2021 Solanco at L-S Football

The Lampeter-Strasburg and Solanco line of scrimmage during the annual Milk Jug game in L-L League Week 4 action at Lampeter-Strasburg High School in Lancaster on Friday, Sep. 17, 2021.

Here is what we learned about the Lancaster-Lebanon League football teams from all the Week 4 action, as told by the reporters who covered the games

SECTION 1

HEMPFIELD: A gut-check victory for the Black Knights, and they sure needed it. After back-to-back setbacks against a pair of District 3 heavyweights — Manheim Central and Central York — Hempfield got a heads-up special teams play from Grant Hoover and Adam Acker, who combined to block Exeter’s potential game-tying field goal in the waning seconds and the Knights hung on for a 17-14 win. It was just what the doctor ordered for Hempfield, which gets Warwick in a crossover clash next. — Jeff Reinhart

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP: The Blue Streaks suffered some tight losses earlier this season, but they got a solid win far from home, beating Spring-Ford 26-13 in Royersford. It’s evident that Township’s offense is best through the air, and it was on full display in its victory over the Rams; soph QB Hayden Johnson went up top for 250 yards with four passing touchdowns, finding Anthony Ivey and Landon Kennel twice each for scores. Ivey, the Penn State recruit, is incredibly good. He was the most dynamic player on the field, and Township’s offense is at its best when they utilize him. — Brian Markley

McCASKEY: While the Red Tornado couldn't do anything on the ground against Elizabethtown — McCaskey had just 32 yards on 15 carries — they were able to get some points on the board in the second half thanks to an improved passing game. QB Matt Remash finished with 291 yards and 2 TDs on 13-for-22 passing, mostly zeroing in on Josiah Gray (4 catches for 140 yards, 2 TDs, all in the second half), Isaac Burks (3 catches for74 yards) and Zymaire Corteguera (3 catches for 35 yards). — Kyle Morgan

PENN MANOR: The Comets welcomed back junior RB Jonathan Osman from the injured list in Friday’s big win over Warwick, and the 5-foot-9, 158-pound fullback gave the Comets another dangerous weapon in their Veer offense. Osman ran for 77 yards on four carries, including gains of 29 and 39 yards before he was unfortunately injured again early in the second half. — Bruce Morgan

WILSON: You don’t often hear the words must-win in Bulldogs’ camp, but after back-to-back in-county losses to Governor Mifflin and Exeter, Wilson needed a big effort against Martin Luther King. And the Bulldogs got it, rolling to a 50-8 victory to snap a 2-game slide. QB Brad Hoffman was the hero with 172 passing yards and three TD strikes. Wilson’s defense was also gnarly, holding the Cougars to minus-33 rushing yards and five total yards. The win should provide plenty of momentum for the Bulldogs, who host Manheim Central in a much-anticipated crossover game Friday. — Jeff Reinhart

SECTION 2

COCALICO: The Eagles relied on big plays and timely turnovers to beat Garden Spot. Take away four big runs and two Spartans’ miscues and this is a scary game for Cocalico. Anthony Bourassa had runs 70, 80 and 71 yards in the game, and the first two resulted in touchdowns. QB Blayke Taddei also had a 63-yard TD run. Cocalico’s defense came up with a big fumble recovery just before halftime at its own 1, and intercepted Garden Spot QB Tristin Sadowski on the Eagles' 15 early in the fourth quarter. — Eric Stark

CONESTOGA VALLEY: The Buckskins suffered a hard-fought 27-12 loss on the road Friday at Daniel Boone. Nick Tran, who entered Week Four ranked third in the L-L League in rushing yards, was injured midway through the first quarter and didn't return. Consequently, CV’s backfield was held to less than 60 yards on the ground. QB Macoy Kneisley — 12 of 24 passes for 165 yards and a TD — stepped up big-time through the air in the absence of a viable running game. — Kyle Kutz

ELIZABETHTOWN: After three straight games of mediocre rushing numbers, the Bears finally got some success on the ground in their 39-15 victory over McCaskey with 268 yards as a team. E-town had six players reach at least 30 rushing yards: Cade Capello, Josh Rudy, Hayden Haver, Logan Lentz, Brady Breault and Braden Cummings, who also had four catches for 150 yards with three TD receptions. — Kyle Morgan

MANHEIM CENTRAL: The Barons found another way to win Friday, getting a stellar offensive effort in a wild and crazy 43-40 victory at Perkiomen Valley. Central’s razor-sharp defense, which was so good over the first three weeks, was challenged by the Vikings’ potent attack. But Justin Heffernan rushed for 121 yards and three scores, Jaden Weit had a pair of second-half TD runs, and Judd Novak passed for 210 yards and a TD as the Barons proved they can out-score you in a shootout. — Jeff Reinhart

SOLANCO: The Golden Mules came into Lampeter averaging 321 yards rushing per game, but were held to just a tick over 200 yards by the Pioneers’ defense. Elijah Reimold led the way with 89 yards on 20 carries. Reimold had only 11 carries through the Mules’ first three games. QB Brody Mellinger, Solanco’s leading rusher with 74 yards per game, was limited to only 26 yards on eight carries by L-S. — Joel Schreiner

WARWICK: There were positives in the Warriors’ tough, last-second loss to Penn Manor on Friday, including another big game from senior RB Christian Royer, who surpassed the century mark for the second week in a row with a 190-yard effort, but penalties proved costly. In all, referees threw the yellow flags 11 times for 89 yards against Warwick, several of which either gave the Comets a first down or wiped out a big offensive play. — Bruce Morgan

SECTION 3

DONEGAL: The Indians scored seven points — and managed just 81 rushing yards — in a Week 1 setback to Elizabethtown, then 28, then 42 and, Friday, 54 in a wild win at Annville-Cleona for their third victory in a row. Those numbers reflect a new offensive line finding itself and figuring out the precise patterns the Wing-T offense requires. Ball-carriers are not the issue; Donegal has enough of those to run in and out of the game and keep everybody fresh. The Indians figure to be a tough out the rest of the way. — Mike Gross

EPHRATA: With a banged-up offense, a sophomore QB starting for the first time in Sam McCracken, and a number of players who only saw scout team action last year, the Mountaineers were able to do something no Ephrata squad has done in the Kris Miller era, and even back a few more years: Knock off a team from Elco. How did they do it? Good physical defense, including a first-time starter on line named Frank Riggs; Andre Weidman’s legs popping some big runs late; and capitalizing on turnovers. — Matt Pawlikowski  

GARDEN SPOT: The Spartans have the makings of a strong passing attack, led by QB Tristin Sadowski, who completed 22 of 35 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns against Cocalico. He also rushed for 69 yards. Sadowski has some gifted receivers in Derrick Lambert — 8 catches for 117 yards against the Eagles — who made a diving catch on a 29-yard TD pass into the right corner of the end zone with 5:58 remaining in the game. Zechariah Nagle had nine catches for 105 yards and a 6-yard score for the Spartans. — Eric Stark

LAMPETER-STRASBURG: Don’t tell senior offensive lineman and linebacker Nick Del Grande that the Milk Jug trophy is just a jug. For him, it’s personal. “I’ve had three brothers in this system that all won the Jug,” Del Grande said after the Pioneers’ beat Solanco 28-14. “One lost the Jug and we give him crap for it. For me and my family, it’s huge. My dad’s up all night for it, he’s stoked for it.” With Friday’s victory over Solanco, the Pioneers now own a 9-3 lead in the battle for the Jug. — Joel Schreiner

LANCASTER CATHOLIC: The Crusaders got their offense going with 41 points and more than 300 combined yards against Columbia. Tony Cruz was outstanding with 25 carries and 169 yards and two scores. Still, Catholic needs to settle down on the other side of the ball after Columbia rolled for 582 total yards with 60 points. — Steve Navaroli

LEBANON: Sitting at 0-4 after a 27-0 home loss to Northern Lebanon on Friday, the Cedars have to look for positives. Despite the lopsided score, Lebanon did have a solid game in run defense, holding the Vikings to 21 rushing yards on 12 carries in the first half. The final numbers were 19 carries for 113 yards. It may not sound like much, but it can be something to build on. — Dave Bohr

SECTION 4

ANNVILLE-CLEONA: The Dutchmen couldn’t stop — or in the first half, even slow down — Donegal on Friday. What A-C could do was run the ball out of its Veer offense. The two guys who mostly shared the tailback job Friday, Rogan Harter and Phoenix Music, combined for 256 yards in 19 carries, or 13.5 yards per attempt. Holding up on the line of scrimmage figures to be the season-long issue for the smallish Dutchmen. — Mike Gross

COLUMBIA: The Crimson Tide has a certified weapon in senior QB Robert Footman, who torched Lancaster Catholic for 486 total yards and five total touchdowns with his arm and legs. His 329 yards passing — 294 in the first half alone — made him a must-watch player in a 60-41 win. — Steve Navaroli

ELCO: The offense is there for the Raiders, as Luke Williams and crew rushed for 163 yards. The blocking is there, and in Cole Thomas they have a QB who can run and throw. But longtime coach Bob Miller said it best: The team didn’t lose the game with a turnover in the first quarter at the goal line like many in the stands may have thought. — Matt Pawlikowski  

NORTHERN LEBANON: The Vikings are perfecting a quick-strike offense. Their first two touchdowns in a 27-0 win at Lebanon on Friday were on the first and second snaps of a drive, respectively. Dwight Ostermayer caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Grady Stichler on the first offensive play for Northern Lebanon. In the second quarter, Kayden Clark caught a 27-yard scoring throw on the second play of a possession. — Dave Bohr

OCTORARA: The Braves were bounced for the first time this season, dropping a tight 36-33 nod at Phoenixville on Friday after a rip-roaring 3-0 start. There is still plenty to like in Atglen — QB Weston Stoltzfus continued his solid start with another efficient game behind center against the Phantoms — but Octorara needs to tighten up its defense with a trip to Lebanon for a crossover clash coming up next. — Jeff Reinhart

PEQUEA VALLEY: What a difference a week makes. Seven days after giving up 76 points, 587 rushing yards and 656 total yards in a lopsided loss to Kutztown, the Braves shored up their defense in a 17-14 win over Jenkintown. Against the Drakes, PV allowed just 71 rushing yards, 2.2 yards per carry with four sacks and four other tackles for losses. End result: The Braves picked up their first win this season, and picked up some much-needed momentum moving forward. — Jeff Reinhart

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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