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LANCASTER>> Rob Wildasin needed no white board, no fiery speech nor toss of the Gatorade cooler to turn his Cedar Crest Falcons around Friday night at halftime.

Only a simple reminder of why they play the game.

"I told them to go have fun," Wildasin said. "We knew this was a very, very important game for us and I think we maybe put too much pressure on ourselves instead of just playing."

Trailing at the break to McCaskey, Cedar Crest loosened up to post a second-half shutout and roll the Red Tornado, 25-7. Justice Belleman led a dominant ground attack that totaled 344 yards with 130 of his own, all gained through three quarters. The Falcons (3-5, 2-3 Section One) limited their hosts to only six offensive plays after intermission, thanks to clock-sapping drives and a pair of defensive turnovers.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Cedar Crest, which returns home for the final two weeks of the season with a shot at the District Three Class AAAA tournament on the line.

"It's definitely nice to get a win and know what it's like to finish," said Falcons senior Evan Horn, who rushed for 92 yards and recovered a fumble. "And now we control what happens."

Cedar Crest's offensive line took full control of the trenches in the final two quarters, allowing the Falcons to score on their initial three drives and rack up a total of 26 first downs. Horn capped Crest's half-opening series with a go-ahead 15-yard scamper punctuated by a punishing stiff arm. Then, following a McCaskey three-and-out, freshman quarterback Logan Horn finished the Falcons' next possession by hitting David Santos for a 7-yard touchdown and 18-7 lead at 8:50 to go.

While a severe right ankle injury had sidelined Belleman during that drive, Cedar Crest's line kept clearing space to sustain the drive and allow back-up Gregg Munnion (58 rushing yards) to flourish.

"The game plan morphed during the game into just keep grinding them," Wildasin. "Our offensive line, that's a tribute to those guys. That's really who got it done tonight. Those guys are nasty."

Kobe Bolanos next stole the spotlight defensively by forcing a fumble from the Red Tornado's lead wideout, Kobe Gantz. Back on offense, Falcons senior Stevie Roda quickly supplied a victorious cherry on top by taking an option pitch from eight yards out in for six points.

Red Tornado quarterback John Burnside rushed for a 59-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter on a fourth-down snap.

Cedar Crest scored on its opening series with a 3-yard Belleman rush. From there, the Falcons stalled with untimely turnovers and penalties, including a Logan Horn interception that closed the first half.

"That's how it's been all year, driving and just getting penalties that kill us," Horn said.

All year until Friday, which, with a slight drop of the shoulders and a deep breath, may have changed Cedar Crest's course for good.

Cedar Crest 25, McCaskey 7

CC60613—25
M7000—7

First Quarter

CC — Belleman 3-yard run (Kick fails)

M — Burnside 59-yard run (Speller kick)

Third Quarter

CC — E. Horn 15-yard run (Run fail)

Fourth Quarter

CC — L. Horn 7-yard pass to Santos (Run fail)

CC — Roda 8-yard run (Peffley kick)

CCMFirst downs265Rushes-yards68-34413-56Passing7-10-17-10-0Passing yards8464Total yards428128Punts0-03-34.6Fumbles-lost0-01-1Penalties-yards6-635-40
Individual statistics

Rushing — CC: Justice Belleman 30-138, Evan Horn 14-92, Greg Munnion 13-58, Logan Horn 7-30, Stevie Roda 2-16, Kobe Bolanos 1-7, David Santos 1-3. M: John Burnside 6-59, Dajzon Garcia 1-10, Randolph Speller 5-0, Team 1-(-13).

Passing — CC: L. Horn 7-10-84-1. M: Burnside 7-10-59-1.

Receiving — CC: Greyson Williams 2-29, David Santos 2-24, Raymie Ferreira 1-19, E. Horn 1-12, Iziah Trimble 1-0. M: Kobe Gantz 3-40, Deshawn Crosby 2-23, Isiah Speller 2-1.

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