Jared Montalto

Reading Eagle

Reading High coach Troy Godine was emotional after the final game of his first season as the head football coach at his alma mater.

The Red Knights fell 40-16 to Hempfield in a Section 1 Lancaster-Lebanon game Friday at Shirk Stadium, but Godine saw progress.

“They completely exceeded expectations,” Godine said. “Going to Reading High and playing football means something. We will return to the times when we were respected.”

Hempfield (6-0, 8-2) secured the win in Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1. Reading High (1-5, 3-7), which went just 1-7 a season ago, is looking to be at that level.

After going three-and-out on the Red Knights’ first possession, the Black Knights scored on a 19-yard field goal by senior Grant Hoover.

Hoover scored on a 5-yard run on Hempfield’s second possession.

Two plays into the second quarter, senior Stephen Catch scored for the Black Knights on a 10-yard run.

Reading High was able to hold Hempfield to a go-ahead goal by senior Kenan Biscoe on its next possession.

After failing to get a first down and retreating near their own end zone, the Red Knights were safe after Jondro’ Murcia fumbled for the snap.

The Black Knights led 33-0 at halftime after junior Jackson Landis connected with Micah Gates for a 7-yard touchdown.

However, the Red Knights did not give up.

After Catch was able to score another 5-yard touchdown, Reading High scored its first touchdown.

Senior Amiere Burdin connected with fellow senior Ruben Rodriguez for an 80-yard TD on the first play of the next possession. Sophomore Alexis Alvarado ran in the two-point conversion.

The two seniors were able to connect once again on the final play when Rodriguez caught Bourdin for a 71-yard touchdown with 5:09 left.

Rodriguez finished with 156 yards on three receptions. Burdine completed seven passes for 180 yards.

“These kids mean so much to this community, this program and this school,” Godine said. “We are doing everything we can to create leaders in this community and our high school. They get called out every day and they’ve stepped up to it.”