By PETER DiGIOVANNI
This past Friday produced arguably the most exciting game of the football season as the "Battle of the Brandywine' at Kottmeyer Stadium went down to the final seconds as Downingtown West defeated Downingtown East, 29-28. The Whippets came from behind in the fourth period behind the play of quarterback Nick Pagel and then secured a two-point conversion for the win when Pagel hit Jake Barr in the corner of the end zone. But they had to sweat out a final drive to keep their playoff intentions going.
The Whippets now will play for the Ches-Mont League National Division title against undefeated Coatesville. It should be a great battle and it will interesting to see if West can bring the same level of emotion to the field two weeks in a row.n
West Chester Rustin is just cruising along. The Golden Knights clinched another Ches-Mont American title after routing Kennett, 39-0. They received the usual great game from Terry Loper, who rushed for 178 yards and three scores. But Rustin threw the ball more than normal with quarterback Dave Fithian going for 202 yards on 9 for 12 passing with two scores. With a win over Octorara, they should be a number one or two seed in the upcoming Class AAAA playoffs. The district should be wary of Rustin because the have the look of a team that is ready to have a deep playoff run.
A big matchup coming up this week is Oxford at Unionville in what is basically a playoff game. The winner will get into the district tournament while the loser's season is over. Oxford tuned up by piling up 566 yards rushing in its 56-7 rout of Sun Valley.
Unionville will be a much tougher foe than the undermanned Vanguards. Both teams have legitimate shots to win the game and advance to the playoffs. Oxford has parlayed a weak nonleague slate into a very good season and has a shot to make the top 16 in the district, so give head coach Mike Pietlock and his kids a lot of credit for changing the losing culture that has permeated Oxford football for a while.n
Don't look now, but that quiet roar you hear in the AAAA bracket is North Penn. The Knights have looked very impressive since they returned to playing District 1 teams and with a win over Souderton this week, will enter the playoffs after a year's absence. Who wants to play North Penn in the first round?. Not many I don't think.n
The Game of the week around District 1 will be Pennsbury at Neshaminy and this will impact where Coatesville and Rustin will be seeded and who will they play in the opening round of districts. For what it's worth, I like Pennsbury. n
Two area running backs who had big games Friday were Downingtown East's Ryley Angeline, who rushed for 253 yards against the Whippets and Malvern's Troy Gallen (167 total yards, three TDs), who had a big night in the Friars' shutout win over Penn Charter. Both backs are headed to the University of Delaware next fall.
nDre Boggs, one of Coatesville star receivers from last season's PIAA finalists, has orally committed to play at Rutgers University next season. Boggs is currently enrolled at a prep school in Connecticut.
Daily Local News
Football Top 10
1. Coatesville (9-0): Red Raiders cruise by West Chester East.
2. West Chester Rustin (9-0): Golden Knights win Ches-Mont American title again.
3. Malvern Prep (5-2): The Friars have big date with Episcopal on Friday.
4. Downingtown West (7-2) Whippets face Coatesville for the Ches-Mont National title.
5. Unionville (7-2): Must win against Oxford this week for the Indians.
6. W.C. Henderson (5-4): Warriors handle Avon Grove on road.
7. Downingtown East (4-5): That kind of year for Cougars as they fall to West.
8. Conestoga (6-3): Pioneers' playoff hopes dashed in loss to Upper Darby.
9. Great Valley (6-3): Patriots lose to Unionville, 21-7.
10. Oxford (7-2): Playoffs on the line for the Hornets against Unionville.