Oh, what could have been for Loyalsock?
A week after posting over 200 yards of total offense, Loyalsock quarterback Kyle Datres had another good game statistically, throwing for 164 and running for 35 while keeping the Lancers near even with Danville in offensive yards and time of possession. The similarities between the Lancers and Ironmen ended there, however, as the Danville defense intercepted Datres four times, all by Cale Rice, including three times in the first quarter, and also sacked the young signal-caller six times while flushing him out of the pocket and making him make several of his 25 pass attempts while on the run as the Ironmen ran away with a 20-6 win over the Lancers.
"Danville certainly came prepared. Danville's coaches are exceptionally good," said Loyalsock coach Justin Van Fleet. "We need to continue to work toward a more fine execution offensively with pass blocking and our routes. We had some situations where I can do a better job of putting our kids in better situations. Overall, we can improve and we will."
Danville ran for 159 of its 195 rushing yards in the second half and opened what was just a 7-0 lead at halftime as Sam Dressler ran for 119 yards and Rice ran for 68 on offense in addition to his four picks.
"The defense did a great job and that quarterback (Datres) is one heck of an athlete," said Danville coach Jim Keiser. "He's only a sophomore but he sure doesn't play like one. I'm real proud of Cale with those four big picks. Those were huge. We're a little upset we gave up that score in the last minute there but Loyalsock is a good football team. They're going to be around and will be a threat in the playoffs."
Rice picked off Datres on each of Loyalsock's first three possessions, with each coming in Danville territory and two in the red zone. The first went through the hands of Loyalsock receiver Phil Krizan and right into Rice's hands and Rice battled with a Loyalsock receiver for a jump ball in the end zone for his third pick in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Ironmen offense, however, was unable to do anything until late in the first half when Danville took advantage of outstanding field position, gaining possession at the Loyalsock 35 and putting together a six-play drive capped by Isaiah Croll's 14-yard run with 2:56 left in the half to take a 7-0 lead.
After the Ironmen punted on their first possession of the third quarter, Loyalsock drove down to the Danville 16 but missed a field goal as the Ironmen defense held. From there, Danville put together an eight-play, 56-yard drive that was capped by Shayne Riley's first field goal of the night, a 41-yarder, to put the Ironmen up 10-0 with 3:31 left in the third. A 43-yard run by Sam Dressler was the big play of that drive, as Dressler more than doubled his rushing-yard total for the game with that run.
Loyalsock's ensuing possession saw the Lancers drive all the way down to the Danville 29 before Rice recorded his fourth interception of the night to give his team possession at its own 26. Danville then went 74 yards in nine plays before being stalled at the Loyalsock 10, which led to Riley's second field goal of the night, this one from 27 yards. A holding penalty and a bad snap forced Loyalsock to punt from deep in its own territory on its next possession, which gave Danville great field position again from the Lancer 40.
The Ironmen then proceeded to go 40 yards in eight straight rushing plays to cap their scoring for the night with Dressler's 10-yard run. Loyalsock then managed to avoid the shutout with a 10-play drive the ended with Datres' 9-yard touchdown pass to Krizan with two seconds left.