Red Lion's unbeaten run ends in first round of districts
Red Lion had a lot going for it in Friday night's District 3 Class 6A quarterfinal:
The all-around talents of quarterback and kicker Sam Emig.
A kid named Dylan Gurreri who could accidentally run into a referee on a rushing play ... and still gain 10 more yards.
A bend-not-break defense that kept Central Dauphin East out of the end zone.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they couldn't stop Tyshaun Pollard in the fourth quarter when their undefeated season was on the line.
The senior running back kept his high school career alive by rolling off a 23-yard run late to seal CD East's 13-7 win at Red Lion. Two first-half Anthony Calamia field goals provided the margin of victory for the No. 6-seeded Panthers, who move on to play at Wilson next Friday.
"It was a great play by Pollard," Red Lion head coach Jesse Shay said. "He's a tough, strong runner."
The Lions (10-1) had just been stopped on fourth-and-6 at the CD East 38-yard line on an incomplete pass. But their defense promptly forced a third-and-17 with 1:18 left in the game.
Pollard took the pitch left. He nearly was tackled 3 yards behind the line, but he leaped up out of a Red Lion defender's reach. Cutting back inside, he broke two more tackles to get the first down and put an end to the dream season of the Lions, who came in as the third seed.
"You talk to the kids about trying to strip the ball ... and those are the types of things that happen because we're trying to get at that ball," Shay said.
CD East's lone touchdown came on defense. Aaron Arp intercepted Emig in the right flat on the opening drive of the game and took it 58 yards for the score.
Emig regrouped and found Paul Jones on the next drive for a 52-yard touchdown to tie it at 7-7. Twice in the first half, the Lions' defense held CD East (7-4) to field goals, but Emig's desperation fourth-down heave into the end zone early in the fourth quarter was intercepted.
"I thought both defenses played well," Shay said. "They were doing some nice things ... but we got a turnover. You can't fault the defense."
Patrick Daugherty was the Lion who came up with that fumble at the Red Lion 9, ending CD East's 58-yard drive to open the second half. The Lions had driven down the CD East 30 on its previous possession, but Emig's would-be first-down pass was caught out of bounds on fourth down.
Gurreri led all rushers with 88 yards.
CDE -- Aaron Arp 58 interception return (Anthony Calamia), 7:59
RL -- Paul Jones 52 pass from Sam Emig (Emig kick), 6:15
CDE - Calamia 26 FG, 1:52
CDE -- Calamia 28 FG, 5:31
Rushing — CD East, Tyshaun Pollard 14-55, Mike Jones 7-32, Jeremiah Christian 1-4, Everson Kane 4-(-19). Red Lion, Dylan Gurreri 20-88, Sam Emig 7-34, Patrick Daugherty 5-16, Paul Jones 1-2.
Passing — CD East, Kane 10-13-122. Red Lion, Emig 16-20-117-2, Zach Throne 1-2-24.
Receiving — CD East, Baron McKinney 3-36, Terrance Danner 3-28, Pollard 2-24, Aaron Arp 1-20, James McFarland 1-20. Red LIon, Jones 10-79, Taylor Uberti 1-24, Throne 2-16, Daugherty 2-9, Guiliano Favorito 1-8, Gurreri 1-5.