The William Penn football team and its' fans returned to Small Athletic field for the first time since the September 9 shooting in the parking lot outside the stadium. The game was the team's first one on a Saturday this season. Christian Arnold, GameTimePA.com
Red Lion coach Jesse Shay started calling out directions to his players in the first quarter, then quickly lowered his voice.
Playing in front of a crowd of only a couple hundred people, Saturday's afternoon game against William Penn at Small Field — a 49-7 Red Lion win — didn't have the same energy that most of the Lions' games do.
It was a far cry from the last game at Small Field, which saw more than 1,000 people come out but ended abruptly because of a shooting in the parking lot. That incident forced the school district to move the Bearcats' remaining home games this season to Saturdays.
“I think it took both teams a little bit to get used to this," Shay said. “There’s a certain electricity that comes with playing at night. You could hear a pin drop (today).”
The atmosphere felt more like one of last year's William Penn games, and so did the outcome. Red Lion scored four touchdowns in the third quarter to run away with the victory.
“I thought the first half we did OK, but the second half (the players) sort of resorted back to the old York High way," Bearcats coach Russ Stoner said. "We didn’t compete in the second half. I thought we were lackluster in terms of our energy level even to start the game. That’s just the crossroads we have right now, and we have to figure out if they’re going to buy in or pack their chutes."
Red Lion senior running back Dylan Gurreri led the way with 130 yards on 21 carries and scored the team's first touchdown of the second half. Quarterback Sam Emig ran for two touchdowns to help the Lions pick up their fourth win in four games this year.
“Dylan’s a spark plug," Shay said. "When you see Sam break a long touchdown, that’s because everyone’s keying on Dylan. The two of them complement each other very, very well.”
Red Lion senior lineman Nick Argento, who was named the 2015 GameTimePA YAIAA Defensive Player of the Year, also got in on the scoring. He took a handoff from the 5-yard line in the second quarter and plowed through for a score that caused his teammates on the sideline to jump and cheer.
Red Lion defeated William Penn in its' first divisional game of the season. Christian Arnold
The Lions now must prepare for Northeastern, a team it lost to, 14-13, last season.
“We know which games mean what. They all mean something, but next week is the game that we really want because of last year," Gurreri said. "One of our main goals is to get them back. This is a game that helped prepare us for next week.”
William Penn will face Dallastown next week and return home to face Spring Grove on Oct. 8.
“It’ll get better here," Shay said of William Penn playing home games on Saturdays. "I think Russ is doing a great job and it will get better.”
RL -- Sam Emig 10 run (Emig kick), 7:12.
RL -- Taylor Uberti 11 pass from Emig (Emig kick), 9:44.
RL -- Nick Argento 5 run (Emig kick), 5:38.
WP -- Khalid Dorsey 36 pass from Tallian Lehr (Brandon Vargas kick), 1:53.
RL-- Dylan Gurreri 12 run (Emig kick), 7:30.
RL-- Camari Sharpe-Scott 48 interception return (Emig kick), 7:04.
RL-- Emig 55 run (Emig kick), 3:26.
RL-- Zach Throne 21 run (Emig kick), 0:28
Rushing — RL, Sam Emig 21-132, Dylan Gurreri 21-130, Nick Argento 1-5, Zach Crossland 2-5, Zach Throne 1-21, Tyler Ness 4-24. WP, Dayjure Stewart 11-46, Nigel Williams 16-100, Tallian Lehr 2-(-5), Kahliek Savery 2-3.
Passing — RL, Emig 4-4-38-0. WP, Lehr 2-11-35-1.
Receiving — RL, Paul Jones 2-13, Taylor Uberti 1-16, Giuliano Favorito 1-9. WP, Khalid Dorsey 1-36, Savery 1-(-1).