York, PA - Central York was only going to get so many chances to pick on Garrett Long.
The Cumberland Valley cornerback, listed at 5-foot-8, spent two quarters on his heels Friday night.
Then, with CV's lead facing a serious second-half challenge from a reenergized Panthers squad, Long got his revenge. Twice.
The senior turned in the game-breaker early in the third quarter when he stepped in front of a Hartz pass and sprinted 75 yards down the sideline for a touchdown, keying CV's hard-earned 35-17 victory over the Panthers. For good measure, he added another interception on the Panthers' next drive.
"(Long) doesn't have the size, but he's strong, quick, fast, and very competitive," CV coach Tim Rimpfel said. "I think he was burning the way they were picking on them. He came through."
Long's dash was just part of a wild night at Central: lightning in the area left the stadium without a functioning scoreboard and caused kickoff to be pushed back an hour. Once the game finally started, the Panthers added a little excitement of their own when Forest Currey pounced on a CV fumble on the kick return. Kyle Smith knocked home a 21-yard field goal to give Central a 3-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
Central forced another turnover on the ensuing drive, this time an interception by Myles Thomas. But CV settled into a groove after that, and the Eagles cashed in their next three possessions to go up 21-3. Each drive was ended by a short touchdown run from Jeremy Salmon.
The Panthers came back to life behind the Hartz-Hampton connection, and they put together an eight-play, 69-yard drive late in the first half. Hampton finished it with a nine-yard touchdown catch with 1:13 to go in the second, cutting the CV lead to 21-10 at the half.
Central came out on fire in the third quarter, with a 31-yard reception by Hampton and a 13-yard run by Zach Stefeee. With the Panthers knocking on the door at the CV 36-yard line, Long made his move. His pick-six upped the lead to 28-10, and effectively deflated Central.
"(Long's) interception was huge," Livingston said. "I don't think there's any way you can under play the significance of that. Those are the things that turn a game around. We competed. We played a lot harder than a week ago, we just weren't good enough to beat them."
Cumberland Valley 7 14 7 7 -- 35
Central York 3 7 0 7 -- 17
CY -- Kyle Smith 21 FG, 10:00
CuV -- Jeremy Salmon 1 run (Garrett Long kick), 2:42
CuV -- Salmon 2 run (G. Long kick), 4:45
CuV -- Salmon 1 run (G. Long kick), 3:22
CY -- Darian Hampton 9 pass from Corey Hartz (Smith kick), 1:28
CuV -- G. Long 75 interception return (G. Long kick), 10:54
CuV -- Tyler Hartzel 29 run (Connor Long kick), 10:07
CY -- Marquis Fells 8 pass from Hartz (Smith kick), 7:25
-- CuV -- CY
First downs -- 18 -- 16
Rushes-yards -- 48-212 -- 21-45
Passing -- 5-10-1 -- 21-38-2
Passing yards -- 104 -- 278
Total yards -- 316 -- 323
Punts -- 4-23.0 -- 2-40.5
Fumbles-lost -- 1-1 -- 3-1
Penalties-yards -- 3-35 -- 5-40
Rushing -- Cumberland Valley, Tyler Hartzel 15-116, Jeremy Salmon 14-50, Tyler Updegraff 7-37, Tyler Heisey 2-5, Ryan Maguire 1-5, Tom Arentz 1-2, Tim Spinelli 1-1, Tyler Kuhn 1-1, Ben Fernback 6-(-5); Central York, Zach Steffee 2-26, Sherief Sutton 1-12, Corey Hartz 11-11, Marquis Fells 7-(-4).
Passing -- Cumberland Valley, Ben Fernback 5-10-1-104; Central York, Corey Hartz 21-38-2-278.
Receiving -- Cumberland Valley, Tyler Hartzel 2-20, Corey Johnson 1-44, Tom D'arcy 1-31, Jeremy Salmon 1-9; Central York, Darian Hampton 10-139, Marquis Fells 7-92, Andrews Dadeboe 2-28, Zach Emswiler 1-14, Sherief Sutton 1-5.