Limited to just 107 offensive yards in the opening half, Northern York's ability to keep drives alive after the break was critical to the Polar Bears churning out a 24-19 win against Shippensburg on Friday.
And Northern York running back Bobby Shelly attributed much of the Polar Bears' second-half success to the big eaters up front making things happen.
"I think the turning point was when our line finally came together, and we could follow them," Shelly said. "The turnovers they helped.
"Once we got the momentum back and our line kept going, good things happened."
After halftime ...
• Shelly, who rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries, picked up 70 yards after the break.
• Michael Kearney registered 36 of his 51 yards in the third and fourth quarters.
• And QB Curtis Robison was able to score on a short dive that put the Polar Bears (6-1, 4-0) ahead for good midway through the third quarter.
"We had to come out and convince ourselves that we were gonna play Polar Bear football in the second half again, where we could have very easily, I think, convinced ourselves otherwise and gone down hill very quickly because we weren't all on the same page at halftime," first-year head coach Greg Bowman said.
"The kids were looking at us as a staff for answers. Schematically, we didn't know that we had that many for them. It was mental mistakes and lack of execution and, again, as they've done several weeks in a row, they executed better in the second half and did what had to be done."
— Mike Bullock
KROUT BEATS DAD'S ALMA MATER >> Playing against Littlestown has to be a strange feeling for Hanover quarterback Kyle Krout.
"The win feels great, it's interesting since my dad is a graduate of Littlestown," Krout said. "My dad was certainly rooting for me, but he still has connections over there."
Despite any potential awkwardness, Krout became the first Hanover quarterback to lead a win over Littlestown since Seth Sanders in 2001.
The quarterback for Littlestown in that game was South Penn Baseball League star Syril Kress.
Hanover beat Littlestown this Friday despite being down two kickers.
Starting kicker Justin Barnes suited up and played running back and kicked off but only attempted one extra point because of a plant leg injury.
"Our other kicker is on loan from the soccer team, and he literally arrived at halftime," Hanover head coach Bill Reichart said.
"We used him at running back, that's a different skill set then having to plant and kick off of an injured leg."
Other special teams stars from Friday: Resean Williams returned a kick 80 yards for Hanover, but Colin McNeal chased him down from behind and Hanover's offense did not score.
Littlestown punter Ben Snouffer also directed a 39-yard punt out at the Hanover 5 during the second quarter.
— George Marinos
DULL SHOWS POISE IN WIN OVER SQUIRES >> Bermudian Springs quarterback Chase Dull hardly looked like the freshman he is Friday night against Delone Catholic.
While his passing numbers (3-of-5, 44 yards, 1 interception), were unremarkable, he gained 66 rushing yards on 11 carries and played tough despite taking plenty of hits.
But what was even more impressive was the poise he showed. With the Eagles down 14-7 late in the fourth quarter, Dull led the team down the field for the tying touchdown with just a minute left. The Eagles would eventually win in overtime, 20-17.
"He's unbelievable," junior running back Ashton West said. "With his character, to step up and play with us this year ... that's the hardest position on the team, and he leads us."
Although Delone Catholic eventually came up short, its defense kept the team in the game by harassing Dull and forcing three turnovers. Leading the way were defensive linemen Bryce Perkins and Wade Neiderer, who recovered two fumbles.
One more interesting note: Not only did both quarterbacks play defensive back on Friday, they both intercepted each other. Brian Shermeyer picked off Dull on a long pass in the first quarter and the freshmen returned the favor on a tipped pass later in the half.
— Matt Allibone
SPARTANS MAKE AIR GAME WORK >> York County Tech might have spent much of Saturday's 30-14 triumph over Fairfield grinding between the tackles or skirting the ends, but the Spartans did put the ball up a few times.
Just enough, actually.
"The pass game isn't too strong," Damarius Wiggins admitted. "But when we do work it and pop runs and pop runs and 'Boom!' (throw) a pass, it kind of throws them off."
Fairfield might not have been thrown off by the Spartans' passing , but what might have floored Darwin Seiler's Green Knights was Jordan Ray working the tip drill to perfection to haul in a Wiggins dish that covered 30 yards.
While Wiggins' dish initially hit the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Ray on the left hand, the junior promptly tipped it to his right and then up in the air until he could wrap his sizable mitts around the ball — all while moving vertically up the field.
Ray's second reception wasn't as spectacular, but somehow Wiggins fit it between three defenders for a 33-yard gain in the third quarter. One play later, Ray worked a fade route to the left boundary that he turned into a 24-yard score.
Ray finished with three catches for 87 yards.
"When we got in the huddle, he was like, 'Throw me the ball. Throw me the ball,'" Wiggins said, recalling Ray's second grab. "I saw double coverage, and they were tall guys, so I just tried to put it up and high-point it.
"He went up and grabbed it and came down with it. Was great."
— Mike Bullock