With the final minute ticking off the clock, Spring Grove coach Russ Stoner called timeout with one purpose in mind. The coach wanted to acknowledge running back Jeff Delaughter in front of Monday night's homecoming crowd at Papermaker Stadium.
Stoner called Delaughter over and promptly stuff a game ball into the running back's mid-section. The senior certainly deserved the accolade.
Delaughter, who two weeks ago became the Rockets' all-time rushing leader, carried the ball 31 times for 307 yards, helping Spring Grove overcome a halftime deficit en route to a 34-20 defeat of Red Lion.
"It was kind of unbelievable. I never expected that. It was a pretty good night for me," Delaughter said,.
Obviously having to wait until Monday after the game was postponed because of the heavy rain on Friday, did not affect Delaughter.
While he admitted he was tired, the reason might surprised people. "I worked a nine-hour day today. I have been up since 4:30, building walls today."
"I wanted to make sure everybody understood how hard he works. How well deserved he was to get that here at home tonight," Stoner said.
The Rockets, who improved to 5-2, 1-1 in the YAIAA Division I trailed 20-13 at halftime and it took all of the third quarter for Spring Grove to pull even.
Two plays are a Lions fumble, quarterback Seth Hildebrand bowled in from 3-yards out, which along with Andrew Luckenbaugh's point after, tied the score.
Still Red Lion (3-4, 1-1) maintained momentum after recovering a fumble. Although the Lions were stopped, Blake Cahill's 56-yard punt pinned the Rockets at their own 7-yard-line.
But one play made all the difference as Delaughter took the ensuing handoof 93 yards for a touchdown, putting Spring Grove ahead to stay.
"I have to give the line props on that and my boy Trey Baker making that block on the linebacker," Delaughter said. "Aafter that, i just took off.
Hildebrand closed the scoring by hitting Logan Hall for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 3:16 to play.
Another difference was the Rockets' defense, which limited Red Lion to only 70 yards in the second half.
"The first half we made some bone-headed plays," Stoner said."We went in at halftime and challenged the guys to hold them to no points in the second half and that's what happened."
The Lions opened the scoring on their second possession when Cahill capped a five-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Delaughter answered with a 30-yard scamper that tied the game.
Two series later, Cahill hit Theo Thomas on a 34-yard scoring strike. Eight plays later, Luckenbaugh hit the first of his two field goals, making it 14-10.
Red Lion extended its lead when Kenny Holloway ran in from 19 yards out. The senior finished with 93 yards, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Unfortunately for coach Jesse Shay's group, that was the last time the Lions found the end zone.
"They are too good a football team to think that 20 points is going to beat them," Shay said. "All the credit goes to Spring Grove, but I was disappointed in the way we responded in the second half."
Stoner did have words of warning for other Division I coaches.
"Red Lion is getting better week in and week out and the rest of the guys better watch out," he said. "If coach Shay can keep them together, which I believe he can, they are going to be a tough out the rest of the year."
Red Lion 7 13 0 0 -- 20
Spring Grove 7 6 7 14 -- 34
RL -- Blake Cahill 1 run (Evan Miller kick), 6:58.
SG -- Jeff Delaughter 30 run (Andrew Luckenbaugh kick), 5:10.
RL -- Theo Thomas 34 pass from Cahill (Miller kick), 11:45.
SG -- Luckenbaugh 34 FG, 9:50.
RL -- Kenny Holloway 19 run (kick failed), 1:47.
SG -- Luckenbaugh 40 FG, :02.
SG -- Seth Hildebrand 3 run (Luckenbaugh kick), :32.
SG -- Delaughter 93 run (Luckenbaugh kick), 8:11.
SG -- Logan Hall 45 pass from Hildebrand (Luckenbaugh kick), 3:16.
First downs 14 18
Rushes-yards 34-93 46-320
Passing 17-34-0 7-22-0
Passing yards 171 137
Total yards 264 457
Punts 8-44.0 4-32.0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-2
Penalties-yards 9-90 9-85
Rushing -- RL, Holloway 19-93, Damien Hess 2-7, Antwan Jackson 1-2, Cahill 12-(-9). SG, Delaughter 31-307, Shay Feulmer 2-15, Hildebrand 12-(-2).
Passing -- RL, Cahill 17-34-0-171. SG, Hildebrand 7-22-0-137.
Receiving -- RL, Chris Knorr 5-42, Thomas 4-58, Hess 4-47, Holloway 2-6, Alex Keller 1-13, Dan Waldrup1-5. SG, Hall 5-115, Delaughter 1-18, Trey Baker 1-4