Rustin’s football team vouches for a 35-12 victory against WC East

Rustin’s Chase Hatton finds a hole to run the ball against West Chester East during first quarter football action at Bayard Rustin High School on Friday night. Photo by Tom Silknitter

Westtown >> The West Chester Rustin football team responded well to various injuries en route to Friday’s 35-12 victory against visiting West Chester East at Military Appreciation/First Responder Night.
“I think we responded well to some early injuries that really hit us,” Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair said. “We lost a middle linebacker, a guard, a tackle, and we responded well against a tough, well-coached East team. That’s not an 0-3 team there, it’s a very good team that’s going to win some games this year.”
The first quarter was a goalless defensive battle. East senior defensive back Brady Laird intercepted a pass to get the ball to Rustin 28, but the Vikings didn’t capitalize on a score.

West Chester East’s Mitch Ragni (9) is brought down by Rustin Nathan Pechin during second quarter football action at Bayard Rustin High School on Friday night. Photo by Tom Silknitter

“We got Brady back this week after he was out last week, and getting him back at his strong safety position was a huge boost for our defense,” East coach Scott Stephen said.
Near the end of the first quarter, Rustin’s Daimon Jacobs returned a punt 38 yards to the East 30-yard line. By the start of the second quarter, Chase Hatton and Antonio Santangelo made several solid ground gains and advanced the ball to the East 2-yard line, from where Jacobs scored to give the hosts a 7-0 lead with 11:15 left. remaining before halftime.
On Rustin’s next drive, Jacobs had 68 yards in four plays, the last a 33-yard touchdown run down the right side, bouncing off tacklers to give the Golden Knights a 14-0 lead with 7:06 left. the end of halftime.
St. Clair said, “That was a power play, and our fullback, Antonio Santangelo, had a great punt block, and when Jake (Jacobs) sees a hole, he hits that hole and it’s hard to stop him in the open field. .”
East then put together a 12-play drive behind the solid run of Mitch Ragni, who had 60 yards on eight carries, the last of which burst into the end zone on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The touchdown cut into Rustin’s lead. at 14-6 with 2:38 left at halftime.
Rustin came out of the locker room at halftime red hot, scoring two touchdowns in the first four minutes to take a 28-6 lead.

Rustin’s Chase Hatton runs past and catches up with West Chester East defender Coby Jaramillo during first quarter football action at Bayard Rustin High School on Friday night. Photo by Tom Silknitter

On the opening drive of the second half, Hatton broke up numerous tackles to gain 37 yards to the East 8-yard line. After several Golden Knight penalties, Rustin quarterback David McClain hit Nelson Murray for a 20-yard TD pass down the left side.
“When we can get the ball into Nelson’s hands, he can go the distance every time he touches the ball,” St. Clair said. “He’s probably one of the fastest guys in the area. He works very hard, and it’s nice to have him back after he was out for a year due to injury.
“The play was a hook screen where we have a couple of blockers in front of (Murray). He read the block and was able to take it home with him.”
Just four plays later, Antonio Santangelo intercepted an East pass at the 40-yard line and ran down the right side for a touchdown that gave the hosts a 28-7 lead with 8:08 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Clair said: “Antonio fell very well in coverage on that play; he was able to get a good read on the pass, made a good catch and then had a good block in front of him to take it all the way.”
Early in the fourth quarter, East’s Landon Goodwin received a pass from Nate DeRosa and ran down the left sideline for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 28-12 with 11:25 left.
Rustin recovered the ensuing lateral shot on his own 35 and scored in two plays. Hatton broke free for a 29-yard run down the right side; then Jacobs took a handball and went down the right side all the way for a 36-yard touchdown to give the hosts a 35-12 lead with 10:32 left.
“(Jacobs) read his blocks very well on that play,” St. Clair said. “We had some good blocks from our offensive line from guys who completed, like freshman Nick Santangelo. Jake read the block, he courted it, and it’s really nice to see him out in the open.
“Chase is also a beast as a running back; we have a three-headed monster back there with Chase, (Santangelo) and Jake. Any one of those guys can take the ball; and they have had very good blocks against them. Dave McClain did a very good job running the offense; when he is asked to throw the ball, he puts it on top of the money.
“This was a team win: offense, defense, special teams. Our linebackers did a great job and Jeremy Lynn did an outstanding job at defensive end. Connor Corrigan did a great job, and Pat Maychak (sophomore) really stepped up when he came into the game.”
Rustin was given nine penalties at halftime, and St. Clair said, “There were too many penalties that were just undisciplined penalties where we need to do a better job, and I need to do a better job.”
On the east side, Stephen saw some progress in the Vikings game on Friday.
Stephen said: “I think we put together a few things tonight that we (coaches) have been insisting on for the past few weeks: execution at both ends, lineup and allocation. When we scored in the first half, it was a 12-play drive, that’s one of the things we’ve been focusing on, putting together a drive. We’re starting to see some growth in the last few weeks, we’re starting to see some production. And our players get that gaming experience where you want your players to grow as the season goes on.
“I think our defense did a great job (from the beginning), we got the guys on the ball. Towards the end of the game, we got a little sloppy in our approach.”

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