Donegal broke up a tight game against Annville-Cleona with a dominant third quarter Friday night en route to a 39-13 victory.
Donegal answered Annville-Cleona's 58-yard touchdown run by Will Langan with a 34-yard touchdown run by Tanner Shirk to put the Indians (2-2) back up by two scores in the third quarter, and followed that with a 28-yard scoring run by Shirk.
Donegal had raced out to a 19-6 halftime lead in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three opener, spearheaded by a balanced offense that blended time-consuming drives and explosive, big plays.
The Indians started the game by churning out a five-minute, 11-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Austin Dimeler plunging into the end zone from a yard out.
After Annville (3-1) answered with 45-yard touchdown pass from Adam Fox to Alec Barr, the Indians struck again. Shirk scampered for a 49-yard gain down to the Dutchmen's 3.
Annville's defense made Donegal work for every yard from there, but Mario Marshall finally broke the plane of the goal line on fourth and goal.
Turning point: :00. As in, the time remaining in the first half when Donegal quarterback Derek Mohr lofted a perfect pass to Dimeler in the corner of the end zone to give the Indians a 19-6 lead.
Key statistic: Two red-zone turnovers.
Donegal's bend-but-don't-break defense stalled two long Annville-Cleona drives, forcing fumbles in the red zone each time.
In the first quarter, Donegal's Cole Leety recovered a fumble after Annville had churned out an 11-play drive. Later in the first half, Annville took 13 plays to drive down inside the Indians' 10-yard line. Again, the Donegal defense rose to the occasion, sacking the Dutchmen's Fox and causing a fumble that was recovered by Ben Sweigart.
Stars of the game: Dimeler and Shirk combined for four touchdowns and 370 yards of offense, and Dimeler sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a defensive touchdown.
Up next: Donegal travels to Columbia on Oct. 2, while Annville-Cleona hosts Elco.
Donegal 39, Annville-Cleona 13
D—A. Dimeler 1 run (T. Wagner kick)
A-C—A. Barr 45 pass from A. Fox (kick blocked)
D—M. Marshall 1 run (kick blocked)
D—A. Dimeler 21 pass from D. Mohr (kick failed)
A-C—W. Langan 58 run (M. Light kick)
D—T. Shirk 34 run (pass failed)
D—T. Shirk 28 run (T. Wagner kick)
D—M. Marshall 1 run (T. Wagner kick)
A-CDFirst downs924Rushes-yards34-14053-448Passing5-10-04-7-0Passing yards9747Total yards412148Punts3-402-36Fumbles-lost2-21-0Penalties-yards3-154-20