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Dallas takes down Imhotep Charter, advances to State Semifinals By: Tyler Harden

LEHIGHTON—Dallas came into last night’s game knowing they had a tough task in front of them. The Imhotep Charter Panthers have played for the State Championship for the past 4 years and have always been known for their star players that have gone on to play at major Division 1 Colleges and even professionally. From D.J. Moore (Wide Receiver for the Carolina Panthers) to David Williams (Running Back for the Denver Broncos) to Shaka Toney (Defensive End for Penn State), it only goes to show that Imhotep is a Pennsylvania powerhouse. But Dallas wasn’t focused on the past last night; they came in undefeated, and they knew they had a shot. As it turns out, the shot they had was a pretty big one.

Dallas came out with lots of intensity, as they were able to get on the board first with a Michael Starbuck 54-yard pass to Danny Meuser (Fisher PAT). Starbuck got locked in early, as he completed a 14-yard pass to Jack Farrell, and a 15 yard pass to Luke Delgaudio before finding Farrell for a 16 yard touchdown (Fisher PAT). “We just had to keep the momentum that we had going for us,” Dallas Wide Receiver, Luke Delgaudio, said. “Sure they made some plays, obviously they’re a great team so they’re going to make plays, it’s just how we bounce back.” It was only a matter of time before Imhotep would find the end zone, and Kenyatta Kirkland was able to do so on a 12-yard run (DShaun Seals 2-pt conversion good). At the end of the second quarter, Dallas’s 2,000 yard rusher, Lenny Kelly, got in the end zone to make it 21-8 (Fisher PAT).  Imhotep came right back, as Jalen Sutton-Christian completed a 62-yard pass to Seals to bring them to the Dallas 2-yard line. Kenyatta Kirkland was able to cap the drive off with a 2 yard run (PAT no good). 

Imhotep came out strong to start the second half, but Luke Delgaudio was able to intercept a pass from Sutton-Christian at the Dallas 10-yard line. However, the Panthers weren’t phased, as their defense executed and DShaun Seals was eventually able to score on a 40-yard run to give Imhotep their first lead of the game (Kirkland 2-pt conversion good). Imhotep then had another break, as the defense came up with a fumble recovery. Sutton-Christian then completed a 34-yard pass to Seals, and Kirkland finished the drive on a 5 yard touchdown run (2-pt conversion failed). Dallas needed to get on the board fast. Michael Starbuck came up big once again as he was able to Luke Delgaudio for a 31-yard touchdown (Fisher PAT). 

At the end of the third quarter, the game was tied, and everyone in the stadium knew the fourth quarter was going to be a good one. Lenny Kelly came up big to start the Mountaineers off, as he ran in for a 2 yard touchdown (Fisher PAT). But 13 seconds later, Saint McLeod ran for a 65- yard touchdown, and Kenyatta Kirkland gave the Panthers the lead back as he ran in for the 2-pt conversion. The Mountaineers needed a spark, and Michael Starbuck provided, as he led the Mountaineers on a 65-yard drive to the Imhotep 6-yard line. Kelly was able to cap off the huge drive on a 6-yard rushing touchdown to give Dallas a 43-36 lead (Jack Farrell 2-pt conversion good).

Dallas needed to stop Imhotep one more time. Imhotep started on their own 14-yard line, and Saint McLeod ran 31 yards on fourth down to bring them into Dallas territory. The Panthers got to the Dallas 14-yard line with 7 seconds left in the game. But Sutton-Christian scrambled to the right side, the Dallas defense stopped him, and the clock hit triple zeros. “It’s an awesome feeling”, Delguadio said, “we’ve been starting this process since freshman year, and it’s just a great feeling that we won tonight.” Delgaudio recently made a commitment to Bucknell University.

Dallas advances to 14-0, and they will take on Jersey Shore in the PIAA 4A State Semifinals. “It’s one week at a time”, Delgaudio said, “we just have to take this week how we take this week, and hopefully we will come out with the W on Friday.” Imhotep’s season comes to an end, and they finish the season at 8-5.