By Andy Shay
4th Down Magazine
Neither coach was very pleased Friday night after CD East and Lower Dauphin went toe-to-toe for 48 minutes at the Concrete Palace in Hershey.
The two teams combined for 22 penalties for more than 180 yards and CD East had three turnovers.
Key stops on third and fourth down by the Panthers defense allowed WR-QB Kane Everson to work some magic in the final 15 minutes to allow CD East to rally for a 21-14 victory over the Falcons.
“We can’t keep putting ourselves in this position. We’re a young team, but we made way too many mistakes,” said CD East coach Aaron Blanding, whose club improved to 2-0. “It’s good to come out with the win, but we can’t keep doing this.
“We rode Kane’s legs and our defense tonight.”
Lower Dauphin, powered by 182 total yards and a pair of touchdowns from Brendan Shaffer, led 14-7 late into the third quarter and fell to 0-2 with the loss.
“We’ve got to finish drives. The game to me was the first half for us,” LD coach Greg Kratzer said. “We’re not the kind of football team that can make mistakes and win.”
Everson, a dynamic athlete, started the game at wide receiver and had one catch for 25 yards before being inserted in at quarterback with 3:33 to play in the third quarter and the Panthers trailing by a touchdown.
“It’s an easy transition for me (switching to quarterback). I’ll do whatever my team needs to get a win. I knew it was my job to go and make plays,” said Everson, who had 101 yards rushing and completed 3-of-4 passes for 32 yards in guiding CD East to a pair of touchdowns when under center. “I knew playing wideout they were in cover four, so there was gaps and I knew where it was open.”
On his first drive Everson accounted for 59 of the 69 yards including an 11-yard touchdown scamper with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter to forge a 14-all deadlock.
After a 16-yard to open the winning drive, Everson went out for four snaps with an injury. He came back in and scampered 18 yards on third-and-6. He then ripped off a 14-yard run, completed a 13-yard pass and finished it off with a 17-yard gallop into the end zone with 47 seconds remaining.
The other half of the winning equation for CD East was a defense that came up with some huge stops in key spots.
In the first quarter Lower Dauphin came up short on fourth-and-2 at the Panthers 16. The Falcons also missed a 30-yard field goal late in the first half.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, LD came up short on a fourth-and-2 at the CDE 25 when Goldsby Kymaury darted in and hauled down Cole Etchberger for a 9-yard loss.
Three times Lower Dauphin ventured inside the CD East 30 and came away with zero points. In a seven-point game that’s a difference maker.