Coach McNamee Earns 100th Victory as Central Dauphin Handles Manheim Township
If ever there was a night where you could say the first play set the tone for the entire game, Thursday night’s contest between Manheim Township and Central Dauphin would be that night.On said play, junior Micah Parsons, already a Penn State verbal, came off the edge with a tremendous rush and forced a fumble. Just for good measure, Parsons tipped a pass on the game’s second play as well. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re not wrong. Parsons and his defensive mates were ferocious as they shut down MT’s run game the entire night en route to a 31-9 opening night victory at Landis Field.
Although Parsons is being looked at for his prowess on the defensive side of the ball, he did more than his fair share of damage on offense for the Rams as well. On CD’s initial drive of the game, he took a sweep 12 yards to midfield and followed it up with a 13 yard run later in the drive, breaking tackles along the way. Although CD marched down the field, the Township D stiffened, thanks in part to Scott Sallade helping bounce a third and three attempt for Central Dauphin outside, short of the sticks. Ethan Van Buskirk knocked home the field goal and Central Dauphin led 3-0 with 3:44 still showing on the first quarter clock.
With Central Dauphin putting the clamps on the MT ground game, the Streaks tried to open it up through the air. That proved to be a wise move as Luke Emge, making his first start after transferring from Fleetwood, hooked up with Kade Kubicki for 50 yards along the sideline to put Township in business on a third and 11 play. Much like Central Dauphin’s previous drive, the Streak series ended in a field goal as Jack Rodenberger booted it home with just 51 seconds elapsed in the second stanza to knot it up at 3-3.
On the ensuing kickoff, it appeared that CD did not waste any time in answering Township in the form of Sylas Pope taking it 98 yards to the house. Unfortunately for the Central Dauphin faithful, a block in the back brought it back, although the Rams were still in good position setting up shop at their own 45. Faced with a third & 16, Mike Wise-Belle picked up a slippery 13 yards to make it a manageable fourth and three for CD.
The next play saw Grant Smith wide open in the middle of the field for a 27 yard catch to extend the drive and take CD down to the eight-yard line. The man of the hour, Micah Parsons did the rest of the work from there, taking it to the house on a jet sweep to put CD up 10-3.
The following Township drive appeared ho-hum resulting in a punt, but that proved to be a key play in the ballgame. The snap went high and AJ Blair pounced on the loose pill for CD at the Streak nine-yard line giving CD a golden opportunity for CD to create crucial separation. This time it was Dylan Weaver’s turn to score as he ran it in to make it a 17-3 lead in favor of the host Rams.
After a Township punt, Central Dauphin once again had prime real estate getting the ball back at their own 48 with 2:59 still left in the half. On third and five, it was time for Dylan Weaver tot throw it 43 yards on a flea flicker to Trey Paul and all of a sudden CD was down to the seven-yard line. CD cashed it in on third & Goal from the 11 with Sylas Pope making the beautiful fingertip catch down low to give CD a commanding 24-3 lead with just 54 ticks left in the half.
Township did rally for the troops for one last drive before the half. It was kick-started by Kubicki snagging a tipped pass at midfield to give the Streaks some mojo. Following an illegal participation play against Central Dauphin, Emge found Kubicki again, this time for 13 yards and MT was knocking on the door of the redzone at the 22. Township went to the air and found you know who, Kade Kubicki, for the 22-yard catch to narrow Central Dauphin’s lead 24-9 heading in the break.
Even though Township stole some of the momentum away from Central Dauphin with that late score before the half, the Rams wasted little time letting everyone know who this night would belong to. CD capped the opening drive of the half from 80 yards out, highlighted with Micah Parsons catching a slant to cross midfield, and adding a 17 yard run after that. Quarterback AJ Millar did the rest from there by taking it 28 yards to the house which made it a 31-9 lead in favor of the hosts.
Township would get no closer, although the Streaks did have a promising drive, which included a handful of catches by Kubicki, stall inside the Ram 10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Central Dauphin went on to close it out by posting the 31-9 victory over Manheim Township and earning Coach Glen McNamee’s 100th career coaching victory in the process.
NEXT UP: It doesn’t get any easier for Central Dauphin as they tangle with Susquehanna Township next week followed by Wilson in what could be a preview of the District 3 6A title game. Manheim Township meanwhile will open up their home slate with South Western of the York-Adams League next week.
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