Downingtown Is Too Much For Ryan

Posted: September 12, 1998

Downingtown has always proved to be a particularly troubling opening-day football foe for Archbishop Ryan.

Now that the game is the second of the season for both teams, trouble just gets postponed by a week.

The Whippets (2-0), coming off a win over Harrisburg, scored the game's first 17 points and held on for a 24-14 victory over the host Raiders (1-1) last night.

The game is intriguing every year because it pits perennial suburban and Catholic League powerhouses.

``Archbishop Ryan took us out of some things, but we did some real nice things,'' Downingtown coach Jack Helm said. ``Harrisburg had some better skill kids, but Ryan is better conditioned and a better team, and that's a credit to coach [Glen] Galeone and his kids.''

The Whippets parlayed an early fumble recovery into a Nate Getchell field goal from 31 yards out on the second play of the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

Then Ryan made another mistake, fumbling the ball away to the Whippets on the Downingtown 35.

Four plays later, they were in the end zone, with the final 31 yards covered by Brad Helm's pass to Matt Ellis. Getchell's extra point gave the Whippets a 10-0 lead.

Downingtown earned its touchdown to open the second half, moving 65 yards in just four plays to make it 17-0, with Ellis catching a 5-yard pass from Helm for the score.

This time, though, it was the Whippets' turn to make a mistake. A fumble recovered by Sean Cassidy led to Neal Regan's 19-yard touchdown run for Ryan and, with Colin Burke's extra point tacked on, Downingtown's lead was 17-7.

Ryan threatened again early in the final quarter but could not convert on a fourth-down pass at the Downingtown 32.

Another Whippets mistake - this time a fumble on the Ryan 5 - caused more problems for the Whippets, and Ryan was able to score a late touchdown on John Price's 1-yard bootleg to make it close.

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