From the first day of heat acclimatization practice on Aug. 5, until the very last Lancaster-Lebanon League football team is 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. Week 8 features a trophy game between a pair of backyard rivals, when Lampeter-Strasburg and Solanco square off in a Section 2 clash for the Milk Jug trophy. It’s an actual oversized milk jug, right off of a Lancaster County farm, half of it painted blue and white for L-S and the other half painted yellow and black for Solanco. It’s really cool. The winner gets to keep it on campus for the year, and it’s a really big deal for the school districts in the county’s southern side. Friday’s matchup will be the 10th edition of Pioneers vs. Golden Mules for the Milk Jug. It started back in 2010, the year L-S bumped up to Section 2. The Pioneers lead the series 6-3; the Mules have won three of the last four games — including last year’s 48-27 triumph in Quarryville — to cut into L-S’s lead. The Pioneers dominated this traveling-trophy series early on, winning the first five meetings: 2010 (35-0), 2011 (35-0 again), 2012 (45-7), 2013 (37-21) and 2014 (45-42), before Solanco broke through with back-to-back wins in 2015 (42-14) and 2016 (41-33). L-S won back the Milk Jug in 2017 (46-0). We’ll see if Solanco can defend it on Friday, when the Mules and Pioneers clash for the final time as Section 2 foes; L-S bumps down to Section 3 next year. But the good news is that the Pioneers and Mules will continue the Milk Jug series in a nonleague clash moving forward, so this backyard trophy game isn’t going anywhere. The crux of Friday’s meeting: Solanco has amassed an L-L League-best 2,394 rushing yards — they’re the only team in the league with 2,000-plus ground yards — and coach Tony Cox and his Mules are averaging 371 yards a game. They also feature the league’s leading ground-gainer in FB Nick Yannutz (148-1,026, 6.9 avg., 13 TDs), who has been a bulldozer between the tackles. L-S counters with the second-ranked defensive unit in the L-L League, allowing just 195 yards a game. Coach John Manion and his Pioneers have given up just 745 rushing yards, third-fewest in the circuit. So this is a very tasty matchup — with ownership of the Milk Jug hanging in the balance.


2. How dominant has Manheim Township been? The Blue Streaks lead the league in total team offense (420 yards a game) and in total team defense (157 yards against a game). And Township has given up a league-low 386 rushing yards and 55 points against. Coach Mark Evans and his crew are 7-0 for the first time since 1977, and sit alone atop the Section 1 standings and the District 3 Class 6A power ratings. That’s a pretty dominant first seven weeks right there.



Must admit: There are some truly, truly tricky games to predict here on the Week 8 slate. This was not easy …


OVERALL: 84-20

Manheim Township over Cedar Crest

Wilson over Warwick

Hempfield over McCaskey

Penn Manor over Elizabethtown

Cocalico over Garden Spot

Manheim Central over Conestoga Valley

Lampeter-Strasburg over Solanco

Donegal over Annville-Cleona

Lebanon over Ephrata

Lancaster Catholic over Northern Lebanon

Octorara over Columbia

Elco over Pequea Valley

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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