Philadelphia High School Football

Rushing to Inter-Ac Glory

  In Inter-Ac League football history, eight players have rushed for at least 3,000
career yards. This page celebrates their feats -- Chris Downs, Malvern Prep, '98;
Alex Holcombe, Germantown Academy, 2007; Ibraheim Campbell, Chestnut Hill
Academy, 10; Edward Saydee, Penn Charter, '19; Paul McKinney, Haverford
School, '01; Rashad Campbell, Chestnut Hill Academy, '08; Dave Stilley,
Haverford School, '92; Matt Blewitt, Germantown Academy, 1998.
  Note: Ibraheim and Rashad Campbell are brothers. Rashad's totals include only
CHA's two seasons of Inter-Ac membership during his high school career . . .
CHA is now known as SCH Academy (following a merger with its sister school,
Springside Academy.)

Return to Home Page

Malvern Prep's Chris Downs in 1997 with his nephews Ryan Beverly (top), and Sean Beverly.

Alex Holcombe
Germantown Academy

Ibraheim Campbell
Chestnut Hill Academy

Malvern's Chris Downs . . .
Leader of the Pack

This story about Chris Downs, the leading career rusher in Inter-Ac League history, was written during his senior season in 1997 . . .

By Ted Silary
  Chris Downs has heard the story so many times, he almost can use the exact same words each time to retell it.
  How his father, Dee, showed up for practice with a semipro football team in Sharon Hill on Aug. 31, 1955.
  How he realized when he reached the field that one of his cleats was still in the trunk of his car.
  How he returned to his car and saw two women standing  nearby.
  How he spoke to one and . . .
  Forty-two years, eight children and 10 grandchildren later, Dee and Joan Downs are still together, living near 61st and Cobbs Creek in Southwest Philadelphia, and football is still a major part of their life.
  The primary attention these days is being focused on Chris, a 5-9, 175-pound senior at Malvern Prep who last Saturday became only the second player in Inter-Ac League history to lift his career rushing total over 3,000 yards.
  There is also Tony, a senior (but younger than Chris) who starts at defensive back for Malvern. There is also Derrick, a redshirt freshman who is seeing some action at running back for the University of Delaware and is expected to challenge for a starting spot next season. In 1995, he was a first-team Daily News All-City selection at defensive back.
There is also this thought: If not for the missing cleat . . .
  ``When he came out to that car and started fumbling around, looking for his other football shoe, that amused me,'' Joan Downs said. ``I was thinking, `This guy must be a nut. He didn't even bring two shoes? ' ''
  Said Chris: ``He probably `lost' it on purpose. I think something was up. ''
  Chris Downs was laughing when he said that. Then again, when isn't he?
  If there's one thing Chris Downs does better than run a football, it's enjoy life. In fact, to call him happy-go-lucky is to make a gross understatement.
  Ask Chris whether he's surprised by his success and he chuckles.
  Ask him whether there's someone in the pros he admires and he chuckles.
  After a while, one begins to wonder whether someone who appears to be so filled with sunshine can possibly possess the eye of the tiger.
  Phew, does he ever.
  Downs last season set an Inter-Ac rushing record with 1,682 yards and this season he likely will blow that number away. Already, he has carried 149 times for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns for coach Gaspare ``Gamp'' Pellegrini's Friars (6-1), who have four games remaining.
  Last Saturday, Downs rushed 38 times for 298 yards and a touchdown against Germantown Academy and added another score on an 87-yard kickoff return. His career
  continued right below . . .

Top Game Performances by the Inter-Ac League's
Leading Career Rushers (In Order of Appearance Below)
Paul McKinney, Haverford School; Ibraheim Campbell,
Chestnut Hill; Chris Downs, Malvern; Rashad Campbell,
Chestnut Hill; Edward Saydee, Penn Charter;
Alex Holcombe, Germantown Academy; Matt Blewitt,
Germantown Academy; Dave Stilley, Haverford School.
Name Opponent Car. Yards Year
McKinney Chestnut Hill 18 316 2000
I. Campbell Gtn. Academy 32 310 2008
Downs Carroll 36 308 1997
Downs Gtn. Academy 38 298 1997
McKinney Tatnall (DE) 26 296 2000
R. Campbell Pius X (Roseto) 20 288 2006
Saydee Gtn. Academy 25 277 2018
Downs Penn Charter 28 276 1996
Holcombe Haverford School 40 267 2006
I. Campbell Episcopal 12 266 2009
Downs Owen J. Roberts 33 265 1996
McKinney Oxford 10 264 1998
Downs Haverford School 24 264 1996
Holcombe Chestnut Hill 53 258 2006
Holcombe Pius X (Roseto) 36 252 2006
I. Campbell Haverford School 41 251 2008
R. Campbell Lower Moreland 26 246 2006
Blewitt Episcopal 13 243 1997
Blewitt Pennington (NJ) 21 235 1996
I. Campbell Haverford School 39 234 2009
Stilley Penn Charter 48 231 1991
I. Campbell Wood 33 230 2009
Saydee Upper Dublin 22 226 2018
Downs WC East 27 226 1997
Holcombe Haverford School 24 225 2004
R. Campbell Episcopal 41 224 2006
Blewitt Valley Forge MA 29 218 1997
Downs Episcopal 28 216 1997
Holcombe Haverford School 27 215 2005
Downs WC Henderson 22 215 1997
Downs Penn Charter 21 214 1997
Saydee SCH Academy 28 213 2016
Stilley Roman 31 210 1990
I. Campbell Haverford School 22 201 2008
Holcombe Episcopal 39 200 2006
Downs Chester 34 200 1997
totals show 384 carries, 3,107 yards, 37 rushing TDs and 41 total TDs.
  ``I'm kind of surprised by all this,'' Downs said. ``You can't expect to do this much. ''
  Downs, the reigning Inter-Ac champion in the three sprint events, exhibits a blend of grace, savvy and breakaway speed. On a typical run, Chris places his hand on the lower back of fullback Dan Bonner as he begins, looking, looking, looking. Then, he darts toward an opening, adds a shake and/or bake and zooms downfield. If no hole exists, he burrows into the pile to at least get something.
  Chris is receiving mail from the likes of Michigan, West Virginia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Miami, Missouri, Indiana and Villanova, but he has no idea who's calling.
  ``My mother handles the phone calls,'' he said. ``She doesn't permit me to talk with them. And she doesn't tell me who's calling. I'm not really sure why she does that, except that she thinks it's best for my future. She did the same thing with Derrick. ''
  Dee and Joan Downs have eight children ranging from 40 to 17: Robin, Deborah, Donna, Lonnie, Steven, Derrick, Chris and Tony. Steven starred in football at Penn Wood High and Central State (Ohio).
  ``I've been a football fanatic since I was a kid,'' Joan said. ``We've always been a football family. Now, we're passing it on to our grandkids. ''
  The one thing Chris wants to do more than anything else is work in animation for Disney.
  ``This might sound kind of funny,'' he said, chuckling, ``but I'm a cartoonist. I can draw really good Disney characters - Mickey, Goofy, etc. Sometimes, I sell them to my friends and classmates. Or I give them to my girlfriends. ''
  Girlfriends, plural?
  ``Yeah,'' Downs said. ``I don't charge them. I just give them the sketch and say, `Here you go. ' ''
  He laughed.
  ``They get the special ones.'


  This story about Alex Holcombe was written during his senior season  . . .

By Ted Silary
  While there's no "i" in team, there is one in "franchise. "
  And if there's a high school football player who richly deserves that label, it's Germantown Academy's Alex Holcombe.
  A 5-11, 205-pound senior, Holcombe serves first-year coach Luke Harris at tailback and inside linebacker while also doing the punting. There's more. Kickoff team? Check. Kickoff return? Check. Punt return? Check. Extra points, both for and against? Check.
  When it was suggested that Holcombe can get a rest only through an act of Congress, Harris responded, "I'm not even sure Congress could make that happen. "
  He was kidding. Just a little.
  "I definitely look forward to Sundays," Holcombe said yesterday, sitting on a grassy knoll before the Patriots practiced. "It's a good rest day. I pretty much just recover and ice my wounds.
  "On Monday, I spend a lot of time in the trainer's room. Then I start trying to prepare my body again. Each week, I know I'll have to do a lot. "
  Thankfully, his workload has been scaled back ever so slightly.
  In 2005, as the Patriots sputtered to an 0-7 mark (they did win an exhibition against what amounted to an AAU team), the rock-hard Holcombe accounted for an incredible 75 percent of the scrimmage yardage.
  His 175 carries produced 1,059 yards, and he gained another 44 on receptions. In three of GA's games, and almost in two others, his rushing total was greater than his team's.
  This season, the Patriots are off to a 3-1 start, and Holcombe's offensive contributions - 106 carries, 533 yards, seven touchdowns; another 42 yards and a score on four catches - account for "only" 58 percent.
  Geez, it's as if he's a slacker.
  "This year, there's much more help around me," Holcombe said. "I don't feel I have to do as much.
  "Last year, I couldn't enjoy my individual success too much because it wasn't leading to any team success. The whole year was frustrating. Obviously, the team always comes first. But at least there was a little bit of consolation. "
  Pause. "Not much. "
  Holcombe said the lowest moment of '05 was a 31-20 loss to Haverford School, 2-5 at the time and coming off a pair of 42-0 shellackings.
  "That was a game we felt we could win," he said. "When we didn't . . . that pretty much made a statement about the season. "
  Though Holcombe is assuredly not slow, he butters his bread with a relentless style that's traceable to his superior leg strength. The next time he's conquered by a solo tackler will be the first, and he also displays ever-popular traits such as vision and instinct.
  Harris loves Holcombe's desire, determination and work ethic and especially the fact that "he practices great. " He added, "He's very productive at whatever we ask him to do. He makes us tick. "
  Sometimes, Holcombe is a difference-maker just standing still.
  "Teams weren't kicking to his side, and other guys were getting nice returns," Harris said. "Then, they decided to kick it to Alex and in our last game, he had two punt returns for 55 yards. "
  On the subject of why Holcombe carries such a heavy backfield load, Harris smiled and said, "With him in your backfield, why would you give the ball to anyone else? "
  Said Holcombe: "I don't mind. I go into every game knowing I might have to carry 35 times and play every play on defense. I gear myself for that. I try to perform to the best of my ability. "
  Quarterback Charlie Taft, who struggled last season, is now beginning to blossom and has thrown for 324 yards and five scores, mostly thanks to Joe Zubkoff (14 catches, 218 yards, two TDs). The grunts include center Anthony Belford, guards Ed Logan and Joe Rozzano and tackles Kevin Blalock and Joe Conaway. Tight end Addison West and fullback Kevin Doty also concentrate mostly on blocking.
  Holcombe, who lives in Souderton, has been playing football since age 6. As good as he is, one could make a strong argument he's better in something else - track and field.
  His specialty is the demanding decathlon ("it really helps to prepare me for football"), and in AAU Junior Olympics competition in the summer of 2005, he finished No. 1 in the nation among 15- and 16-year-olds. He was third-best this past summer in the 17-18 category.
  "That's a great feeling - to accomplish something in a sport you love," he said.
  So, what'll it be down the road, young man?
  "Um, ah, phew . . . it's really tough," he said. "Each season, I really get into that sport. When I was doing track all summer, I was kind of leaning to that. But now that football's in full swing, and we've actually won a few games, I'm really liking football. It's going to be a hard decision. "
  For football, he's looking at Georgetown, Brown and Princeton. His possible destinations for track include Cornell, Dartmouth and William & Mary.
  "If I want to do both," he said, "there are some good D-III schools in New England, like Williams. "
  Academics? No problem. He maintains a 3.6 grade-point average and has scored 1,940 on the new SAT. He also performed community service and gotten involved in ethics debates.
  Counting scant duty as a freshman, Holcombe's career has yielded 2,583 yards and 20 TDs on 463 carries, so he has a shot at GA's all-time leader, '98 grad Matt Blewitt (3,106).
  Let the incredible amount of carries continue!
  "I'm not going to lie," Holcombe said. "It gets really tiring when you carry the ball seven to eight times in a row in the third or fourth quarter. But you have to suck it up . . . "
  And use two pencils to tabulate the yardage.


  This story about Ibraheim Campbell was written during his senior season . . .

By Ted Silary
  ONCE HE GETS his fill of football, Ibraheim Campbell should take up poker.
  He's skilled at not tipping his hand.
  The buzz around Chestnut Hill Academy is that Campbell, a 6-foot, 195-pound senior who stars at tailback and defensive back (corner or safety, depending), is favoring Stanford for his college destination.
  Mum's the word, baby.
  "No word yet. Not right now," he said. "I'm down to a top four of Stanford, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Boston College and I'm going to be taking an official visit to BC in a few weeks. I should be ready to decide a couple days after that.
  "I have good relationships with the coaching staffs at all those schools. I've been keeping in touch with a lot of their players, too, mostly through Facebook. Nobody says anything negative. "
  Could distance from home surface as a factor?
  "Well, when you're in Division 1 football, you don't get to go home too often no matter where you are. I've seen that with Rashad and he's only 3, 4 hours away," Campbell said. "So I don't think [geography] will matter. What am I looking for? Just the best fit. The place where I know I'll fit. "
  Campbell often talks like that. He tends to come from the just-the-facts-ma'am school of expressing his thoughts and, likewise, a no-frills approach has certainly served him well on the football field.
  There is one subject that will get his motor running, however, and that's the friendly rivalry he maintains with the aforementioned Rashad, a brother and CHA product (class of 2008) who is now becoming a force in Cornell's defensive backfield (team-high 12 solo tackles).
  "I have always tried to be better than Rashad, and it has led me to success," Ibraheim said yesterday, shortly before the start of practice while sitting in a room off the main part of the cafeteria. "I'm sure he's aware I'm trying to be better than him. "
  Now we're getting somewhere. Keep talking.
  "We always argue about how I'm stronger and faster," Ibraheim said, laughing. "Even when my test results in the bench press or 40 are better than his, he'll still find some way to say his are better.
  "We haven't raced, or lifted together, in a while, though . . . I guess he can say that until we do it again. "
  Ibraheim (e-bruh-heem) boasts quite the grid lineage on both sides of his family. Rashad finished his CHA career with 4,204 rushing yards overall and 3,200 in the two seasons that followed the Blue Devils' return to the Inter-Ac League. A brother on his mother's side, Aquil Stinson, starred at CHA (Class of '95) and Georgetown. A brother on his father's side, Malik Jones, played for Martin Luther King ('96) and Bloomsburg.
  Ib or Ibs, for short, vaguely remembers watching Aquil play for Georgetown. What he most recalls are the nuggets of advice regarding preparation and dedication to team, schoolwork, etc. He also said Aquil's insistence that he slap together a highlight tape to distribute to colleges as early as possible wound up creating great opportunities.
  Shadowing Rashad also proved to be golden.
  "Rashad always set a great example for me," Ibraheim said. "From school to athletics, he always pushed me. I loved doing what he was doing, and stuck with it. "
  So far for coach Rick Knox' 3-0 Blue Devils, Campbell has rushed 76 times for 512 yards and eight touchdowns behind the blocking of center Chris Howard, guards Colin Kelly and Brendan Spearing, tackles Will Emory and Matt Levin, ends Brendan Plunkett and Bobby Keyes and fullback Tom Devlin.
  Such production should not surprise, considering Campbell last season hustled his way to 1,772 yards and 22 TDs.
But this probably will: He prefers defense.
  "My first position with the Mount Airy Bantams was linebacker, and since then I've just always loved defense," he said. "I'm trying to get to the NFL, and I think I'd have a better shot as a safety.
  "Most of the schools I talked to were surprised about my desire to play defense. It excited them, really. I guess they deal mostly with guys who say they want to play offense. "
  As Campbell headed down a long hallway, filled with trophy cases, toward the cafeteria, he passed five wooden benches with one word inscribed on each - integrity, courage, loyalty, honesty, sportsmanship.
  Quarterback Danny Gallagher, for one, would say all five of those words apply to Campbell. And more.
  "He always leads by example," Gallagher offered. "From always going 110 percent through sprints in practice, to never missing an assignment during team drills, to fighting through cramps to score a go-ahead touchdown . . . Everyone looks to Ib for inspiration. "
  In college, Campbell, who lives in Cheltenham, is thinking about pursuing a pre-med major with designs on becoming an orthopedic surgeon. He thrives in science and math, plus he admires the work done by Dr. Tony Salem, the Blue Devils' team doctor.
  "He plays such a large part with our team," he said.
  As those around the squad have noticed, Ibraheim Campbell is hardly a football head. Oh, he loves the sport, but it's not a 24/7 obsession.
  "I don't sit there and watch ESPN all day," he said. "I'm more a fan of the sport than actual teams; that sums it up pretty well. "
  So, when the TV's not on, what could we find him doing?
  The response came accompanied by a sheepish smile, and was even slightly delivered in the form of a question.
  "Homework?" he said.
  Nothing wrong with that.


Season-by-Season and Career Totals (Leaders Highlighted in Green)
First Team Honors for Inter-Ac League and Daily News All-City (*=selected at DB . . . +=Selected at MP)
        Car, Yards TDs YPC YPG
Chris Downs Malvern 1995 4 17 165 3 9.7


All-Int: '96, '97   1996 10 218 1682 18 7.7 168.2
All-City: '96, '97   1997 11 268 2198 29 8.2 199.8
    Total 25 503 4045 50 8.0 161.8
Alex Holcombe Gtn. Academy 2003 2 4 10 0 2.5 5.0
All-Int: '04-'06   2004 10 196 981 7 5.0 98.1
All-City: '06   2005 7 157 1059 6 6.7 151.3
    2006 10 329 1765 23 5.4 176.5
    Total 29 686 3815 36 5.6 131.6
Ibraheim Campbell Chestnut Hill 2007 7 31 153 2 4.9 21.9
All-Int: '08, '09   2008 11 247 1772 22 7.2 161.1
All-City: '08, *'09   2009 10 219 1885 28 8.6 188.5
    Total 28 497 3810 52 7.7 136.1
Edward Saydee Penn Charter 2016 9 155 907 15 5.9 100.8
All-Int: '16-'18   2017 10 195 1161 11 6,0 116.1
All-City: +'17, '18   2018 10 170 1446 19 8.5 144.6
    Total 29 520 3514 45 6.8 121.2
Paul McKinney Haver. School 1998 10 61 505 2 8.3 50.5
All-Int: *'99, '00   1999 11 195 1206 12 6.2 109.6
All-City: *'99; '00   2000 10 225 1726 19 7.7 172.6


481 3437 33 7.1 110.9
Rashad Campbell Chestnut Hill 2006 10 255 1748 22 6.9 174.8
All-Int: '06, '07   2007 10 187 1452 23 7.8 145.2
All-City: '06, '07   Total 20 442 3200 45 7.2 160.0
Dave Stilley Haver. School 1989 10 145 831 4 5.7 83.1
All-Int: '90, '91   1990 9 142 812 3 5.7 90.2
All-City: '91   1991 10 307 1476 15 4.8 147.6
    Total 29 594 3119 22 5.3 107.6
Matt Blewitt Gtn. Academy 1995 10 133 560 6 4.2 56
All-Int: '96, '97   1996 10 186 1340 16 6.8 134
All-City: *'97   1997 9 140 1206 19 8.6 134
    Total 29 459 3106 41 6.8 107.1


  This story was written during Edward Saydee's junior season . . . 

By Jonathan Vander Lugt
  “Coming into this game, winning was a big deal for us,” said Penn Charter’s star running back Eddie Saydee after the Quakers’ 131st matchup with Germantown Academy on Saturday. “We haven’t won nine games since 1905, so that’s what we were really looking forward to.”
  Back then, nearby Forbidden Drive still saw automobile traffic. Alden Park Manor, the massive, Jacobian-revival apartment complex that looms near the Penn Charter campus, was still twenty years from breaking ground. The Quakers and Germantown Academy hadn’t even reached the second decade of their rivalry.
  “We weren’t worried about anyone else winning or losing – just us,” Saydee said.
  If there had been a scoreboard with tallies from around the league, it would have been easy for Saydee and his teammates to give in and watch. A Malvern Prep loss would have given Penn Charter a shot at a shared league title.
  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be—the Friars beat Springside Chestnut Hill 52-21. The only thing the Quakers had left to play for was pride.
  “We came through,” Saydee continued, with a 26-17 win over the Patriots in hand. “And we’re happy about that.”
  For a while though, it was Germantown Academy’s game to lose. The Pats struck first on a 29-yard strike from freshman QB Lacey Snowden to Timmy Ruth with a shade less than three minutes in the first quarter. An onside kick gave them the ball right back, and after another long pass between Snowden and Ruth – this one for 34 yards – set up a two-yard Tanner Long touchdown run, GA was up by two scores in a snap.
  Two drives later, GA faked a punt – Mike Reilly snapped the ball and quickly lofted it to Long, wide-open in the flat, for a big and potentially game-changing gain.
  Not so, according to the referees. The Pats were flagged for an illegal motion penalty – meaning that more than one player was changing his position along the line of scrimmage before the snap – turning a big gain into a five-yard loss.
  The Patriots punted, and Penn Charter marched 87 yards to score, capped by a 12-yard pass from Will Samuel to John Washington. What could have been a three-score Germantown Academy lead at halftime instead stood at 14-7.
  “I need to see that on film, because I think that’s one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in my life,” Dence said, of the penalty. “To call that in that situation, it’s just despicable.”
  Coaches don’t often out-and-out criticize the officiating. They’ll make overtures or innuendos that hint at displeasure, but a direct contradiction of a referee’s call is rare. Not to insinuate that Dence was necessarily correct in his assessment, but it seemed that he legitimately believed that there was no penalty.
  “If we go up 21-0 right there, it could have been a totally different game,” he said. “I could be wrong, so I don’t know. We practice that play nonstop, and I’d bet my paycheck that we didn’t have two men in motion.”
  That play started a rolling snowball for Penn Charter. With five minutes left in the third, Samuel found Brendan Thomas for a four-yard score, though Ryan Bradby missed the PAT. Germantown Academy had a tenuous 14-13 lead.
  Four plays into the next GA next drive, Donavan Ganges put the ball on the ground, only to see Penn Charter pick it up. Bradby, making up for his missed extra point, knocked in a 19-yard field goal on the ensuing Quaker drive to bring it to 16-14 PC.
  “There’s a real, genuine toughness with the group and that begins with two of our captains – Eddie Saydee and Terence Thompson,” PC head coach Tom Coyle said. “Not to use coach-speak, but we really had a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, and it was contagious.”
  Saydee finished with 103 rushing yards and 78 through the air – 53 of which came on a touchdown pass from quarterback Will Samuel on the next PC drive to pad the Quakers’ lead. GA fought back with a 25-yard field goal later in the quarter, but Penn Charter responded with one of their own with nine seconds left to seal the game’s final margin.
  “I feel amazing,” said Samuel, who ended with three touchdowns 234 yards on 17-of-31 passing. “This is something we knew we could come in and accomplish. We knew they were a tough team. We started off slow, but we stepped up and were able to pull it out.”
  Elsewhere for the Quakers, senior John Washington tallied 85 yards and a score, making it six touchdowns in his last three games. Saydee, in addition to his prolific yardage totals, finished with 11 scores on the ground, three through the air and another on an interception. The pair combined to form a stellar duo in the Quaker secondary as well, with Saydee leading PC with three interceptions and Washington pacing the team in passes defensed with five.
  In all, the only blemish on Penn Charter’s season was its week-six 23-9 loss to Malvern Prep.
  “It starts with a work ethic that’s shared by everyone on the team,” Coyle said. “For this team to have won nine games and be remembered the way they will be is really special.”
  For the Patriots, the ending isn’t so rosy. Dence’s team flashed promise throughout the season, but weathered injuries and offensive inconsistency on its way to a 4-6 year. It stayed out of the conference cellar with its 28-14 win over the Haveford School, but a 1-4 conference record lacks much consolation. will return in 2018.


  This story about Paul McKinney was written during his senior season . . .

By Ted Silary
  Take the SAT. Miss the team bus. Ride to the field with an assistant coach. Arrive during stretching exercises.
  It's a shame for Haverford School's football team that franchise two-way back Paul McKinney did not know the formula for Inter-Ac League success much earlier.
  "Before we play Episcopal this Saturday," McKinney said, laughing, "coach [Ron] Algeo said I should take the SAT again. "
  Thanks to McKinney, among others, Haverford avoided tying the record for most consecutive Inter-Ac losses.
  After 18 setbacks spread over five seasons, the Fords finally deschneided themselves Saturday. McKinney, a 5-10, 205-pound senior being eyed by Division I programs, rushed 32 times for 178 yards and a touchdown as Haverford stunned Germantown Academy, 20-17.
  As a bonus, McKinney became the school leader for rushing yards in a season (1,556) and career (3,267), dislodging '92 graduate Dave Stilley - 1,476 in '91, 3,119 total - in both categories. McKinney's career figure ranks him second behind '98 Malvern Prep grad Chris Downs (4,045) in league history.
  GA lost 19 in a row from '83 to '87.
  The Fords, meanwhile, defeated Episcopal, 26-7, in the '95 finale as Jim David passed for three TDs. They went 0-for-4 from '96 through '99 and lost their first two this season. They were outscored, 680-160.
  Relief came with 3.5 seconds remaining as Andrew Bailey hammered a 19-yard field goal. Bailey earlier connected from 30 yards, hit two PAT and ran 8 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal.
  "To see that ball go through the posts, beautiful," said McKinney, who lives in Southwest Philly. "Everybody was going nuts. Hugs all around. I gave my biggest hug to coach Algeo because he had to wait so long between Inter-Ac wins [he began in '95].
  "I remember being in our middle school and seeing all the league losses in '96. I used to think, 'It's not going to be like that when I'm on the team. How can they go through this? '
  "I knew [a streak-ending victory] was going to happen. I actually did. Why? Because we were working hard and showing we deserved it. That we beat a good team to end the streak, that should bring us even more respect. "
  He added brightly, "I still had faith, but I was getting anxious. "
  Paul Onofrio, who also missed the team bus after taking the SAT, passed 9-for-15 for 113 yards. Mike Vail made five catches for 85 yards and added an interception. Chris Burling hustled for 13 tackles. Andrew Hoffman recovered a fumble.
  The Fords' final drive began on their 9 after GA earned a tie with 2:28 left on Steve Holmes' 6-yard pass to Alex Smith. McKinney had the most impressive play, stiff-arming three defenders on an 11-yard run that set up first-and-goal on the 5. Bailey's kick came on second down.


  This story was written during Rashad Campbell's senior season . . .

By Ted Silary
  RASHAD CAMPBELL can't get enough of watching the videos.
  The crispness of the handoffs. The precise and powerful blocks. The mad dashes downfield, perhaps with jukes mixed in. The triumphant passages into the end zone.
  Yes, it's fun being Rashad Campbell.
  But, hey, don't get the wrong idea. This tremendous young man from Chestnut Hill Academy is not some unabashed self-worshipper.
  "When I'm watching tapes of teams we're going to play, of course I'm saying, 'I'd like to think that won't happen against CHA,' " he said, laughing. "But I just like seeing good rushing touchdowns. They excite me. It's so nice when everything comes together on a play. When everything works.
  "No matter who's doing it, I appreciate it. "
  When the Blue Devils' foes watch tape, great runs by Campbell are plentiful.
  In just 17 games over the last two seasons, since CHA rejoined the Inter-Ac League for football after being absent since 1972, the 5-8, 175-pound Campbell has been a ground-gobblin' goodie.
  His stat line shows 408 carries for 2,890 yards and 40 touchdowns and he'll have a shot at joining the city leagues' 3,000-yard club this Saturday at 1 o'clock when Chestnut Hill hosts Haverford School.
  Wait, there's more. Campbell has been seeing varsity action since the ninth grade, when the Blue Devils were competing in the Independence League, and his career totals show 544 carries for 3,894 yards and 55 scores.
  Grid success runs in the family, literally.
  Campbell's brother, Aquil Stinson, with whom he grew up, was CHA's franchise rusher in 1994 and then experienced success at Georgetown. Another brother, Malik Jones, played at Martin Luther King ('96) and Bloomsburg. Last in line is Ibraheim Campbell, a sophomore who backs up Rashad at tailback and, like 'Shad, starts with him as a cornerback.
  You want to hear the senior get excited, ask for his thoughts on the sophomore.
  "Having older brothers has always kept that competitive nature in me," Rashad said. "And now, I compete with Ibraheim. We're fortunate because most kids don't have that.
  "He's taller than I am, and he's still growing . . . "
  He laughed: "Not faster yet, though. But because he's still growing and got exposed to the Inter-Ac at a younger age, he has a great chance to develop more. Just the intensity of our workouts under coach [Rick] Knox has grown these past 2 years. He's definitely the next person in line [ticketed for stardom]. "
  Rashad Campbell was partial to soccer as a youth. Well, he had to be. It was not until he was in seventh grade that his mother acquiesced to his constant requests to get started with football.
  Something amazed him at his first Mount Airy Bantams workout. The running backs were sort of tall and skinny. Rashad was not.
  It took time, but Rashad worked his way into the lineup, along with his teammates' hearts. And by the end of the season, he was a headliner for a team playing for the 90-pound title. And losing - in 3 overtimes, no less - to the Oak Lane Wildcats.
  No. 2 learned a valuable lesson early on: placing No. 2 ain't cool.
  These days, every day, Rashad Campbell is constantly trying to improve. He attacks his off-field duties as if they're a hole.
  Aside from impeccable work habits, he boasts speed and moves and those can't-teach-'em instincts. It's as if he's always plotting not only his next move, but the one after that.
  Would he have the mind-set at maybe 6-foot, 200? Probably so. But at his dimensions, there's definitely no alternative.
"I know football is about size," Campbell said. "But I also think it's about heart and hard work. Our team takes pride in working hard and that's why we've had success. Coach Knox likes to say, 'If you had a long day in school, don't feel sorry for yourself. You still have to come out here and work hard. '
  "When I watch college football, I basically root for the underdog. I feel the smaller person is the underdog and gets overlooked. It's that way in all aspects of life, really. It's harder for smaller players to get respect. "
  Harder, but not impossible.
  Because he also does bang-up work in the classroom, Campbell is being pursued hard by Penn, Cornell, Richmond, Lehigh and Lafayette, among others. At the Division I-A level, Northwestern is sniffing and has requested a senior-season tape.
  Campbell's family is wildly supportive, and at Penn, of course, they could be constants at his games. Rashad appreciates that and Penn is high on his list, but he just wants to be sure the overall experience would be at least a shade different from CHA. Cornell is the other major contender.
  "At I-AA, I feel I'd be able to get on the field faster," he said. "And by working hard and staying healthy, I'd have a chance to . . . prosper. "
  In college, the Cheltenham resident is thinking about a career in business or physical therapy or teaching or even engineering.
  What branch?
  "Not sure," he said, smiling. "I'm good in math and science and people say that's what engineers are good in. "
  A year ago, after the season, Campbell and top receiver Mike Lonergan, also now a senior, treated their playmates to dinner at one of those all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. Their wallets took hits to the tune of $135 apiece.
  Current primary blockers such as grunts Phil Thorrell, Tim Gramlich, Alex Scott, Eric Herrera and Juan Gaskins, tight end Mike Wismer and fullback Tom Devlin, among others (17 guys showed up last year), can expect a rerun. But for now, all references must be made in whispers.
  "I feel like too many people are preoccupied with CHA-Malvern," Campbell said, referring to a Nov. 10 showdown between teams that are a combined 13-0. "Look at last year. Our Haverford game was close, 14-12. We're trying to take it one game at a time. "
  One yard and one touchdown at a time, too.
  That approach has led to many, in both categories.


  This segment about Dave Stilley was written as part of a notes column in his senior season . . .

By Ted Silary
  On the seventh day, Dave Stilley always rests.
  The Sunday routine never varies for Stilley, a 48-minute football standout at Haverford School. He attends church, then comes home to plant himself in front of a TV.
  Mostly, the screen watches him.
  "I turn on the NFL games," Stilley said, "then sleep right through them. Sunday's the only free time I get. I'm usually pretty sore after a game, but the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling good. "
  At 2:30 Friday, when the Fords visit Episcopal Academy in their season finale, the 6-1, 205-pound Stilley will need just 35 yards to become the first 3,000-yard career rusher in Inter-Ac history.
  "If he doesn't get it," coach Paul Bernstorf said, "it won't be because he doesn't get 35 carries. "
  In three varsity seasons, Stilley has rushed 559 times for 2,965 yards and 21 touchdowns. His 1,322-yard output in 1991 represents an Inter-Ac one-season mark. The previous record of 1,308 was set by Episcopal's Chris Flynn in '83.
  It's not like Stilley has feasted on weaklings. The Fords are 15-13 during his career (another win was gained by forfeit) and this year's record is 3-6. Just 21 players were in uniform for last Saturday's 28-14 loss to Germantown Academy.
  "It's nice to get this much yardage," said Stilley, who has scored 14 of the Fords' 18 touchdowns this season, "but I'd rather win as I'm doing it. This week is really important. Episcopal is our arch-rival. "
  What else does Stilley do for his school? Got an hour?
  In football, he also plays linebacker and is the team's leading tackler. He also wrestles, plays lacrosse, maintains an 88 classroom average and has scored 1,120 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. He has applied for early admittance to Duke after last summer making unofficial trips to Duke, Cornell, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Virginia.
  "I'm thinking mainly lacrosse for college - Duke was 11th in the country last year - but I'd also like to play football," Stilley said.
  When he was pressed, Stilley estimated he had missed maybe eight plays all season.
  "Sometimes I'll get tired from a long drive," he said. "So, I'll go to the sideline when we kick off. But that's not always. 


  This story abou Matt Blewitt was written during his junior season . . .

By Ted Silary
  Matt Blewitt knew exactly how to celebrate becoming the most prolific single-game touchdown scorer in Inter-Ac League football history.
  ``By having some junk food for dinner,'' he said.
  Blewitt, a 5-9, 170-pound junior at Germantown Academy, eats as well as he runs. Not to mention much more often.
At 145 pounds, Blewitt last winter earned seventh place in a national prep school wrestling tournament. Then he tied on a bib and began chowing down.
  ``My dad [Anthony] said the thing I had to do most was put on some weight and get stronger,'' Blewitt said. ``He said I'd be getting most of the work in the backfield and I'd have to get bigger to take all those hits.
  ``He put food in front of my face all the time. Nah, he wouldn't cook it. My mom [Jane] would do that. He'd just give it to me. Sometimes a second and third helping. Pasta, all that good stuff. Really, I didn't eat that much at dinner all the time. But I did eat constantly, all day long. ''
  Yesterday, Blewitt enjoyed a different kind of feast. He rushed 19 times for 109 yards and an Inter-Ac record six touchdowns as the Patriots spanked visiting Haverford School, 48-0, in a makeup game played in mud that in spots was ankle-deep.
  Blewitt is one of five players in city-league history to score at least six TDs.
  In 1982 and '83, respectively, Germantown's Steve Duncan (all rushes) and George Washington's Glen Hassett (five rushes, one reception) scored six in Public League games. Later in '83, John Bartram's Hector Scott scored eight (all rushes) in that same conference.
  On Thanksgiving 1993, against neighborhood rival Southern, St. John Neumann's Anthony Sheridan became the first Catholic League player to score six times (five rushes, one reception). Penn Charter's Brandon Shepherdson, in that same season against GA, was the most recent Inter-Ac player to score as many as five.
  Blewitt's scoring runs, in order, covered 7, 1, 8, 3, 1 and 4 yards. He earned the record with 2 minutes, 48 seconds remaining on a sweep to the left side on which fullback Jarrod Niedosik made an outstanding block.
  After Blewitt dropped the ball to the grass to accept congratulations from teammates, receiver Ted Holmes picked it up and began heading to GA's bench.
  ``Hey, gimme the ball,'' an official yelled.
  ``We want that one,'' a GA assistant yelled. ``Use another one now. ''
  Blewitt scored his fifth TD on the third play of the fourth quarter, just after a pass from Rob Heleniak (9-for-12, 175 yards) to Jay Jordan (seven catches, 125 yards) produced a 41-yard gain to the Haverford 1.
  GA coach Bill Caum looked stunned when he was told the TD was Blewitt's fifth.
  When GA regained possession on the Fords' 46 with 5:21 left, he walked onto the field during a timeout and said he was keeping Blewitt in the game because of the chance to set an Inter-Ac record. Behind second-string linemen, Blewitt ripped off gains of 29, 8, 5 and 4 yards.
  The Patriots' starting linemen were center Steve Kurtz, guards Mike Zinkand and Peter Franchetti, tackles Kevin Czaban and Derek Mitchell and tight end Kevin Mallon. Guard Michael Taggart also played with the first unit.
  ``I had no clue I had five TDs until Mr. Caum came out and said he wanted me to get a sixth,'' he said. ``I knew I had at least three . . . I didn't have much time to think. I just wanted to get into the end zone. I got real excited. Everybody came running over. I just cut loose. ''
  The show of exuberance was short-lived.
  ``This doesn't really excite me,'' Blewitt said in a monotone. ``We have another game next week. ''
  A transfer from Upper Merion, Blewitt is in his second year at GA. Last season, he rushed 124 times for 548 yards and five TDs.
  As slaughters go, this was mild. Thanks to a strong defensive effort, the Patriots were required to cover only 21, 52, 22, 29, 52, 45 and 46 yards in their scoring drives. Blewitt had just two runs of more than 10 yards.
  ``If a kid has a chance to set a record, you give him an opportunity,'' Caum said. ``Matt works so hard. He devotes himself to working. This kid can squat 550 pounds! It wasn't like we were trying to embarrass Haverford. Our intent was to reward a kid for hard work. ''
  After the game, Fords coach Ron Algeo immediately crossed the field to shake hands with Caum.
  ``Do I have any problems with what they did? No,'' Algeo said. ``They worked hard all week. They worked hard all season. Some people are upset that they threw the ball [once in the fourth quarter]. He apologized. He said it wasn't supposed to go that way. When you send in subs, you don't tell them not to play hard. ''
  Haverford is 0-7 this season with a 41-point average yield.
  ``It's tough getting shellacked like this,'' Algeo said. ``I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. ''
  Some of the Patriots know the feeling. In '94, GA went 0-8 and was outscored, 342-58.
  Does Blewitt sympathize with Haverford's plight?
``Not really,'' he said, simply. ``When our school was struggling, nobody worried about us. ''