KENNETT SQUARE >> Terry Loper shattered a big-time school record previously held by West Chester Rustin football royalty on Oct. 24 as the Golden Knights ran roughshod through overmatched Kennett.
Loper and teammate Mike McKnight combined to score six touchdowns and roll up 242 rushing yards while leading Rustin past the host Blue Demons, 48-6. And the duo did all of that damage in the first half.
“The offensive line did a great job,” said Loper, who finished with 171 yards on the ground and three TDs. “The holes were so huge, you could have driven the truck through some of them.”
On the final play of the first half, Loper registered a modest two yard gain that moved him into first place on Rustin’s all-time rushing list, ahead of Rondell White, who went on to become an All-American and career rushing leader at West Chester University. The senior now has 1,541 this season and 4,062 for his career.
“Delly is a big figure at our school so breaking his record is something most people would want to do. I am just blessed to have the opportunity,” Loper said.
“It’s very impressive to beat that record,” added Rustin head coach Mike St. Clair. “Rondell was one heck of a back and Terry is one heck of a back. Rondell was more of a quick slasher and Terry is more straight ahead with power and speed.”
The Knights improve to 5-0 in the Ches-Mont American (8-1 overall) and have already secured the program’s sixth division crown in the last seven years. Loper averaged 13 yards per carry against Kennett (0-5, 1-8), but amazingly enough, he did not lead his team. That distinction goes to McKnight, who averaged an astounding 36.6 yards every time he touched the football.
“This game was so much fun,” said McKnight, who had two runs and one reception for 110 yards and three touchdowns. “Our coaches could have run through those holes tonight it was so wide open. All I saw was green.”
Already ahead 21-0, McKnight hauled in a 39 yard pass from quarterback Evan Wlock, converting a fourth-and-long into a score. It wound up being Rustin’s only pass attempt of the evening. McKnight added TD runs of 31 and 40 yards.
“Mike is probably the best athlete on our team. He does everything for us,” St. Clair said.
“People say he plays in my shadow, but that’s not the case,” Loper said. “If you watch tape of Mike McKnight, he is a very explosive player. If opposing teams just key on me, Mike is going to make them pay.”
By halftime, the Knights were comfortably ahead 42-0 and had a 308-79 edge in yards. The Demons avoided the shutout with a late scoring toss from quarterback Nick Dunlevy to Luke Beeson that covered 10 yards. Dunlevy finished 11 of 20 for 115 yards through the air.
“If there is a positive to take from this, we didn’t give up and played as hard as we could against a very good football team,” said Kennett head coach Scott Green. “We knew exactly what (Rustin) was going to run but when you have special backs like they do, it’s difficult to stop them.
“Two years ago we played Rustin when (Loper) was a sophomore, and I remember thinking, ‘wow, this kid is only a sophomore.’ He is a special kid to watch.”
West Chester Rustin 48, Kennett 6
W.C. Rustin 28 14 6 0 — 48 Kennett 0 0 0 6 — 6
ScoringWCR — McKnight 31 run (Carfagno kick)
WCR — Loper 24 run (Carfagno kick)
WCR — Loper 3 run (Carfagno kick)
WCR — McKnight39 pass from Wlock (Carfagno kick)
WCR — McKnight 40 run (Carfagno kick)
WCR — Loper 41 run (Carfagno kick)
WCR — Romanowski 24 run (kick failed)
K — Beeson 10 pass from Dunlevy (kick failed)
WCR KFirst downs 14 9Rushing yards 379 65
Passing yards 115 39Total yards 418 165
Passing 1-1-0 11-20-1Punts 0-0 5-22.4
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1Penalties-yards 6-35 1-5
Individual statisticsRushing — West Chester Rustin: Loper 13-171 3TD, McKnight 2-71 2TD, Simkins 1-27, Franks 2-24, Sweeney 4-26, Romanowski 2-26 TD, Frazier 4-24, Beard 1-9, Doyle 1-1. Kennett: Boessman 13-7, Dunlevy 8-8, Perigo 1-6, Robinson 8-37, Goudy 1-7.
Passing — West Chester Rustin: Wlock 1-1-0, 39 yards, TD. Kennett: Dunlevy 11-20-1, 115 yards, TD,
Receiving — West Chester Rustin: McKnight 1-39 TD. Kennett: Boessman 3-21, Beeson 5-41 TD, Tomasetti 2-26, Robinson 2-20.
Sacks — West Chester Rustin: Hammond. Kennett: None
Interceptions — West Chester Rustin: Chobany. Kennett: None.