York, PA - Kennard-Dale had no easy task on Saturday afternoon against East Pennsboro.
The Panthers' high-octane offense boasted senior quarterback Austin Wilson, a Syracuse University commit who is second in the Mid-Penn Conference with 484 passing yards and six touchdown passes so far this season. Wilson's favorite target, 6-foot-5 junior Samuel Marshall, leads the Mid-Penn with 269 receiving yards and three scores.
Not the ideal situation for a Kennard-Dale team that has managed only one touchdown in each of its first two games.
But the Rams valiantly attempted to meet the challenge and hung in the game for a quarter and a half before Wilson and East Pennsboro pulled away for a 45-13
"They are a big-play offense, that is their M.O.," Kennard-Dale coach Andy Loucks said. "We practiced some coverages this week that we thought might limit their explosiveness. We thought we were going to be OK but a big play here and a big play there hurt us. Then they have just one weapon after another stepping up. It's like pick your poison."
Kennard-Dale (0-3) knew that limiting the Wilson-to-Marshall damage would be key and hoped wind gusts during the game would help, but it wasn't to be.
The Rams defense allowed a first-quarter rushing touchdown by senior tailback Chase Shulda on East Pennsboro's second drive of the game. Wilson rolled left and found Marshall on an 8-yard scoring pass in the back of the end zone with 2:16 left to take a 13-0 lead.
Kennard-Dale answered back with a 15-play, 90-yard scoring drive that ended with junior fullback Mike Young scoring on a 2-yard run. The 5-foot-7, 185-pound Young piled up 69 of his game-high 131 yards rushing on that drive.
"Mike ran the ball well," Loucks said. "He's a tough runner. I thought our line also did a better job this week. This was finally the first full week they were together. We had some injury issues the first two weeks. It looked like they were starting to get it."
Wilson and East Pennsboro (2-1) responded with a 54-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Nick Guida and a 6-yard scoring run from Shulda on consecutive drives to extend the lead to 25-6 by halftime.
"We went more with the running game in the second half," East Pennsboro coach Todd Stuter said. "We had worn them down a bit by then I think."
The third quarter featured two more Wilson-to-Marshall touchdown passes. Wilson finished with 254 yards passing and four touchdowns, while Marshall hauled in three of those scores.
"(Wilson) is a legitimate NCAA Division I quarterback," Loucks said. "He was throwing some lasers around out there. They did not throw the ball downfield as much as in the previous two games from what we saw on film but he turned in a really good game. They bootlegged him a lot and being the athlete he is, it spread us out and opened up lanes for them."
Kennard-Dale mustered only 104 yards of offense in the second half and completed one pass for 14 yards in the game.
"We had scouted them," Stuter said. "We knew we could crowd the box a little. You can see they struggle a little with their passing game. They are a run-oriented offense, and we made it a priority to stop the run."
Senior running back Dan Hare had the biggest play of the second half, returning a kickoff 90 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
"Right now, we are struggling with consistency," Loucks said. "We do some good things and put together a good drive, but then can't emulate it over and over. It's frustrating."
East Pennsboro 13 12 14 6 -- 45
Kennard-Dale 0 6 7 0 -- 13
EP -- Chase Shulda 5 run (Garrett Stuter kick), 5:51
EP -- Samuel Marshall 8 pass from Austin Wilson (pass failed), 2:16
KD -- Mike Young 2 run (run failed), 8:16
EP -- Nick Guida 54 pass from Wilson (kick failed), 6:51
EP -- Shulda 6 run (pass failed), 3:18
EP -- Marshall 8 pass from Wilson (Stuter kick), 10:16
KD -- Dan Hare 90 kickoff return (Vince Failla kick), 9:59
EP -- Marshall 35 pass from Wilson (Stuter kick), :58
EP -- Stuter 1 run (kick failed), 5:28
-- EP -- KD
First downs -- 19 -- 10
Rushes-yards -- 22-146 -- 51-223
Passing -- 16-29-0 -- 1-3-0
Passing yards -- 262 -- 14
Total yards -- 408 -- 237
Punts -- 2-38.5 -- 3-21.7
Fumbles-lost -- 1-0 -- 5-1
Penalties-yards -- 11-95 -- 13-104
Rushing -- East Pennsboro, Chase Shulda 10-59, Austin Wilson 3-53, Garrett Stuter 6-31, Cody Hollingsworth 2-3, Connor Yoder 1-0; Kennard-Dale, Mike Young 19-131, Phil Herndon 5-35, Zach Wilkinson 12-15, Josh Eaton 3-19, Dan Hare 5-8, Logan Carlile 3-6, Justin Fitchett 2-6, Dallas Allen 1-5, Kyle Amrhein 1-(-2).
Passing -- East Pennsboro, Austin Wilson 15-28-0-254, Josh Stambaugh 1-1-0-8; Kennard-Dale, Zach Wilkinson 1-3-0-14.
Receiving -- East Pennsboro, Nick Guida 5-112, Samuel Marshall 3-53, Chase Shulda 3-37, Jake Nieto 3-29, Garrett Stuter 2-31; Kennard-Dale, Phil Herndon 1-14.