On Friday night the Chestnut Ridge Lions (6-3) capped off their home schedule by earning a thrilling 20-14 overtime victory over the visiting Bellefonte Red Raiders (2-7).
The game’s opening quarter resulted in a 0-0 deadlock that was highlighted by a goal line stand by Chestnut Ridge’s defense. Bellefonte had a fourth-and-goal at the Lions’ 1-yard line. However, the Lions stuffed Red Raider quarterback Nick Jabco for a loss of a yard to keep the game scoreless.
In the second quarter Chestnut Ridge reached into its bag of tricks and came away with the game’s first points. On first down at the Lions’ 35-yard-line, quarterback Logan Hauck threw a backward lateral to John Deaner who then hit a wide open Bryan Feather streaking down the left sideline for a 65-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 8:59 remaining in the second quarter.
Bellefonte capitalized on a Chestnut Ridge mistake in order to score its first points of the game. Bellefonte scored on a 6-yard touchdown run by Austin Jackson to tie the game at 7 with 2:50 to go in the quarter. Jackson’s run capped off a four-play, 18-yard drive set up by a poor punt and a Chestnut Ridge penalty. The game would remain tied at 7 at halftime.
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In the third quarter the strong play of both defenses continued, as the game remained tied at 7 through three quarters.
However, this was setting up a thrilling finish.
Early in the fourth quarter the Red Raiders would take their first lead of the game. Austin Jackson burst up the middle and sprinted 49 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game giving Bellefonte a 14-7 lead with 11:01 remaining in the game.
On the next play from scrimmage, Hauck was intercepted by his counterpart Jabco to give Bellefonte the ball inside Ridge territory. Jabco also finished the game with 138 yards of total offense.
“I thought Nick did a nice job overall,” Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning said.
Manning added, “He made some plays to help keep us in the football game.”
However, the Red Raider drive would result in a missed field goal that would prove to be costly. On the ensuing Lions possession Hauck hit Feather down the middle of the field in stride for an 80-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14 with 5:48 remaining. Feather finished the game with three receptions for 155 yards, two touchdown catches and an interception.
“Bryan is one of our senior leaders who’s been a key cog for us on offense and defense all season,” Chestnut Ridge coach Max Shoemaker said. “He played safety tonight instead of outside linebacker due to an injury to our safety, and I thought he played tremendously.”
The Lions had a chance to win in regulation when they were able to move the ball to the Red Raiders’ 30-yard line on their final drive. However, kicker Nick Knoster just missed a 45-yard field goal attempt on the last play of regulation sending the game into overtime.
On the first play of overtime, Hauck took a shotgun snap, rolled right, took off running, and hit pay dirt to give the Lions a 20-14 lead. The game now rested in the hands of the Chestnut Ridge defense, and it answered the bell.
With Bellefonte facing a third-and-goal at the 6, Chestnut Ridge defender Phillip Dull sacked Jabco at the 15-yard line. Jabco’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete to give the Lions a hard-fought victory.
“We grew up a lot tonight,” Shoemaker said of his young team. “In the second half we played with a real fire in our bellies.”