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Mistakes prove costly for Trojans

September 25, 2005|By CHRIS CARTER

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa.

Chambersburg set an early tone in its Mid-Penn Commonwealth matchup with Cedar Cliff on Saturday afternoon, but a flurry of turnovers and mental lapses changed that tone in a hurry.

The Trojans threw four interceptions, fumbled once and committed seven penalties to help Cedar Cliff to a 14-12 victory at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium.

"We made too many mental mistakes," Chambersburg coach Shawn Kimple said. "I wasn't disappointed with our effort one bit, but we've got to figure out how to eliminate the mistakes."

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The miscues turned out to be the downfall, which offset a promising start for Chambersburg (1-3, 1-3).

After holding the Colts (2-2, 1-1) to minus-8 yards in the game's opening series, tailback Tyler Perry scored on the Trojans' second offensive play. Perry took a pitch to the left and weaved through the Cedar Cliff defense for a 57-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

Little else went well for the Trojans' offense for the rest of the half. A muffed punt killed a potential drive before it started and interceptions on back-to-back possessions before halftime gave Cedar Cliff good field position.

The second interception in the closing minutes of the second quarter set up the Colts' first score. With just 25 seconds remaining, backup running back Andrew Thumma hit a wide open Jordan McClure for a 40-yard score on a halfback pass for a 7-6 lead.

"That's a play we've kind of been setting up for a while," said Colts coach Ron Davis. "We just had to wait for the right moment to use it."

The moment was perfect as it surprised the stingy Chambersburg defense, which had given up just 59 yards before the play and had already recorded five sacks - three by Andy Patterson.

The Trojans' defense, constantly on the field because of turnover, began to bend in the the second half and Cedar Cliff finally broke through on a 29-yard touchdown run by Len Dale Lee to up the lead to 14-6 with just 8:42 left in the game.

Chambersburg answered with an impressive 13-play drive that included conversions on two third downs and a fourth down and was capped with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone by Josh Truman to close the gap to 14-12.

The Trojans' two-point conversion attempt was stopped just short of the goal line when Vinnie Schaffer was met in mid-air by a pack of defenders to end the last legitimate threat from the Trojans. Schaffer was injured on the play and left on a stretcher with what Kimple believed was a severe stinger.

Perry led the Trojans with 109 yards on 15 carries, while Brian Pastor hauled in three passes for 33 yards.

Lee led the Colts running attack with 116 yards, while Varon Butts had two sacks and an interception to anchor the defense.

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