While Downingtown West was playing for pride and a fifth straight non-losing season, Bishop Shanahan was playing for a whole lot more.
The first seven win season in school history, the first District One AAA football playoff game in school history and more importantly, the first .500 season in the Ches-Mont in school history. But they would have to do it without explosive star Keegan Lawton who was out with a hip pointer injury
Bishop Shanahan accomplished all the above and more with a 21-19 Ches-Mont win over Downingtown West Saturday afternoon at Jack Mancini Field in Downingtown.
The “more” that the Eagles accomplished was the fact that they will host their first ever playoff game next week at Mancini Field against Springfield (Delco).
“I told Keegan before the game he wasn’t playing” said Eagle Head Coach Paul Meyers. “He didn’t even put his shoulder pads on in the second half”.
“This was a huge win for us,” said Eagle Quarterback Ryan Egolf who was 11-28 for 187 yards and two touchdown passes to Chris Cordivari and scored a rushing touchdown. “Last year they beat us up a little” he added.
After a scoreless first quarter, Downingtown West (4-6 overall, 3-3 league) got on the scoreboard first as Running Back Zach Barr scored on a 23 yard run with 10:29 to go before halftime for a 6-0 lead. The touchdown was set up when Mike Oddo recovered a fumbled punt that gave the Whippets the ball on the 23. Barr led the Whippets with 67 yards on only four carries.
Bishop Shanahan then answered as Egolf found Cordivari for a 16 yard touchdown with 5:38 left before halftime. Adam Kamanski then added his first of three extra points and Shanahan went into the locker room with the 7-6 lead. The touchdown was set up on an interception by J.T. Blyden that gave the Eagles the ball on the Whippet 25 yard line.
Shanahan then increased their lead to 14-6 as Egolf once again found Cordivari (3 receptions 45 yards) for 20 yards this time with 4:38 left in the third quarter.
But back came the Whippets.
On the ensuing kickoff, Peter Mulville returned it all the way down to the Eagle 35 and could have gone all the way if not for a touchdown saving shove out of bounds by kicker Kamanski.
West then only needed three plays as Barr scored his second touchdown of the game. This time from 27 yards out to cut the Eagle lead 14-12 with 3:05 to play in the third quarter. west then went for the two point conversion and Dontae Horrell was stopped just short of the goal line.
“We had 2 different seasons,” said Whippet Head Coach Mike Milano. “We struggled in the scrimmages and the first three games. Then we beat Quakertown and realed off four straight wins. Then we were down 35-14 to Downingtown East and scored two quick touchdowns to get back in that game. Then we had Coatesville the following week and it was 14-10 deep in that game and Shanahan today..
Shanahan then seemed to ice the game with 6:51 left as Egolf went over from six yard line to increase the Eagle lead to 21-19.
“I told the kids on the sideline that the game wasn’t over yet,” Meyers. “I told them that they could score quickly”.
And that is what happened.
Dante Horrell scored on a nine yard run on a fourth and one play with 1:31 left in the game that capped a 80 yard 11 play drive that cut the Shanhan lead to 21-19. Quarterback Kenneth Fuhrmann (10-27 passing, 102 yards) was six of nine for 67 yards in the drive.
Shanahan then recovered the ensuing onside kick to run out the clock.
” We battled all year” said Milano, whose teams had won 42 games over the previous four years. We have a small senior class and we have nine kids returning on the offense.”
As for Shanahan, they now prepare for not only the first playoff game in school history against Springfield (Delco), but they get to play it at home.
“We hope to have a big home crowd next week”. said Egolf.