Dallastown scored on its first two drives of the second half, and that proved to be the difference in a season-opening 17-13 win against Hempfield on Friday evening at Dallastown High School.
"We didn't have a great first two scrimmages," said Dallastown coach Kevin Myers. "We talked long and hard about what it means to be on the Dallastown Wildcat football team. We talked very much about playing together. I really wasn't sure what (Friday night) was going to be about, but they stepped up and made some nice plays."
Dallastown took the second-half kickoff 68 yards in six plays for a touchdown that broke a 7-all tie. Running back Dillon Callahan's 32-yard, quick-hitting run up the middle set up a 13-yard scoring jaunt by Zion DeVance.
"We decided to start pounding the run and see what we got," Myers said. "We got some nice plays, and the guys up front did a nice job."
The Wildcats defense held Hempfield on the ensuing possession and took control at midfield after a short punt. Dallastown fought its way down to the 20-yard line, where senior kicker Drake Pew finished the drive with a 37-yard field goal.
Hempfield got a 20-yard touchdown run from junior quarterback Mark Himmelsbach with 9:57 to play, but the extra point attempt failed, leaving it a four-point spread. Hempfield got the ball back once more, but could only get as far as the Dallastown 42-yard line before turning it over on downs.
Himmelsbach split time at quarterback and wide receiver along with junior David Robinson. Himmelsbach ran for a game-high 81 yards for the Black Knights, while Robinson added 67 yards on the ground. Both were 4-of-8 passing.
"We have two options at quarterback that we'll be playing," said Hempfield coach Ron Zeiber. "They are both great kids. It's a situation where they each give us different things in different areas. I feel like we'd be missing something if we went with just one. That's our thinking right now. We'll see how things go."
Dallastown was spearheaded by the three-way rushing attack of Rodney Scott, Callahan and DeVance. Scott led the Wildcats with 73 yards while Callahan added 57 and DeVance 56.
"Zion ran hard, Rodney ran hard, they all did," Myers said. "It is a blessing to have all those options, but we still have some work to do."
A total of 43 of Dallastown's 56 plays from scrimmage were running. Senior quarterback Mike Sparks did complete 10-of-13 passes when the Wildcats did throw.
"We're going to have to start becoming a little more multi-dimensional," Myers said. "We are an inexperienced team with only three or four guys back on either side of the ball, this might be the most inexperienced we've been going back to 2010, but we gained some experience (Friday)."
H -- David Robinson 9 run (Chase Mathias kick), 8:15
DT -- Mike Sparks 3 run (Drake Pew kick), 3:02
DT -- Zion DeVance 13 run (Pew kick), 8:55
DT -- Pew 37 FG, 2:24
H -- Mark Himmelsbach 20 run (kick failed), 9:57
Rushing — Hempfield, Mark Himmelsbach 9-81, David Robinson 14-67, Brendan Flores 12-23, Jonathan Gutierrez 3-(-4), Christian Rivera 1-(-6). Dallastown, Rodney Scott 14-73, Dillon Callahan 11-57, Zion DeVance 9-56, Edgar Centeno 1-0, Mike Sparks 8-(-15).
Passing — Hempfield, Robinson 4-8, 44 yds., 0 TD, 0 Int.; Himmelsbach 4-8, 35 yds., 0 TD, 0 Int. Dallastown, Sparks 10-13, 75 yds., 0 TD, 0 Int.
Receiving — Hempfield, Zeke Rodriguez 2-31, Jimmy Dizon 1-15, Mikey Crespo 1-13, Chase Mathias 1-12, Gutierrez 1-4, High Mauck 1-4, Robinson 1-0. Dallastown, Connor Moore 3-27, Nathan Downey 2-24, Max Teyral 2-11, Rodney Scott 1-9, Elijah Lloyd 1-7, Callahan 1-(-3).