This looked to be a matchup of two teams hurtling in opposite directions.
Central York had won six straight games after a slippery start to the season, while Red Lion was stuck in the midst of an up-and-down campaign.
And when the Panthers snatched a three-touchdown lead late in the third quarter at Horn Field, the outcome seemed all but assured. Penn State-bound Central linebacker Kyle Baublitz stepped in front of a Tanner Klinefelter pass and returned it 22 yards for a score, giving the Panthers a 28-6 lead.
But rather than resign themselves to another frustrating loss (Red Lion had previously lost close games to West York and William Penn) the Lions pulled out one final rally.
Klinefelter connected with wideout James Morton for a 19-yard strike before the end of the third quarter. Red Lion added a two-point conversion to make it 28-14.
On Central next possession, the Panthers mishandled their punt attempt, allowing Red Lion's Jeremy Knaub to pick the ball up and run ten yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to seven.
Knaub also did the heavy lifting on Red Lion's decisive final drive. He carried eight times for 52 yards before plowing in from 17 yards out with 46 seconds left. Rather than go for the tie, Red Lion coach Pat Conrad rolled the dice.
It paid off.
Klinefelter rolled left and found received Joe Baublitz in the corner of the endzone. Baublitz had also caught a successful two-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter.
The game would turn out to be the apex of Red Lion's season. The Lions lost to Dallastown the next week and finished the season 4-6 (3-4 Div. I).
Central, meanwhile, rebounded to trounce William Penn in Week 10 and sew up a share of its second straight Div. I title. The Panthers (8-4, 6-1) beat Dallastown in the first round of the District 3 Class AAAA tournament before suffering a season-ending loss at Wilson the following week.
Central York 13, South Western 12: In a matchup of Division I's two top teams, Central York prevailed by the slimmest of margins.
The difference in this game was a pair of botched extra points by the Mustangs. The real story, however, was Panthers tailback Charles Anderson. The then-senior piled up an astounding 310 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries, and still played almost every snap on defense.
"Every time we turned around, he was in," South Western coach Don Seidenstricker said of Anderson, who will play collegiately at Howard. "He was the show tonight. They didn't do much else, but that was enough to beat us."