HERSHEY – Last week, the Cedar Crest Falcons found themselves able to pull away for a lopsided win, despite finishing with four turnovers, and coming off a sloppy first half. Knowing those mistakes, the message during the week was the obvious – go back to the film and correct it.
But the situation would present itself again a week later, only this time it finally cost them.
Yet another sloppy performance of three turnovers doomed them into an early hole they ultimately couldn’t recover from, though many chances for 3-0 start were somehow still there for the taking.
But it was Lower Dauphin - the desperate-for-a-win Falcons – who were the ones who found a way to win this time, getting that monkey off their back with a 10-7 win in the battle of the Falcons Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.
“I think we played a better overall game, but clearly we still made too many mistakes,” Cedar Crest coach Rob Wildasin said. “Lower Dauphin is a good football team and they’re not going to beat themselves. They were ready to go and we squandered too many opportunities.”
One of those many chances came with a chance to steal the game – which was set up through a gutsy call by Wildasin.
Facing a fourth down with about three minutes left from the 29, the Cedar Crest coach called for a fake punt pass – working to perfection all the way down to the LD 45.
“We were just trying to make a play. It’s always good to be a little gutsy. We worked on it in practice, so we ran it,” Wildasin said.
Cedar Crest (2-1) however, turned it over on downs – then one more gift was given to them to again attempt to steal a victory.
Looking to essentially run out the clock, Lower Dauphin running back Brendan Shaffer inexplicably fumbled the ball and Cedar Crest recovered at the LD 46 with 1:29 left.
But…another Cedar Crest turnover – this time the final one – was the dagger.
Logan Horn was picked off a third time, this one in the end zone by LD’s Brent Spencer.
With another week gone by where mistakes were made – this time resulting in a loss – Wildasin still is keeping it simple with his team heading into a home date next week with Ephrata.
“Again, we just needed to clean it up. You don’t want to put yourself in that situation week after week,” he said. “This is what happens…you lose. We have plenty to fix.”
Despite a slow start to the season, consisting of only mustering 222 yards through the air and 158 yards on the ground through its first two games against viable opponents Middletown and CD East, Lower Dauphin (1-2) found an offensive spark rather quickly.
Right off its first drive, Lower Dauphin opened with five straight runs - which set up a passing game that became potent all night – and took a 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal, converting on a fourth and five to help set it up.
LD’s lone touchdown of the night came was cashed in off Horn’s first interception, thanks to Justin Mcintyre – resulting in a 47-yard hookup from Aidan Klassen to Clay Spencer, giving Lower Dauphin a 10-0 lead with 10:25 left in the half.
Cedar Crest was able to take advantage of one opportunity handed to it, however, cutting the lead to three off a five-yard touchdown run by Tate Seyfert, set up by a Lower Dauphin special teams error when punter Ryan Kutz inadvertently took a knee trying to field a low snap.
Despite the slow offensive start for LD in its first two games, Wildasin knew his team had to be ready to play.
“Everybody knows they’ve played two very tough teams. I didn’t think that was indicative of their game,” he said. “I knew they were going to be very tough to beat and they did exactly what we thought they’d do.”
Cedar Crest 7, Lower Dauphin 10
Cedar Crest _0 _ 0 _7 _0 _ — 7_
Lower Dauphin _3 _7 _ 0_ 0_ — 10_
LD - Clyde Tamburro 28-yard field goal
LD - Clay Spencer 47-yard pass from Aidean Klassen. ( Tamburro kick)
CC - Tate Seyfert 5-yard run. (PAT good)
_ Crest _ LD
First downs _6 _ 6
Rushes-yards _ 40-141_ 42-171
Passing _ 13-24-3 _12-18-1
Passing yards _ 141 _ 238
Total yards _282_ 409
Punts _1-44 _ 2-70
Fumbles-lost _0-0 _ 1-1
Penalties-yards _4-30 _ 6-43
Rushing — CC: Justice Belleman 12-57; Logan Horn 5-6 A.J. Apple 9-54; Tate Seyfert 7-25; Neisso Dorvil 1-(-1). LD: Brendan Shaffer 19-118; Ryan Kutz 1-4; Aaron Roth 1-4; Kurt Cain 7-5.
Passing — CC: Horn 13-24-3 for 141 yards. LD: "Aiden Klassen 10-16-1 for 225 yards, TD; Kutz 2-2-0 for 13 yards.
Receiving — CC: Adam Loehr 2-26; Seyfert 4-57; Greyson Williams 1-10; Cade Rambler 1-18; Nate French 4-29. LD: Will Bowen 1-22; Michael Geesaman 4-50; Cain 1-39; Brent Spencer 1-5; Clay Spencer 2-50; Jace Fry 1-10.