The Kennard-Dale football program has had its share of adversity this season. It's been a year of change, on and off the football field.
Kennard-Dale made a coaching change in the middle of the season. Onetime head coach Patrick Weider is no longer with the program, and the Rams split the head coaching duties between former assistants Eric Updegrove and Christopher Grube .
Kennard-Dale also turned a page by opening a new stadium with permanent lights Friday.
Updegrove and Grube made the decision to bring their players onto the field Thursday to try to eliminate any jitters leading up to the big occasion.
"Our pregame under the lights definitely helped," senior running back Jacob Deppen said. "(We were) joking around a little bit, getting the nervousness out."
Whether inspired by Thursday's walk-through or the new head coaches, the Rams came out strong and finished the same way, earning an 18-14 victory over Eastern York (3-5, 1-4 YAIAA Division II). It was the first win at the new field, but more importantly it secured the program's first winning streak in more than three years.
The three wins are the most for Kennard-Dale (3-5, 2-3 YAIAA Division II) since 2010, and its win total is more than the past three years combined.
"This ain't just a win for the football team," Grube said. "This is all about our community down here. The stands were packed. The kids came out and battled with a lot of heart. I can't complain, man."
Kennard-Dale rallied from slim deficits in the first, second and third quarters.
Deppen found himself in the right place on three game-changing plays. He returned a kickoff 85 yards for the stadium's first touchdown, intercepted a pass in the third quarter and recovered a fumble deep in Kennard-Dale territory to help seal the win.
"That was just an all-around team effort. We needed that," Deppen said. "We were all joking about who was going to get the first touchdown, so that was pretty cool. I'm happy with the changes. If we win out, anything can happen."
Junior running back Chase Carlile was called on to move the chains and the game clock. His 3-yard scoring run with 2:57 in the third quarter put the Rams up for good. He finished with 186 yards and two touchdowns.
Carlile, the sixth-ranked rusher in the YAIAA going into Friday, pushed his season total to 827 yards.
"We know Carlile is a hard runner," Updegrove said. "We're fighting to get ... him 1,000 yards this season. He's carrying the load right now."
Sophomore running back Logan Kline highlighted Eastern York's night, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Fellow sophomore running back Brennen Shenk had the other score.
EY — Logan Kline 1 run (Lecates kick), 0:08.
KD — Jacob Deppen 85 kickoff return (2-point conversion failed), 0:00.
KD—Chase Carlile 19 run (2-point conversion failed), 7:38.
EY — Brennen Shenk 18 run (Lecates kick), 8:01.
KD — Chase Carlile 3 run (Two-point failed), 2:57.
KDEYFirst downs1712 Rushes-yards48-27052-201Passing3-7-24-10-1Passing yards3850Total yards318248Fumbles-lost2-21-1Penalties-yards5-453-30
Rushing — KD, Chase Carlile 28-186, Nick Workinger 6-52, Shawn Ellis 3-15, Daniel Brewer 8-3, Nicholas Fritz 2-8, Connor Stokes 1-6. EY, Logan Kline 25-110, Sam Pollock 9-12, Keegan Corwell 5-15, Jimmy Kurnik 1-1, Ryan Kalke 5-14, Brennen Shenk 3-29, Jordan Weaver 2-15, Seth Bernstein 2-5.
Passing — KD, Daniel Brewer 3-7-38. EY, Ryan Kalke 4-10-50.
Receiving — KD, Kyle Woolridge 2-27, Chase Carlile 1-11. EY, Seth Bernstein 2-34, Anthony Brooks 1-4, Jayshim Snyder 1-12.