Red Lion defense stepping up
Throughout this season, we've identified Red Lion mostly with its high-scoring offense. But the Lions' defense has been pretty good, too. Yes, Red Lion has allowed 18.2 points per game, which isn't necessarily dominating. But that number might be misleading. The Lions allowed 45 in a Week 1 drubbing at the hands of Cumberland Valley, the defending District 3 Class AAAA champions. That will certainly skew statistics. During one three-week stretch -- against Carlisle, Kennard-Dale and New Oxford -- Red Lion's first-team defense didn't allow a touchdown. Last week against William Penn, the Lions allowed 358 yards but made up for it by forcing four Bearcats turnovers. Overall, Red Lion has forced 15 turnovers and compiled a plus-9 turnover ratio, both tops in Division I. "We feel pretty confident in our defense and where we are," Lions coach Pat Conrad said. "Certainly turnovers are a big part of that. We have four or five different kids with interceptions. "One thing that I've been impressed with with our defense probably since the Kennard-Dale game is just how physical we are. I think every team in the league would tell you that when you play Red Lion, we're going to hit you." The Lions could use another stout effort Friday against a sure-to-be-desperate Spring Grove team.