2021 L-S at Lancaster Catholic Football

Lampeter-Strasburg takes the field before kickoff against Lancaster Catholic during L-L League Week 6 action at Lancaster Catholic High School in Lancaster on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

It’s lucky Week 13 for a pair of Lancaster-Lebanon League football teams, as the District 3 playoffs resume and Lampeter-Strasburg and Wilson look to win and advance.

L-S is set for a Class 4A semifinal showdown Friday against upstart Kennard-Dale, while Wilson will go for its eighth D3 championship on Saturday when the Bulldogs square off against Harrisburg for 6A glory — and a spot in the PIAA bracket.

Here’s previewing those playoff showdowns

FRIDAY

CLASS 4A SEMIFINALS

No. 3 Kennard-Dale (10-1 overall) at No. 2 Lampeter-Strasburg (10-1), 7 p.m.: A pair of piping-hot teams — both riding glittering, program-record 10-game winning streaks — will knock heads in Lampeter, as the Pioneers try and remain on their path to a three-peat in the 4A bracket. L-S has won seven D3 playoff games in a row and is postseason dancing for the 15th time with a 20-12 record and three gold trophies already in the case. K-D, fresh off a 28-14 quarterfinal win over Donegal for the program’s first postseason victory, is making its fourth playoff trip and is 1-3 overall. L-S decked Big Spring 62-13 in the quarterfinals. Pretty simple scenario here: Can K-D solve L-S’s razor-sharp defense, and keep the Pioneers from going for a bracket three-peat next week? … Winner gets: No. 1 Bishop McDevitt (9-1) or No. 4 Berks Catholic (7-4) in next week’s championship game. … Key kid: L-S LB Jackson Heeter (team-best 84 tackles, 4 for losses, 4 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles) sparks the Pioneers’ brutish defense, which is allowing just 189 yards a game — tops in the L-L League, with four shutout wins to their credit — with 24 takeaways. L-S must curtail K-D’s powerful run game, which is the Rams’ bread and butter. … And this: Neither of these teams have lost since way back in Week 1 — K-D was tripped up by 4A playoff qualifier Octorara; L-S fell to 5A quarterfinalist Warwick — and they’re both section champions; the Rams won the YAIAA Section 2 title for the first time in program history, while the Pioneers successfully defended their L-L League Section 3 flag. … Common opponents: Two of them — Solanco (L-S won 28-14 in the annual Milk Jug rivalry game; K-D won 33-15) and Donegal (L-S won 55-0 in a first-place Section 3 showdown; K-D won 28-14 in the D3 quarterfinals). … Stat fact: K-D has rushed for 3,212 yards, with backs Steven Lukes (779 yards, 10 TD), Micah Partee (661 yards, 8 TD), Avery Cummings (487 yards, 3 TD) and Adam Loucks (360 yards, 3 TD) all doing damage on the ground. L-S, conversely, has allowed 1,019 rushing yards — fewest in the L-L League. … Funky stat: K-D QB Jacob Copenhaver has completed just 21 passes in 11 games, but he averages 27 yards per completion and 13 yards per attempt. … Fun fact: L-S’s D has plucked 13 interceptions, and has 64 tackles for losses and 49 QB hurries; the Pioneers’ D has been in the backfield. A lot. L-S is also averaging 44 points and 392 yards a game, the third-best O output in the L-L League. … Coaching matchup: L-S’s Victor Ridenour (1st season; 10-1) vs. K-D’s Chris Grube (6th season; 29-29).

L-L LEAGUE FOOTBALL STATISTICS, STANDINGS, SCHEDULES

SATURDAY

No. 5 Wilson (9-3) at No. 2 Harrisburg (11-1), 1 p.m.: Two D3 big-school heavyweights are set to clash, and the Bulldogs are certainly feeling fine after slaying previously undefeated reigning champ Central York 14-11 in the semifinals last Friday for Wilson’s seventh straight victory. The Cougars beat another L-L League outfit, Hempfield, 32-10 in the semifinals, and now Harrisburg and Wilson will meet for sixth time in the D3 playoffs, and the Cougars lead 3-2, including back-to-back 6A semifinal wins in 2018 and 2019. Wilson, fresh off its second outright L-L League Section 1 championship in a row, will be playing in its 12th title game and owns seven gold trophies; Harrisburg, which is riding an 8-game winning streak, will be playing in its seventh title game and has three crowns in the case. The Bulldogs clipped the Cougars 39-14 in the 2012 4A title game; the finale rematch, nine years in the making, is Saturday. … Winner gets: D2 champ Delaware Valley (9-3) or D6 champ State College (6-5) in a PIAA opener next weekend. … Key kids: Wilson QB Brad Hoffman and RB Jadyn Jones have combined for 1,256 rushing yards and 11 TD runs in the last four games. … And this: Hoffman (1,038 rushing yards, 12 TD) is the first QB in Wilson program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. Jones (1,264 rushing yards, 13) gives the Bulldogs a pair of 1,000-yard rushers heading into the D3 finale. Wilson averages 32 points and 324 yards a game — the ninth-ranked O in the L-L League — with 3,032 ground stripes. … Common opponents: Three of them — Governor Mifflin (Harrisburg lost 49-13; Wilson lost 42-14), Manheim Township (Harrisburg won 20-17 in OT; Wilson won 21-14 in an L-L League Section 1 battle) and Hempfield (Harrisburg won 32-10 in D3 semifinals; Wilson won 28-21 in an L-L League Section 1 showdown). … Stat fact: Wilson’s Cam Jones has seven special teams returns for touchdowns this season — four punt returns, three kickoff returns — and he has 1,412 all-purpose yards and 12 total TD, and he averages 25 yards per touch and 118 total yards a game. … Funky stat: Wilson has 24 giveaways and is a minus-7 in turnover margin. … Fun fact: Harrisburg, the reigning Mid-Penn Commonwealth champ, has 45.5 sacks and 116 tackles for losses, and the Cougars have forced 33 turnovers, including 22 interceptions — 10 alone by DB Justin Cook. … Coaching matchup: Wilson’s Doug Dahms (16th season; 170-34) vs. Harrisburg’s Calvin Everett (11th season; 87-44).

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