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Julian Williams powers Downingtown West football past Downingtown East

The junior all-purpose standout returned a kickoff for one touchdown and a punt for another as the Whippets won the highest-scoring Battle of the Brandywine by a 63-35 margin.

Downingtown West's Tyriq Lewis (No. 15), eludes Downingtown East's Cannon Lucas-Murphy (No. 27) en route to one of his four touchdowns in the Whippets' 63-35 victory.
Downingtown West's Tyriq Lewis (No. 15), eludes Downingtown East's Cannon Lucas-Murphy (No. 27) en route to one of his four touchdowns in the Whippets' 63-35 victory.Read moreKRISTON JAE BETHEL / For The Inquirer

Tyriq Lewis ran for two touchdowns and caught passes for two more.

Will Howard threw three touchdown passes and broke loose for a pair of runs of 20-plus yards.

But the two sensational seniors weren’t even the most dynamic playmakers for the Downingtown West football team in Friday night’s fireworks show of a clash with cross-town rival Downingtown East.

That honor went to junior Julian Williams, who returned a kickoff for one touchdown and a punt for another touchdown in sparking Downingtown West to a 63-35 victory in the highest-scoring game in the 17-year history of the “Battle of the Brandywine.”

"Julian Williams blew the doors off,” Downingtown West coach Mike Milano said. “You get two plays like that, two big special-teams plays like that, 99 times out of 100 you are going to win the game.”

Howard, a Kansas State recruit, threw a pair of touchdown passes to Lewis and another to Alex Rosano for Downingtown West (7-0 overall, 2-0 in the Ches-Mont National), the No. 2 team in The Inquirer Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10.

Lewis caught scoring passes covering nine and 34 yards, and also ran six and two yards for two more scores in the wild game before a capacity-plus crowd at Kottmeyer Stadium that filled both bleacher sections and stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind the fence ringing the playing field.

Stanley Bryant scored four rushing touchdowns and James Basilii lifted two interceptions and recovered a fumble for Downingtown East (6-1, 1-1), the No. 5 team in the rankings.

“They deserved it,” Downingtown East coach Mike Matta said of Downingtown West. “They played better than us. We’ll be OK.”

Besides Williams’ two kick returns, Downingtown West also scored on Sean Pelkisson’s 39-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We executed our offensive game plan,” Howard said. “But to score 63, not all of those points were from the offense. We were getting big plays all over the field.”

East had just cut West’s lead to 28-21 midway in the third quarter when Williams took the ensuring kickoff and raced 93 yards for a touchdown.

“I have to credit my blockers,” Williams said. “They cleared the way. All I had to do was run.”

After a punt, Lewis took a slip-screen from Howard, cut back and raced 34 yards or another score and a 42-21 lead.

“We have such explosive players,” Howard said. “I just have to get them the ball and they do the rest.”

Moments later, Williams was in the end zone again after catching a punt on the run and racing 56 yards for his second touchdown in fewer than four minutes.

“I wasn’t going to let it bounce,” Williams said. “I ran up and caught it and just kept going.”

Both teams started fast, as each scored on their first two possessions for a 14-14 tie after one quarter.

Basilii recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and the Cougars took advantage, taking a 7-0 lead on an 11-yard touchdown run by Bryant.

West answered with an 80-yard scoring drive featuring a 28-yard completion by Howard to Alex Rosano and a 37-yard run by Howard and tied the score at 7-7 on Lewis’ two-yard touchdown run.

East responded with its own 80-yard drive, getting some hard running from Spencer Uggla and good work from the offensive line. Uggla scored from four yards out for a 14-7 lead.

Back came West again, going 80 yards again. Howard hit Rosano for 51, then feathered a perfect swing pass to Lewis for a nine-yard touchdown to knot the score at 14-14.

Both defenses settled in during the second quarter but West went 70 yard to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the half.

Howard hit Williams for 14, then gained 21 on a keeper. Will Mahmud’s 14-yard gain moved the Whippets to the six, and Lewis finished the drive with his third touchdown for a 21-14 lead with 1:28 left in the second quarter.

“We knew it would be a slugfest,” Milao said. “We took a couple hits. Our guys fought back.”

Downingtown West 14 7 28 14 -- 63

Downingtown East 14 0 7 14 -- 35

DE: Stanley Bryant 11 run (Joel Mindek kick)

DW: Tyriq Lewis 2 run (Spencer Mochulski kick)

DE: Spencer Uggla 4 run (Mindek kick)

DW: Lewis 9 pass from Will Howard (Mochulski kick)

DW: Lewis 6 run (Mochulski kick)

DW: Alex Rosano 36 pass from Howard (Mochulski kick)

DE: Bryant 51 run (Mindek kick)

DW: Julian Williams 93 kickoff return (Mochulski kick)

DW: Lewis 34 pass from Howard (Mochulski kick)

DW: Williams 56 punt return (Mochulski kick)

DE: Bryant 6 run (Mindek kick)

DW: Sean Pelkisson 39 fumble return (Mochulski kick)

DE: Bryant 17 run (Mindek kick)

DW: Evan Wickersham 1 run (Mochulski kick)