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 …
Two intriguing Section 2 matchups on Friday (including a trophy game), plus the Week 4 picks — after a mediocre showing in the pick-department last week.
1. If there is one thing we’ve learned over the years about the Section 2 race, it’s that you better get off to a fast start, because nobody is going to do you any favors later on. It’s a cutthroat section, with mega showdowns on the docket every single week. So hang a star next to Friday’s Elizabethtown (2-1) at Cocalico (3-0) scrap. There should be plenty of heavy hitting battles in the trenches, and we’re anxious to see how Bears’ freshman QB Josh Rudy fares in his first varsity start with Patrick Gilhool on the shelf, after he absorbed a game-exiting hit last week vs. Conrad Weiser. FYI: Rudy will be the second L-L League freshman QB to make a start this season; McCaskey’s Matt Remash has made a couple of starts for the Red Tornado in his ninth-grade year, and he’s been sharing the duties with Shaliam Montalvo. As for Friday’s clash, E-town must keep tabs on Cocalico QB Noah Palm, who is off to an otherworldly start this season with 13 total touchdowns (8 keepers and 3 passes on offense, plus an interception return and a fumble return on defense from his safety spot). So keep an eye on Bears’ bookend D-ends Jett Kelly and Eli Reitmeyer to pinch and not let Palm sashay out of the pocket. Kelly (29 tackles, 8 for losses, 6 sacks) and Reitmeyer (11 tackles, 2 for losses, 3 sacks, 2 pass breakups) have been super active off the edge, as E-town’s defense has totaled 14 sacks and 26 stops for losses in three games. The Bears will make the undefeated Eagles earn every single inch.
2. The Lampeter Bowl traveling trophy will be in the stadium on Friday, when Lampeter-Strasburg (West Lampeter) welcomes Conestoga Valley (East Lampeter) for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Lampeter. This will be the 10th time that the Pioneers (3-0) and Buckskins (0-3) will do battle for the bragging-rights trophy. CV won the first matchup back in 2010, and then L-S dominated the series, ripping off seven victories in a row. But CV won it back last year, compliments of a 20-7 victory in Witmer. Next year, when the league splits into four sections, L-S will be in Section 3 and CV will remain up in Section 2. But the teams will keep the Lampeter Bowl going with a nonleague clash early in the season. L-S will play in another trophy game in Week 8, when the Pioneers host Solanco in the annual Milk Jug rivalry matchup.
3. WEEK 4 PREDICTIONS
No more nonleague games. Hallelujah. Those 20- and 18-game weeks sure were a grinder. But from here on out, it’ll be a tidy 12 games per week on the L-L League schedule, with section games all around.
LAST WEEK: 12-6
Cedar Crest over McCaskey
Warwick over Hempfield
Manheim Township over Penn Manor
Wilson over Manheim Central
Cocalico over Elizabethtown
Solanco over Garden Spot
Lampeter-Strasburg over Conestoga Valley
Annville-Cleona over Northern Lebanon
Columbia over Pequea Valley
Donegal over Lebanon
Elco over Octorara
Lancaster Catholic over Ephrata