CHAMBERSBURG — It’s a formula you’ve probably seen countless times in football games — a team hits some big plays to score points, then turns it over to the defense to protect a lead.
That’s pretty much how Chambersburg defeated Red Lion 21-7 Friday night at Trojan Stadium in a non-league game.
The Trojans (2-1) scored three times in the first half — a 77-yard pass from Jermere Jones to Rhaigeon Parker on their second play from scrimmage, a 40-yard bomb from Jones to Andy Jean, and a 68-yard burst by Bryce Flenory — and led 21-7 at the break.
In the second half, the Lions (0-2) moved the ball, mostly on the ground, but were unable to dent the end zone and in the process used up huge chunks of the clock, which played right into Chambersburg’s hands.
“On defense, you don’t want to give them an inch, but in reality, they can go up and down the field as much as they want as long as they don’t score any points,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “It doesn’t matter if you bend as long as you don’t break.”
Linebacker Grant Hopple, who led the team with 14 tackles, said, “We didn’t break down. I knew after the first game that we had a lot of heart and we showed it tonight.”
Red Lion running back Reid Anderson did everything he could to make the Trojans pay, rolling up 204 yards on 27 attempts. But his only score came on a 27-yard run in the second quarter on which he ran into a pile of players, changed direction and beat the defense to the end zone.
“They used the same play a lot, going off-tackle,” Hopple said. “We eventually went to a 4-3 and that helped.”
The game may have turned on a long, time-consuming drive by the Lions that began at their own 20 in the third period. They ran 16 plays, overcame two penalties, had third-and-12 and third-and-17, and converted two fourth-down plays, with Anderson gaining 80 yards. But it ended when Chambersburg free safety Bryce Folmar knocked down Ryley Knaub’s pass at the goal line on fourth down.
On their next drive, the Lions moved to the Trojan 28, but on fourth down, Folmar stepped in front of a receiver and picked off a Knaub pass that effectively sealed the win.
Folmar (8 tackles) said, “Our job was to worry about the pass first, so we were just doing what the coach said. I wasn’t worried too much about the run because I trust our linebackers to do their job. We had to be there for when they did pass.”
Red Lion’s Knaub hoisted up 35 passes, and completed only 15 for a total of 123 yards.
Luther said, “We were getting tired up front, so we went from our three-man front to a four-man front. That helped stopped the run and then they had to throw it and the backs did a good job.”
Chambersburg’s offense went big-play on the Lions. Parker opened the scoring when he ran a seam route and made a nice catch-and-run on a good ball thrown by Jones.
On third-and-18 in the second period, Jones rolled to his right and appeared to be taking off running. But he saw Jean open in the end zone and his pass got there just before a defender and it was 14-0.
After Red Lion scored to pull within 14-7, Flenory took a handoff on the next play and took it 68 yards to the house. He ran right, got some good blocking and made one cut that gave him a clear lane.
The Trojans could have had more points in the first half. They had a first-and-goal at the Red Lion 3, but Jones fumbled the snap and the Lions recovered. Flenory also returned a punt 38 yards to the end zone, but it was called back for a block in the back.
“We had some opportunities to put more points on the board, and we can’t afford to not get them when we play our conference games,” Luther said.
NOTES: Flenory piled up 118 yards on only 8 carries … Jones threw only 8 times, but connected on 5 for 168 yards … Jean made 3 catches for 74 yards … Teegan Humelsine was 3-for-3 on extra points and averaged 42 yards on 3 punts, including one that stopped on the Lion 2 … Nick Swartz had 8 tackles and Shea Makosy and Paul Hance each had 6 … The Trojans play at State College next Friday.
Chambersburg 21, Red Lion 7
Red Lion 0 7 0 0 — 7
Chambersburg 7 14 0 0 — 21
Ch — Rhaigeon Parker 77 pass from Jermere Jones (Teegan Humelsine kick), 7:35
Ch — Andy Jean 40 pass from Jones (Humelsine kick), 8:30
RL — Reid Anderson 27 run (Garrett Coppersmith kick), 4:34
Ch — Bryce Flenory 68 run (Humelsine kick), 4:16
First downs 17 11
Rushes-yards 38-221 30-197
Passing 15-35-1 5-8-0
Passing yards 123 168
Total offense 344 365
Punts-average 2-31.0 3-42.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 8-44 8-74
Rushing — RL, Anderson 27-204, Jeff Nyarmekye 3-15, Ryley Knaub 8-9. Chbg, Flenory 8-118, Rashawn Williams 9-50, Jones 13-29.
Passing — RL, Knaub 15-35-1-123. Chbg, Jones 5-8-0-168.
Receiving — RL, Nyarmekye 8-88, Jose Morales 2-20, Luke Miller 4-12, Anderson 1-3. Chbg, Jean 3-74, Parker 1-77, James Lilley 1-17.
Interceptions — Chbg, Bryce Folmar.