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Randy Fizer's record-breaking career places him among elite in Red Lion football history

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • Red Lion's Randy Fizer is coming off a 281-yard rushing performance vs. Dover.
  • In that same game, he also scored five touchdowns and totaled 32 points scored.
  • All of those numbers either tied or broke single-game records at Red Lion.

Jesse Shay can still remember the first time he met Randy Fizer.

The Red Lion High School football coach recalls that Fizer, then a wide-eyed seventh grader, showed flashes of athleticism on the field that excited Shay, but he was even more impressed with Fizer’s desire to ask questions and learn.

Years and hundreds of practices later, it brings a smile to Shay’s face when he realizes that the kid he watched grow up on and off the field will go down as one of the greatest players to ever put on a Lions uniform.

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“Not only is it gratifying to see that for Randy, but he is going to be held up as an example to all of the young kids in our program of exactly what you can do if you just work your tail off,” Shay said. “Here’s a kid that’s never been the tallest kid, he’s never been the biggest kid (and) he’s never been the strongest kid, but he just absolutely outworks people, and I think that is going to be part of his legacy at Red Lion.”

York High's Antoine Beard, left, looks to stop Red Lion's Randy Fizer Jr. during football action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. York High would win the game 34-30. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Breaking records: Coming into the season, Fizer already held the program records for touchdown catches in a season (14) and career records in receiving yards (1,396), receptions (91) and touchdown receptions (21) after playing wide receiver for just two seasons.

Randy Fizer looks set to move back to quarterback for senior season at Red Lion High

Out of necessity, Red Lion needed Fizer to switch back to his original position — quarterback — for his senior season, and after last week’s game against Dover, Fizer has nearly rewritten the Lions’ record book at a new position.

The 6-foot senior racked up 281 rushing yards, scored five rushing touchdowns and recorded 32 points (he ran in a 2-point conversion) to shatter records held by some of the program's elite athletes.

Fizer’s five rushing touchdowns tied him with Danny Smith, who set the record in 1964 before he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1966 MLB draft. The 281 rushing yards were more than any total ever achieved by Scott Fitzkee, who is a legend in Red Lion athletics lore. After starring at Red Lion, Fitzkee played wideout at Penn State and in the NFL. In the early 1970s, Fitzkee recorded a then-state-record average of 10.8 yards per carry as a running back.

Smith and Fitzkee’s accomplishments are known by the current Lions players, and to be mentioned in the same conversation as two of the best players to ever wear black and yellow is an honor to Fizer.

“These are legends that we hear our coaches talk about and guys we look up to, so beating records like that is a humbling experience,” Fizer said. “Just to be playing in the Red Lion program and playing on Horn Field is a special thing that I looked forward to as a kid.”

Northeastern's Tyshawn Bushrod, left, moves in on Red Lion's Randy Fizer during football action on Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Red Lion would win the game 41-28. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Smooth transition to QB: Shay knew Fizer was going to be special when he caught two touchdown passes in the last three minutes of Red Lion’s win over York High in 2018 to capture a share of the division title, but the senior continues to impress his coach each week.

With almost no offseason to prepare to play quarterback because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fizer has led the Lions to more than 400 yards of offense in each of their last four games, and he's recorded nearly 1,300 total yards and 14 touchdowns.

“We all knew he was going to be successful in the position, but I’m not sure we all thought he was going to be quite this good,” Shay said. “It reaffirms that when you do things the right way, good things are going to happen and things are going to work out.”

Looking for D-I offer: The one thing Fizer’s resume is missing is an offer from an NCAA Division I school. Fizer said he has spoken to some NCAA D-I schools about playing wide receiver, but at this time his lone scholarship is from NCAA D-II Lake Erie College.

Shay has told Fizer to stay patient and the opportunity will come. He added that if the COVID-19 pandemic had not canceled all the camps that Fizer was going to attend, the offers would be there if the coaches could see the senior in person.

“At the end of the day, there is going to be a football team somewhere that gets an absolute gem when they get Randy Fizer on their football team,” Shay said. 

Through 22 career games, Fizer has recorded 3,142 total yards and 35 total touchdowns. He credits his teammates for helping him achieve the elite status he has reached in program history, but the work ethic and talent his coach saw years ago are the main ingredients to his success.

Red Lion's Randy Fizer, left, catches the ball as Chambersburg's Tyler Luther defends during football action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Red Lion would win the game 26-21. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A goal fulfilled: With two games left in his  career, Fizer makes sure to remind himself of the goal he set for himself at the start of the season. In the process, he hopes to show current seventh graders what can be done if they’re willing to give everything they have to achieve their dreams.

“It’s definitely a humbling experience, but it’s something I had written down in my notebook — at the end of this year to be one of the greatest players to come out of the Red Lion football program,” Fizer said. “Every Friday I look at the notebook and look at the goals I set and I’m going to go out and accomplish them with a great team around me.”

— Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.