The statistics from William Penn's 34-14 football win against William Penn show that Bearcat junior quarterback James Way had a banner night.
The lanky junior tossed a pair of touchdown passes and ran for one score, accounting for 304 yards of total offense. But Way made sure after the game to point out that the aggressive Bulldog defense let everyone get in on the action.
"They were blitzing, so we just kept picking them apart, keep throwing the ball short and let our playmakers make plays," he said.
Those playmakers excelled after catching short passes and slants from Way, breaking open a game which was tied 7-7 at the half. The Bearcats scored three times in the third quarter to take control and move to 3-2 on the season with YAIAA Division I play on the horizon.
William Penn head coach Shawn Heinold chalked up some of the sluggish first half -- the winless Bulldogs held William Penn to negative 1 yard rushing in the first 24 minutes -- to difficulty communicating with his coaching staff above the press box.
"We had some breakdowns with our communications equipment, so we weren't able to make the corrections we wanted to immediately," he said. "It delayed that process, but once we made the adjustments to what we were doing, it allowed us to run our offense."
That offense scored five straight times after West York took a 7-0 lead on Kyle Narber's 2-yard run in the second quarter. Way answered less than a minute before halftime when he hung in under heavy pressure and lofted a 17-yard scoring pass to Dakeem Dennison.
"He's very poised," Heinold said of his signal-caller. "He's very coachable, and he's a smart kid. He's football smart and classroom smart. When you have that combination, you can do a lot of things."
On Friday night, "a lot of things" included a 40-yard sprint around right end on a read option play to break the tie in the third quarter. Bryshon Sweeney scored from 13 yards out for William Penn two minutes later, and Way converted a fourth-and-goal from the 15-yard line on the final play of the third quarter with a touchdown strike to Dan Acevedo.
The Bearcats got their final score on an 11-yard run by Sweeney midway through the final quarter, a play set up when the Bulldogs muffed a punt. The home team managed to get on the board once more when backup quarterback Cash Gladfelter hit Terry Cains on a 10-yard scoring pass.
But the night belonged to Way and his teammates, who matched last year's win total halfway through this season. The Bearcats gained strength as the game went on, forcing three second-half turnovers on defense.
"It feels really good," Way said. "We were so used to losing. Now we're actually playing like a team and winning. It feels so good to keep winning games."
Heinold hopes that feeling carries over to Division I play next week when the Bearcats visit Red Lion. He wants to focus on avoiding slow starts in the second half of the season.
"We're still a young team," he said. "This is a junior-laden team with some sophomores mixed in and just a handful of seniors. We're still learning, too. This is not a polished team yet, but we're getting there on a steady pace."
William Penn 0 7 21 6 -- 34
West York 0 7 0 7 -- 14
WY -- Kyle Narber 2 run (Darian McCauley kick), 4:35
WP -- Dakeem Dennison 17 pass from James Way (Thurman Fogleman kick), :29
WP -- Way 40 run (Fogleman kick), 9:14
WP -- Bryshon Sweeney 13 run (Fogleman kick), 7:05
WP -- Dan Acevedo 15 pass from Way (Fogleman kick), :00
WP -- Sweeney 11 run (kick failed), 6:18
WY -- Terry Cains 10 pass from Cash Gladfelter (McCauley kick), 4:11
-- WP -- WY
First downs -- 21 -- 11
Rushes-yards -- 36-137 -- 33-69
Passing -- 19-26-1 -- 10-19-1
Passing yards -- 216 -- 121
Total yards -- 353 -- 190
Punts -- 1-32.0 -- 3-26.3
Fumbles-lost -- 0-0 -- 2-2
Penalties-yards -- 7-55 -- 3-20
Rushing -- WP, James Way 15-88, Bryshon Sweeney 13-38, Angel DeJesus 6-7, Dakeem Dennison 2-4; WY, Josiah Mincer 20-63, Ross Campbell 7-10, Ramell Baldwin 3-6, Kyle Narber 1-2, Noah Townsley 1-2, Cash Gladfelter 1-(-14).
Passing -- WP, Way 19-26-1-216, Andrew Gibbs 0-0-0-0; WY, Campbell 4-11-51-1, Gladfelter 6-8-0-70.
Receiving -- WP, Dennison 7-87, Dmontie Shaw 5-44, Dan Acevedo 2-37, Sweeney 1-14, Isaiah Ritter 1-12, Sae'Quan Whitaker 1-10, Jahaire 1-8, Nate Delmotte 1-4; WY, Ian Lichty 6-61, Terry Cains 3-55, Mincer 1-5.