From the first day of heat acclimatization practice on Aug. 31, until the 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 going on around the league …
Happy Halloween to you and yours.
Here are three top takeaways from Friday’s Week 7 games. Spoiler alert: There was a lot of streak-busting going on:
1. Exhale, Crusader Crazies. Your Lancaster Catholic football squad is in the W column this season. It took a little longer than they were certainly expecting. But after six losses in a row to open the Chris Maiorino Era, the Crusaders got the job done Friday with a 15-12 OT win over Lebanon in a Section 3 game. Ace kicker Daniel Mueller sealed it with a 22-yard field goal in OT; it was his third field goal in the game, and the latter finally put a crooked number in the W column for the Crusaders this fall. Tip of the cap to Maiorino, who can smile after leading his team to a victory for the first time this fall. That first one always feels fantastic. … FYI: Lebanon once again was minus 5,000-yard passer Isaiah Rodriguez, who missed his second straight game with an ailment. Alex Rufe, the Cedars’ gifted wideout, took snaps. Lebanon will play Cedar Crest in the annual Cedar Bowl next Friday; we’ll see if Rodriguez gets back in there behind center. ... More about the Rodriguez/Rufe dynamic duo here.
2. Penn Manor also broke through with its first victory of the 2020 campaign, and the Comets did it in riveting fashion, stunning Solanco 21-20. The Golden Mules were going in for what looked like the game-winning TD with under a minute to go. But Solanco fumbled deep in Comets’ territory, Penn Manor recovered, and the Comets cracked the W column after a 0-5 start. So you can exhale too, Comet Nation. It hasn’t been an easy season for coach John Brubaker and his club, which missed two weeks and a game because of a coronavirus school closure — plus some nagging injuries, which are always a bummer. So to finally get a victory, especially in that fashion, was a special moment for the Comets. … FYI: Hearing that’s it for Solanco this season, as the Mules aren’t looking to add any games in November. Meanwhile, Penn Manor still has two games to go, against Conestoga Valley for a nonleague clash, and then a makeup Section 1 game vs. McCaskey.
* With Catholic and Penn Manor earning victories on Friday, that leaves just two L-L League teams without a dub this season: McCaskey and Northern Lebanon. The Red Tornado fell to Conestoga Valley 35-0 for its 24th loss in a row, and the Vikings were KO’d by Lampeter-Strasburg 63-6 to dip to 0-7. ... Meanwhile, two L-L League teams polished off 7-0 regular-season rides on Friday: Warwick, which held off Hempfield 34-20, and L-S will take unblemished records into the D3 playoffs next Friday. ... Elco, which is idle this week, is 6-0 heading into the D3 playoffs next week, giving the L-L League three undefeated squads this fall.
3. Another streak-buster on Friday: Elizabethtown, which lugged a 5-game slide into its crossover game against Cedar Crest. End result: Bears 43, Falcons 14. Talk about taking out some frustrations. E-town feasted on three turnovers, Riley Drager had a pair of TD runs and Josh Rudy had a couple of TD passes for the Bears, who got back into the W column for the first time since a Week 1 win over McCaskey. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Exhale, Bear Country. There was a lot of exhaling going on around the league Friday; always nice to see teams snap losing streaks and get back on track. Cements the work the kids do all week, week after week, until those slides are snapped. So a tip of the cap to Catholic, Penn Manor and E-town, who can all move forward with some mo.
* Friendly reminder that there is a crossover game on Saturday's schedule: Wilson at Manheim Central kicks at high noon at Elden Rettew Field. That game will cap the Week 7 slate.
BONUS NUGGET: If you’ve lost track at home — and it’s OK, because I’ve lost track multiple times, and this is what I do for a living — there are multiple games scheduled over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the list:
FRIDAY, NOV. 6
DISTRICT 3 PLAYOFFS
New Oxford at Warwick, 7 p.m. (5A semifinals)
Conrad Weiser at Lampeter-Strasburg, 7 p.m. (4A semifinals)
Northern York at Elco, 7 p.m. (4A semifinals)
SECTION 3-4 CROSSOVERS
Ephrata at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Lancaster Catholic at Annville-Cleona, 7 p.m.
Northern Lebanon at James Buchanan, 6 p.m.
Berks Catholic at Donegal, 6 p.m.
Central Dauphin at Manheim Township, 7 p.m.
Cedar Crest at Lebanon, 7 p.m.
Cocalico at Hempfield, 7 p.m.
McCaskey at Octorara, 7 p.m.
Penn Manor at Conestoga Valley, 7 p.m.
Exeter at Elizabethtown, 7 p.m.
Pequea Valley at Pine Grove, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOV. 7
Hershey at Manheim Central, 12 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 13
McCaskey at Penn Manor, 7 p.m
Manheim Township at State College, 7 p.m.
Daniel Boone at Conestoga Valley, 7 p.m.
Ephrata at Manheim Central, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 20
Downingtown East at Manheim Township, 7 p.m.
NOTABLE: Garden Spot is currently in quarantine because of coronavirus concerns, and the Spartans already bagged their crossover game next Friday vs. Pequea Valley; the Braves quickly added a nonleague date at Pine Grove. No word if GS and PV will come back and play Nov. 13. Stay tuned.