Despite coming off a big win against Southwestern in week eight, the Central York Panthers (7-2, 4-0) knew better than to write off Red Lion (4-5, 2-2) as an easy win this past Friday night.
The Panthers got a taste of the vastly improved Lions early when Red Lions’ Kenny Holloway crossed the goal line from 2-yards out on their opening possession with 6:10 remaining in the first quarter. The drive was largely in part sustained by quarterback Blake Cahills’ key third down conversion.
However, Red Lion gave up 30-yards on Central’s opening drive kickoff, followed by a 32-yard Panther pass that set up their first touchdown of the night, tying the game at 7.
Central wasn’t stopping there.
They went on to score two more touchdowns in a span of four minutes, the second being a 66-yard run, followed by a 27-yard fumble return only 18 seconds later.
The Panthers maintained a strong ground attack all throughout the game due to the Lions’ Achilles heel all season: poor tackling. The Lions allowed Central to run all over the field, giving up 265 rushing yards.
With one second left before both teams ventured to the locker rooms for halftime, Cahill snuck into the end zone from 1-yard out to make the score 28-14.
The Panthers would go on to score one last time late in the third quarter, securing their 35-14 win.
What appears to be a lopsided score did not result from two unevenly matched teams, but instead blunders made by Red Lion in crucial situations.
Central York was forced to punt away on fourth down only once in the game.
The Panthers made the Lions pay for their mistakes by capitalizing on a Lion fumble and interception and scoring.
Red Lion had momentum to out-do Central after putting up 211-yards offensively in the first half, but they were held to 108 in the second.
The Lions will host their crosstown rivals the Dallastown Wildcats (7-2, 3-1) in the last game of the regular season after both teams emerged highly successful this year following a losing season in 2012.
Red Lion 7 7 0 0 -- 14 Central York 14 14 7 0 -- 35
First Quarter RL -- Kenny Holloway 2 run (Evan Miller kick), 6:10. CY -- Breaun Randle 22 run (Kyle Smith kick), 3:23. CY -- Dylan Hose 66 run (Smith kick),0:00.
Second Quarter CY -- Chance Atkins 27 fumble return (Smith kick), 11:42. CY -- Randle 25 run (Smith kick), 4:56. RL -- Blake Cahill 1 run (Miller kick), :01.
Third Quarter CY -- Zane Knaub 31 pass from Hose (Smith kick), 7:45.