WEST LAWN — For the first four possessions of Friday’s night’s District 3 Class 6A first-round football game, Chambersburg had everything working.
But starting with a three-and-out after the Trojans recovered a Wilson fumble, already ahead 13-0 early in the second quarter, everything suddenly went wrong. And stayed wrong.
The Bulldogs rode that wave all the way to a dominating 41-13 victory at John Gurski Stadium.
Chambersburg bows out with a 6-5 record. No. 1 seed Wilson (10-1) moves on to play Harrisburg (8-3), 47-13 winners over Central York on Saturday, in next Friday’s semifinals.
“We just fell apart,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “We made the kind of mistakes — blown coverages, fumbles and penalties — that have cost us when we play the good teams. And it just killed our momentum.”
Trojan running back Keyshawn Jones said, “They played better football in the second half. They executed and we didn’t.”
In the first quarter, Chambersburg ran off 17 plays to five for Wilson, and put together scoring drives of 80 and 77 yards to lead 13-0.
In the second quarter, the Trojans netted minus-1 yard and by halftime, the Bulldogs had evened the count, 13-13.
That gave Wilson the momentum and the Bulldogs never stopped, scoring on all four possessions in the third quarter, including three touchdowns in the final 3:57.
“We came out kind of tentative and Chambersburg was quick,” Wilson coach Doug Dahms said. “But I have to give it to our kids — they stayed cool and confident and they took control of the game.”
Chambersburg’s offense looked spectacular in the beginning of the game.
Brady Stumbaugh hit on two bubble screens to Tyler Luther for 19 yards, then Jones ripped right up the middle on a third-and-2 play, quickly reaching the secondary and bursting through for a 53-yard score.
“There was a good hole, and I was able to take the right steps to get their linebackers to move over, and it worked to perfection,” Jones said.
“We called a blitz and they just beat us,” Dahms said.
Chambersburg halted Wilson on a fourth-and-3 play at the Trojan 23, then took the ball 77 yards the other way to score and make it 13-0. The final play was an 18-yard pass from Stumbaugh to Sam Vessah, and was set up by a 23-yard pass from Stumbaugh to Terell Williams.
On Wilson’s next possession, the Bulldogs were moving, but Avanti Lockhart had the ball stripped and Williams recovered on the Trojan 38. Chambersburg went for a kill shot, but three passes fell incomplete.
And then Wilson turned the game completely around.
Bulldog quarterback Kaleb Brown proved tough to stop on an RPO play. He ended up with 137 yards on 13 carries, which made everything else in the Wilson play book work, too.
Dahms said, “It was just an RPO, but we executed the game plan very well.”
Wilson got on the board after Adrian Santana sacked Stumbaugh, causing a fumble recovered by Ethan Capitano. On the next play, Brown hit Brady Gibble, who was wide open, for a 24-yard score.
Luther said, “We blew that coverage because we didn’t communicate — everybody was man-to-man except one guy.”
The Bulldogs evened it up before halftime, helped by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Trojans, who were flagged nine times for 81 yards.
The third quarter belonged totally to Wilson, which rolled up four TDs, and Chambersburg never got close to the red zone.
Williams said, “They made some adjustments, and as soon as they started to bring the heat and started scoring, their energy went up and ours went down.”
Tyler Luther, who caught four passes for 23 yards, said, “We knew the bubble screen should work. We got them spread out and then Keyshawn had that nice run for the touchdown. But then our execution went down … and it was over fast. We just didn’t finish like we wanted to.”
“We came out fast and did some really good things,” Mark Luther said. “But we shot ourselves in the foot, and they did some things on offense that put us in a predicament.”
With the defeat, 21 seniors played their final game for the Trojans.
“I gave a big thank you to the seniors,” Luther said. “In their four years we’ve gone from 0-10 to two straight years in the playoffs. This is life — it doesn’t always end like you want it to. But I just want them to be successful going forward.”
NOTES: Both Tyler Luther and Wilson’s Jack Wagner missed extra points — the first for either one this season … Stumbaugh completed his first seven passes and finished 16-for-25 for 125 yards … Jones finished with 83 yards on 15 carries … Vessah caught four balls for 35 yards … Middle LB Bryce Diller led in tackles with 9.5, including 1.5 for loss … Tucker Perry was next with 5.5 tackles … Wilson totaled 366 yards on 43 carries, with Lockhart going for 115 yards … Lockhart scored three times, one via pass.
Wilson 41, Chambersburg 13
Chambersburg 13 0 0 0 — 13
Wilson 0 13 28 0 — 41
C — Keyshawn Jones 53 run (kick failed), 10:01
C — Sam Vessah 18 pass from Brady Stumbaugh (Tyler Luther kick), 0:04
W — Brady Gibble 24 pass from Kaleb Brown (Jack Wagner kick), 3:37
W — Brown 8 run (kick failed), 0:19
W — Avanti Lockhart 10 run (Wagner kick), 11:04
W — Lockhart 2 run (Wagner kick), 3:54
W — Lockhart 14 pass from Brown (Wagner kick), 1:32
W — Mason Lenart 3 run (Wagner kick), 0:21
First downs 13 22
Rushes-yards 27-121 43-366
Passing 16-25-1 9-12-0
Passing yards 125 101
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Punts-average 4-38.5 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-81 2-26
Time of possession 24:16 23:44
3rd down conversions 5-of-11 4-of-7
4th-down conversions 0-of-1 0-of-3
Rushing — Chbg, K.Jones 15-83, Stumbaugh 9-28, Jayden Jones 2-12, Ty.Luther 1-(-2). Wil, Brown 13-137, Lockhart 17-113, M.Lenart 7-72, Gavin Lenart 2-50, Nick Williams 2-8.
Passing — Chbg, Stumbaugh 16-25-1-125. Wil, Brown 9-12-0-101.
Receiving — Chbg, Vessah 4-35, Terell Williams 3-34, Ty.Luther 4-23, Kevin Lee 3-22, K.Jones 2-11. Wil, Gibble 2-40, Matt Fry 2-31, Lockhart 3-29, Troy Corson 1-1, M.Lenart 1-0.
Interceptions — Wil, M.Lenart.
Sacks — Wil, Adrian Santana.