In what was one of the most dramatic games of the high school football season, the Wilson Bulldogs hosted the Lower Dauphin Falcons.
The Bulldogs entered Friday’s contest with a perfect 12-0 record, while the visiting Falcons entered at 11-1.
The two teams traded blows all the way down the final seconds. Lower Dauphin got a touchdown early in the second quarter on a Troy Spencer keeper to take a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs answered with just over a minute left until half on a Shane Dantzler touchdown, in which the sophomore carried several defenders with him into the end zone, tying the game at 7-7.
The Falcons would score on their first drive of the second half on another Troy Spencer QB keeper, putting them up 14-7 on the home Bulldogs.
It did not come easy, but the Bulldogs were able to again tie the game at 14-14 after another Shane Dantzler touchdown run, which was set up by several key throws from Matt Timochenko to Bryce Pych. The only problem was that the Bulldogs left 4:44 on the clock for the Falcons.
The Falcons got the ball out to about midfield on several runs by Troy Spencer. However, it would be a costly 15 yard facemask penalty on a third down stop that would propel the Falcons into Wilson territory and ultimately Joe Julius’ field goal range. The senior kicker lined up for a 46 yard field goal attempt with just 16 seconds left on the clock. The ball seemed to hang in the air forever before it split the uprights with just 10 seconds to play, putting the Falcons up 17-14.
The Bulldogs were able to try a free-for-all lateral play, but ultimately fell short.
Lower Dauphin (12-1) will now head to Hershey to battle Cumberland Valley (11-2) for the District 3 AAAA championship.
The Bulldogs finish the season with a 12-1 mark and have to feel pretty good about the future, having had so many young players step up this year.