CAMP HILL — It didn’t take long for Eric Nangle and the Exeter football team to feel they were in for a big night.
Nangle took a screen pass from Colin Payne 83 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game and continued to run through the Cedar Cliff defense the rest of the night.
Nangle finished with school records of 332 yards rushing and six touchdowns Friday night to lead Exeter to a 42-35 victory over Cedar Cliff in a District 3 Class 5A semifinal game at West Shore Stadium.
“They couldn’t stop the team,” Nangle said. “I was just watching the blocks happening, the holes were opening up. The offense looked beautiful.”
Nangle looked the best as he finished with 415 yards from scrimmage to help seventh-seeded Exeter (9-3) down sixth-seeded Cedar Cliff (10-2). Exeter had its season ended by Cedar Cliff with playoff losses in 2018 and ’19.
But with Nangle scoring just 1:08 into the game, the Eagles signaled they weren’t going to suffer another lopsided loss at West Shore Stadium.
“It was what we needed to get a momentum swing early and get these kids’ confidence up,” said Exeter coach Matt Bauer.
Nangle and the Exeter offensive line did the rest all night. Nangle scored on runs of 46, 4, 5, 59 and 9 yards to help the Eagles overcome four touchdowns passes by Cedar Cliff quarterback Evan Dorrell.
“I felt like our offense could keep scoring,” said Nangle, who carried 28 times. “We didn’t have too many worries.”
Dorrell threw his fourth TD pass with 3:22 left to trim Exeter’s lead to 42-35. Fearing they couldn’t stop the Exeter offense, Cedar Cliff attempted an onside kick that Exeter recovered. The Eagles ran out the clock to earn their first trip to a District 3 championship game.
The Eagles will face Berks I rival Gov. Mifflin Friday at 7 p.m. at Shillington. Gov. Mifflin, which defeated Exeter 54-21 during the regular season, stayed undefeated with a 38-13 win over Spring Grove.
Nangle surpassed the school record for rushing yards in a game of 261 set by Gabe Schappell in 2015. The school mark of five TDs in a game was shared by Gage Moran (2017), Jesse Reider (2003), Mike Troutman (2001) and Bruce Richmond (1970).
“I’m just so proud of him and how hard he works,” Bauer said. “He deserves all these accolades. He really carried the mail tonight.”
Source: Berkshire mont