From the first day of heat acclimatization practice on Aug. 5, until the very last Lancaster-Lebanon League football team is standing later this fall, we’ll bring you three fun L-L League pigskin facts on a daily basis to keep you updated about what’s happening around the league …
1. There is a Saturday Night Special game on the Week 5 docket, with Solanco set to host Conestoga Valley for a Section 2 throw-down in Quarryville. It is the last scheduled Saturday game for any L-L League teams this season, as the Golden Mules play a yearly Saturday night home game to coincide with the Solanco Fair. It’s a fun night, and almost always is a big draw. The crux of Bucks vs. Mules: CV’s rushing defense against Solanco’s punishing triple-option ground attack, which has amassed a league-best 1,376 rushing yards in four games. The Bucks must zero-in on Mules’ FB Nick Yannutz, far and away the league’s leader with 659 rushing stripes. Yannutz already has a pair of 200-yard nights under his belt this season; he rumbled for 208 yards and three scores in a win over Kennard-Dale, and last week, Yannutz bolted for 215 yards and two more scores in a shutout victory over Garden Spot, as Solanco pocketed its third W in a row. CV is in the middle of the pack in Section 2, allowing 354 yards a game, including 724 total yards on the ground. Needless to say, the Bucks must tighten up their rush D in this brawl.
2. Warwick’s offense gets a ton of pub, and why not? The Warriors lead the L-L League in total offense (472 yards a game) and points scored (209), and they’ve spent the first four weeks lighting up every scoreboard in sight. But Warwick is also taking care of business on defense, and linebackers Jonathan Forbes and David Hnasko have been leading the charge. Forbes has a team-best 42 tackles (including 14 solo sticks) and Hnasko has 36 stops (with 14 solo tackles plus a sack) as the Warriors feature the third-ranked defense in the league; Warwick is allowing just 220 yards and 6 points a game, and the Warriors have 11 sacks and eight big interceptions from their active secondary. Warwick is at McCaskey on Friday, looking to improve to 5-0 for the first time in a long time.
3. Talk about doing work in the trenches: Donegal’s interior D-linemen have been blowing stuff up through the season’s first four weeks. Check the numbers: Hammer D-tackles Connor Ruhl (39 tackles, 10 for losses, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery), Owen Kling (25 tackles, 7 for losses, 3 1/2 sacks, 1 forced fumble) and A.J. McCarty (19 tackles, 5 for losses) have constantly been in the backfield, stopping runners cold in their tracks as the Indians have piled up 31 stops for losses and 9 1/2 sacks in their 3-1 start. Those numbers also indicate that Ruhl, Kling and McCarty are winning their hand-to-hand battles at the point of contact. That’s good fundamentals and football smarts. By the way, Ruhl, Kling and McCarty help anchor Donegal’s offensive line — along with Joel Grillo — and Ruhl and McCarty were Section 3 all-star picks last year. The Wing-T numbers have been spiffy — including the Indians’ passing attack, which has been really good — but the thumpers up front are a big reason why Donegal is riding a 3-game winning streak, and is tied for first place in the section race. The Indians are at Ephrata on Friday.