We take a closer look every week at one of the Top 10 football teams. This week: the 6-1 Downingtown East Cougars.

Where they rank

A 63-35 loss to Downingtown West (7-0) dented the Cougars’ (6-1) strong start. And while all their championship goals are still attainable, the loss dropped Downingtown East from fifth to eighth in the rankings. The Cougars opened the preseason rankings back in August at No. 10.

Why they are among the Top 10

Stanley Bryant, who rushed for four touchdowns against the Whippets on Friday, has been dynamic on both sides of the ball. Bryant’s physicality has led to a bruising, downhill running style that gives opponent’s fits. The aggression also translates to the linebacker position, where the junior has wreaked havoc on opposing offenses.

Spencer Uggla is the other half of the two-way star duo. Uggla led the team with 151 rushing yards against the Whippets and also lined up at linebacker. A three-sport athlete, the senior captain is planning to focus on football while studying neuroscience in college. John Hopkins, Bowdoin and Williams are among the NCAA Division III schools he is considering.

Other contributing factors

A physical offensive line has been a major part of the team’s success in running the ball. The linemen paved the way for five rushing touchdowns against Downingtown West and will be looking to do more of the dirty work in the final three games.

Next up

The Cougars will play visiting West Chester Henderson (2-5) on Friday night at 7. Downingtown East enters the game with a five-game winning streak over Henderson, with an average margin of victory of 30.2 points.