L-S early

Lampeter-Strasburg’s Conner Nolt celebrates with teammates following a rushing touchdown against Bishop McDevitt in a District Three Class 4A semifinal at Bishop McDevitt High School on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

HARRISBURG — A week ago, Lampeter-Strasburg made news with an upset of top-seeded York Suburban in the District Three Class 4A football playoffs. The eighth-seeded Pioneers again made news in more dramatic fashion Friday night, coming back from down three scores at halftime to beat fourth-seeded Bishop McDevitt, 30-27.

“Every time we talk it's been about adversity,” veteran L-S coach John Manion said. “I didn't think we'd have to overcome not only adversity but self-inflicted wounds.”

Friday's come-from-behind victory also marked the first time L-S topped Bishop McDevitt in the playoffs, having gone 0-4 against the Crusaders until now. The Pioneers (10-3) advanced to the district title game for the first time since 2011 and third time in program history. They’ll make a trip to meet No. 3 Berks Catholic (8-4) in the district championship game next Friday.

“They're all the same,” Manion said when asked about returning to the district title game. “They're all sweet. ... That's true. I didn't even realize that. We're in a district final game.”

That thinking was understandable after an epic, come-from-behind, back-and-forth second half. And L-S pulled it off without its leading rusher, Bryan McKim, out with an ankle for the second week in a row.

The win came after a rough first half in which L-S found itself down 20-0 at the break. Bishop McDevitt scored on its first two possessions and added a third score just before halftime.

The Pioneers got on the board on its second possession of the second half, when junior QB Conner Nolt found junior wide receiver Alex Knapp on a pass to the left side. Knapp got a great downfield block from a teammate that sprung him for a 94-yard score.

L-S D-lineman Parker Owens tipped a pass by Bishop McDevitt QB Lek Powell on the next possession. The ball went up and landed in Owens’ hands for the interception. Nolt scored on the next play on a 16-yard keeper to cut the deficit to 20-14.

The Pioneers went in front for the first time, 21-20, on a seven-play, 70-yard drive capped by Beau Heyser’s 6-yard touchdown run at the 1:17 mark of the third quarter.

The ensuing kickoff was bobbled by Bishop McDevitt returner Julian Jordan, who was tackled at the 4-yard line. The next play from scrimmage yielded a safety, pushing the Pioneers' advantage to 23-20 just before the end of the third quarter.

The Crusaders (8-4) went back in front on a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped by an 8-yard Powell TD pass with 3:46 remaining.

But L-S responded by going 63 yards on six plays for a game-winning drive that included Nolt passes of 35 yards to Ian Herr and a 19 yards to Heyser, followed by Nolt's own 1-yard keeper to put L-S ahead 30-27 with 1:16 remaining.

“There's so many emotions,” Nolt said. “We just wanted to get this done for all of our seniors and our whole senior class. We came into this knowing we're a No. 8-seed and we just beat a No. 4-seed. Our emotions are through the roof.”