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Central Dauphin Edges State College For Share of Mid-Penn Title

Written by: on Saturday, November 5th, 2016. Follow Joe McCraken on Twitter.

 

Central Dauphin Edges State College For Share of Mid-Penn Title

 

joeweek102016The State College Little Lions suffered their first loss of the season Friday night in a home game against the Central Dauphin Rams. With a 13-10 win, the Rams claimed a share of the Mid-Penn Commonwealth title and prevented the Little Lions from winning it outright.

It became clear early on that this game was going to be a defensive battle. Both teams struggled back and forth, but a big first quarter run by Central Dauphin’s Sylas Pope moved it down to the 18 and was followed by a 33 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Little Lions put together a nice drive at the end of the first quarter to answer. A bold fourth down conversion and a couple of nice runs from Pete Haffner resulted in a 19 yard field goal to tie it up at 3-3 with 1:45 left in the first.

State College started off the second quarter with all the momentum. An incredible fourth and inches stop gave them the ball on their own 16 yard line. A few plays later, quarterback Tyler Snyder threw the ball through the hands of a Rams defender and found Drew Friberg for a huge 55 yard touchdown. The score made it 10-3 with 3:15 left in the half. Central Dauphin returned the ensuing kickoff to the 40, and a 27 yard field goal by kicker Ethan Van Buskirk trimmed the Little Lions’ lead to 10-6 at the half.

Both defenses turned up the defensive intensity even higher for the second half. A muffed punt by the Rams gave State College the ball on the opposite 32 yard line, but they turned the ball over on downs. Later in the quarter, an interception thrown by Tyler Snyder gave Central Dauphin the ball on the 43 yard line with 3:24 left in the quarter. The Rams ended the third with the ball on the 2 yard line and in position to score.

The State College defense proved why it is one of the best around with a gritty goal line stand to start the 4th quarter. They stuffed the run on 4th and goal to keep the score at 10-6. “I thought the defense played really well. We gave it all that we had each and every play,” said Pete Haffner. The Little Lions’ offense continued to struggle against a tough Rams defense, however. Late in the fourth, Central Dauphin found the endzone for the first time, resulting in a game-changing touchdown and the lead. An 11 yard pass from quarterback AJ Millar to Terrell Gabriel gave the Rams a 13-10 lead with 1:53 left in the game. On the Little Lions’ final drive, a pass from Snyder intended for Clark was intercepted by the Rams to seal the game. “The loss hurts, but we have to come back from it and start preparing for next week,” said Haffner.

Both teams finish the regular season 9-1 overall.

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