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 …
Here are my Week 9 Helmet Sticker winners:
1. SECTION 1 HELMET STICKERS
WILSON: Tabbing two Bulldogs — RB Avanti Lockhart had a big night toting the rock, rumbling for 141 yards on 19 carries with two TD romps, covering 11 and 14 yards, respectively, as Wilson crunched Cedar Crest 35-7. Lockhart also caught a 7-yard TD pass for his third score as the Bulldogs improved to 8-1. And a sticker for QB Kaleb Brown, who clicked on 11-of-15 passes for 169 yards with three TD tosses, including the one to Lockhart. Brown also rushed for 36 yards, as the Bulldogs gouged out 493 yards and 22 first downs vs. the Falcons for their third win in a row.
HEMPFIELD: Colin Peters, QB — Nice to see Peters healthy again; he’s been in and out of the lineup — and in and out of the trainer’s room — pretty much the entire season for the Black Knights. But he was back in there behind center in a starting roll against Penn Manor, and he delivered. Peters completed 17-of-24 passes for 267 yards with a pair of TD strikes in Hempfield’s 30-12 victory over the Comets. It was the Knights’ second win in a row, and Peters — who also rushed for 48 yards — had his fingerprints all over it.
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP: Bryce Casey, RB — The Blue Streaks waffled McCaskey 71-0 to improve to 9-0 and clinch no worse than a tie for the Section 1 championship, and Casey found the end zone three times in Township’s win. He rushed for 81 yards, and Casey had TD runs of 1, 13 and 8 yards, respectively, all in the first half, which gave the Streaks an early 21-0 cushion.
WARWICK: Colton Miller, RB — Some nice payback for Mr. Miller, who had a big night carrying the ball, one week after coming up just short on a goal-line stand vs. Wilson. In Warwick’s 30-6 crossover victory against Conestoga Valley, Miller raced for 113 yards on 18 carries with a pair of TD runs, covering 6 and 3 yards, respectively. The Warriors piled up 369 yards in all and snapped a 2-game slide in the process, building momentum toward Week 10 vs. Penn Manor — and into the postseason.
2. SECTION 2 HELMET STICKERS
COCALICO: A trio of Eagles’ performers to honor here — QB Noah Palm passed for 136 yards and rushed for another 71 yards, and he had two TD keepers and a pair of TD throws. Ronald Zahm, Cocalico’s speedy slot-back, caught all four of Palm’s completions for those 136 yards, including TD grabs of 45 and 8 yards, respectively. And RB Steven Flinton chipped in with 61 rushing yards, including TD runs of 2 and 12 yards, respectively, in Cocalico’s 46-15 win over Solanco.
LAMPETER-STRASBURG: Bryan McKim, RB — The Pioneers picked off Elizabethtown by a 40-13 count, and McKim sparked L-S’s rushing attack with 165 ground yards, plus a 9-yard TD rumble.
ELIZABETHTOWN: Yes, the Bears fell to L-S. But E-town’s passing game clicked big-time. So stickers go out to QB Patrick Gilhool (25-of-41 for 292 yards, 2 TDs) and wideouts Cole Hitz (11 catches for 117, 2 TD grabs) and Cole Rice (9 catches for 162 yards), who were all terrific through the air.
MANHEIM CENTRAL: Remember when the Barons dropped back-to-back games for the first time since 2014, and the sky was falling in Manheim? The Barons have punched back with six wins in a row, and QB Evan Simon and WR Colby Wagner have done massive damage over that clip. They were up to their old tricks in Central’s 63-13 win over Garden Spot, which gave the Barons no worse than a tie for section gold: Simon went 9-for-11 for 224 yards with four TD passes, and he raced for 193 yards on just eight keepers, with two TD scampers, covering 58 and 91 yards, respectively. Simon also nudged his way to the No. 3 slot on the league’s all-time passing chart, with 7,297 career air yards. Meanwhile, Wagner had six catches for 197 yards with a pair of TD receptions, covering 68 and 39 yards, respectively, as the Barons won their 23rd Section 2 game in a row dating back to 2016. Wagner is the first L-L League receiver to reach 1,000 yards this season; he’s up to 1,041.
3. SECTION 3 HELMET STICKERS
ELCO: Plenty of heroes to go around in the Raiders’ 35-17 victory over Annville-Cleona. We’ll start with QB Braden Bohannon, who continued his torrid season; against the Little Dutchmen he piled up 213 rushing yards on 17 keepers with a pair of TD totes, covering 80 and 69 yards, respectively. Bohannon also hit on 4-of-5 pass attempts for 55 yards, with a TD toss. And RB Erik Williams also came up big on the ground, rushing for 113 yards on 10 carries, including a 35-yard TD jaunt as rampaging Elco amassed 400 rushing yards on the dot and won its sixth game in a row.
COLUMBIA: The Crimson Tide’s offense was up to its usual tricks in Columbia’s 62-14 victory over Northern Lebanon. But it was a pair of defenders who came up big in Columbia’s win. Matt Gambler scooped up a blocked punt and raced 20 yards for a TD. And Jvon Collazo intercepted a pass and zoomed 20 yards the other way for a pick-6 TD for the Tide. It was Collazo’s second pick-6 this season. Gambler also recovered a fumble, which led to another Columbia score. You can’t spell Tide without a D.
LANCASTER CATHOLIC: Jeff Harley, RB — The Crusaders’ speed demon trucked it for 209 yards on 21 carries with two TD runs in Catholic’s 32-0 whitewash win over Donegal, as the Crusaders clinched no worse than a tie for the Section 3 crown. Harley’s TD bolts went for 31 and 5 yards, respectively, and he also came up big in special teams; after Catholic picked up a safety when Donegal fumbled the football out of the back of the end zone, Harley returned the ensuing kickoff 56 yards for a TD and the Crusaders were on their way. It was Harley’s second 200-yard rushing effort this season; he had 216 stripes a couple of weeks back vs. Octorara.
EPHRATA: The Mountaineers took a huge step toward their first winning season since 2003 with a 56-0 romp over Pequea Valley, and three players had big nights for Ephrata: QB Caden Keefer (8-for-11 for 108 yards, 2 TD passes; 7 keepers for 114 yards, 2 TD runs); RB Richard Greer (7-62 rushing, 2 TD runs) and RB Miracle Wratto (3-58 rushing, 2 TD runs) helped the Mounts pile up 392 total yards and improve to 5-4 this season. They’ll go for a 6-4 finish — and potentially a D3-5A playoff bid, depending on how that bracket shakes down — against Octorara in Week 10.
LEBANON: Alex Rufe, WR — Goodness gracious, what a season this young man is putting together for the Cedars. And Rufe was at it again in Lebanon’s 40-20 triumph over Octorara: He had nine catches for 139 yards, including a 53-yard TD grab. He had a 12-yard TD run. And Rufe picked off a pass and went 75 yards for a pick-6 TD. It was the longest pick-6 return in the league this season. Rufe has 45 catches in the last five games.