CHESTER — The game effectively ended six minutes into the first quarter, but Chester High coach Ladontay Bell didn’t let his team get comfortable.
Too often over the years, Bell has seen his players get stuck or disinterested when they’re up by three or four points.
So he challenged them to keep playing hard. Those annoying unwritten rules, don’t raise the score, to hell with it.
Central High was outclassed, but the Clippers continued to attack. And scoring. And having fun.
In fact, the Clippers did something no Delaware County football team has done in 100 years: drop an 80 on the scoreboard. The 80-0 rout of the Lancers put the Clippers in the record books in second place; the second-most points scored by a county team. They fell within two safety points of the county record set by Lansdowne in an 84-0 thrashing of Swarthmore in 1922. Both schools are long extinct.
“This is the first time in all my years as coach at Chester that our players didn’t relax, let their opponents get the best of them and believed in themselves throughout the game,” said Bell. “They played to their potential…and that’s what I told them today. They were clicking every aspect of the game.”
The domain was impressive. Rookie quarterback Jalen Harris threw seven touchdown passes, including four to wide receiver Cymeer Brown, in a high school debut that no one will match soon…or maybe ever. He was 12 of 14 for 311 yards and carried himself like a senior.
“It felt good,” the soft-spoken freshman said. “Lots of practice, hard work.”
Brown could not be touched. He accurately traced the deep route and set the afterburners. His four TD receptions were for 33, 58, 62 and 26 yards. The speedy senior finished with 176 yards on five catches.
“Cymeer has been with us since she was a freshman. He is homegrown,” Bell said. “I really appreciate Cymeer and everything he has done since he was a freshman. He is a wonderful young man, laid back. He doesn’t say much, but he is a captain. He leads with his actions.”
Dominic Toy was on the receiving end of three touchdown throws from Jalen Harris. The junior tight end had six catches for 128 yards.
Jalen and his twin brother, Daron, are stars in the making. The two connected for a short touchdown pass in the third quarter to put Chester ahead 72-0. Daron Harris flourished in the defensive secondary with multiple passes defensed and an interception.
And how about that Chester defense? Not to be overlooked in an 80-point victory, the Clippers caused six turnovers. Colin Ferrell and senior safety Daron Harris each had a pick.
Freshman Deandre Pee picked up a fumble behind the line of scrimmage (Centre had trouble handling the snap) and ran untouched into the end zone. Central managed a whopping 12 yards of total offense.
Senior All-Delco linebacker Noble Thompson had 10 tackles.
“We were hungry, focused all day,” said senior linebacker/wing Lafenis Mays Jr. “Last season we finished the year 0-4 and we don’t want to make the same mistakes. … We want to keep our foot on the gas all the time.”
Next Saturday, another Philadelphia Public League school, John Bartram, heads to the Chester Athletic Complex in hopes of avoiding a similar fate.