GLEN MILLS — One play, three personal fouls.
That was all it took for Penn Wood's night to fall apart.
Two Patriots picked up three combined personal fouls after a single play that set up Glen Mills' only touchdown of the night as the Battling Bulls grabbed a 6-0 Del Val League win on a muddy, wet Friday night.
Glen Mills running back Shaaheen Dow broke off the longest run of the evening when he ran 22 yards to the Bulls 39. Plenty of pushing and shoving, prompted by Penn Wood, followed, and a couple of Patriots continued to talk as the players were getting separated following the run. That led to 45 penalty yards assessed at once, sending the Bulls (4-3, 2-0 Del Val League) down to the Penn Wood 15 yard line.
"It hurt the rest of us by two people's actions,' Penn Wood coach Troy Brooks said.
Based on how sloppy the game was up until that point, there was no guarantee the Bulls would put points on the board despite the incredible field position awarded to them. They started with a false start, added a bad snap and lost two yards over the following two plays. Forced to go for it on fourth and 18 from the 23, quarterback Dontae Coates dropped back for only his second pass attempt on the night and completed a 21-yard reception to Kaheen Brower, who rose up over a defender to pull down the ball.
"We were just thinking we had to find a way to beat them,' Coates said. "Our run game wasn't as good as it usually had been so we thought we just had to take a shot at the end zone.'
The pass didn't reach the end zone, but Coates easily scored on the following play with a bootleg to the left from two yards out to get his Bulls onto the board with 52.7 remaining in the third quarter. Compared to the previous play the touchdown run looked simple, but Brower said he never doubted himself when he heard his number called for the big fourth-down play.
"I've got one of the best quarterbacks in Delco; he knows where to put it,' he said. "It's something we practice every practice and we work hard for it.'
Brower caught Coates' only other completion as well, this time with one hand as he twisted to catch the slightly overthrown ball. Aside from that dazzling play, the game was about as sloppy as they come: seven combined fumbles, 19 penalties between the two teams for 165 yards and just 235 yards of offense in the game.
The Patriots (1-6, 0-2) did have a chance to get onto the board on the opening drive of the third quarter. With renewed energy following just 17 yards of offense in the first half, Penn Wood got as far as the Bulls 9 yard line but was pushed back by false starts and opted for a failed fake field goal attempt instead of trying the 30-yard kick on the badly torn-up field.
Brooks walked away disappointed that a couple of bad mistakes led to Penn Wood losing on a night when it had the greatest equalizer of them all: bad weather.
"People can see that we are making improvements and it's just a shame, it hurts me because these guys played their hearts out,' he said.