COLONIAL PARK –At times, it seemed like you were caught up in one of those Thursday night NFL games on Prime Video.
Chambersburg and Central Dauphin East slugged it out in a Mid Penn Commonwealth football game Friday night at Landis Field, and let’s just say that the defenses ruled the night.
The Trojans made one big play on offense stand up and captured a 7-3 victory to end an 11-game division losing skid.
“The feeling we had from last week (losing in the last seconds to Altoona) really soured us,” Chambersburg linebacker Shea Makosy said. “We needed this win so bad.”
Makosy had a big hand in finishing off the Panthers. East had driven to the Trojan 42 and called a timeout with 1:38 remaining, facing a fourth-and-3. They tried a pitch to Jared Porter, but Makosy stepped into the lane to swing Porter around and Sedrick Vessah completed the tackle for a 3-yard loss.
That allowed Chambersburg (3-5, 1-4 MPC) to take a knee and kill the clock.
“In our huddle the coaches said they might go with a four-man wide play, so we shifted our gaps and I hit it,” Makosy said. “I wanted it to come to my side and just let my instincts take over.”
“The defense played really well and didn’t give up the big play, which is huge,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “The front seven got off their blocks and stuffed them. The guys were flying around and making plays.”
This was not the game to watch if you like lots of big-play offense.
Chambersburg produced only four first downs and 132 yards on offense, but it did have three plays of over 15 yards gained. The Panthers (2-6, 0-5 MPC) had eight first downs and gained 51 more yards than the Trojans, but had only one play gain more than 15 yards.
The teams combined for 11 punts.
But the Trojans did hit on one huge 61-yard play that proved to be the difference in the game.
In the second period, Chambersburg faced a third-and-7 from its own 29. QB Riley Harmon made a nice fake in the backfield, then launched a long pass down the left sideline that Rhaigeon Parker hauled in for the game’s only touchdown.
Luther said, “That’s a play we hadn’t shown this year. About two series before that, we ran a quick pass out to Andy Jean and we saw that the cornerback came up and the safety came downhill, too. So we ran it again with the same action, but Riley faked it to Andy and Parker ran downfield.
“You still have to throw it and catch it and those two made it work.”
The Trojans carried that 7-0 lead into halftime., then right away had to weather East’s only sustained drive of the game. The drive took 16 plays and used up nearly 10 minutes of the third period, and resulted in a 39-yard field goal for Nicolas Bloss.
Along the way, the Panthers recovered a fumbled punt by Chambersburg, and they overcame three penalties. But the Trojans helped them out with two penalties that gave CDE first downs.
Other than that, Chambersburg’s defense was strong. Bryce Folmar recovered one fumble and intercepted a pass. Vessah made 10 tackles, Bruce Flenory had nine and Makosy seven.
“In the first half when they threw a lot, our DB’s didn’t allow anything,” Makosy said. “When they ran more in the second half, the guys up front were killing them.”
CD East’s D may have been even stronger, holding Chambersburg to just 132 yards. The Trojans got almost nothing out of its passing attack because Harmon was under constant pressure and didn’t have time to throw.
Luther said, “Their No. 55 (Vincent Carroll-Jackson) was good and we trouble blocking him.”
But they ‘ll take the win.
“We’ve talked so much about stepping up and making the tackle or finishing the play,” Luther said. “Tonight we did that.”
Chambersburg hosts Harrisburg on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Chambersburg 7, Central Dauphin East 3
Chambersburg 0 7 0 0 — 7
CD East 0 0 3 0 — 3
Ch — Rhaigeon Parker 61 pass from Riley Harmon (Teegan Humelsine kick), 8:33
CDE — Nicolas Bloss 39 field goal, 2:22
First downs 4 8
Rushes-yards 23-50 30-89
Passing 5-11-1 13-23-1
Passing yards 82 94
Total offense 132 183
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Punts-average 5-34.0 6-30.8
Penalties-yards 6-42 8-60
Rushing — Chbg, Dayre Senft 17-41, Brice Flenory 2-6, Harmon 4-3. CDE, Jared Porter 11-45, Nehemiah Ewell 11-21, Xavier Armstrong 4-14, Demaj Jalloh 4-9.
Passing — Chbg, Harmon 5-11-1-82. CDE, Jalloh 13-23-1-94.
Receiving — Chbg, Parker 2-62, Andy Jean 2-14, J.J. Kelly 1-6. CDE, Terrence Jackson-Copley 4-23, Zach Brown 1-20, Porter 2-18, Brajion Harris 1-8, Steven Zerbe 2-7, Armstrong 1-7, Izayah Hitchcock 1-7, An’Tiyan Neal 1-4.
Missed field goals — Chbg, Humelsine 29 (wide left).
Interceptions — Chbg, Bryce Folmar. CDE, Kaseem Brown.