Brandon Cavanaugh intercepted Raymond Central’s pass on the Rocket 2-yard line and returned it to the Mustangs 47-yard line, setting up S-D-A for the lone score of the game in a 6-0 final.
The S-D-A defense had to step up on Friday as quarterback Trevor Brinkman and lineman Caleb Lefferdink did not play due to injuries.
On Raymond Central’s first possession of the game, Brendon Lyon picked of a pass that help set the defensive tone for the S-D-A.
The Rockets drove the ball down to the Mustang’s 1-yard line but was turned  away as the Rockets went for it on fourth and goal and were stopped.
Raymond Central put together a drive in the fourth quarter.
On 2nd-and-goal, the Mustangs attempted a slant pass on the Rockets 2-yard line with 9:57 to go.
Cavanaugh jumped the route for the interception and returned the ball 53 yards to the Mustang 47-yard line.
Momentum turned in the Rockets favor as they mounted a 47-yard drive.
On 3rd-and-goal on the Mustang  4-yard line, Christian Frederick, who had 90 yards on 17 carries in this contest,  pounded his way in for a Rocket touchdown with 4:48 remaining. S-D-A missed the PAT, but led 6-0.
S-D-A forced a quick three and out when Logan Mueller batted a pass incomplete on a 3rd-and-19.
The home team then chewed up over two minutes of clock.
Raymond Central got one more attempt after a 16 yard punt by the Rockets, placed the ball on  S-D-A 49 yard line with two minutes left.
On a 4th-and-9, Raymond Central threw a pass that fell incomplete and the Rockets held on for the win.
An emotional  Coach Rick Nordues explained how proud he was of his team stepping up.
“I’m so proud of those young kids because they didn’t bat an eye.” he  said.
The coach said freshmen filled in for injured players and that he was proud of them and said that the veterans stepped up in a big way also.
Coach talked about how crucial Cavanaugh’s interception was in the fourth quarter.
“It was unbelievable. The guy came across the middle and Brandon read it like a book and stepped right in front.” Nordues said.
Frederick and Mueller led the Rockets defense with 10 tackles.
Freshman quarterback Burton Brandt completed four passes for 24 yards and had no interceptions.
Cavanaugh rushed for 58 yards.
Conestoga will travel to Syracuse on Friday Sept. 22 to take on the Rockets at 7 p.m.