WORCESTER >> Everything worked for the Plymouth Whitemarsh offense Friday night.
The Colonials ran the ball 42 times for 391 yards and threw the ball three times for 104 yards in a 42-14 win over Methacton at Methacton High School.
Plymouth Whitemarsh (1-1) got the ball to start the game. After a false start, they rattled off a 14-play 85-yard drive – all running plays – capped by a one-yard Gregory Feinberg touchdown.
After a Methacton (1-1) punt, the Colonials had another 85-yard touchdown drive. This one, however, only took one play – a Zion East sprint up the right sideline.
“I hit the hole,” East said. “I saw it open and I just went. I have to thank my o-line.”
“Being able to put a long drive together really demoralizes the defense as well as those big plays,” PW quarterback Aiden O’Brien said. “It’s just good that we have that versatility.”
The Colonials forced another punt and responded with another one-play scoring drive. On their first pass attempt of the game, O’Brien connected with East on a 60-yard touchdown.
“Any time (East) touches the ball in open field,” PW coach Dan Chang said, “I think it’s a foot race with him. He showed some of his wheels tonight on a couple of those that he broke. It was nice.”
At the end of the first quarter PW led, 21-0, with 175 yards to Methacton’s 30.
The next time the Colonials had the ball, they put together a six-play, 73-yard drive. O’Brien finished it off with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Konieczka, who made a defender miss at the goalline, to build a 28-0 lead.
Methacton scored with 10 seconds remaining in the half to make it a 28-7 game at the break.
In the second half, O’Brien scored two short rushing touchdowns. The first – a two-yarder – capped a 14-play, 99-yard drive – and the second – a one-yarder – finished a five-play, 46-yard drive.
“When you play any option team you need time to prepare for them,” Methacton coach Brian Kennedy said. “We had one practice this week. That’s not an excuse – it comes down to discipline. We didn’t carry out our assignments like we needed to.”
O’Brien finished the game 3-for-3 passing with 104 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. East joined him over the century mark with 102 rushing yards and a score on five attempts. They both credited offensive linemen Kolton Galie, Joey Troilo, Lou Malfara, Chris Kane and Zach Smith for their success.
“They were doing a great job controlling the line and that’s really all it was,” O’Brien said. “When you win up front you tend to win the game.”
“I can’t thank anyone else besides my linemen,” East said. “I can’t go, my teammates can’t go without our o-line. They came out and they were ready to play. They did what they had to do and our backs, we just executed on it.”
The Colonials never punted in the game and only two drives ended without touchdowns. One was a one-play drive at their own 30-yard line before halftime and the other a lost fumble in the fourth quarter.
“We executed pretty well,” Chang said. "Still had some things here and there that we obviously need to get better on, but I'm proud of how they battled and played with each other."
The PW defense kept Methacton off the scoreboard until it was a four-touchdown game in the second quarter. The first two drives ended in punts and the third ended when linebacker Tommy Hannon blew up a 4th down play in the backfield.
“Our linebackers,” Chang credited, “led by Nate Kern, Tommy Hannon – both guys are great in terms of their experience, understanding how the blocking schemes work and fitting in the right spots. I thought we were pretty successful stopping the run. Stopping the pass, on the other hand, I think we need to keep working.”
“Our run defense is definitely our strong point,” O’Brien, who also plays linebacker, said. “When teams can’t run the ball we usually win the game.”
After allowing a touchdown right before halftime, the Colonials were on their heels again when Methacton got the ball to start the second half. The Warriors had 1st-and-goal at PW’s five trying to make it a two-score game and defensive Chris Mclaughlin came up with a diving interception at the one-yard line.
“That was a great instinctive play by him there just jumping that route,” Chang said. “We needed that. That was a big boost for us.”
PW made another fourth down stop in the fourth quarter to help finish off the win.
They held Methacton’s ground attack to 92 yards on 30 carries. Twenty-six of those yards came on five carries in the final two minutes of the game.
Quarterback Dan Brandi was a bright spot for the Warriors. He completed 30-of-43 passes for 289 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He added 24 yards on the ground.
He orchestrated a 10-play, 83-yard drive before halftime to give Methacton a fighting chance. He went 7-for-9 on the drive – one of the incompletions being a spike – for 75 yards and ran for eight yards. He finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to SahBri Hill.
“Dan moved the ball well,” Kennedy said. “Dan controls our offense very well. There’s no doubt about that. He’s been a pleasure to have as our quarterback, obviously. The one pick obviously hurt us, could have been a little bit of a momentum shift, but it’s part of the game. You can’t make mistakes. Mistakes hurt us.”
Plymouth Whitemarsh 42,
Plymouth Whitemarsh 21 7 7 7 — 42
Methacton 0 7 0 7 — 14
PW – Gregory Feinberg 1-yard run (Seve Spruill kick) 6:47
PW – Zion East 85-yard run (Seve Spruill kick) 2:59
PW – Zion East 60-yard reception from Aiden O’Brien (Seve Spruill kick) 46.4
PW – Dominic Konieczka 34-yard reception from Aiden O’Brien (Seve Spruill kick) 3:11
ME – SahBri Hill 15-yard reception from Dan Brandi (Tyler Ready kick) 10.1
PW – Aiden O’Brien 2-yard run (Seve Spruill kick) 1:59
ME – Tyler Weil-Kasper 15-yard run (Tyler Ready kick) 4:58
PW – Aiden O’Brien 1-yard run (Seve Spruill kick) 2:25
First downs 24 26
Rushes-Yards 42-391 30-92
Passing yards 104 289
Total yards 495 381
Passing 3-3-0 30-43-1
Punts 0 2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards x-x x-x
PW: Aiden O’Brien 14-103, 2 TD; Nate Kern 8-80; Chris Mclaughlin 5-44; Zion East 5-102, TD; Gregory Feinberg 4-10, TD; Phil Taormina 1-(-2); Dominic Konieczka 4-44; Luke Winterbottom 1-10.
ME: Anthony Perillo 2-11; Tyler Weil-Kasper 9-25, TD; Dan Brandi 12-24; SahBri Hill 1-(-4); Jason McGinley 5-26; Brian Dickey 1-0.
PW: Aiden O’Brien 3-3-104-2-0.
ME: Dan Brandi 30-43-289-1-1.
PW: Zion East 1-60, TD; Nate Kern 1-8; Dominic Konieczka 1-34, TD.
ME: Brian Dickey 11-74; Dean Sapalidis 5-59; Anthony Perillo 2-11; Jake Chapman 5-63; Tyler Weil-Kasper 3-32; SahBri Hill 3-38, TD; Kaydon Smith 1-12.
PW: Chris Mclaughlin.