A three-year starter in both football and basketball, Elco 5-foot, 10-inch, 170-pound junior Braden Bohannon is accustomed to the varsity stage by now. He’s also so talented he’s even to the point of playing three different positions for the Raiders’ football team as the starting quarterback, splitting reps at running back and being a full-time safety.
And last Friday night, he brought Elco back from down 20-10 by scoring the final 21 points to dethrone Donegal, 31-20. The Indians had come in sitting atop the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three standings. But with the loss, Donegal (5-1 league, 5-2 overall) is now in a three-way, first-place tie with Lancaster Catholic (5-1, 6-1) and Lebanon (5-1, 5-2).
In the win over Donegal, Bohannon had 29 carries for 181 rushing yards and two rushing scores while completing three of five pass attempts for 51 yards and one TD. That went along with eight tackles and an interception from his defensive safety spot.
In his last three games, Bohannon has gathered 535 rushing yards and nine TDs. His 962 total rushing yards this season leads all L-L quarterbacks.
And we should also mention Elco (4-2 league, 4-3 overall) has now won four in a row after an 0-3 start.
For his efforts, Bohannon is LNP’s Week Seven Football Player of the Week, sponsored by Kegel's Produce. Here’s a Q&A conducted with the signal-caller/running back/safety on Monday afternoon.
With an 0-3 start to the season, how was this team able to keep its chin up and move forward? “Our coaches and captains and leaders of the team have done a good job of keeping everyone focused on each game each week. The first three games were tough losses. Once we got that first win it was a sigh of relief. We got the first win off our chest, now we can just play football and have fun.”
What do you credit for the turnaround? “You just continue to do what you do in practice every week. Work together. Work as a team and wins will come.”
How do you juggle the varying responsibilities with playing so many different postions on Friday nights? “As a quarterback you kind of know what everyone is supposed to be doing all over the field. So playing running back and playing safety it all kind of goes together. I work hard at practice. Everyone works hard at practice. The coaches has done a good job helping me learn what I’m supposed to do.”
Elco is just the second team to hold Donegal to 20 points or fewer this season. What went right defensively for you guys defensively last Friday? “The first half they were moving the ball on us. We were getting smacked in the mouth a little bit. ...but second half we sort of loaded the box up. And our time of possession on offense has been good the last couple of weeks, which limits the opposing offense to how many plays they have. That’s been big for us. I think Donegal only ran 15 plays on offense in the second half.”
Time for some fun questions. ...what’s your favorite subject in school? “Right now physical education probably. Or cooking. I like to eat all the food.”
What’s your favorite dish to cook? “I don’t do much cooking in my group. I’m not a very good cook. The good cooks do the cooking. I just eat all the food.”
Do you have any plans after high school? “Go to college. I’m not sure if I want to play football or basketball yet. And I’d like to one day be a strength and conditioning coach for a college football team.”
You find in a genie in a lamp and get three wishes. What are they? “Everyone says your first wish should be to ask for an infinite amount of wishes. That’s got to be one. I’d like to play in the NBA. That’d be amazing. I’ll just go with those two.”
Let’s say you’re in charge of the lunch menu at the school. What would you change or add? “I think we should get pizza from Domino’s more often. They do that once a week now. If we had it everyday that’d be nice.”
If you could get tickets to any college sporting event, where would you go? “A Duke basketball game. I’ve been to Penn State football games. But I’ve never been to a Duke basketball game. I’m a big Duke basketball fan.”