EAST GOSHEN — It took some effort, but Jalen Harris broke the Chester High single-season record with his 20th touchdown pass in a 41-0 nonleague win over West Chester East Friday at Zimmerman Field.
Harris also ran for three touchdowns and threw for 253 yards to spark the Clippers (5-0), who overcame a ton of penalties on the frigid night.
Harris rewrote the record book with a 51-yard scoring throw to Dominic Toy, who used his skills and size to get into the end zone with 3:20 left in the third quarter staking the Clippers to a 33-0 lead.
“It felt good to make school history,” Harris, a freshman, said. “It’s only my fifth game and there’s more games to come. We need to keep building our chemistry together. We did good tonight, could have done better.”
Harris previously shared the record with Najedo Rasheed, who launched 19 touchdown passes in 1997 for the Clippers.
Record aside, it was another dominant night for the Clippers (5-0), who recorded six takeaways to collect their fourth shutout in five games. Terrell Palmer and Aqeel Austin intercepted East quarterback Nathan Derosa to help make that happen. The Clippers also recovered four fumbles, two on errant shotgun snaps.
The Clippers grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a six-yard run by Colin Farrell and a 12-yard dive from Harris. Chester has outscored the opposition 233-10 on the season.
“We were good,” Clippers head coach LaDontay Bell said. “We had some errors, some mental mistakes. We’ve just got to stay disciplined. That’s one of the things that I’m going to definitely talk about Monday in our film session is being disciplined. We had some great gains and then we just took steps back with penalties. We’ve just got to know not to burn out our momentum. We put out our flame when we go backwards.”
Harris tallied a six-yard TD run in the second quarter. Jabree Davis, the 6-0, 240-pound running back, bulled his way in for a five-yard touchdown to give the Clippers a 27-0 lead at the intermission.
The record touchdown pass came out of nowhere, Harris dropping back and locating the 6-5, 215-pound Toy, who was happy to be part of history.
“Amazing, amazing, it feels good,” Toy said. “I knew it was going to me because I watched the safety come down. Once the safety came down all I had to do was turn around, catch the ball and run. He’s thrown better but it is what it is – a touchdown and he broke the record.”
Bell wasn’t happy with 13 penalties worth 150 yards. But he appreciated the way the Clippers kept grinding away. Harris’ record was the icing on the cake.
“The kid is phenomenal,” Bell said. “Sometimes I’m just sitting back there and I’m just watching him play. He’s very young but his poise, his maturity back there is really something to watch. I’m excited to see what he’s doing.”
Mitch Ragni rushed for 103 yards for the Vikings (0-5), who hurt themselves with six turnovers. The Clippers scored on five of them.
“Mitch is an outstanding all-around football player,” Vikings head coach Scott Stephen said. “He has strength, power and you could see the speed he has in some of those runs. But any time you give a good team six turnovers they’re going to capitalize, and that’s what they did. We’re showing good spurts but not consistent enough for us to win football games at this point. That’s where we are. We as a staff and a program need to find ways to get into the win column.”