Bermudian Springs coach Jon DeFoe discusses the team's 24-7 loss to Wyomissing in the District 3 playoffs. Matt Allibone
Coming out of the locker room after halftime, Bermudian Springs was still alive.
Taking on Wyomissing in the District 3 Class 3A semifinals at Albright College on Friday, the Eagles played with the Spartans in the first half and trailed by just 10 points. Having been blown out by the Spartans three times in the playoffs since 2011, the Eagles felt their chance at an upset had finally come.
Only one play would take away their momentum.
On the first play of the second half, the Eagles fumbled the kickoff and gave Wyomissing the ball at the Bermudian 14-yard line. The Spartans would quickly score on a touchdown run by Brandon Westwood and eventually win 24-7.
The Eagles hurt themselves by losing two fumbles on return plays that both led to Wyomissing touchdowns, but special teams play wasn't the only reason they lost. Bermudian Springs struggled to move the ball on offense, rushing for just 52 yards and picking up four first downs.
"You can't make those kinds of mistakes and beat Wyomissing," Bermudian head coach Jon DeFoe said. "You're not going to beat them giving them 14 points like that, just not going to happen.
"Between our drops and some missed opportunities, at the end of the day we couldn't do enough offensively, either. I thought our defense played hard. You've got to play better to beat a team like that."
Although Wyomissing has long been a District 3 powerhouse, DeFoe said this season was Bermudian's best chance to beat the Spartans in recent years. The Eagles (8-3) were seeded one spot lower than the Spartans (8-3), but won one more game than them during the regular season.
Despite the disappointing ending to the season, the Eagles didn't hang their heads as they left the field. After finishing with a .500 record a year ago, Bermudian bounced back to make the program's sixth playoff appearance in the past seven years.
"We felt that this one was really ours this time, it's kind of heartbreaking that we lost that way after so many mistakes," senior running back Ashton West said. "A lot of teams don't make the postseason, we were fortunate to do it our senior season."
Early on, it looked like the game was shaping up to be a tight, low-scoring contest. The Eagles struggled to gain momentum on offense, but recovered a fumble and kept the Spartans off the board in a scoreless first quarter.
But a muffed punt by Devon Hodgen gave Wyomissing a short field and quarterback Avery Holt took advantage by tossing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Niedrowski. A field goal gave Wymissing a 10-point lead and the Spartans eventually wore the Eagles down with their running game.
"In all the matchups, this was the best we stacked up with them up-front," DeFoe said. "In previous years they were just physically superior. I think frustration got to us when it got to 10-0. We just weren't generating enough offensively."
DeFoe confirmed after the game that sophomore quarterback Chase Dull played the entire season with a torn ACL, an injury he originally sustained midway through last season. Dull still threw for over 1,100 yards and is scheduled to have surgery sometime in the next few weeks.
"It's unbelievable to find out the week before the season that the ACL that was repaired and you spent nine months rehabbing is gone again," DeFoe said. "He was devastated and he wanted to play so we gave it a go. If you were going to tell me he was going to play 11 games and throw for 1,100 yards, I would have thought you were crazy. I couldn't ask for more out of anybody."
Wyo -- Hunter Niedrowski 22 pass from Avery Holt (Conner Mendel kick is good), 8:52
Wyo -- Mendel 28 kick, 2:04
Wyo -- Brandon Westwood 5 run (kick is good), 10:59
Wyo -- De'Shaun Wilson 16 pass from Holt (kick is good), 1:39
BS -- Brenton Krebs 8 pass from Chase Dull (Noah Aeppli kick is good), 1:25
Rushing — BS, Ashton West 9-38, Devon Hodgen 2-3, Addison Wheeler 5-7, Chase Dull 2-2, Brenton Krebs 3-2. Wyo, Jordan Caraballo 19-135, Brandon Westwood 22-75, Payton Gonzalez 7-17, Avery Holt 2-(-1), Nolan Babb 1-5, Jakob Naylor 1-0.
Passing — BS, Dull 5-17-78-0. Wyo, Holt 8-15-88-1.
Receiving — BS, Trevor Grim 2-32, Quinton Nace 1-32, Krebs 1-8, Chase David 1-6. Wyo, De'Shaun Wilson 4-48, Hunter Niedrowski 2-25, Kaylin Berger 1-9, Babb 1-6.