The Chambersburg football team played one of its best drives of Friday night, but nearly 85 yards were called back due to penalties. The final play of the drive, however, ended with all smiles on the Chambersburg sideline. Video by Lindsey Smith
"Football is a very roller coaster game," Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said Friday night. "There's a lot of highs and a lot of lows. It's easy to play when you're at that high, but good teams find a way to dig out of those lows."
But even great teams don't expect to turn a fourth-and-28 into a touchdown, but that's exactly what the Trojans did in Friday night's win over Greencastle-Antrim.
The drive started well enough. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Collier completed his best pass of the night ... but the 51-yard play was called back because Collier was beyond the line of scrimmage when he made the pass.
On second-and-15, Collier helped make up for it with an eight-yard run, but that was negated on the ensuing play's false start flag. Again, Collier came up big, soaring a 34-yard completion to Kory Harris ... which was called back due to offensive pass interference.
On fourth-and-23, Nazeer Taylor smashed a 44-yard punt ... that was brought back because of an illegal formation.
After all that, Chambersburg faced a fourth-and-28 from its own 6-yard line. Alas, most would chalk that up to failure.
Enter Kelton Chastulik, who saw Greencastle-Antrim's return man coming and smacked him with a hard tackle, forcing a fumble. Sean Vessah was there to scoop it up, and he had nothing but field in front of him, running for a 60-yard score.
"(Those penalties) were so upsetting," Vessah said. "We worked so hard for that, and it gets taken away over something so inconsequential, something that should be trivial. But that sticks with you the whole time, and we used that to get the next play."
OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT: James Buchanan didn't win Friday night in its season-opener against Hanover.
But the Rockets did do something completely unexpected - it scored 36 points, which is more than it had all of last season. JB scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
"I liked our effort, and I liked the attitude of our team," JB coach Andy Stoner said. "We got down 30-0 early in the first quarter, but they didn't quit, didn't put their heads down. It was a tough first quarter, but we settled into the game plan and started executing some things in the second quarter."
The Rockets were led by Cormac Houpt, who gained 194 rushing yards and scored twice. Owen Stoner, Evan Stoner and Colby Bradshaw each scored once.
CAPTAIN CHASTULIK: Not only did Chastulik force the key fumble in Chambersburg's victory, he was also a standout defensively. He finished with three tackles for a loss, including a sack.
"Frankly, it's just about coming out, working hard and grinding," Chastulik said. "They stacked seven guys in the box; we had five to seven, and we still grinded. That's what needs to happen to change this program."
CENTURY CLUB: Each week, we'll take a look at the running backs and wide receivers who gained more than 100 yards.
In Week 1, Franklin County was led by Houpt's 192 yards. Other running backs over the 100-yard mark were Chambersburg's Clay Myers (133 yards), Shippensburg's Philip Torres (105) and Waynesboro's Brady Beckner (104).
Through the air, Ship's Cody Gustafson had 120 receiving yards, and the Indians' Cameron Keck gained 105 yards on a mere four catches.
Editor's note: Public Opinion will publish a weekly football notebook, Extra Points, in Monday's paper. A boys and girls soccer notebook will be featured on Wednesdays, with H.S. Extra running Fridays.