Chambersburg knew it was in for a battle Friday against Cedar Cliff in a non-league contest.
But against an offense that leads the Mid Penn Keystone Division and has scored no fewer than 35 points this season, the Chambersburg defense worked to limit the damage in a 34-7 non-league loss to the Colts.
Cedar Cliff averages 43.5 points per game, but the Chambersburg defense, which has been a bright spot in the dark at times this season, held the high-powered offense to its lowest point total of the season.
On the Colts' first possession of the second half, it took Cedar Cliff nine plays to make it down to the 1-yard line as Spencer Seaman made a tackle at the goal line. He then sacked Colt quarterback Grant Breneman for a loss of seven, while Jarrett Secrist stuffed him in the backfield on fourth down and forced the turnover. Chambersburg's Kelton Chastulik also had a hand in the big defensive stand.
"They heated it up a little bit - they were blitzing and playing more man and some of the things we were trying to execute weren't great," Cedar Cliff coach Colin Gillen said. "Then we got a little bit predictable and that's always a difficult recipe and Chambersburg did a nice job adjusting in the second half."
Trojan coach Mark Luther said, "The kids just didn't give up. We had our back against the wall there and fortunately we made some defensive calls that worked for us. But a lot of time it's a crap shoot. It's a game of chess. But that series we were able to get some defensive blitzes that really helped us a lot."
After Cedar Cliff (6-1) stormed down the field on its first possession on a 10-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, it didn't look good for the Trojans (1-6), who lost a fumble and had back-to-back three-and-out drives, but they adjusted, specifically to stop Breneman, who was near-perfect, going 13-for-15 for 210 yards in the first half alone.
But stopping the passing game was easier said than done as Breneman connected with nine different receivers and had virtually endless possibilities.
"When Grant is on, he works with very high efficiency," Gillen said. "He doesn't throw a ton of incompletions and when he does they are smart ones."
Breneman finished 17-for-21 for 248 yards for the Colts.
"Watching film, you can tell he has the knack for getting the ball where he needs it," Luther said. "But we played hard and went after them."
"The goal all week was to play as hard as we can," Chastulik said. "They preach the 10-0 effort, and I think that was the big goal tonight and we saw it. These next three weeks are going to be huge to keep building."
Chambersburg’s Clay Myers found the end zone midway through the second quarter after the team earned good field position. Myers ran for a 10-yard touchdown that was called back for a hold, then duplicated the play, rushing 12 yards to the goal line while spinning through tackles before racing into the end zone. Myers finished with 74 rushing yards to lead the Chambersburg offense.
"His touchdown was good because with those calls coming back, it's such a struggle and we had to find a way to keep going," Chastulik said. "That's what that drive felt like; we just had to keep driving."
Trojan quarterback Tyler Collier had an inconsistent night under center - hitting 9-for-23 passes for just 61 yards. He also had 21 rushing yards.
Cedar Cliff 34, Chambersburg 7
Cedar Cliff_ 7 _20 _ 7 _ 0 _ — _ 34
Chambersburg _ 0 _ 7 _ 0 _ 0_ — _ 7
CC — Chris Thompson 2 run (Tommy Sevastio kick), 3:41
CC — Mike Dubas 5 run (kick failed), 9:43
CC — Derek Reitz 9 pass from Grant Breneman (Sevastio kick), 6:29
CH — Clay Myers 12 run (Nazeer Taylor kick), 3:10
CC — Bobby Whelan 20 pass from Breneman (Sevastio kick), 0:27
CC — Breneman 3 run (Sevastio kick), 3:12
_ CC_ Chbg
First downs _ 17 _ 6
Rushes-yards _ 32-175 _ 21-113
Passing _ 17-21-0 _ 9-23-1
Passing yards _ 248 _ 61
Total yards _ 423 _ 174
Punts _ 1-41 _ 3-19.3
Fumbles-lost _ 1-1 _ 2-2
Penalties-yards _ 8-71 _ 4-34
Rushing — CC, Chris Thompson 7-36, Whalen 2-23, Tommy Chelednik 2-6, Dubas 17-103, Breneman 4-5, Brennan Quigley 1-2; CH, Myers 12-74, Tyler Collier 2-21, Kammeron Green 7-18.
Passing — CC, Breneman 17-21-248; Chbg, Collier 9-23-61.
Receiving — CC, Tyrsten McDonald 3-42, Chelednik 2-26, Brady Ebersole 1-12, Whalen 4-37, Alex Lantz 2-55, Derek Reitz 2-17, Justin Carter 1-9, Team 2-19; Chbg, Myers 3-15, Andrew Shetter 1-27, Sean Vessah 1-8, Jack Kunkleman 1-7, Spencer Seaman 1-4, Seth Brouse 1-0.
Interceptions — CC, Lantz.