Columbia’s Justin Elliott signals a turnover after his team recovers a fumble against Elco at Elco High School in Myerstown on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

Here is what we learned about all 24 L-L League football teams from the Week 6 games, as told by the reporters who covered all of the action ...


CEDAR CREST: The Falcons needed a big game from two of their brightest playmakers on Friday against Penn Manor, and QB Chris Danz and RB Aadyn Richards both stood up and delivered. Danz threw for 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Richards galloped for 117 yards and a pair of scores as Cedar Crest held off the Comets 30-21. It was just what the doctor ordered for the Falcons, who snapped a three-game slide to pick up some late-season momentum. — Jeff Reinhart

HEMPFIELD: Kudos to the Black Knights for mostly bouncing back from a lopsided 49-7 Week 5 loss to Manheim Township with a fight-to-the end effort against Wilson on Friday. Hempfield led 9-0 in the first half, and trailed 13-12 in the third quarter, but didn’t get any closer in a 27-12 loss against the outright Section 1 champs. The Knights’ defense was gashed for 355 rushing yards. But it was on the field a bunch because the offense struggled stringing drives together. Hempfield’s final three drives of the first half were all three-and-outs. The Knights’ opening drive of the second half was kept alive on a successful fourth-down fake punt play, and a roughing-the-kicker penalty on another fourth down, which led to a 50-yard field goal by Spencer Biscoe to cut the deficit to 13-12. Outside of Tanner Hess’ 65-yard rushing score, Hempfield managed just 54 rushing yards on 22 carries, an average of 2.5 yards a carry. The Knights will next host Section 2 champ Warwick on Friday in a crossover game. — John Walk

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP: The Blue Streaks ran 62 totals plays, compared to McCaskey's 32 in Friday’s 56-14 lopsided win. Township racked up 480 total yards of offense, including 322 in the first half. Quarterback Evan Clark accounted for 259 through the air and 31 on the ground, while running back Cade Clancy had 125 total yards with two TD runs and a pair of TD receptions. — Joel Schreiner

McCASKEY: The Red Tornado posted a season-high 14 points in Friday's loss at Manheim Township, which extended their overall losing streak to 23 games in a row, the longest such streak in the league. A week after being held to zero first downs and minus-8 total yards at Harrisburg, McCaskey’s offense had six first downs and 266 yards against Township. Isaac Burks, who was averaging 20 yards per reception coming in, hauled in three passes for 155 yards — 52 yards per catch — in the loss. — Joel Schreiner

PENN MANOR: Try as they might, the Comets still can’t seem to get over the hump and pick up their first win this fall. After a week off because of coronavirus concerns in the school, they weren’t able to kick off quite all of the rust in a 30-21 setback against Cedar Crest, as the Falcons flew the friendly skies behind 300-yard passer Chris Danz. There’s too much talent and gumption in Millersville for Penn Manor not to find the win column before this season is over. — Jeff Reinhart

WILSON: The Bulldogs’ defense was mostly stout in Friday’s win over Hempfield, which sealed the outright Section 1 crown, as Wilson’s running game churned out 347 yards on 50 carries. The Bulldogs also saw the full return of senior RB Mason Lenart. Used sparingly in a lopsided Week Five win, Lenart gathered 79 yards on 15 carries against Hempfield. It’s another weapon in an arsenal loaded with them for the Bulldogs, who will now prep for a District 3 Class 6A semifinal playoff matchup at top-seeded Central Dauphin, once those brackets become official on Tuesday. — John Walk



COCALICO: There is a ton of skill-kid and trench talent in Eagles’ camp; Cocalico simply ran into a smoldering-hot Warwick team on Friday and dropped a 45-14 decision. It happens. It looks like no repeat district-championship performance for the Eagles this fall. But there’s still tons to love in Denver, and a big chunk of this crew will be back in 2021 to keep Cocalico’s roll going. — Jeff Reinhart

CONESTOGA VALLEY: You don’t get an award for being the most pleasantly surprising team in the league. But if you did, that shiny trophy would be on the way to Witmer for the Buckskins, who picked up their second win in a row and their third W in the last four games behind RB Booper Johnson, who zoomed for 205 yards and three scores in a 31-7 triumph over Solanco. Big plays. Trick plays. You name it. After a slow start, a coronavirus shutdown, and breaking in new players aplenty along the all-important line of scrimmage, the Bucks certainly have everyone’s attention now. — Jeff Reinhart



ELIZABETHTOWN: While the score may not show it, the Bears hung with Manheim Central in the first half before going cold in the second. Their defense was able to limit the Barons to just over 2 yards a carry on the ground, and their offense had some bright spots, including an 80-yard bomb from new starting QB Josh Rudy to former starter Pat Gilhool. — Kyle Morgan  

MANHEIM CENTRAL: We saw what the Barons’ aerial attack is capable of in Central’s 51-14 victory over Elizabethtown. Judd Novak had 6 TD tosses and 354 yards through the air on 11-for-16 passing; he obviously played great, but credit must also be given to Owen Sensenig, who scored on four of his five catches, and Wes Borden, who had TDs on both of his grabs as well. The two receivers had a ton of yards after the catch to help out their QB. — Kyle Morgan

SOLANCO: The Golden Mules’ string of bad luck against Conestoga Valley continued with a 31-7 setback against the boiling-hot Buckskins. That’s five losses in a row against CV for Solanco, which simply couldn’t corral 200-yard man Booper Johnson on Friday. Still, the Mules will always cherish victories over longtime section rivals Cocalico and Manheim Central this season; nobody can ever take those away. — Jeff Reinhart

WARWICK: This crew is on some kind of a mission, as the Warriors simply dominated and picked apart a really good Cocalico team by a 45-14 count to clinch the outright Section 2 crown. It wasn’t even really that close; Warwick was up 35-7 at the half and triggered the mercy rule early in the third quarter after scoring on its first seven drives. Pick a spot, any spot, and it’s really hard to find any weaknesses here. Heck, the Warriors’ kicker suffered an injury and they plugged in a soccer player on the fly last week, and he’s 9 for 10 on PAT attempts. Everything so far has come up roses for Warwick. Now, the Warriors want even more. — Jeff Reinhart


DONEGAL: A really good, hang-with-them victory on Saturday for the Indians, who returned to the field for the first time in two weeks because of a coronavirus-imposed shutdown and rallied past Lebanon 21-15. Before anyone broke a sweat on Donegal’s sideline, the Indians were looking up at a 13-0 deficit. But Donegal never went away, doing what it does best, grinding it out in the Wing-T while getting a couple of opportunistic fourth-quarter, fourth-down sacks to thwart the Cedars. Injuries and virus morale have derailed this bunch, making Saturday’s comeback victory taste even sweeter. — Jeff Reinhart

EPHRATA: You wouldn't know it from the final score, 54-16, but the Mountaineers were giving undefeated Lampeter-Strasburg all it could handle before things started snowballing. In the first half, Ephrata’s defense held L-S to 11 yards passing. The Mounts' James Ellis intercepted Pioneers’ QB Sean McTaggart, and later Ellis and Hunter Mortimer corralled McTaggart in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead after one quarter. The score was 3-2 L-S with 9:21 remaining in the second quarter, but the Pioneers scored 23 unanswered points, taking advantage of a short field from a fumble recovery and a safety, to end the quarter up 26-2. — Eric Stark

GARDEN SPOT: Didn’t so much learn this as had this reaffirmed: Jesse Martin can play a little football. The Spartans’ senior QB-DB rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on multiple designed run plays in Garden Spot’s 31-8 win over Lancaster Catholic. On defense he pulled in a pair of interceptions, one for a touchdown and the other blunting an early Catholic drive. Also: A top-shelf rushing offense can probably move the ball on the ground against the Spartans, any other will have problems. Garden Spot held Catholic to 2.8 yards per rush on 30 attempts, forcing the Crusaders to go to the air — where they largely prospered. — Dave Byrne   

LAMPETER-STRASBURG: Despite starting the game missing six of his first seven passes, including an interception, Pioneers’ QB Sean McTaggart made the passes and big plays when needed, throwing touchdown throws of four yards, 69 yards and 16 yards to Owen Fikkert, Austin Stoltzfus and Drew Harris, respectively. He also rushed for a 1-yard TD. The Pioneers, who clinched the Section 3 title outright with a 54-16 victory over Ephrata, spread the ball around, getting 73 yards on 13 carries from Harris, 46 yards on six carries from Alex Knapp, and 41 yards on four carries from Fikkert. McTaggart also had completions to five different receivers. — Eric Stark

LANCASTER CATHOLIC: The Crusaders may have taken a step backward in Friday’s 31-8 loss at Garden Spot. An early, fluke interception seemed to take the wind out of Catholic’s sails, as did a pick-6 on its first possession of the second half. By the time they got their mojo back, the Crusaders trailed 24-0. Mason McClair ran a receiver’s clinic with nine sometimes highlight-reel catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. — Dave Byrne

LEBANON: Saturday’s 21-15 setback against Donegal was a real stinger. The Cedars had a cozy 13-0 first-quarter cushion, they were forcing turnovers and flying around on defense, and they were hanging in there despite the loss of all-star 5,000-yard passer QB Isaiah Rodriguez, who was in street clothes on the sideline nursing an injury. Standout wideout Alex Rufe played Wildcat QB, and he rushed for 135 yards and pulled plenty of rabbits out of his hat. Alas, Lebanon couldn’t seal the deal late and Donegal rallied for a 21-15 win, leaving the Cedars to scratch their heads. — Jeff Reinhart


ANNVILLE-CLEONA: The Little Dutchmen showed some ability to move the ball against Octorara’s first-string defense late in the second quarter. A-C drove 48 yards to the Braves' 5-yard line and faced a 4th-and-1. Down 20-0 at the time, the Dutchmen went for it. Their running play was stopped and they were kept off the board until the third quarter. Touchdown runs by Chase Maguire and Gavin Keller were the second-half highlights in a 41-13 loss. — Dave Bohr

COLUMBIA: The Crimson Tide went into Friday’s game with Elco owning one of the league’s top-ranked defenses statistically. They couldn’t stop the Raiders’ Split-Veer ground game, but Elco was executing at an elite level, a team on a mission. If the season is over for Columbia it was a good one, with two losses to quality opponents and some pieces to build around going forward, like junior QB Robert Footman, RB Steven Rivas and WR J’von Collazo. — Mike Gross  

ELCO: The Raiders are a veteran group, experienced and committed, and they put it all together in a tour de force performance Friday to lock up an outright section title and district playoff berth. Actually, that wasn’t learned Friday so much as emphatically confirmed. What’s still to be learned: Can they take this very polished act to the big stage, against elite Class 4A opponents? — Mike Gross

NORTHERN LEBANON: The Vikings suffered a 14-0 home loss on Friday against Pequea Valley, a team that hadn't won a football game since 2017. Led by Nate Shirk and Grady Stichler, NL amassed 146 total yards of offense, but three critical turnovers hurt. Barring an upset in Week 7 against unbeaten Lampeter-Strasburg, the Vikings will record their first winless season in recent memory. — Kyle Kutz

OCTORARA: The Braves won by an impressive score, 41-13 at Annville-Cleona, but that doesn’t mean Octorara played a flawless game. In the first half, when the Little Dutchmen were still were in the game, the Braves lost two fumbles. But Octorara didn’t allow any points on the resulting drives, so it held a commanding 27-0 lead at the break. The Braves also balanced out those turnovers with an interception and a fumble recovery of their own. — Dave Bohr

PEQUEA VALLEY: The Braves captured a 14-0 win Friday at Northern Lebanon. Led by QB Nate Fisher (88 passing yards, 119 rushing yards and a TD) and RB Tony Lazar (118 rushing yards and a TD), PV racked up 328 total yards of offense. This marks the Braves' first regular-season victory since 2017, snapping a 24-game slide — previously the league’s longest active losing streak. — Kyle Kutz

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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