Biglerville High senior Tyler Lieberum admitted after the game he was relieved when the final seconds ticked away.
The Canners had held on for a 28-26 victory over homestanding Trinity in the quarterfinals of the District 3 Class AA football tournament Friday night at Cobo Field in Camp Hill.
It was Lieberum's interception, his second of the game and the fourth turnover that the Canners forced on the night, that finally sealed the deal and allowed Biglerville to pick up its first district playoff victory in school history.
"I felt like I was having a heart attack as they were driving down the field," Lieberum said as he caught his breath. "Our red zone defense has been pretty good all year. It's been bend, not break, for most of the season."
It sure was on Friday as the Canners forced all four of Trinity's turnovers inside the Canner 20-yard line.
Trinity (9-2) had stopped the Canners on downs at the Shamrocks' 26-yard line with 2:11 left and no timeouts remaining. A couple of passes by Mike Boguski to Adam Geiger moved Trinity to the Canner 15 with 1:35 left and, two plays later, Trinity had third down at the 17.
That's when Boguski threw one up for grabs in the Biglerville end zone and Lieberum came down with it to clinch the victory.
"We were in zone coverage, and I was reading the quarterback's eyes," Lieberum said. "He threw it right to me. All I had to do was catch it."
The victory puts the
"We made some mistakes against them last week, but if we can clean that up, we feel like we can compete with them," Biglerville head coach Alex Ramos said. "I know one thing. It's gonna be rocking in York Springs next week. We'll have a big crowd there, and I'm sure they will too.
"It's always big when we play Bermudian in anything, but add in the fact that the winner goes to the district title game, and it doesn't get any bigger than that."
Biglerville (9-2) punched its ticket to the semifinals by taking it to the Shamrocks at every opportunity.
fter a short punt gave Trinity the ball at the Canner 25, Lieberum intercepted Boguski's third-down aerial and returned it to the Biglerville 21.
From there, the Canners embarked on a 13-play, 79-yard march that culminated when Jacob Heiland scored on an 8-yard pass from Tanner Cool on a drag route with 3:49 left in the opening stanza.
That lead didn't last long, though, as Trinity's Brandon Kuntz returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to paydirt just nine seconds later.
Geiger put the hosts in front with a 6-yard scoring run with 10:47 to go until halftime, but the Canners put the next two scores on the board.
Cool ran in from 23 yards out with 9:08 left in the second quarter. That score came on third down, when he rolled right and the Trinity defense went with him. Cool reversed field, beat the defense to the corner and then cut back into the end zone.
Joe Hurda's 1-yard touchdown capped a 10-play, 68-yard foray with 4:10 to go in the second quarter and the Canners went to the locker room ahead, 21-14.
Biglerville executed a perfect onside kick to start the second half, but was unable to make anything out of it, turning the ball over on downs.
Trinity responded by methodically moving the ball upfield, riding Geiger's capable legs for 44 yards on eight carries on the drive, including a 3-yard touchdown run with 6:03 left in the third quarter.
Lieberum then blocked the conversion try and the Canners held a 21-20 lead.
The visitors' next drive saw them facing third-and-24 at the Trinity 35. Cool rolled right, threw back to a wide-open Heiland, and the senior tight end took it in for the score as he had a convoy down the left sideline to up the lead to 28-20 with 3:01 to go in the third.
"We motioned Oakley Fissel away. he drew a lot of attention, and that opened it up for Jake," Ramos said. "Jake had a great game on both sides of the ball tonight, and he's been huge late in the season for us."
Special teams disaster struck again for the Canners as Kuntz returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for the score, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful as Biglerville stayed in front.
Cool, who completed 59-of-87 (68 percent) of his passes during the season, was 9-for-11 for 177 yards and two touchdowns on Friday. Heiland contributed 94 yards and two scores on five catches, and Hurda rumbled for 141 yards and a score on 27 rushes.
Geiger paced the Shamrocks with 227 yards (169 rushing, 58 receiving) of total offense and scored twice.
"I thought beating Littlestown in Week 4 was huge, but this tops it," Ramos said. "People didn't give us much of chance to beat these guys. But the kids believed we could do it. I'm proud of the grit and effort that our kids gave tonight."
Biglerville 7 14 7 0 -- 28
Trinity 7 7 12 0 -- 26
Big -- Jacob Heiland 8 pass from Tanner Cool (Justin Trostel kick), 3:49.
Tr -- Brandon Kuntz 70 kickoff return (Alex Cramer kick), 3:40.
Tr -- Adam Geiger 6 run (Cramer kick), 10:47.
Big -- Cool 23 run (Trostel kick), 9:08.
Big -- Joe Hurda 1 run (Trostel kick), 4:10.
Tr -- Geiger 4 run (kick blocked), 6:03.
Big -- Heiland 35 pass from Cool (Trostel kick), 3:01.
Tr -- Kuntz 88 kickoff return (pass failed), 2:47.
-- Big -- Tr
First downs -- 26 -- 20
Rushes-yards -- 65-273 -- 34-217
Passing -- 9-11-0 -- 7-16-3
Passing yards -- 177 -- 95
Total yards -- 450 -- 312
Punts -- 3-25.0 -- 1-43.0
Fumbles-lost -- 0-0 -- 1-1
Penalties-yards -- 8-68 -- 4-30
Rushing -- Biglerville, Hurda 27-141, Oakley Fissel 14-67, Jordan Wenk 11-50, Cool 10-8, Josh Asper 3-7; Trinity, Geiger 28-169, Mike Boguski 4-45, Danny Jackson 1-2, John Miller 1-1.
Passing -- Biglerville, Cool 9-11-0-177; Trinity, Boguski 7-16-3-95.
Receiving -- Biglerville, Heiland 5-94, Tyler Lieberum 2-34, Asper 1-26, Fissel 1-23; Trinity, Geiger 2-58, Jackson 2-18, Dylan DeFrank 2-10, Brandon Kuntz 1-9.