Burrell spoils Deer Lakes homecoming with Allegheny Conference win

Friday, October 8, 2021 | 11:00 PM

Trailing by three points, Burrell was facing a fourth-and-4 at the Deer Lakes 26-yard line.

It had been Burrell’s “Caden DiCaprio show” all night, and that’s what the Lancers were expecting. DiCaprio took the handoff from Devin Beattie, rolled right and hit Kamden Marmo for a 25-yard pass down to the Deer Lakes 1-yard line.

One play later, DiCaprio scored from a yard out to give the Bucs the lead in the final minutes as Burrell spoiled Deer Lakes’ homecoming with a 28-24 win in a back-and-forth game Friday night at Lancers stadium.

“I dug into my bag of tricks, and we pulled something out,” Burrell coach Shawn Liotta said. “Kam Marmo made a great catch, and Caden made a great throw. We lulled them to sleep a little bit. Trick plays are only good if they’re called at the right time.

“Scared money don’t make money. We let it fly, and the kids did a great job.”

Minutes after the go-ahead touchdown, the game went into a 30-minute lightning delay with Deer Lakes offense set up at the Burrell (1-6, 1-2) 44-yard line. Six plays later, the game was over. The Lancers’ offense couldn’t get anything going once they returned to the field following the 41 minute-delay.

“I can’t say enough about our defense making a great stop at the end of the game,” Liotta said.

Lancers’ running back Cody Scarantine scored on a 47-yard run to opening the scoring and give Deer Lakes (3-4, 3-1) an early 6-0 lead after a failed extra point attempt.

The Bucs offense got going in the second quarter and put together a 16-play, 66-yard drive that was capped by a Devin Beattie 1-yard keeper to give Burrell a 7-6 lead with 10 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the half.

Deer Lakes quarterback Derek Burk scored on an 11-yard keeper to retake the lead at 12-7. Deer Lakes was 0 for 4 on extra-point attempts on the night.

Burrell regained the lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by DiCaprio to bring the score to 14-12 going into the half. DiCaprio rushed for 149 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns. DiCaprio scored on an 11-yard run midway through the third quarter and extend Burrell’s lead to 21-12 with 5:38 remaining in the third quarter.

“That’s called grown man stuff right there,” Liotta said about DiCaprio’s performance. “We played bully ball. We lined up with two tight ends. You don’t get to run the ball 40-some times if you’re not moving the guys up front. Everybody did a great job.”

Scarantine scored on a 52-yard touchdown run to cut Burrell’s lead to 21-18 late in the third quarter.

Deer Lakes retook the lead on a 5-yard touchdown run with 9:51 remaining on the fourth-quarter clock.

Scarantine finished the night with 192 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns. Burk finished 10 of 14 for 127 yards.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids,” Liotta said. “I don’t think a lot of people gave us a chance to come in here and win this game.”

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

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