Here are five individual matchups to watch when Lancaster-Lebanon League football teams hit the field for their Week 7 games on Friday ...
Cedar Crest at Elizabethtown: Priority No. 1 for the Bears is slowing down the Falcons’ pass-happy attack; QB Chris Danz lit up Penn Manor for 313 air yards and a pair of scores last week, and he’s up to 1,126 passing yards this season — fourth-most in the league. E-town must get some pressure on Danz off the edge, and not many players around the league are better at doing that than Bears’ vet DE/QB-chaser Jett Kelly, who has amassed 55 tackles, with seven stops for losses and three sacks, plus a fumble recovery and a pair of forced fumbles for good measure. … And this: E-town is out to snap a 5-game losing streak, the Bears’ longest such skid since a 21-game slide a few years back. E-town was 0-3 to finish the 2013 season, 0-10 in 2014, and then 0-8 to start the 2015 campaign before snapping that string.
Solanco at Penn Manor: If there is one offense the Comets don’t see every day in Section 1, it’s a triple-option attack — like the one the Golden Mules will bring to Millersville. So PM’s D will be in the spotlight to make plays, particularly in the rush-defense department. Comets’ DB Erik Hinkle piled up 13 tackles, including two hits for losses, and he blocked a kick last week vs. Cedar Crest. PM will need Hinkle to help out against Solanco’s run-heavy scheme. … And this: Penn Manor is 0-6 for the first time since the Comets went 0-10 in 2015.
Annville-Cleona at Pequea Valley: PV QB Nate Fisher had 120 rushing yards and a TD and PV RB Tony Lazar had 118 rushing yards and a TD in last week’s 14-0 win over Northern Lebanon, as the Braves snapped a 24-game losing streak. Now they have some momentum, and a hot ground attack. All eyes on the Little Dutchmen to stuff that rush, meaning another busy night for ball-hawker LB Logan Wagner, who has a team-best 63 tackles, with six stops for losses and a pair of sacks. … And this: A-C has yielded 1,732 rushing yards — most in the league.
Ephrata at Donegal: The Indians are feeling a lot better about things after rallying past Lebanon last Saturday, using their powerful Wing-T attack to get the job done in the process. Garrett Blake had a 112-yard, 2-TD day against the Cedars, so the Mountaineers must be prepped and ready to stop the run. Two active ‘backers to watch for Ephrata: Owen Morrongiello (74 tackles, 8.5 for losses, 4 QB hurries, 2 fumble recoveries) and Tyler Nelson (59 tackles, 2 for losses, 3 pass breakups) must help contain Blake and his backfield mates. … And this: How’s this for balance — Ephrata’s offense has 696 passing yards and 693 rushing yards.
Garden Spot at Octorara: The Braves simply must contain Spartans’ dual-threat QB Jesse Martin, who has been a one-man wrecking crew for Garden Spot with 401 passing yards and 522 rushing yards, while accounting for nine offensive touchdowns. Will Octorara spy Martin, perhaps? A perfect candidate for that assignment could be LB Paul Murray, who has piled up a team-leading 40 tackles with a pair of sacks. … And this: Octorara has the top-ranked offense in the league, churning out 438 yards a game.
** UPDATE ** The Garden Spot at Octorara game has been postponed because of coronavirus concerns at Garden Spot. Octorara has added a game: The Braves will play Friday at 7 p.m. at West Chester Henderson. The Warriors are 0-3 and play in the Ches-Mont League, and their game Friday vs. Sun Valley was PPD because of coronavirus closures at Sun Valley.