Central Dauphin trips up Cumberland Valley
It seems as though when Cumberland Valley meets Central Dauphin the game always comes down to the wire. The match-up this year was no different as Central Dauphin outlasted Cumberland Valley on Friday night at Landis Field in dramatic fashion. The Rams denied Cumberland Valley on a crucial fourth down with less than 2 minutes to play. Unfortunately, the Eagles came up approximately six inches short at the 2-yard line.
Late in the first quarter, Rams’ WR Grant Smith hauled in QB Brady Straub’s quick slant for a 47-yard TD reception on third-and-2. The TD strike gave Central Dauphin an early 7-0 advantage. On the ensuing possession, Cumberland Valley quickly answered and knotted the score at 7-7 with 35 ticks left in the first quarter. Cumberland Valley QB Jared Plessinger located RB Cole McCoy wide open on a cross-field toss from 24 yards out. Central Dauphin’s Ethan Van Buskirk then connected on a 20-yard field goal early in the second quarter giving the Rams a 10-7 lead.
The Eagles uncharacteristically turned the football over three times. Plessinger’s pass to the end zone was intercepted by CD’s DB Saville Pope with 1:44 remaining in the first half. Pope displayed impressive recovery speed tracking down the pass. CD capitalized on the CV miscue that resulted in Van Buskirk booting a 48-yard field goal with 2 seconds left extending CD’s lead to 13-7 heading into intermission.
The Eagles opening possession of the second half culminated with a 41-yard TD run by Cole McCoy which gave CV a 14-13 lead. Cumberland Valley utilized some misdirection on a well designed inside run play and the shifty McCoy dashed to paydirt midway through the third quarter.
Eagles’ LB Christian Arrington intercepted a Straub pass in the third quarter, but CV wasn’t able to take advantage of the Ram turnover. Cumberland Valley was stopped by an aggressive Ram defense in this pivotal moment. The Rams regained the lead 20-14 on QB Brady Straub’s 5-yard keeper early in the fourth quarter. Straub’s TD run put Central Dauphin on top for good and proved to be the difference.
Offensive Stars of the Game: Central Dauphin’s WR Grant Smith reeled in a 47-yard TD catch on third down late in the opening quarter. Central Dauphin’s Mike Wise-Belle rushed for 79 hard-earned yards on the ground.
Rams’ Ethan Van Buskirk nailed a pair of field goals in the first half driving 48-yarder through the uprights.
Cumberland Valley’s Cole McCoy scored twice against the Ram defense on Friday night. Cole had a TD reception and added a TD run later.
Defensive Stars of the Game: Central Dauphin’s defense made several key stops in critical situations. Rams’ linebackers Adam Burkhart, Mitch Talbot, DT Jaden Baylor, and DE Joey Silvers led the vicious Ram defense.
Cumberland Valley’s Christian Arrington assisted on numerous tackles and added an interception on Friday night. Arrington showed good instincts, anticipation, and flies to the football.
Turning Point: Clinging to a 20-14 lead in Friday’s wild encounter, the Rams sealed the game turning away Cumberland Valley standout Charlie Katshir on fourth-and-two from the 4-yard line with 1:12 remaining in the game. Six inches was the difference from Cumberland Valley possibly earning a hair-raising victory over the home team.
Key Statistic: Cumberland Valley turned it over three times.
Up Next: Central Dauphin (4-1, 2-0) visits backyard rival Central Dauphin East, while Cumberland Valley (4-1, 1-1) hosts Mid-Penn Commonwealth adversary State College.