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Battle of wits: Raiders survive epic fourth quarter, beat Camp Hill, 31-28

Posted 10/1/13

Photo by Jodi Ocker Middletown running back Chris Holloman (45) ran for a game-high 154 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.The cool, early autumn air around Middletown’s War Memorial Field had a bit of a charge to it prior to the start of the …

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Battle of wits: Raiders survive epic fourth quarter, beat Camp Hill, 31-28

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fieldgoal10 2 13 webA lesser team could have caved in following the sudden turn of events, but the Middletown side erased those thoughts in a hurry.

On second-and-15 from his 30, Kamara executed another read-option keeper to perfection. Getting the room to run from his line, the shifty sophomore quarterback dashed through a gap in the middle and simply outran everyone 70 yards to the end zone, giving the lead back to the Raiders. Josh Alcock’s PAT lifted the Raiders to a 19-14 lead that held up until halftime. 

Through the first 8:00 of the second half, the game turned into a battle of defenses. But the Lions finally broke the scoring drought with just 25 seconds left in the third.

Keyed by a pair of passes and a pair of Middletown penalties, the Lions reached the Middletown 17 with time winding down. On the sixth play of the drive, Shuster connected with Logan Vallati for the touchdown that gave Camp Hill a 20-19 edge heading into the final quarter.

On a drive that started at the Middletown 48 following another big kickoff return by Matinchek, the Raiders put together a successful march that was capped by Holloman’s 17-yard touchdown run through the middle of Camp Hill’s defense. Holloman, Matinchek and Kamara shared the duties as the Raiders stayed on the ground. Thanks to the work of Caleb Leggore, Drawbaugh, Brent Newton, Mitch Ward and Tommy Staker on the offensive line, the Raiders regained the lead, 25-20, with 8:19 left in the game.

But, like the Raiders, the Lions did not quit after falling behind, and a lightning-quick 51-yard touchdown run by Williams four plays later pushed the visitors back in front at 28-25 with 6:29 left.

A three-and-out by the Middletown offense took some of the electricity out of the air for the Middletown fans, but the Raider defense held firm as well. Backed up by a dead ball personal foul following a third down play, the Lions had to punt from their own 21.

Once again, Matinchek came up big on the return, but a blocking penalty nullified his run to the Camp Hill 15. Instead, the Raiders had to start from their own 44 with just over 3:00 left on the clock.  
Fager’s 5-yard catch and a 16-yard run by Holloman gave the Raiders at first down at the Camp Hill 35. Two plays later, Holloman went 19 yards to the Camp Hill 16 on a screen pass from quarterback Nathan Ocker.

Following an incompletion, the Raiders went back to the ground and Holloman streaked into the end zone with 2:05 remaining. Yet another failed conversion kept the Raiders hanging onto a precarious 31-28 lead and the Lions had one more chance to go back on top. 

Stung by a personal foul that moved the ball to the Raiders’ 35, the Middletown defense found itself in a tension-filled situation. The Lions picked up 10 yards and a first down at the 25, but hurt themselves with a 5-yard penalty on the next play. But the Lions gained a new set of downs at the 15 and, following an incomplete pass on the next play, Camp Hill called a timeout with 36 seconds left.

With Cain blitzing from his linebacker spot and the front four putting on the pressure, Shuster, the Camp Hill quarterback, missed his next two passes, setting up a 31-yard field goal attempt on fourth down.

With the defensive rush coming, the center snap was too high, eliminating the field goal try. Shuster came up with the ball but was swarmed under by several Middletown defenders before he could get a pass attempt off, and the Raiders clinched their fourth straight win.
  

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