York Suburban falls to Northern Lebanon on last-second field goal in controversial ending

Patrick Strohecker
York Dispatch
  • York Suburban lost, 31-28, on a last-play field goal to Northern Lebanon.
  • The defeat drops the Trojans to 1-4 on the season.
  • York Suburban scored three consecutive touchdowns in a four-minute span to start the fourth quarter to erase an 11-point deficit.

After a controversial call went against York Suburban in Week 4's last-play, final-seconds defeat to Kennard-Dale, it would seem that an ending of that nature would be hard to top.

York Suburban's Justin Griffith (28) and his teammates react after Northern Lebanon wins the game on a field goal as time expired during football action at York Suburban High School in Springettsbury Township, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Northern Lebanon would win 31-28. Dawn J. Sagert photo

It didn't even take a week for another ending to surpass last week's in terms of heartbreak in a season that is becoming all about tough luck and close calls for the Trojans.

Playing on Thursday night, Sept. 28 because of Yom Kippur, Suburban was again on the wrong end of a controversial decision and last-second defeat. Tied with Northern Lebanon at home in the final seconds of the game, the Vikings lined up to attempt a 25-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play.

Instead, the Trojans broke through the line and blocked the kick. They looked to have forced overtime. A personal foul penalty was called on Suburban, however, giving Northern Lebanon an automatic first down and another chance to win the game in regulation. After running a play, Vikings' kicker Jenna Wentling nailed her third 20-yard field goal of the game, giving Northern Lebanon the 31-28 victory and sending the Trojans to another head-scratching, infuriating defeat.

The loss dropped Suburban to 1-4, while the Vikings improved to 4-1.

Trojans' head coach Andy Loucks declined to comment after the loss.

Big comeback for Trojans: The defeat was extra deflating considering the comeback that Suburban made in the fourth quarter just to get back into the contest and eventually take a lead.

Trailing 20-9 heading into the fourth quarter, explosive plays in a four-minute span saw the Trojans go from trailing by 11 to leading by eight. It all started with a Willie Batty 27-yard touchdown catch to pull Suburban to within five.

After forcing a three-and-out on the Vikings' ensuing possession, Nate Banks reeled off a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Trojans in front by one, 21-20, with 8 minutes, 21 seconds to play. 

Northern Lebanon's Christian Trader, left, falls as York Suburban's Nate Banks runs the ball for a touchdown during football action at York Suburban High School in Springettsbury Township, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Northern Lebanon would win 31-28. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Again, the Suburban defense stood tall on Northern Lebanon's next drive, forcing another punt. But, instead of Banks getting a second attempt to make a big play, a bad snap led to the Trojans taking over possession at the 1-yard line. It took just one play for Jake Taylor to punch it in and increase Suburban's lead to 28-20 with just more than half the fourth quarter to play.

However, the Vikings finally found a rhythm offensively on the next drive, moving the ball down the field, before quarterback Michigan Daub ran for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 28-26 Trojans. After a successful two-point conversion, the game was tied, but Suburban had one final chance to score and win it in regulation. 

Instead, Northern Lebanon held the Trojans at bay, forcing them to punt deep in their own territory. Now, it was the Vikings' turn to benefit from a special-teams error. Suburban muffed the snap, leading to Northern Lebanon getting the ball inside the Trojans' 20, putting the Vikings immediately in field-goal range with less than a minute to play.

Northern Lebanon eventually got the ball down to the 3-yard line before the wild ending took place and set Wentling up to play hero.

Defensive struggle early: The fourth quarter played out completely differently than the first three quarters, which could be characterized as a defensive struggle.

After both teams went scoreless in the first quarter, the Vikings opened the scoring with a 25-yard touchdown strike from Daub to Christian Trader to go in front, 7-0, midway through the second quarter.

Suburban immediately answered, with Banks recording his first touchdown on a 9-yard run. A blocked point after attempt kept the Trojans behind, 7-6. But, they would go into the half leading, thanks to Dillon Greene's 36-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to make it a 9-7 Suburban lead.

York Suburban's Savion Harrison, left, works to take down Northern Lebanon's Isiah Davila during football action at York Suburban High School in Springettsbury Township, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Northern Lebanon would win 31-28. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Northern Lebanon provided the only scoring in the third quarter to go in front, 20-9. A touchdown and then two defensive stops by the Trojan defense that held the Vikings to a pair of field goals kept Suburban within striking distance going into the fourth quarter.

Trojans struggle on offense: The Trojans managed just 124 yards of offense, but didn't turn the ball over, while they also took advantage of big plays on special teams to hang around.

Daub had a big day at quarterback for Northern Lebanon, passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 81 yards on 18 attempts and one score. Stevie Herb helped him out on the ground, with 105 rushing yards on 20 attempts and Trader hauled in six grabs for 140 yards.

Suburban will be in action next Friday for its homecoming game against Susquehannock.



Northern Lebanon_0_7_13_11 —31

York Suburban_0_9_0_19 —28 




NL - Trader 25-yard catch (Wentling kick), 6:15

YS - Banks 9-yard run (Kick blocked), 4:12

YS - Greene 36-yard field goal, :00


NL - Davila 10-yard catch (Wentling kick), 8:55

NL - Wentling 20-yard field goal, 2:13

NL - Wentling 20-yard field goal, :07


YS - Batty 27-yard catch (2-point attempt failed), 10:15

YS - Banks 61-yard punt return (2-point attempt failed), 8:21

YS - Taylor 1-yard run (Greene kick), 6:14

NL - Daub 4-yard run (2-point conversion good), 2:41

NL - Wentling 20-yard field goal, :00

First Downs: NL, 18. YS, 9

Rushes-Yards: NL, 42-156. YS, 30-69

Passing Yards: NL, 241. YS, 55

Completions-Attempts-INTs: NL, 16-20-0. YS, 4-10-0

Penalties-Yards: NL, 7-48. YS, 4-34

Punts-Average: NL, 1-35.0. 4-31.8

Fumbles/Lost: NL, 3-1. YS, 3-0.

RUSHING— NL, Herb 20-105. Daub 18-81. Trader 2-15. TEAM 2-(-) 45. YS, Harrison 11-32. Banks 4-21. Torres 6-19. Taylor 3-4. Groncki 2-1. Reinecker 3-0. TEAM 1-(-)8.

PASSING— NL, Daub 16-20-241, 2 TDs. YS, Reinecker 4-10-55, 1 TD.

RECEIVING— NL, Trader 6-140. Davila 6-69. Margut 2-25. Light 1-8. Linton 1-7. YS, Batty 2-37. Banks 1-10. Torres 1-8.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com