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District 3, Class AAAA playoffsNovember 13South Western 41, Cedar Cliff 34

No victory during South Western's 50th anniversary season was more meaningful, or more thrilling, than the Mustangs first-round district playoff win over visiting Cedar Cliff.

South Western, a heavy favorite entering the game, dazzled the Corral crowd early with three straight touchdowns to grab an early 19-0 lead.

Then things got a bit hairy.

A muffed punt return set up a Cedar Cliff, and shuffled all the momentum back in the Colts direction. The visitors added two more scores before the half to take a 20-19 lead, and added to that edge 20 seconds into the third quarter when Tate Moore-Jacobs returned a Mustangs fumble for a score.

Shell-shocked, South Western somehow found a way to regroup. Quarterback Ian Smith connected with Mike Felton for a 20-yard touchdown on the Mustangs next drive. A two-point conversion pass to Jimmy Nicklas made it 27-27.

The teams traded touchdowns before Felton stepped in again, this time on the defensive side of the ball.

With Cedar Cliff driving midway through the fourth quarter, Felton stepped in front of a Colts pass and dashed 76 yards for a touchdown. That proved to be the game's decisive play -- the Mustang defense held firm the rest of the way.

"Everything felt like it was in slow motion," Felton said. "I saw the ball, got it and tried for my life trying to get that touchdown."

The win turned out to be the high point of South Western's stellar season. The co-Division I champions fell the following week to Penn Manor, finishing with a 10-2 record (6-1 in Div. I).

Honorable mention

Delone Catholic 27, Littlestown 24: The Bolts had revenge in mind after a regular season loss to their rivals from McSherrystown.

But with a spot in the District 3 Class AA title game on the line this time around, Littlestown once again saw its rally fall short.

The Bolts scored 17 points in the second half and closed to within three on Matt Zuber's 56-yard touchdown pass to Matt Koontz with 4:00 remaining. But the Squires held on for the win, thanks largely to 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns by senior Dusty Reed.

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