Luke Davis, Downingtown East ready for another battle with Downingtown West
Downingtown East has a 9-5 lead in the heated series. Downingtown West's last victory came in 2013.
Luke Davis is especially familiar with the intense atmosphere associated with the Downingtown East-Downingtown West rivalry.
The Downingtown East senior quarterback is the third in his family to play in a contest known as the Battle of the Brandywine. Davis' two brothers, Ben and Seth, suited for up for East coach Mike Matta and the Cougars against the Whippets.
The latest chapter in the gripping series between the neighbors and Ches-Mont League National Division foes is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Kottmeyer Stadium.
"Because a lot of our guys played youth football with or against a lot of West's players, bragging rights are on the line," Luke Davis said. "It's a huge event in the community."
Ben Davis, 21, is a senior wide receiver at Taylor University, an NAIA program in Indiana; Seth, 19, is a sophomore linebacker at Division III Wheaton College in Illinois.
Luke Davis' other brother Jed, is a running back for East's freshman team and soon will experience the East-West drama. The youngest of Barclay and Stacy Davis' five children is Faith, 12.
Luke Davis missed most of last season after suffering a broken collarbone in a scrimmage. He dressed for the Cougars' final game, a 61-42 loss to Coatesville in a PIAA District 1 Class 6A quarterfinal.
"There was a process involved with building up my arm strength," the 6-foot, 170-pounder said. "I spent a lot of time in the weight room."
Davis has connected on 46 of 82 passes for 708 yards and 12 touchdowns. The cocaptain has carried 32 times for 158 yards and six scores.
"He really makes great decisions with the ball," Matta said. "He's the type of player whose teammates rally around him."
East is a 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the division; West, looking to rebound from last week's 42-14 division loss at Coatesville, is 6-1 and 2-1.
The Whippets will be without QB Will Howard on Friday. The 6-4, 205-pound junior and Division I prospect suffered an injury to his throwing hand late in the first half against Coatesville.
"That was tough when I heard that, because Will is a nice kid and a very good player," Davis said. "You want both teams to be at full strength."
Matta said Howard's injury does not translate into a routine East victory against Mike Milano's squad.
"Mike will have something up his sleeve for this game," Matta said. "He's a clever guy."
Ryan Wetzel, usually a tight end and slot receiver, has replaced Howard under center. The 6-1, 225-pound senior doubles at linebacker.
"He's a competitive kid," Matta said. "He's not going to back down from anyone."
Davis excels in the classroom, maintaining a 4.1 grade point average on a weighted scale. He takes advanced placement classes in government, biology, and English.
An avid snowboarder and skier, the 17-year-old from Glenmoore is a Sunday school volunteer at Calvary Chapel of Chester Springs in Exton.
Game at a glance
No. 4 Downingtown East vs. No. 9 Downingtown West, 7 p.m. Friday.
History. East leads the head-to-head-series, 9-5.
Last season. The Cougars topped the Whippets, 28-14, for their fourth straight victory in the series.
Go-to ballcarrier. East halfback Garvey Jonnasaint has carried 123 times for 949 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Towing the line. West's defense has been anchored by end Sean Pelkisson, tackle Nolan Hale, linebackers Ryan Wetzel and Brad Peszek, and safety Dan Byrnes.
Fast fact. The average margin of victory in West's five wins in the series is 6.4 points.
Pick. East, 34-21.