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. MILESTONE UPDATE
Manheim Central senior QB Evan Simon finished the season with 2,625 passing yards, giving him 8,078 in his career. That’s good for No. 2 on the L-L League’s all-time passing chart: Lancaster Catholic’s Kyle Smith (8,545), Simon and Lampeter-Strasburg’s Bear Shank (8,012) are the only three players in league history, dating back to 1972, with 8,000-plus air yards. … The current active leader is Warwick junior QB Joey McCracken, who heads into Friday’s D3-5A semifinal vs. Cocalico with 4,654 air yards. He has at least that game vs. the Eagles, and all of 2020 to add to his total. … Simon also finished his Barons’ career with 84 TD passes, most in program history. He just missed out on a 1,000-passing/1,000-rushing season; Simon had 2,625 passing yards and 930 rushing yards this fall for the Barons. … Cocalico senior QB Noah Palm (917 passing yards) needs 83 vs. Warwick for a 1,000-yard passing season. That would give Palm a rare 1,000/1,000 season; he’s at 1,186 rushing yards so far this season. … Manheim Township senior QB Harrison Kirk finished his Blue Streaks’ career with 4,854 passing yards, including 2,467 yards and 25 TD strikes this season, when Township went 11-1 and won its third Section 1 championship in a row. Next stop for Kirk is Colgate. … Two Warwick wideouts are closing in fast on 1,000-yard seasons: Caleb Schmitz (54-922, 13 TDs) needs 78 yards and Conor Adams (58-937, 8 TDs) needs 63 yards to hit a grand through the air. The last time a pair of L-L League teammates had 1,000-yard receiving seasons was in 2017, when Conestoga Valley’s Jose Barbon (67-1,035, 16 TDs) and Tyre Stead (62-1,002, 9 TDs) did the honors.
2. WARWICK AT COCALICO NOTES
How they got here: (5) Warwick (10-2) beat (12) Mechanicsburg 34-6 in the first round and beat (4) Manheim Central 31-28 in the quarterfinals; (1) Cocalico (9-2) had a first-round bye and beat (8) Governor Mifflin 42-14 in the quarterfinals. … This is Cocalico’s fourth trip in a row to at least the D3-5A semifinal game; the Eagles lost to Manheim Central in the semifinals in 2016 and 2017, and the Barons beat Cocalico in last year’s championship game. … Warwick’s 10 wins are most in program history, and this is the deepest postseason trip ever for the Warriors. … This is Cocalico’s 22nd D3 trip, and the Eagles are 24-18 overall, including 2A championships in 1985 (over East Pennsboro) and 1994 (over Juniata). … This is Warwick’s 7th D3 trip and the Warriors are 3-6, after winning for the first time in the postseason last year. … This is the first time Warwick and Cocalico will clash in the postseason. In fact, the Warriors and the Eagles have never been L-L League section foes: In 2004, when the L-L League realigned, Warwick went from Section 2 up to Section 1, and Cocalico went from Section 3 up to Section 2. So they’ve never crossed paths in a league game dating back to 1972. The Warriors and the Eagles, however, are annual August scrimmage foes, so there is a little bit of familiarity here. Also, Warwick will slide down to Section 2 next year — when the league goes to four sections — so the Warriors and Eagles will become section rivals starting next fall. … Coaches: Warwick’s Bob Locker (19th season, 98-100 overall) needs two wins for 100 in his career. If the Warriors win D3 gold, he’ll hit that number. Locker is currently the second-longest tenured coach in the L-L League. … Cocalico’s Dave Gingrich (16th season, 128-59 overall) has his squad back in another D3 Final Four. … Winner gets: (2) Cedar Cliff (9-2) or (11) Exeter (9-3) in the D3-5A title game. … Four common opponents for Warwick and Cocalico: Garden Spot (Warwick W 56-13; Cocalico W 54-13), Manheim Central (Warwick W 37-7 and W 31-28; Cocalico L 46-43), Manheim Township (Warwick L 28-7; Cocalico L 56-7) and Conestoga Valley (Warwick W 30-6; Cocalico W 54-41).
3. LAMPETER-STRASBURG AT BISHOP McDEVITT NOTES
How they got here: (8) L-S (9-3) beat (9) Elco 34-7 in the first round and beat (1) York Suburban 27-18 in the quarterfinals; (4) McDevitt (8-3) had a first-round bye and beat (5) Susquehanna Township 21-7 in the quarterfinals. … This is the fifth time L-S and McD will square off in the D3 playoffs, and the Crusaders are 4-0 in those previous matchups: 2010 (40-10 in 3A semifinals), 2011 (28-14 in 3A title game), 2012 (40-13 in 3A first-rounder) and 2017 (47-17 in 4A semifinals). … This is L-S’s 14th D3 trip, and the Pioneers are 14-12 overall. They are in the playoffs for the 12th year in a row, and won the 2007 3A title (over Gettysburg). … This is McD’s 23rd D3 trip, and the Crusaders — get this — are a staggering 56-8, with 14 championships, including last year’s 4A crown; McDevitt’s 56 D3 wins are second-most behind Manheim Central (59). … In one dominating stretch, from 2010 through 2016, McD went 25-0 in D3 playoff games. … Three of the Crusaders’ eight D3 losses are against L-L League teams: 1983 (Lancaster Catholic in 2A title game), 1994 (Cocalico in 2A semifinals) and 2008 (Wilson in 4A semifinals). … Coaches: L-S’s John Manion (22nd season, 166-81 overall) and Manheim Township’s Mark Evans are the current longest-tenured L-L League coaches at 22 years apiece. … McD coach Jeff Weachter is a Lititz native, a Warwick grad and former Warriors' assistant coach, and he previously skippered Lebanon Catholic’s now-defunct gridiron program from 1993 through 1997. … Winner gets: (2) Milton Hershey (10-1) or (3) Berks Catholic (7-4) in the D3-4A title game. … McD has won six games in a row, and its three losses are by a grand total of 21 points: D3-6A quarterfinalist Cumberland Valley (L 21-7), D3-3A finalist Middletown (L 6-2; that is not a misprint) and D3-5A semifinalist Cedar Cliff (L 20-17). … No common opponents for L-S/McDevitt this season.