RED LION — Red Lion emerged from a wild and wooly second half blitz of points, penalties and big plays to hand Chambersburg a 26-21 non-league football defeat Friday night.
The Trojans had a first-and-10 at the Lions’ 16 with just over two minutes left, but the first play lost 5 yards, the next two resulted in incomplete passes and the fourth was intercepted.
“We just took too many plays off tonight,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said.
Held scoreless in the first half and trailing 7-0, Red Lion’s offense went for broke in the second half and cashed in four times with big plays — three of them by Randy Fizer.
The Lions (3-0) faced fourth down from their own 14 early in the third period and called a fake punt, with quarterback Nic Shultz finding a streaking Fizer down the right sideline. He caught the pass and traveled 86 yards for a score.
“That Fizer’s a big weapon,” Luther said. “They caught us off guard on that call. I’ll take that blame because I coach the special teams and we had a backup in there. We had him in a bad spot.”
Red Lion’s defense then stopped Chambersburg (2-1) on a fourth-and-one play and, after a 15-yard penalty, started on the Trojans’ 29. On the first play, Fizer caught a pass in the end zone to give the Lions a 13-7 lead.
It didn’t last long. On the next play, Brady Stumbaugh, who scored Chambersburg’s first-half TD on a 1-yard run, threw a quick-hitter to Tyeshawn Worrell and he burnt the defense for an 86-yard catch-and-run.
Leading 14-13, the Trojans missed a chance to increase the lead after Terell Williams blocked a punt.
Taking over on the Red Lion 29, a holding penalty and a delay of game pushed them out of field goal range.
The Lions pulled off yet another fake punt from their own 27, as Shultz hit Fizer on the same play for 19 yards. That combination clicked again on a 25-yard scoring toss to put Red Lion ahead 20-14 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was strange, to say the least. It seemed like every time Chambersburg did something positive, it was wiped out by a penalty.
A screen pass to Keyshawn Jones from Stumbaugh that gained a first down was called back for holding in the backfield and a loss of 18 yards.
Then Stumbaugh scrambled for 10 yards, but a penalty for an illegal block pushed the Trojans back again. That drive was ended when Fizer picked off Stumbaugh.
The Lions missed a chance to take a two-score lead when Hunter Throne missed a 26-yards field goal with 6:56 left.
Chambersburg finally took advantage of a break, taking six plays to go 80 yards, although it had to overcome a long pickup on a pass to Tyler Luther that was wiped out by holding.
Finally, Jones broke loose for a 54-yard scoring run, running away from three defensive backs. Tanner Luther’s extra point gave the Trojans a 21-20 lead.
Mark Luther said, “I was proud of the guys for coming back. We got behind and we kept having to overcome some things.”
Unfortunately, Red Lion was not finished. On its next play from scrimmage, a short pass to the sideline was hauled in by Devante Dennis. He turned upfield, broke through a tackle and raced 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and a 26-21 lead.
“We just can’t lose focus there,” Luther said. “We get the lead, and we didn’t have enough guys getting to the ball.”
The Trojans got the ball on their own 20 with 3:47 left and on the first play, a 15-yard facemask penalty on Red Lion pushed the ball to the 42. Four plays later, the Lions were flagged again for a facemask, and then an additional 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, placing the ball at the Red Lion 16.
But the first play, a reverse to Worrell, was sniffed out by Red Lion, which dumped him for a five-yard loss.
“We thought we could get him to the edge,” Luther said, “but that loss put us in a tough situation.”
Red Lion — primarily a running team — didn’t get much on the ground (85 yards), but they made up for it with 285 yards through the air.
Luther said, “They just kept finding ways to make big plays.
“Their kids were really getting after it tonight. Maybe last week (a 14-12 win over Waynesboro) was a wakeup call for them, and maybe having their home opener helped them.
“But we kept shooting ourselves in the foot, and made it hard with all the penalties. We have to use this as a wakeup call for us and come back better next week.”
NOTES: Jones ran 15 times for 122 yards; Stumbaugh picked up 88 on 16 carries … The Trojans had seven penalties for 77 yards … Chambersburg lost a fumble and had two interceptions … Fizer was a real pest for the Trojans, catching 8 balls for 190 yards and picking off a pass … Chambersburg hosts Altoona on Friday at 7 p.m.
Red Lion 26, Chambersburg 21
Chambersburg 0 7 7 7 — 21
Red Lion 0 0 20 6 — 26
Ch — Brady Stumbaugh 1 run (Tyler Luther kick), 1:01
RL — Randy Fizer 86 pass from Nic Shultz (Hunter Throne kick), 11:25
RL — Fizer 29 pass from Shultz (kick failed), 9:26
Ch — Tyeshawn Worrell 86 pass from Stumbaugh (Ty.Luther kick), 9:09
RL — Fizer 25 pass from Shultz (Throne kick), 0:11
Ch — Keyshawn Jones 54 run (Tanner Luther kick), 4:02
RL — Devante Dennis 80 pass from Shultz (pass failed), 3:47
First downs 13 15
Rushes-yards 32-205 33-85
Passing yards 162 285
Passing 9-25-2 12-20-0
Total offense 367 370
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Punts-average 1-49 1-38
Penalties-yards 7-77 5-68
Rushing — Chbg, Jones 15-122, Stumbaugh 16-88, Worrell 1-(-5). RL, Shultz 13-51, Dylan Gurreri 19-43, Fizer 1-(-9).
Passing — Chbg, Stumbaugh 9-25-2-162. RL, Shultz 12-20-0-285.
Receiving — Chbg, Worrell 1-86, Tyler Luther 2-39, Sam Vessah 1-15, Jones 2-8, Malaki Blair 1-8, Kyere Morton 1-5, N/A 1-1. RL, Fizer 8-190, Dennis 3-79, Gerald Zapata 1-16.