Carbondale shocks the high-powered Chiefs, 28-21
Over the past few years, Lakeland has been king, in both this series and in football in this area in general. Coming into this game, I already saw Lakeland dominate a few teams and Carbondale not have great success. But, on this wet, muggy Friday night, Carbondale seemed to shock the Chiefs with a 28-21 win.
On their first possession, it didn’t look good for Carbondale. A quick 3 and out including a near costly fumble gave Lakeland solid field position after the punt to start their first drive. But, on the first play for Lakeland, the inside screen pass was picked off by Carbondale and taken inside the Lakeland 40 yard line. On 4th and goal, the Chargers punched it in the end zone on an option pitch to Dylan Cerra, putting the first points of the game on the board, and giving Carbondale a surprising lead. But, not to be outdone, on Lakeland’s next possession, a 20 yard pass from quarterback Ryan Kiehart to Vinny Amacio for a score, give the Chiefs a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter of play
The start of the 2nd quarter looked great for Carbondale, as they drove right down the field and were inside the 20 rather quickly on a series of big runs and first-rate shotgun passes by Dominic DeAntonio. But, that drive would quickly come to a screeching halt when Vinny Amacio of Lakeland made a key interception in the end zone and stealing the momentum the Chargers had just built up. But, Carbondale would get another chance, after their hard-nosed defense stopped the high powered Chiefs offense again and give the ball back to the offense. After 3 sharp passes and once again inside the 20, the Chargers had a bad case of Déjà vu., as Vinny Amacio intercepted another DeAntonio pass to stop the Charger drive once again. That would seemingly end the 1st half, with the score 7-6 Lakeland.
To start the 2nd half, Carbondale fans heard a familiar name for Lakeland, as Vinny Amacio ran back the 2nd half kickoff for a score, and gave Lakeland a 14-6 lead. After another confidence deflater, Carbondale went 3 and out and gave the ball back to Lakeland. But, just when it looked like Lakeland was starting to gain the upper hand that most thought they had to begin with, Carbondale picks off Kiehart and took over at their own 32 yard line. After a few nice plays, but not enough for a first, the Chargers punted once again, this time to the star of the game so far, Vinny Amacio. And, after a game where passes and penalties have gone against them, the Chargers finally catch a break. Amacio bobbles the punt, and Josh Cino grabs the ball off the ground, and gave the Chargers great field position to the game up. After two runs by Carbondale, Dylan Cerra scores another touchdown, his 2nd of the day, and cuts the Lakeland lead to 14-12. On the impending 2 point conversion, an outstanding pass by DeAntonio and an even better one and handed grab by Shane Peregrin gave the Chargers new life, and now a tie game. However, it would be short lived, as Lakeland came right down the field, and Corey Besten capped it off with an 11 yard run to give Lakeland a 21-14 lead going into the 4th quarter.
To start the 4th quarter, Carbondale had another brilliant drive, finished by an 11 yard pass from DeAntonio to Troy Taylor, to tie the game up once again. This latest touchdown seemed to give the Chargers, both on the field and in the stands, the motivation they needed to play through the tough conditions and even tough team in Lakeland. On their first possession of the 4th quarter and with the game tied, the Chiefs were faced with another 3 and long. On a well thrown ball to Vinny Amacio, the pass was broken up by Dylan Cerra to force a 4th and long and a punting situation for the Chiefs. An outstanding punt forced the Chargers to start their 4th quarter drive at their own 4 yard line, with 7:17 left in the game. Somewhat forgot to tell the Chargers that the odds were against them. Dylan Cerra busted 4 first down runs in a row, and after a face mask penalty, the Chargers were at the Lakeland 23 yard line. After a few more solid runs, the Chargers were 1st and goal at the 6 yard line. Two plays later, Shane Peregrin plowed into the end zone, giving the Chargers a 28-21 lead, capping off over a 5 minute, 96 yard drive. The Chiefs got the ball with 1:45 left in the game. Two incompletions and a sack left the Chiefs with a 4th and 11, a conversion need to keep the game within reach. But, great pressure by the Chargers along with a short pass to Amacio didn’t give the Chiefs enough for a first, and gave the ball back to the Chargers, who took 3 kneels to end the game.
After the clock hit zero, Chargers fans started to swarm the field. Charger players were hugging, parents were jumping for joy, and Coach John Lasavage even got a little bath out of the deal courtesy of the players. It was a great sight to see, as the Chargers somewhat upset the always tough Lakeland Chiefs. This was a great game for both teams, as Vinny Amacio seemed to be the guy putting up the points and making the key plays for Lakeland, and really looked like a dominate force that couldn’t be stopped. But, the juniors RB Dylan Cerra and QB Dominic DeAntonio lead the Chargers, both having great games and giving the 0-2 Chargers a win under their belt and supreme confidence going into the rest of the season.
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