Hatton, West Chester Rustin Take Down Strath Haven in Another Overtime Classic
Tagged under: District 1, Gameday Hub, News, Playoffs
Willie McGonigle | November 19, 2022
WALLINGFORD: Like a fighter that just went through a war West Chester Rustin sophomore running back Chase Hatton at times struggled to find words. Moments earlier the Golden Knights’ defense came through in the clutch falling a fumbled snap on a potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt by the Strath Haven Panthers. It was Jeremy Lynn for the Golden Knights that emerged from the pile with the fumble recovery that set the visiting sideline into a celebratory frenzy after the 28-27 overtime victory.
The win was a bit of payback for the Golden Knights who fell to the Panthers in double overtime last year when the Panthers converted a two-point conversion.
“It’s an amazing feeling, all we thought about since last year was that moment, we knew we were going to get our chance, and we got our chance we played well we all played amazing together.” Hatton said adding that “That’s (Strath Haven) is an amazing team over there and we played just little a little bit better than them.”
Things started with a bang. On the game’s opening kick-off Golden Knights’ Nelson Murray fielded the kick and it was off to the races he went going 92-yards for the touchdown, but the Panthers’ Sam Milligan would block the extra point giving Rustin the 6-0 lead.
After forcing the Panthers to punt on their opening possession the Golden Knights extended their lead to 13-0 with a 7-play 69-yard drive that was capped with a 30-yard touchdown run by Hatton.
The Panthers responded with a nine-play 67-yard drive of their own that was capped by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Anthony Crawford making it 13-7. Following a three-and-out on the ensuing Golden Knights drive the Panthers marched down the field and appeared poised to take the lead but Crawford fumbled it on the Golden Knight 2 and Connor Corrigan came away with it for the Golden Knights who didn’t capitalize on the turnover going three and out and this time the Panthers took advantage of it and took the lead with 1- yard touchdown run by Bob Fooskas giving the Panthers the 14-13 halftime lead.
Crawford was the Panther’s workhorse carrying the ball 35 times for 196 yards including 19 carries in the first half that produced 119 yards. Crawford set the Strath Haven single-season rushing record with 2092 yards.
The Golden Knights would retake the lead in the fourth quarter with a 15-play 75-yard drive that ate up 8:08 off the game clock and ended with Daimon Jacobs 10-yard touchdown run. Jacobs would then make a spectacular catch on a pass from David McClain for the two-point conversion putting them up 21-14.
The Panthers appeared to tie things up on the ensuing kickoff when James Fisher raced 85-yards to the end zone only to have a holding call bring it back, but four plays later the Panthers did tie it up when Austin Conner took a counter 58 yards for the touchdown to tie things up.
The Golden Knights’ ensuing drive would reach the Panther’s 23-yard line before stalling forcing Michael Labus to come out and attempt a 40-yard field goal but once again Milligan would come from the edge and block it.
The Panthers appeared poise to take the momentum from the block field goal and looked to use it for go for a game-winning drive marching down to the Golden Knights’ 24-yard line where they faced a fourth and ten. Milligan went to the air to try to convert the fourth down and connected with Fooskas who only picked up eight yards for the turnover on downs. The Golden Knights would then take a knee and send things to overtime.
The Panthers won the toss and elected to go on defense first. The Golden Knights needed three plays to score when Hatton powered his way in from a yard out. On their possession, the Panthers also need three plays to score with theirs coming from a yard out by Crawford. After both teams used their timeouts the Panthers came out and decided to go for the win but they had trouble getting the snap and Lynn was the guy at the right place at right time for the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights will look to win their second District Championship in their fifth appearance all under head coach Mike St Clair when they travel up to Fort Washington and take on PFN’s number one ranked 5A team Upper Dublin. Kick is scheduled for next Friday night with kick-off being at 7 pm.
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