Donegal survives Elco field goal try
MOUNT JOY - Donegal coach Jeff Polites said that from his angle it looked like Elco kicker Dane Miller drilled a potential game-winning 36-yard field goal with less than a minute to play on Friday.
However, the gusty wind, which helped Miller’s kick go well past the needed distance, pushed it to the left.
“It looked good to me, but I can’t see anything,” said Polites after Donegal held on for a 13-12 victory. “Mother Nature probably helped us out on that one.”
The Indians improved to 2-3 on the season, 2-0 in Section 3 with the win. But it took a huge defensive play to change the field position that keyed the final moments.
The Raiders (1-4, 0-2) got the ball on their own 32-yard line, but in one play – a 33-yard pass reception by Miller from quarterback Kyle Knight, Elco was in Donegal territory.
After runs by Cory Kline and Knight, the Raiders had first-and-goal from the 5. But after a loss of 1, Knight was sacked by Cade Weaver for a loss of 13.
“That’s what we want out of our seniors. That was a gigantic momentum shift,” Polites said of the sack.
Turning points: While neither team scored in the opening 24 minutes, both got touchdowns in four straight possessions, setting up the frantic finish.
Star of the game: Knight was 17-of-28 for 287 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort for Elco.
Key statistic: Donegal ran 31 plays in its first two series but came up empty both times. Yet for all the long drives, both the Indians touchdowns were quick strikes.
A three-play possession opened the scoring when Ryan Buckius dropped a pass to Brooks Bear for a 77-yard touchdown.
Two plays after ELCO made it 7-6, Tyler Rupp (19 carries, 146 yards) scored on a 67-yard touchdown run.
Quotable: “That’s high school football when you are dealing with 15-16-17 year-olds playing their hearts out,” Polites said of the scoring by each team after a scoreless first half.
Up next: The Section 3 schedule continues next week as Elco will play at Lancaster Catholic. Donegal will travel to Fredericksburg to take on Northern Lebanon.
Donegal 13, Elco 12
Elco _ 0 _ 0 _ 0 _ 12 _ — _ 12
Donegal _ 0 _ 0 _ 7 _ 6 _ — _ 131
D — Brooks Bear 77 pass from Ryan Buckius (Emma Hudson kick)
E — Cory Kline 10 pass from Kyle Knight (kick failed)
D — Tyler Rupp 67 run (kick blocked)
E — Dane Miller 21 pass from Knight (kick failed)
_ Elco _ Don
First downs _ 16 _ 13
Rushes-yards _ 24-84 _ 45-206
Passing _ 17-28-1 _ 3-8-0
Passing yards _ 287 _ 102
Total yards _ 371 _ 308
Punts _ 2-34.0 _ 1-34
Fumbles-lost _ 1-0 _ 1-1
Penalties-yards _ 4-31 _ 2-6