Highlights from the first half of Cedar Crest's 11-7 victory over Garden Spot on September 30, 2016. Courtesy of LLLeagueSportsVideos.com
There was the potential for a high scoring contest, but when the proverbial dust settled at Cedar Crest on Friday night, it was the defense that took center stage for an 11-7 victory in the waning minutes of the game.
Garden Spot (3-2, 1-1) had fourth-and-10 on the Cedar Crest 30, trailing 9-7, when Nate Cavic came around the left side of the line and sacked Cameron Roth with 2:13 to play in the game.
“That was a big play,” said Falcons coach Rob Wildasin, “Our defense played very well.”
Cedar Crest (4-1, 2-0) held the normally prolific Spartan offense to just 230 yards of offense while recovering two fumbles. Zach Keffer also recorded an interception, and the punt coverage team earned a safety.
“We’re big and we are physical and you have to make plays, and I think those are plays that we made,” Wildasin said. “We were in the right positions and that’s what happens. If you have all 11 defenders in the right position and you’re scrappy, you’re going to get things like that to bounce your way.”
On the other side of the ball, Garden Spot held the Falcons down as much as they could, but Cedar Crest was able to gain yardage behind the powerful running back tandem of Justice Belleman (22-75) and AJ Apple (13-65), both of whom turned in a couple of big-yardage rushes to keep drives alive.
“It’s just kind of who we are. We’re kind of ground and pound. At times we sputtered a little bit tonight, but that’s who we are,” Wildasin said,.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway from the night was the resilience and determination of the Falcons to fight back from adversity.
After taking a 6-0 lead on a three-yard run by Logan Horn in the second quarter, the Falcons then had a promising drive in the third stall, so Wildasin sent Chad Ryland out for a 19-yard field goal, which gave Cedar Crest a 9-0 lead with 4:02 to go in the third.
Neither team was able to generate much offense until Garden Spot's Mackenzie Focht scored on an 82-yard run with 6:45 left in the game.
Cedar Crest punted on its ensuing possession and the Spartans put together a nine-play drive which ended on Cavic’s sack.
But the Falcons were unable to run out the clock and ended up punting the ball back to the Spartans. Cedar Crest’s coverage team then tackled Focht in the end zone for a safety.
“I love these kids," Wildasin said. “They fight. They’re physical, they’re scrappy and I’ll coach that kind of team anytime.”
Cedar Crest travels to Cocalico next week for another key Section 2 match-up.
At halftime, Destinee Hollowman was crowned the 2016 Homecoming Queen.
Cedar Crest 11, Garden Spot 7
Garden Spot _ 0 _ 0 _ 0 _ 7 _ — _ 7
Cedar Crest _ 0 _ 6 _ 3 _ 2 _ — _ 11
CC — Logan Horn 3 run (kick failed), 8:21
CC — Chad Ryland 19 field goal, 4:02
GS — Mackenzie Focht 82 run (Kyle Willwerth kick), 6:21
CC — Safety, returner tackled in end zone, 0:25
_ GS _ CC
First downs _ 5 _ 14
Rushes-yards _ 26-186 _ 52-180
Passing _ 4-15-1 _ 9-18-0
Passing yards _ 48 _ 74
Total yards _ 230 _ 254
Punts _ 6-21.0 _ 7-29.0
Fumbles-lost _ 2-2 _ 0-0
Penalties-yards _ 10-90 _ 6-45
Rushing — GS: Jeffers 1-1, Kauffman 11-69, Roth 11-34, Focht 2-85, Wanner 1-(-3); CC: Belleman 22-75, Horn 8-2, Seyfert 6-33, Apple 13-65, Shand 2-4, Munnion 1-1.
Passing — GS; Roth 4-15-1-48; CC: Horn 9-18-0.
Receiving — GS: Ringler 2-19, Kauffman 2-29; CC: Seyfert 2-4, Munnion 3-26, French 1-9, Shand 1-15, Williams 1-11, Dunlop 1-9.