WAYNESBORO >> Waynesboro's football team looked like it was about to put Northern York away in the third quarter Friday night.
In the quarter, Waynesboro drove into Polar Bear territory every drive, and twice began a drive from inside the 32. But each time, Northern's defense held firm, and early in the fourth quarter, Bobby Shelly broke off a huge touchdown run to propel the Bears to a 13-7 Mid Penn Colonial Division win.
After forcing a turnover on downs, Northern (4-1, 2-0 MPC) started its first drive of the fourth quarter from its own 27 yard line. On the second play, quarterback Curtis Robison took a handoff and broke off a big gain into Indian territory, but a holding call brought it back.
But on the very next play, Shelly took the handoff right up the middle, broke a tackle and rumbled 80 yards for a touchdown to give Northern a 10-7 lead.
"All week in practice we knew that when we went spread, they would only have five in the box," Shelly said. "So we spread it out, went with a trap play and I broke a tackle and was off."
"I think we blitzed the outside linebacker, and there was just a big hole," said Waynesboro's Brandon Baer, who got to Shelly just as he fell into the end zone. "They just hit that play and broke a big one."
But the biggest difference came in the previous quarter.
The Indians (3-2, 0-1 MPC) started their first drive of the second half at their 30 and drove all the way to Northern's 43. They were then forced to punt and downed the ball on the 1-yard line.
Northern went three and out before punting, and Waynesboro started its next drive on the 31. Helped by a personal foul penalty, the Indians made it all the way to the three, but couldn't punch it in and turned the ball over on downs.
Waynesboro's defense held firm again, forcing another three and out, and the Indian offense took over at the 27 after another punt. But yet again, the Indians couldn't get anything done and turned the ball over on downs on four plays.
"That's the difference of the game," Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said. "We were right there so many times, but just couldn't put it in."
Northern coach Greg Bowman said, "Our defense has been great all season, and tonight was no different. They were put in some tough spots, but every time they held their ground and played huge."
After a couple rough drives in the fourth quarter, Waynesboro got its last chance with 58 seconds left in the game. On back-to-back plays, Brady Riddell hit Matt Peck for 12 and nine yard gains to get the ball to the 41. After an incompletion and a sack, Waynesboro faced a fourth-and-2, but Riddell hit Cameron Keck down the seam for 15 yards, putting the ball on the Northern 45.
On the next play, Riddell hit Jake Wertz on the flat to the right, but he was taken down in bounds and the clock went all the way down to two seconds before Waynesboro could spike the ball. Its final pass fell incomplete.
Baer said, "I feel like the weather played a big factor. We just couldn't work those deep plays in on offense because of the wind and rain. We just have to stay focused and keep playing hard."
NOTES >> After Northern kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, Brady Beckner answered for the Indians with a 47-yard touchdown run ... Outside of Shelly's 80-yard run, Waynesboro held the Bears to 35 carries for just 87 yards.
Northern 13, Waynesboro 7
NY — Aidan Alves 30 kick, 8:38
W — Brady Beckner 47 run (George Souders kick), 1:22
NY — Bobby Shelly 80 run (Alves kick), 10:35
NY — Alves 26 kick, 5:21
NYWayFirst downs612Rushes-yards36-16743-161Passing1-89-25-1Passing yards1287Total yards191248Punts7-1364-108Fumbles-lost2-02-0Penalties-yards7-447-55
Rushing — NY, Shelly14-123, Curtis Robison 5-37, Michael Kearney 13-11, Justin Markle 4-(-4). Way, Beckner 10-78, Jake Wertz 17-63, Matt Peck 6-22, Aiden Smith 2-1, Brady Riddell 8-(-3).
Passing — NY, Robison 1-6-12, Markle 0-2. Way, Riddell 9-24-1-87, Peck 0-1.
Receiving — NY, Shelly 1-12, Way, Peck 5-38, Cameron Keck 2-26, Beckner 1-20, Wertz 1-3.
Interceptions — Shelly; Missed field goal — Souders, 40 (short).