travis Pan­nella joined Wash­ing­ton as a 100-yard rusher on the night, and both scored TDs on the ground in the first half. Phoenixville ran the ball 47 times for 242 yards while only at­tempt­ing six passes.

Ken­nett will now be­gin its league slate by host­ing West Ch­ester Rustin next Fri­day.

“It’s the big dogs,” Fra­zier said.


Phoenx­ivlle’s Con­nor Pata­nia tries to jump away from Ken­nett de­fend­ers en route to a first down in the sec­ond quar­ter.

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