Frontier coach Tim Myslinski made a deal with his linemen before the season: If anyone scores a touchdown, a yummy steak dinner awaits.
Defensive tackle Nathan Clark is the first recipient, scoring on a pick-six from 12 yards out during the Falcons’ 31-0 road victory at Lancaster. Buffalo Chophouse can be expensive but Myslinski has options.
“Wegmans sells steaks too,” he said laughing.
The Falcons defense was certainly in a devouring mood on Friday night, holding the Redskins to 140 yards of total offense while registering four interceptions and two sacks in winning at Lancaster for the first time in 17 years and moving up to 5-1 on the season.
“First time that’s happened in a long time for Frontier so it’s a big win,” Myslinski said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see Lancaster on the schedule. I keep telling the guys, ‘One game at a time.’ But I saw them on the schedule.”
Myslinski said Lancaster is consistently tough to beat.
“You measure yourself by how you play against Lancaster.”
Cameron Coon finished with 123 yards rushing and a touchdown, a performance that was shoved out of the spotlight because of the Falcons’ defense.
“I give the credit to our coaches, they constantly prepare us and work endlessly day and night,” said Adrian Cannon, who picked off two passes. “We watch film and know our opponent before we go out there and flying to the football and playing Falcon defense.”
On Friday, one play stood out.
Cannon had a punt land on the Lancaster 1 in the third quarter. Kevin Colafranceschi dropped back, Clark read the screen and intercepted the pass and returned it 12 yards for a Frontier touchdown and a 24-0 lead. Dinner time at the Myslinski house.
“All week we said he was going to get one because there was going to be a screen pass and if he read it right it was going to be a pick-six,” Cannon said. “He did what he was supposed to do and made a great play.”
Lancaster (3-3), meanwhile, put its best drive together on its final possession, moving all the way to the Frontier 9. Then a bad snap to quarterback Alex Staszcyk was tracked down back at the 32. Staszcyk ran 3 yards on a keeper on third down, then was intercepted by Cannon in the end zone and returned 60 yards just before time expired.
“The field position we received was because the defense played outstanding,” quarterback Tyler Gaglia said. “To have a pick by our defensive lineman Nathan Clark was just outstanding and motivated us as a bench and led to our future success.”
Frontier got on the board first in the second quarter.
On third and 12, Gaglia hit Ricky Fitzgerald down the left seam for a 21-yard gain to the Lancaster 20, then on the next play, Gaglia found Fitzgerald again on a bubble screen to the Redskins’ 10, but the drive essentially stalled.
The Falcons settled for a 31-yard field goal by Cannon and a 3-0 lead.
The heavy lifting on Frontier’s next scoring drive came courtesy of Coon.
He ripped off an 8-yard gain then had back-to-back runs of 20 and 24 yards to the Lancaster 28. He had 54 yards on the drive that ended with a Gaglia 5-yard touchdown pass to Alexander Licata.