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 …
Here are three top takeaways from Friday’s Week 2 games:
1. No Kaleb Brown? No Mason Lenart? No Troy Corson? Yet, still no problem for Wilson? Impressive road win for the Bulldogs on Friday, as they rode into Neffsville to take on their Section 1 rivals without their starting QB (Brown), speed-demon RB (Lenart) and go-to receiver (Corson), who were all out nursing various injuries. Despite their absence, this attention-grabbing final: Wilson 31, Manheim Township 28. The Blue Streaks were 3-1 in their last four games vs. the Bulldogs, including a 30-14 victory in West Lawn last fall. Both teams were coming off Week 1 losses — and Wilson was minus three major playmakers, and had to go behind enemy lines. No matter. The Bulldogs got it done on the ground vs. the Streaks; Jadyn Jones, getting more touches with Lenart out, darted for 237 yards with a pair of TD runs, and Gavin Lenart — Mason’s brother — added a 42-yard TD bolt as Wilson gouged out 284 rushing stripes in all. If there is one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s this: Don’t ever count out Wilson. Not when the Bulldogs are coming off a loss, and not even when they’re minus some heavy hitters — against their section rivals, on the road.
2. It’ll only be Week 3, but there will be a first-place showdown game between a pair of undefeated outfits in Section 4 next Friday, when 2-0 Octorara visits 2-0 Columbia. A small sample, sure, but first place will be on the line, so go ahead and circle that matchup a while. The Braves and the Crimson Tide both picked up convincing victories to remain undefeated on Friday: Octorara dropped Northern Lebanon 39-6, while Columbia dispatched Pequea Valley by a 44-23 count. Octorara has outscored its first two opponents by a 79-16 margin.
3. Two areas where we figured Cocalico would be strong this season: Up front, and on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles played really well in those two spots on Friday, and snapped Manheim Central’s four-year section winning streak in the process. Running behind a rugged O-line, Eagles’ ball-carriers gouged out 470 yards, as RB Anthony Bourassa darted for 254 yards — 200 in the first half alone — and QB Carson Nash piled up 118 yards. Bourassa and Nash had two TD runs apiece, as Cocalico dominated at the line of scrimmage. And the Eagles’ defense? A pretty gnarly effort against the Barons, as well; Central had 64 rushing yards and completed just 10 of 32 passes. End result: Cocalico, the last team to beat Central in a Section 2 game — back in 2016 — before Friday, snapped the Barons’ 23-game section unbeaten streak. Central will look to start another streak next Friday when the Barons visit Warwick. You think Central will want some payback there after the Warriors beat the Barons twice last year — including the district quarterfinals. It will be Central’s third road game in a row to open the season. Cocalico will go for a 3-0 start at Solanco.
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Friday picks: 9-2, whiffing on Wilson and Solanco.
Don’t forget: Week 2 wraps up Saturday night when Warwick welcomes Conestoga Valley for a Section 2 tilt. The Warriors are set to welcome back senior all-state QB Joey McCracken, who announced via social media on Friday that his surgically repaired knee is healed, and that he’s been given the green light to return to action. We’ll see how many snaps he takes vs. the Buckskins, who will be making their season debut after missing a couple of weeks because of positive coronavirus tests in the school district.