On Friday night in Biglerville, the Canner football team made an emphatic statement. They can play with the big boys, and are here to stay.
Biglerville defeated Littlestown, 24-6, on Friday in a highly anticipated matchup of undefeated teams.
The Canners dominated all facets of the game for four quarters and were led by senior running back Oakley Fissel's 140 yards and three touchdowns.
"All the glory to God," head coach Alex Ramos said. "Littlestown fought hard all game, but we didn't' have any flaws tonight offensively, defensively, or special teams. We played lights out all night."
The Canners outgained Littlestown 339-220, and forced Littlestown to fumble the ball six times, with Biglerville recovering four of them.
This was a game Biglerville had marked on its calendar since last year. In their 2011 meeting, the Canners led with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter before Littlestown came back and won.
"We have been focusing on this since December," Ramos said. "We aren't satisfied yet. We have a few more games that we'd like to get back from last year but the guys are so pumped."
The Canners got on the board late in the first quarter on a 21-yard run from Fissel, the first of his three touchdowns.
On the ensuing kickoff, Littlestown's Garrett Trout fielded the ball on the 15 and returned it 11 yards before a hard hit forced a fumble, and the Canners recovered. Five plays later, Jorden Trostel connected on a 27-yard field goal to put the Canners up by 10.
In Littlestown's next possession at the Biglerville 27, quarterback Dustin Crouse scrambled for 11 yards before Biglerville stripped the ball and recovered.
After a holding penalty backed the Canners up to their 11-yard line, Fissel broke free for an 83-yard run all the way down to the Littlestown 6-yard line. Three plays later, Fissel ran in for a 1-yard touchdown, his second on the night.
With less than a minute left in the half, the Thunderbolts were in position to put some points on the board heading into the half. Littlestown drove to the Biglerville 29 when Zachary Thomas intercepted a Crouse pass, halting Littlestown's momentum and assuring a 17-point lead heading into the half.
In a game that was marred by penalties -- 20 combined -- both coaches were left scratching their heads at times by what appeared to be phantom calls. The biggest happened at the start of the second half.
Littlestown was set to receive the ball, and Biglerville decided to do an onside kick. They caught the Thunderbolts totally off guard and Fissel caught the ball in the air on the Littlestown side of the 50, and returned it for a touchdown.
The play was called back and Littlestown got the ball on its 42 because referees said Biglerville did not allow the ball to touch the ground prior to recovering it.
Littlestown appeared to use the reversal of fortunes to its benefit as it drove the ball down to the Biglerville 5-yard line before a Crouse fumble gave the ball back to Biglerville.
The score remained 17-0 until the fourth quarter when Fissel rushed for his third and final touchdown of the game on a 15-yard scamper.
Littlestown finally was able to claw its way on the scoreboard on a 16-yard run by Dustin DeGroft. The Thunderbolts missed the two-point conversion to make it 24-6.
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Littlestown 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Biglerville 10 7 0 7 -- 24
Big -- Oakley Fissel 21 run (Jordan Trostel kick), 3:12
Big -- Trostel 27 FG, 1:18
Big -- Fissel 1 run (Trostel kick), 9:24
Big -- Fissel 15 run (Trostel kick), 9:51
Lt -- Dustin DeGroft 16 run (run failed), 5:31
-- Lt -- Big
First downs -- 14 -- 17
Rushes-yards -- 35-151 -- 57-294
Passing -- 9-15-1 -- 4-7-0
Passing yards -- 101 -- 45
Total yards -- 252 -- 339
Punts -- 3-39.3 -- 3-34.0
Fumbles-lost -- 6-4 -- 1-1
Penalties-yards -- 10-100 -- 10-110
Rushing -- Littlestown, Dustin Crouse 16-80,Dustin DeGroft 12-44, Ryan Griffin 4-24, L.J. Miles 2-3, Trevor Hildebrand 1-0; Biglerville, Oakley Fissel 19-140, Donald Hurda 16-79, Jordan Wenk 12-62, Tanner Cool 7-9, Joshua Asper 2-4, Zachary Thomas 1-1.
Passing -- Littlestown, Crouse 9-15-1-101; Biglerville, Cool 4-7-0-45.
Receiving -- Littlestown, Nick Hornbrook 5-40, Lucas Reynolds 2-12, Seth McGregor 1-23, DeGroft 1-16, Cody Hartlaub 1-10; Biglerville, Wenk 2-18, Lieberum 1-19, Jacob Heiland 1-8.