By Adrianna Clinton
It seems that the boys of fall at Red Lion have learned how to win in a thoroughly
electrifying fashion no less.
They put on quite a show in front of the passionate Red Lion faithful on their home turf
against the William Penn Bearcats in their first Division I game of the season.
Senior quarterback Blake Cahill is known around the YAIAA for his throwing ability,
but on Friday night he made it clear that he is just as dangerous when moving out of
the pocket in an option-oriented offense.
No time was wasted by Cahill on the Lions’
first drive as he lead the offense
down the field and eventually ran from
8 yards out to score what would be his
first of three touchdowns on the night.
Cahill’s first score sparked motivation for his team but it would not be easy as the
Bearcats would strike back moments later with a touchdown of their own late in the first quarter.
The Lions knew they were in the early stages of what would be a street fight.
A sense of urgency lead the 6-foot-6 quarterback to dive into the end-zone once
again with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter, this time from 2 yards out.
In the spur of a moment, the Lions’ momentum shifted and lost their strength against the
Bearcats as they allowed them to score three touchdowns in the last three minutes of the first half.
Two of those touchdowns came from costly mistakes made by the Lions;
a lost fumble and an interception.
Suddenly the Lions found themselves in a hole at halftime being down 26-13.
Luckily their offensive line was playing tremendous ground attack, making room
for Cahill and junior running back Kenny Holloway.
“Our offensive line was so much better than their defensive line, and that’s why we won,”
Lions head coach Jesse Shay said.
A late third quarter drive consisting of 18 plays and 87 yards brought running
room to the Lions. Three key fourth-down conversions and sustainable control
of the ball gave junior Dan Waldrup the opportunity for a burst over the goal line to
close the deficit to 6 points.
Their domination on the ground was instrumental in the outcome.
Holloway led the Lions in rushing with 131 yards on 24 carries -- ranking him
among YAIAA leading rushers.
With 6:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lions sealed the deal with Cahill
scampering 9-yards for a touchdown leading to an extra-point
courtesy of sophomore Chris Carr.
It all went right defensively on the ensuing drive as junior Derek Ross
intercepted a late fourth quarter pass from quarterback James Way in Red Lions’ own
end zone -- a play that could have resulted in a Bearcat touchdown but instead secured a victory.
Would the Bearcats have scored, the Lions would have been left with little time to answer back.
The Lions’ defense was able to hold off William Penn following the turnover and
win their first Division I game of the season, preserving a three-game winning streak
and putting them at .500 with a record of 3-3, a standing the squad has not reached since the 2011 season.
One of the many adversities Red Lion has faced this season was a struggling offense.
Coming into the game, the Lions only scored 70 points in their first five games combined.
Not only did they prove they can put points on the board, but that they could
do it with a dominant ground attack.
“They now have confidence to know they can play a tight game with a
good team...they’re believing in the hard work,” Shay said of the team’s performance.
William Penn 6 20 0 0 -- 26
Red Lion 7 6 7 7 -- 27
RL -- Blake Cahill 8 run (Chris Carr kick), 7:38
WP-- Bryshon Sweeney 1 run (kick blocked), 4:45p
RL -- Cahill 2 run (kick blocked), 2:55
WP-- Sweeney 59 run (Thurman Fogleman kick), 2:41
WP -- Dakeem Dennison 46 pass from James Way (Fogleman kick), 2:08
WP -- Erick Jones 22 pass from Way (kick failed), :35
RL -- Dan Waldrup 4 run (Carr kick), :25
RL -- Cahill 9 run (Carr kick), 6:41
The Lions will visit the offensive powerhouse of the Spring Grove Rockets (4-2, 0-1) in week seven, who lost their own nail-biter in week six to the Central York Panthers.
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