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Lions steal win in overtime, Purchase Line eliminated

Written by: on Monday, November 5th, 2018

 

Purchase Line junior Cullen Goncher (35) rushes with the ball as United’s defense closes in. ABIGAIL GONCHER PHOTO

All season, the Purchase Line Red Dragon Football Team’s goal has been to get into the playoffs. It has been noticeable to all around that Purchase Line’s offense has been getting faster, and the defense bolder. The Dragons were able to take the 12-seed spot after the victories of Homer Center, Blairsville, and Saltsburg, along with their own victory over Ferndale. The Dragons (3-8) were paired to play the 5-seed United Lions (7-4), November 2. The outcome of this game was a loss for the Dragons in an overtime brawl, 14-6. Junior fullback Cullen Goncher said, “We fought hard all the way down to the end. It’s terrible that it had to be that way, but we will be back and better next year.”

Purchase Line elected to receive the ball. The Dragons’ first drive took almost the whole first quarter. They were getting first downs on third down almost every time. The first touchdown of the game was a 14-yard run by sophomore runningback Josh Syster, with five minutes and nineteen seconds left in the first quarter. The rest of the quarter was quiet and United was unable to score.

The second quarter was a defensive battle. United rejected the fourth down punt and went for the first down. The Lions were stopped at the 36-yard line. There was a similar situation with the Dragons when they were stopped at the 4-yard line on fourth down. Neither team was able to make any successful plays in the second quarter, making the score at the half, 6-0. The Dragons were playing excellent defense, holding two of the county’s leading rushers in check.

Quick into the second half, a 1-yard touchdown was scored by United’s junior quarterback Kyle Silk, and the score quickly rose to 6-6. Shortly after Purchase Line regained possession of the ball, but it was, then, picked off by United near mid-field. The Lions were unable to capitalize on this, and the Dragons got the ball back. It was third down for Purchase Line and they still had 24 yards to get a first down because of a holding call, earlier. Junior wide-receiver Kyle Day had a big reception and run, helping the Dragons on getting closer to the end zone. The Dragons, then, were held on fourth down and the ball was given to United. Throughout the third and fourth quarters, the score remained 6-6.

Purchase Line’s second overtime game of the season still didn’t end in their favor. United was quick to act, Silk scoring on their first try, with a 10-yard touchdown. The successful two-point conversion made the score 14-6. Purchase Line now had their chance to get into the end zone. On the Dragons’ first play, Goncher ran off left tackle to the 2-yard line but as he was hit, the ball was fumbled and rolled out of bounds at the eight-yard line. The Dragons kept pounding away and were faced with a fourth down and goal from the two-yard line. United’s defense rose to the challenge and stopped the run. The game ended, with a final score of 14-6. The Lions charged the field, and the Dragons walked off, still with pride. Junior quarterback Jacob Barnett said, “We fought hard all game, we just didn’t get the results we wanted. It stinks to end the season like that, but it gives us motivation for next year.”

The Purchase Line Red Dragons closed out the season with a record of 3-8. Their overall goal was achieved with playoffs, and the fire breathing Dragons look forward to next season. Purchase Line also says goodbye to their three seniors, Kaleb Yarger, Cameron Yoder, and Quinn Scalese. Senior lineman Quinn Scales said, “It was a true pleasure to be able to play such a great game with my brothers and coaches. Losses happen in life. You just have to learn from them and remember the feeling and remember you never want to have that feeling again. So, the great guys that I was so lucky to play with have to work harder for next year.”

Head Coach Matthew Falisec said, “We showed heart all night and they left everything on the field. I am proud of how we played and how we improved from week to week. This game will make us hungrier for next year and I can’t wait to get it started again.”

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