Whippets come up short in back-and-forth slugfest

This article can be found published on PA Prep Live’s (part of Daily Local News) website.
Despite running the most yards for his team, X was disappointed in himself in a tough loss for Downingtown West Friday night. (Patrick K. Henry)

Despite running the most yards for his team, Michael Riddick was disappointed in himself in a tough loss for Downingtown West Friday night. (Patrick K. Henry)

DOWNINGTOWN — In a game full of lead changes, Downingtown West needed its players to buckle down and grind out a win over New Jersey’s Wayne Valley Friday night at Kottmeyer Stadium.

Unfortunately, some mistakes cost the Whippets a chance at their first win of the season as they fell, 34-31, to the Indians.

“Everybody’s disappointed,” said Downingtown West head coach Mike Milano. “Everybody is sick and disappointed.”

D-West senior Michael Riddick’s night featured 96 yards on the ground on 20 carries and included four receptions for 13 yards. But to him, it wasn’t his yardage that stuck out most, but his mistakes.

…[Please continue the story on PA Prep Live website by clicking here.]

And Riddick’s costly slipup was a microcosm of the Whippets’ struggles as a whole, despite a few shining moments.

“I was feeling like I let my team down,” Riddick said. “I had a fumble that led to a Wayne Valley touchdown. Wayne Valley is a great team. They came out and they just wanted it more. We made mistakes, I made mistakes — I dropped a pass on the last drive. We just have to capitalize and find it ourselves.”

The lead changed a stadium-record eight times on the night, with Wayne Valley scoring the final touchdown of the game and recovering an onside kick.

Even though Downingtown West was able to hold the Indians to a four-and-out, Downingtown West was unable to take advantage in the closing minutes of the game with two incomplete passes before following up with three incompletes in their final possession of the game.

“I know our kids will battle to the end, but we just need to fix us right now,” Milano said. “We feel like we’ve given two games away two weeks in a row. We made too many mistakes to be good right now.”

For Wayne Valley, which had never played a game outside of its home state before Friday night, quarterback Grant Ferrauilo racked up 300 yards in the air with four touchdowns.

Three of those touchdown receptions were by senior Joe Scancarella, who made huge catches of 20, 57 and 18 yards for the scores.

“This was the first real road trip in the school’s history,” said Wayne Valley head coach Roger Kotlarz. “This was different than anything we’ve done before. … I’m not surprised at all that the game ended up this way. I think we’re very similar districts, programs and kids. It was a heck of a fight.

“We definitely had some things we messed up, but it’s week zero for us. It’s our first game. We knew there would be some mistakes. I like the resolve, grit and determination (they had).”

Downingtown West, who has now lost two close games back-to-back, will look toward getting its first win against Neshaminy next week.

“We have to take a look at the good things and the bad things,” Riddick said. “We can be a really good team if we just fix up a couple of things and maybe move a couple of people around. We just need to go full speed every play in practice.”

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Categories: Football, High School Sports, Sports

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