With a 1-9 season behind them, the Lions football team showed promise in their first game of the season and look forward to beginning a new era under head coach Jesse Shay.
By Adrianna Clinton
Although it seems in the past several years Cumberland Valley has been a powerhouse contender for Red Lion, the Lions’ attitude towards the Eagles changed for this year’s week one matchup.
After an energized and confident entrance by the Lions, the team made great progress down the field despite a poor kickoff return. With the help of an Eagle penalty, the boys made it down to the 22 yard line, only to have a blocked field goal on 4th and 1.
Unfortunately, Cumberland Valley’s recovery led to their first of several touchdowns.
However, the Lions wasted no time on their next possession with a significant pass from senior quarterback Blake Cahill to fellow senior wide receiver Chris Knorr for 36 yards. Even with their great field position, an incomplete pass led to a turnover on downs.
Poor tackling was a major cause of many Cumberland Valley touchdowns, but there was a great offense present for Red Lion.
In spite of a lacking running game, the Lions had no problem making it down the field, largely thanks to Cahill’s arm and the protection he received from his offensive line enabling him to get to his receivers.
Cahill threw for 300 yards and completed 24 of 44 passes, ranking him second in the YAIAA passing leaders.
He can also run, as he had 6 rushes for 36 yards on the night.
The final score of 44-14 truly does not serve this year’s Lions football team justice, for Cumberland Valley made many mistakes.
Not only did the Lions recover both of the Eagles’ fumbles and did not make any themselves, but they were fortunate to only receive two penalties, whereas Cumberland Valley was penalized six times for 45 yards.
The Lions fought hard for tough yardage, which is a level of determination they haven’t always shown in the past.
Red Lion was disciplined and prepared very well, greatly in part due to new head coach Jesse Shay.
This game was his first ever as a head coach, and Shay described it as “surreal, walking out and seeing the great fans of Red Lion.”
Without a doubt, we were equally as happy to see him.
Red Lion Football alumnus and 2012 graduate Brooks Arnold received a great first impression of the new coachsaying he “demands respect” and is good for this group of players.
For this season, Shay wants Red Lion to be known as a “tough football team, physically and mentally...and tough to beat.”
With the ultimate goal of playoffs, Shay made it clear that this seemingly crushing loss is only one game of nine and more.
Quarterback Blake Cahill, who has been nominated as YAIAA Week 1 Player of the Week, says they will “be ready for Manheim Township” next week.
And to the fans of a community so involved with football, Shay says the team takes their role very seriously.
“We’ll get better. We owe it to them.”
Cumb. Valley 14 9 14 7 -- 44
Red Lion 0 7 0 7 -- 14
CV -- Tyler Updegraff 34 run (Connor Long kick), 4:55
CV -- Tyler Heisey 20 run (Long kick), 0:00
RL --Chris Knorr 7 pass from Blake Cahill (Evan Miller kick), 9:45
CV -- Chris Galbraith 3 run (Long kick), 7:34
CV -- Safety, 4:15
CV -- Heisey 5 run (Long kick), 11:07
CV -- Heisey 2 run (Long kick), :31.3
RL -- Knorr 7 pass from Cahill (Miller kick), 10:25
CV -- Timothy Spinelli 4 run (Long kick), 7:20
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