RED LION — Teams around the York-Adams League and District 3 are going to quickly realize how potent the Red Lion boys' lacrosse offense is this season.
One of the highest-scoring attacks in the league the last few seasons, the Lions return several members from that unit this year. They put their talents on display in their opener on Tuesday against West York. Red Lion scored nine goals in the final quarter to run away from the Bulldogs and earn a 19-9 season-opening league win.
"We're going to be doing a lot of scoring this year, and have a lot of talent," Lions' head coach Stefan Striffler said. "We have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball."
Red Lion, which shared the league regular-season title with York Catholic a year ago, won't need an invitation to score this season. But, just in case it needed one Tuesday, West York gave it one. Much of the eventual rout was because of the Bulldogs' own doing, taking undisciplined penalties time and time again in the fourth quarter.
Bulldogs parade to penalty box: West York was hanging with the Lions through the better part of the three quarters, eventually going on a 3-0 run to begin the second half to tie the game 8-8. Two late goals to end the third quarter for Red Lion, however, gave it a 10-8 advantage heading into the fourth.
Then, the parade to the penalty box began for the Bulldogs and the floodgates opened for the Lions.
After Red Lion scored a third consecutive goal just eight seconds into the fourth quarter to build a three-goal cushion, frustration set in for West York. A pair of penalties at the same time put the Bulldogs two-men down and allowed the Lions to push their lead to 12-8 early in the fourth. Then a slash, plus two unsportsmanlike penalties on West York's Nathan Townsley, gave Red Lion five minutes of more man-up time, including four minutes of non-releasable time, and the offense took advantage. The Lions scored seven times in that span, which was part of an extended 11-0 run, to turn a once-close game into a blowout. In total, Red Lion scored nine goals off man-up situations.
"We're in that game through three quarters," Bulldogs' head coach Rodney Tamblin said. "One-, two-goal game. I think they went up three or four, we came back after half, tied it up, and just a couple of little things that fed into the frustration and it just built from there."
Emig shines, reaches milestone: West York (1-1), which was coming off a convincing opening win over Dover last Friday, showed that it could hang with the Lions when playing at full strength. The two sides alternated goals in the opening quarter, leading to a 4-4 tie after one. Then, Red Lion attacker Sam Emig got going in the second quarter, scoring three of the team's four goals, carrying it to an 8-5 advantage going into the halftime break. The Bulldogs didn't lay down, however, storming back out of the halftime break to again level the score, making it seem like it was going to be a close contest all the way until the end.
"(I told them to) just relax and go play ball," Tamblin said of his team's run to start the third quarter. "We stressed their face-off guy, and that ground balls were going to be important this game and our shots were going to be important. We were going to have to finish them because we knew it was going to be a tough game at the face-off line."
Tamblin wasn't wrong about the face-off advantage that the Lions had, either. Face-off specialist Mason Gauntt dominated at the dot, winning 28 of 30 face-offs that he took, allowing Red Lion to get into its offense on a routine basis. Once there, the attackers did the rest, led by Emig and sophomore midfielder Elijah Workinger. Emig scored a game-high seven goals, including his 200th career tally, while Workinger had a game-high eight points on three goals and five assists. Gauntt also contributed with a hat-trick of his own.
"Teams are going to focus on Sam, but then Trevor (Rider) and Coulson (Bittner) are both good attackers that can score," Striffler said. "Elijah Workinger can score from the midfield. Mason can score from the midfield. We have a lot of guys who can score, so if teams want to sit there and just focus on (Sam), I think they're going to be in trouble."
Cameron Goodling netted a hat-trick to lead West York, while Cody Richter and Townsley each scored twice. Richter also added two assists, and Goodling had one to finish with four points apiece.
Dallastown 11, Susquehannock 10 (OT): at Glen Rock, the Wildcats needed overtime to earn the road win. Ethan Pickett had three goals to lead Dallastown, while Jay Shifflet and Ser Greene each added two and Tanner Haines had a goal and three assists. Connor Kernan had a game-high four goals to lead Susquehannock, while Adam Rebich had two goals and three assists and Jack Allred also had two goals.
Spring Grove 15, Delone Catholic 6: At Spring Grove, the Rockets got off to a fast start, scoring nine goals in the first quarter, then cruised the rest of the way. Tanner Bolton scored five goals to lead Spring Grove, while Madison Moore facilitated nicely, dishing out four assists.
Central York 13, Eastern York 6: At Central, T.J. Ross (six goals, assist) and Connor Hoch (three goals, assist) powered the Panthers. Cole Witman (two goals, assist) paced Eastern. Kevin Royce made 11 saves in a losing cause.
York Suburban 16, New Oxford 4: At Suburban, Dominic Corto (four goals, six assists), Riley Purcell (four goals, assist), Evan LeCates (three goals, assist) and Bryce Gavin (two goals, two assists) powered Suburban.
Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.