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 …
1. Been harping on this quite a bit this week, but just another friendly reminder that Lancaster Catholic’s defense will need a razor-sharp performance Friday when the Crusaders visit Columbia. The Crimson Tide’s offense is churning out 396 yards a game, and Columbia QB Robert Footman leads the league in passing yards (917) and TD tosses (9). Conversely, Catholic’s defense has been quite stout; the Crusaders have given up just 269 sky yards, and Catholic’s D is third-best in the league, yielding just 217 yards a game. The Crusaders had a 6-sack effort in their win over Archbishop Carroll last week, and here are five names to remember Friday: DE Eddie Dresch (4 tackles, 1 for a loss, 2 sacks vs. Carroll), DE Hudson Hess (6 tackles, 1 for a loss, 2 sacks), DT Isaiah Craine (5 tackles, 1 sack), DT Eddie Hauck (5 tackles, 1 sack) and DB J.J. Keck (7 tackles, 2 for losses, 1 INT) all played big last week, and they’ll need another standout performance to keep the Tide grounded.
2. Safe to say Pequea Valley will need an inspired run-stuffing performance Saturday when Jenkintown invades Kinzers for a high-noon nonleague kickoff. In last week’s 76-37 win over the Braves, Kutztown’s Lennon Neiman had a superhuman effort running the ball against PV: 15 carries for 330 yards — that’s 22 yards per pop — with five TD runs, as the Cougars put up 587 rushing yards and 656 total yards in all. Neiman is the leading rusher in Berks County — he’s even ahead of Governor Mifflin’s Nick Singleton, who has been red-hot — with 661 yards, a 14.7 per-tote average, and six TD bolts. Two PV defenders to keep an eye vs. the Drakes: DE Zach Otstot (9 tackles) and LB Anderson Cuz (8 tackles) need to rally the troops and make sticks.
3. Conestoga Valley needs a snap-back after getting blanked by Lampeter-Strasburg 19-0 in the Lampeter Bowl last week. The Buckskins will be facing a backup QB when they travel to Birdsboro to square off against Daniel Boone on Friday. But the Blazers’ backup QB has done some serious damage since taking over the reins. Dean Rotter stepped in for Carter Speyerer, when Speyerer suffered a broken ankle in Week 1 vs. Wyomissing. In stepped Rotter, and he’s been solid: 26-for-43 (61 percent) for 369 yards with five TD strikes against just one pick. Alex Vassallo (13 catches for 150 yards, 1 TD) and deep-threat Cameron Hirshman (4-110, 2 TD) have become his go-to receivers, and Boone is coming off a 45-17 win over Garden Spot. So the Bucks must deal with the Blazers’ momentum, and with a QB who is picking up steam since coming in off the bench. CV is in the middle of the pack defensively in the league stats — the Bucks are yielding a manageable 274 yards a game, and feature ball-hawker 'backer Michael Burnett in the middle — but CV’s offensive weapons need to fire after being held in check last week.