GLEN MILLS — At the end of the night, Glen Mills knew it would have at least a share of the Del Val League title. A loss would have left the door open for Academy Park to tie for first, while a win secured the title for the Battlin' Bulls alone.
There was no question Glen Mills wanted to be selfish about things from the beginning, getting off to a quick start and never really slowing down as the Bulls defeated Chester, 43-0, to seal their second Del Val title in three years.
Coach Kevin Owens said he and his staff didn't know what kind of team they had six months ago, but a couple of tough games at the beginning of the year — including a 45-7 loss to Delaware powerhouse Salesianum Sept. 28, which was the Bulls' last defeat — made it clear his team had something special to offer.
"I think our team has a lot of character, has a lot of ability and has the desire to win a championship,' he said. "That showed tonight, and the train don't stop here. We're going to keep going, keep going and have some fun doing it.'
Once again, it was running back Shaaheen Dow stepping up to lead the Bulls (7-3, 5-0) offensively all night with 160 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. The senior, who has certainly worked himself into the conversation for Del Val Player of the Year honors, also added a 45-yard punt return to set up a touchdown and a 23-yard reception for good measure.
"I just gave it my all,' he said. "Season wasn't over, season's still not over, we've just got to keep fighting through.'
Dow scored the first two touchdowns to give Glen Mills a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter, once again giving full credit to his line and fullbacks. His first touchdown was a run-of-the-mill 4-yard rush, but his second was one of his signature scampers as he found running room behind his blockers for a 66-yard touchdown.
The Bulls took a 21-0 lead into the half after quarterback Dontae Coates hooked up with Dawine Harmon for a 10-yard touchdown following a partially blocked Chester punt. Karon Fields, Ankoma Riddick and Jamie Gilmore all added rushing touchdowns in the second half to seal up the league title.
Chester's record might not be the best, but the Clippers (2-8, 1-4) have the kind of athletes who can break a play for a touchdown without warning. One of those plays came midway through the first quarter when Taejuan Payne connected with Will Downing across the middle for 35 yards to put the ball at the Bulls' 25 yard line. Chester never got any closer, though, as the Bulls defense stepped up big and forced a negative run, a couple of incompletions and finally finished it on fourth-and-long with a sack from senior defensive end Tre Easter-Geary.
Coates, just a junior but a vocal captain for his squad, said the win put Glen Mills back on the map. He kept his teammates motivated all week with one clear message: This isn't just the end of the regular season, it can be the beginning of something much more. That starts with the District I AAA tournament.
"We're fighting for something big — district champs, maybe state champs, as far as we can go,' he said. "Only we can stop ourselves. We take advantage of every point that a defense gives us and capitalize on it.'