Bulldogs Bite Colonials, Play Spoiler for Ox’s Playoff Dreams
After coming off of a tough Division II loss in the title game in Dover last week, the New Oxford Colonials (6-3, 3-1) returned home to face the Bulldogs of West York (3-6, 3-1) for Senior Pink Out Night. The Ox, with a win would solidify their spot in the District 3 AAA playoffs, while having their best season since 2006.
On the opening drive of the game, the Colonial offense came out very strong in a new offensive formation, a variation on the Wing-T offense. Running back Wesley Beans led the team down field on the drive, picking up 40+ yards on the ground and 11 receiving yards. The drive was capped off on a 32-yard field goal by junior kicker Trey Parrish. On West York’s ensuing drive, the Colonials gave up yardage, but held the Bulldogs on 4th down to turn the ball over on downs. The seniors on the offense stepped up to the plate again: Beans rushed for 23 yards, followed by a 30 yard pass from senior quarterback Anthony Lippy to senior Jacob Morningstar. The Colonials would face a 4th and 4 from the 5-yard line on the drive, but Beans gained just enough to keep the drive alive. On the next play, Beans punched the ball in from 1-yard out to give the Colonials an early 10-0 lead at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs came out of the doghouse as the drove quickly down field using the hurry-up offense and would score on a 6-yard TD catch by wide-out Cash Gladfelter from QB Ross Campbell, cutting the Colonial lead to 10-7. On the ensuing drive by New Oxford, Beans would lose the handle on the ball in a mosh pit, which would be recovered by West York. Running back Noah Bowers of West York would rush for 32 yards on the drive and score on a 2-yard TD run giving the Bulldogs a surprising 14-10 lead. The Colonials would go three and out and punt to West York. The Bulldogs got their bark back once again after Campbell completed a short screen pass to Isaiah Toomey who would break multiple tackles and not stop until he was in the end zone 66-yards later. The next Colonial possession looked promising until Noah Townsley picked off Lippy, giving West York a chance to extend their lead. The Bulldogs would in fact end up doing so, on a 10-yard run by Campbell. West York now led 28-10 after being down 10-0. The Colonials looked to gain momentum going into the half by driving down field and scoring a TD with 43 seconds remaining in the half on a 6-yard run by Beans. West York however would make a statement by kicking a 40 yard field goal as time expired in the half, due to a defensive holding call by the Ox. The Bulldogs held an impressive 31-17 lead at halftime
During the 3rd quarter, West York controlled possession by the constant rushing attack of Campbell and Bowers. Wes Beans however came to play for the Colonials “D” stepping in front of a Ross Campbell pass, intercepting the ball and returning it to mid-field before being pushed out of bounds. New Oxford could not capitalize on the great field position after Lippy threw his second INT of the game, the third Colonial turnover. The Ox defense would hold tough once again, keeping them in the game on a second goal-line stand of the game. The 3rd quarter ended with the score remaining unchanged, 31-17.
The Bulldogs would attack early in the 4th, scoring on a 14-yard TD run by Campbell, his 2nd of the game. Through the remainder of the game, the Colonials were unable to get the offense in gear, in addition to having questionable calls from the referees. Late in the game, the Colonials went to the air and managed to score their final TD of the season, on a 5-yard pass from Lippy to junior receiver, Jordan Gardner. The final score ended 38-24 in favor of the visiting Bulldogs.
Despite starting 6-2, the Colonials fell down the stretch in the final two games of the season, being outscored 83-41 in those games. They finish still 6-4, 3-2 which is their best mark since the 11-2, 2006 season. The Colonials now have to hope and pray that their valiant effort will pay off, if they have any chance of making the District 3 playoffs. The PIAA Rankings will reveal the Top 16 teams that will make the AAA playoffs, and as of tonight before the game, the Ox was ranked #13. Only time will tell the fate of the Colonials. West York on the flip side finished a disappointing 4-6, 4-1 following an undefeated season and trip to the District 3 title game against Bishop McDevitt last season. The Colonials can take a lot away from this season, the offense scored over 300 points, the defense won the turnover battle for the season, and the team is you, losing only 9 seniors. Challenges that face the Ox next season are finding replacements for the rushing duo of Beans and Aaron Zinneman and quarterback Anthony Lippy. Beans rushed for over 1,300 yards and had 20 rushing touchdowns on the season, while Zinneman had 500+ yards on the season and 7 TD’s of his own. The Colonials will continue to re-build: brick-by-brick in the off season, and will be gunning for their new opportunity of moving back to Division I next season to re-new old rivalries.
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