SHIPPENSBURG >> Trailing 28-23 and driving near midfield halfway through the fourth quarter, the Red Land football team looked poised to finally take the lead against Shippensburg after trailing the entire game.
But then Jacob Loy happened.
Loy intercepted a pass that went through the Patriot receiver’s hands, scored two touchdowns and forced a fumble all in the fourth quarter to carry the Greyhounds to a 40-23 non-league victory. Loy and the Hounds will look to complete their undefeated season next week against Big Spring in the Little Brown Jug game.
Loy said, “We were playing a good game, and the team just needed a guy to step up and make some plays, and I’m glad I was able to be that guy tonight.”
After forcing a punt from Shippensburg (9-0), Red Land (4-5) took over on its own 20. After a penalty, quarterback Adam Cramer hit Chase Lawler for 18 yards and Jaden Henline for eight to quickly get the ball to the Ship 41. On the next play, Cramer zipped a pass across the middle to an open receiver on a hitch route, but the pass went through his hands and right into Loy’s chest for the interception. Two plays later, Loy broke through the middle for a 34-yard touchdown to put the Hounds up 34-23.
“I saw a guy to my outside, but he wasn’t my assignment,” said Loy, “so I just kind of played between him and the middle guy, and the ball came right to me. Just in the right place at the right time.”
But he wasn’t close to finished.
The Patriots started their next drive on their own 13, and Cramer quickly hit Lawson for an 18-yard gain. After a short pass to Lawler, Ship forced three incompletions and got the ball on its own 35. On the very next play, Loy went 35 yards for a touchdown. Loy forced a fumble on Red Land’s following drive to put the game away for good.
All told, Loy finished the night with 158 yards rushing, four touchdowns, an interception, forced fumble and several big hits. His rushing total also put him over 1,000 for the year.
Said Ship coach Eric Foust, “He kind of took over the game, which at his position isn’t something you always do. It was nice to see him get over 1,000 this week. Last year he was a role player and lead blocker for Adam Houser. For him to come out this year and be that guy; he’s exceeded expectations for us as the year has gone on, and we just hope he can continue to do that and continue to improve.”
For over three quarters, Red Land gave the Hounds all they could handle, led by Cramer at quarterback. He finished 22 of 37 for 241 yards with both one touchdown and interception, and he also added 18 carries for 101. Most of his damage in the run game came in the first half, where the Patriots went into the break down 22-17 after a 23-yard field goal by Gavin Feliciano. He finished with 110 yards rushing in the first half before being held to negative nine in the second.
Said Foust, “They were getting numbers on us, and our linebackers were losing their heads a little bit in the first half. But we were able to get some extra guys over there in the second half. We figured it out, adjusted to it, and (linebacker) Colton Musser played a good second half.”
Shippensburg’s passing game had one of its best games of the season, as quarterback Zack Manning finished 6 of 10 for 162 yards, including a 58-yard pass to Isaiah Houser, who finished with 93 yards on two catches. Nick Gustafson also added 63 yards on three grabs, and Alex Sharrow chipped in with 112 yards rushing on 12 carries, including a 28-yard score in the second quarter. The Hounds also had 12 penalties for 125 yards, including six personal foul penalties.
“We just have to stay disciplined and keep our heads in the game, “Loy said of the penalties, “because we know that we are a good team, and we don’t have to be out on the field doing all of that talking.”
For Red Land, Dylan Rodenhaber finished with nine carries for 40 yards and 38 yards on two catches, and Mike Stank ran twice for eight yards and two touchdowns. Lawler finished with eight grabs for 94 yards, and Henline added seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
SHIPPENSBURG 40, RED LAND 23
Red Land 7 10 6 0 – 23
Shippensburg 7 15 6 12 – 40
RL — Mike Stank 6 run (Gavin Feliciano kick), 5:43
S — Isaiah Houser 58 pass from Zack Manning (Blake Orndorff kick), 4:29
S — Jacob Loy 2 run (Loy run), 11:54
RL — Stank 2 run (Feliciano kick), 8:21
S — Alex Sharrow 28 run (Orndorff kick), 4:59
RL — Feliciano 23 field goal, 0:24
S — Loy 2 run (Kick failed), 6:59
RL — Jaden Henline 6 pass from Adam Cramer (pass failed), 0:36
S — Loy 34 run (kick failed), 6:26
S — Loy 35 run (kick failed), 4:44
First Downs: RL 18; S 21. Rushes-yards: RL 30-149; S 39-299. Passing: RL 22-37-1; S 6-10-0. Passing Yards: RL 241; S 162. Penalties-yards: RL 9-108; S 12-125. Punts-yards: RL 2-24; S 2-20.5. Fumbles-lost: RL 1-1; S 0-0.
Rushing: Red Land, Cramer 18-101, Dylan Rodenhaber 9-40, Stank 2-8, Shamar Hunt 1-0; Shippensburg, Loy 19-158, Sharrow 16-122, Delonte Wilson 2-24, Manning 1-4, Houser 1-1.
Passing: Red Land, Cramer 22-37-1, 241 yards; Shippensburg, Manning 6-10-0, 162 yards.
Receiving: Red Land, Chase Lawler 8-94, Henline 7-54, Rodenhaber 2-38, Hayden Zechman 3-24, Kaden Peifer 2-23; Shippensburg, Houser 2-93, Nick Gustafson 3-63, Wilson 1-6.