William Penn center Brandon Dooley took command of the battle at the line of scrimmage as the Colonials defeated Flight A rival Newark 28-7 on Friday night.
“All week [Coach Marvin Dooley] said play like a sledgehammer and give everything you’ve got,” Dooley said. “We came out in the second half and played great and shut them out.”
The eighth-ranked Colonials gave up an 80-yard touchdown to Newark’s Keith Stubbs with about eight minutes remaining in the first quarter to give the Yellowjackets (2-3 overall, 2-2 Flight A) the lead. But it was the last big play William Penn would allow.
“They put a guy on everybody,” William Penn coach Marvin Dooley said of Newark. “My line had to grow up. I give everybody a lot of credit. [Brandon Dooley] kept making the calls and double teaming some guys. My O-line grew up today. They had to, because [Newark] stacked the box on us.”
The play of Dooley, Dominick Trotta, Jalin Stanley and the rest of the line allowed Colonials running back Reggie Carroll to break loose for more than 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“We played excellent,” Brandon Dooley said. “That was the thing that came down to it. Reggie’s the best running back in the state, and our O-line has to block for him.”
Despite the runaway finish, the Colonials (3-2, 3-0) started slowly.
“We came out a little flat-footed in the first quarter,” Carroll said. “We had to pick it up. The field conditions are a little slippery out here because it’s humid. But we got it together and started picking it up.”
The holes opened up by the offensive line helped Carroll rush for touchdowns of 53, 52 and 3 yards.
“They really did a good job on a lot of plays,” Carroll said of the line. “Sometimes I didn’t hit the holes, but I made up for it on a couple of plays.”
After giving up the early lead on Stubbs’ long touchdown, William Penn answered on the next drive. Martin Ayon ran for 65 yards to the Newark 4-yard line before being caught by the Yellowjackets’ Eric Wright. The Colonials’ Daniel Johnson took the next play 4 yards for the touchdown to tie the score.
Carroll gave William Penn the lead on a 53-yard touchdown with about six minutes left in the second quarter.
Newark made a furious push at the end of the first half to tie the game, marching the ball 58 yards to the William Penn 12-yard line with less than 20 seconds to play. But William Penn’s defensive line held the run in check, and two passes fell incomplete as the Yellowjackets turned it over on downs with 2.1 seconds remaining in the half.
“My defense played lights out,” Marvin Dooley said. “We were one play away from a shutout. Any time you shut an offense like that out, you’re playing football.”
It was Carroll’s 52-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter that seemed to seize all the momentum.
“It’s just momentum, and it gets everybody hyped,” Carroll said. “Once you get everybody hyped, they start believing. Once they start believing, you start winning.”