From the first day of heat acclimatization practice on Aug. 9, until the very last Lancaster-Lebanon League football team is still 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 …
There are three Thursday tilts on the Week 2 docket. Here’s a peek at those games:
1. A pair of powder-keg offenses will knock heads Thursday night on the West Shore, when Cocalico (1-0) and Cedar Cliff (1-0) get together. This is a rematch of the 2019 D3-5A championship tilt, and the Eagles steamrolled the Colts 45-7 in that matchup. Both teams are coming off point-fest Week 1 wins: Cocalico outlasted Conrad Weiser 36-21, while Cedar Cliff survived Red Lion 56-35. The Colts offer up a troika of go-to O kids in QB Ethan Dorrell, RB Jontae Morris and WR Trenten Smith. They all came up large vs. Red Lion: Dorrell clicked on 13-of-15 passes for 254 yards with three TD strikes; Morris raced for 151 yards on 17 totes with a pair of TD runs; and Smith had seven catches for 171 yards with two TD snags. Smith also registered a team-best six tackles with a pick and a pass breakup from his DB spot on D. Here’s a Cocalico defensive player to watch: LB Austin Vang piled up 10 stops, including a pair of hits for losses, in the Eagles’ Week 1 win. Cedar Cliff’s top D priority is pretty simple: Slow down Cocalico’s triple-option scheme. Conrad Weiser struggled in that department in the opener, when the Eagles gouged out 334 rushing yards — 206 (and three TD jaunts) by Anthony Bourassa. And this: We told you about Cocalico freshman Josh Myer, who was in the QB derby throughout camp. He had a big debut on defense vs. Weiser with eight tackles from his safety spot. Big things ahead for Mr. Myer.
2. Safe to say Warwick’s secondary will be tested Thursday, when the Warriors head to Landis Field in Harrisburg to take on Central Dauphin East. Thinking the Panthers will be spitting fire after a gut-punch 24-21 setback at Manheim Township on Saturday, when East had a shot to tie the game and force OT at the fourth-quarter horn, but the snap got away on the field-goal attempt and the Blue Streaks got the W. East features QB Tony Powell (a Middletown transfer) and WR Mehki Flowers (a Steel-High transfer); Powell passed for 201 yards and a TD against Township, and Flowers, a major deep threat, is a Penn State recruit. Warwick’s secondary came up big against Lampeter-Strasburg in Week 1: Ryan Fink picked off a pass and zoomed 21 yards the other way for a pick-6, and Trevor Evans had a late INT to help the Warriors seal the deal vs. L-S. East’s secondary better be on its toes, too, after Warwick’s Jack Reed lit up the airwaves for 323 passing yards with three TD tosses to Cooper Eckert, who had seven catches for 228 stripes.
3. Annville-Cleona will make its debut Thursday, when the Dutchmen head over to Berks County to take on Fleetwood. A-C had its Week 1 game against Schuylkill Valley bagged because of COVID-19 issues; that game is now slated for Nov. 5. Fleetwood fell at West Chester Henderson 27-14 in Week 1, as the Tigers’ losing streak hit three in a row. Fleetwood won twice last year — 43-42 over Upper Dauphin and 42-0 over Kutztown — before losing its final two games. This program is just two years removed from an 8-3 season and a trip to the D3-4A playoffs. Gotta believe A-C is itching to play a game after a week off while coping with the coronavirus pandemic. Keep an eye on a 3-pack of runners in the Dutchmen’s Veer attack: Rogan Harter is a burner; Chase Maguire is a former QB who knows how to find daylight; and Alex Long is a grinder who can get the tough yards between the tackles. The crux in this game: Can Fleetwood slow down A-C’s rushing attack?