As if the conditions weren't tough enough for William Penn during its 16-7 loss to Dallastown Friday night.
First, there was the weather. The freezing rain and frigid air that dashed any hopes of a passing game.
Then, there was the Bearcats' opponent. Dallastown's defense was swarming all night, playing with passion and desperation on the Wildcats' homecoming night.
Then came the injuries. William Penn was forced to play most of the second half without its three leading rushers. Wide receiver Jordan Zackary missed the entire game with an injury, head coach Tim Hibbs said. Meanwhile, tailback Maurice Williams and Kelvin Parker went down with their own injuries Friday night. Williams did not play in the second half, while Parker suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the third quarter.
"He's our guy, we struggled," Hibbs said of losing Parker. "Probably as much as him going out hurt us, losing Maurice hurt us. We've practiced with Maurice and (junior running back Steffonte) Doby in the backfield. We did that last week and got through the game last week."
Without that trio, Doby took the snaps at quarterback. William Penn struggled in the second half, committing three turnovers and gaining 26 yards. Doby was tackled for a safety on his first play at quarterback, and threw a fourth-quarter interception that Dallastown's Anthony DeFabio returned 57 yards for a touchdown.
Parker and Williams had accounted for 101 of the Bearcats' 116 first-half yards Friday night. Williams had 84 yards rushing on six carries in the half.
Doby finshed 2-of-5 passing for 13 yards, and had 30 rushing yards on a team-high 10 carries.
Take your time: Dallastown's first scoring drive Friday night seemed to last an entire half. In reality, it only took up about a quarter.
On their second possession of the game, the Wildcats ground out an 18-play, 87-yard scoring drive that sapped 10:48 off the clock. Dallastown went 4-for-4 on third-down conversions that drive, which ended when quarterback Ford Reinalda plowed in on a quarterback sneak from one-yard out.
Turnover troubles: The biggest reason Dallastown won Friday night was the same reason it has struggled much of this year: Turnovers.
The Wildcats came into its game with William Penn toting a minus-10 turnover ratio (8 takeaways vs. 18 giveaways). Dallastown didn't turn the ball over once against the Bearcats, though they did fumble three times (none were lost). The Wildcats defense, meanwhile, forced three turnovers and a safety.
Give him the ball: Tyler Imhoff was a work horse at running back for Dallastown Friday. More than half of the Wildcats plays (24-of-43) were handoffs to Imhoff. He finished with 90 yards on 24 carries.
Imhoff, a senior, also had Dallastown's only two catches of the game.
Halftime heroics: The way the first half ended, it looked like William Penn was going to take the momentum and run.
On the half's last play, Parker hit wide receiver Terrance Jacobs for an 11-yard touchdown pass with one second remaining. The play might have caught Dallastown off guard. On the previous play, Doby had rushed for nine yards, and rather than burn its final timeout, William Penn hurried to the line and ran a play.
It worked, and Jacobs ended up wide open in the end zone.
Shut down: William Penn was held to 142 yards rushing Friday night. The Bearcats hadn't rushed for less than 200 yards in their previous six games this season.