ROBESONIA >> Conrad Weiser already left the field Friday night following its 23-0 District 3 Class AAA quarterfinal elimination of Dover.
The Eagles (9-3) remained on the grass field, just beyond a hard, dirt patch they had worn through with the fourth-seeded Scouts (9-3). This was the last time many Dover seniors will wear pads in a high school football game. First-year coach Eric Lam, who knew many of them from his day job as a teacher at the school and stint two years ago as a defensive coordinator, tried to console them. He reminded them of what they had accomplished.
Just a week ago, they won their school's first district playoff game. A week earlier they clinched its first outright division title.
The accomplishments might have fallen on some deaf ears, such as senior Dan Bisking. An All-YAIAA tight end and defensive end last year, he embraced a member of the Dover staff as Lam talked.
This was his last high school game, as it was for Cameron Beckman and Logan Ambrose. Beckman sparked the defense all year, whether it be with blocked kicks or fumble recoveries from his middle linebacker spot. Ambrose, a running back just a year ago, made the transition to quarterback as Dover switched to a Wing-T offense.
"It's tough to finish this season this way," Lam said. "There's always that inevitability that, 'Hey this might be our last one.' Now that it is, it hurts.
"There's three things about this group. They play hard-nosed football, they're a classy group and they're a fun group."
Lam's team was shut out, the second straight week Conrad Weiser has done this to a YAIAA team. Last week, Spring Grove left with a 24-0 setback. This week became Dover's turn.
The Eagles were not used to this. They were not shut out all year. Not when they pushed Dallastown to the brink earlier this season or when they suffered a tough loss to YAIAA Division I champion Central York. On Friday night against the third-place team from Section 1 of the Berks League, Dover fell behind quickly.
First it was the opening kickoff, which was muffed by the Scouts' Josh Joseph. Once he recovered, Joseph raced 70 yards downfield. That Dover defense held tight and allowed just a field goal, but those kinds of plays kept coming.
When Conrad Weiser running back Dexter Jordan fumbled near the goal line, the ball spiraled high into the air and back down into the end zone. Instead of a turnover, another Scout pounced on it for the touchdown.
Right there, down 9-0 after two defensive stands.
Jordan never made another mistake like that. He scored Conrad Weiser's next two touchdowns, one receiving and the final one rushing, to secure his team's win. Jordan rushed for a team-high 75 yards after once again filling in as the Scouts' featured back. A few weeks ago, after leading rusher Alex Guilbe was lost to an injury, Jordan moved from receiver to play a position he had not tried since junior high.
"It was a little nerve-wracking because it's been so long," Jordan said. "I had faith in my linemen because they opened up holes, and I didn't have to do much. I just had to hit the hole and read it right."
Guilbe was back, too. He ran a handful of times, including plenty of mop-up work to wind down the clock. Jordan was happy to see him back. So was Conrad Weiser coach Al Moyer, who was more relieved his defense curbed Dover's running game.
The Eagles rushed 54 times for 240 yards, including 104 from sophomore Dorran Ledbetter, who missed last week's Milton Hershey game because of an injury. Ledbetter stretched his arm with the football past the goal line as the seconds ticked down in the first half, seemingly ending the shutout, but his knee was ruled down. Dover called timeout and ran one more play, but Ambrose could not get past the line of scrimmage.
Lam said at halftime he stressed how close the game was despite a 16-0 deficit. Afterward, he summed it up by saying "but we couldn't finish."
Even after a 17-play drive down to the Conrad Weiser 5 to open the third quarter, the Scouts escaped. Nearly 10 minutes came off the clock to open the second half, and the Eagles' comeback hopes quickly faded.
Dover 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Conrad Weiser 9 7 7 0 -- 23
CW -- Jake Roth 26 FG, 9:44.
CW -- Zach Torchia 0 fumble recovery (kick failed),
CW -- Dexter Jordan 13 pass from Aidan Brosious (Roth kick), 9:43.
CW -- Jordan 16 run (Roth kick), 0:03.
First downs 16 15
Rushes-yards 54-240 29-173
Passing 3-7-0 5-5-0
Passing yards 21 88
Total yards 261 261
Punts 2-24.5 1-24.0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0
Penalties-yards 6-50 5-41
Rushing -- Do, Dorran Ledbetter 15-104, Isaiah Green 15-67, Jake McLean 10-39, Logan Ambrose 8-7, John Sterner 2-23, Gabe Jackson 2-4, Grant Hoover 1-7, Tyler Blazosky 1-(-11). CW, Jordan 12-75, Alex Guilbe 11-55, A. Brosious 4-12, Josh Joseph 1-23, Pierce Brosious 1-8.
Passing -- Do, Ambrose 2-5-0-15, Blazosky 1-2-0-6. CW, A. Brosious 5-5-0-88.
Receiving -- Do, McLean 1-13, Hoover 1-6, Malik Allen 1-2. CW, Jordan 2-23, Joseph 1-37, Chase Ober 1-16, P. Brosious 1-12.