Note: This is the final installment of our five-part series reliving the most memorable games from the 2009 YAIAA football season. To share your own favorite memories from last fall, email email@example.com.
District Class 3 AAA playoffsNovember 20West York 35, Conestoga Valley 34, 2OT
This game had it all.
Staggering individual performances. A fourth-quarter comeback. Overtime drama. And an ice-in-the-veins, late game call that would define one team's season.
Regarded as favorites heading into their District 3 Class AAA quarterfinal, third-seeded West York saw itself fall behind early against No. 11-seed Conestoga Valley. The Buckskins lead 13-6 at halftime, and surged further ahead late in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by tailback Kevin Kelley.
Kelley finished with a stunning 232 yards on 38 carries.
Luckily for the home fans, the defending district champions had a rally in store. West York rode Alex George's right arm back into the game. The senior quarterback first hit Brett Campbell for a 31-yard score late in the third quarter (the ensuing extra point was blocked). Then, less than a minute into the final frame, George hooked up with fellow senior Dan Gay for a 41-yard touchdown. He followed that up by hitting Gay for the two-point conversion.
Just like that, it was a whole new ballgame.
West York didn't let off the gas, either. The Bulldogs had a chance to finish off Conestoga Valley in regulation, when tailback Corey Harris returned a punt to the Buckskins 29-yard line. But George, the comeback's catalyst, fumbled on the second play of the drive, and Conestoga Valley recovered.
And so the teams went to overtime.
West York took the ball first and scored, thanks in large part to a pass interference call on fourth down. Harris squirted into the end zone two plays later.
Conestoga Valley answered immediately. Quarterback Alex Dienner zipped an eight-yard touchdown pass to Joel Leicy to tie the game, and tossed another eight-yard score in the second overtime to give the Buckskins a seven-point lead.
The Bulldogs needed only three plays to score on their second overtime possession -- Harris ran in from one-yard out. That's when the real fun began. Before the start of overtime, Miller had asked his players if they fell behind in overtime, whether they wanted to go for a an extra point to the tie the game or a potentially game-winning two-point conversion. The Bulldogs senior class, which won 34 games in three seasons, chose the latter option.
And so with its season on the line, West York lined up to go for two. George took the snap and plowed behind his right guard into the end zone, sending West York's sideline into delirium.
It would be the final victory for those Bulldogs seniors, who came within inches of a second straight trip to the District 3 title game the next week against Susquehanna Township. But in its final home, the Bulldogs' most successful class in program history gave its fans something to remember.
Susquehanna Township 7, West York 6: One week after their thrilling win against Conestoga Valley, the Bulldogs once again saw a two-point conversion play decide their fate.
Down seven point in the third quarter on a frigid night in Harrisburg, the Bulldogs scored when Harris plunged in from two yards out. West York lined up for a field goal, but the Indians were called for encroachment. West York gambled, recalling their kicking team and sending Harris off tackle right.
The senior was stood up at the goal line by three Susquehanna Township players, denying West York the lead. The Bulldogs had a golden chance in the fourth quarter, but on a second-and-goal from the six, George was intercepted for just the fifth time of his season. Just like that, West York's season was over.