2019 Conestoga Valley at Lampeter-Strasburg Football

Conestoga Valley center Josh Mathiot (55) gets set to snap the ball against Lampeter-Strasburg during week 4 high school football action at Lampeter-Strasburg High School Stadium in Lancaster on Friday, September 13, 2019.

Here is what we learned about all 24 L-L League football teams from the Week 4 games, as told by the LNP/LancasterOnline reporters who covered all of the action:


CEDAR CREST: The Falcons are 4-0 for the first time since a 5-0 getaway in 2017, with Hempfield next up on the schedule. Head coach Rob Wildasin wasted no time reminding his charges of a not-too-long-ago when Cedar Crest was 3-1, Hempfield 1-3 and the Black Knights won decisively. Guess who is 1-3 once more? With their running game sputtering against McCaskey, Cedar Crest went to the air with Chris Danz throwing TD bombs to Cole Miller (71 yards), Christian Morales (60 yards) and Lawson Seyfert (74 yards), and a 25-yard score to Chris Rios. Pick your poison. — Dave Byrne

HEMPFIELD: Junior Tanner Hess did a little bit of everything for the Black Knights in their 55-7 loss to Warwick on Friday night. In addition to rushing for a game-high 111 yards on 14 carries, including a 68-yard TD run, he also caught two passes for 17 yards, returned a punt 35 yards, and he went 1-of-3 after replacing Colin Peters at quarterback in the second half. Junior Anthony Droege also ran hard, picking up 41 yards on seven carries and helping the Knights gain 166 total yards on the ground. — Bruce Morgan

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP: The Blue Streaks’ dynamic duo of QB Harrison Kirk and RB Jaden Floyd accounted for four touchdowns in Township’s 65-7 victory over Penn Manor. Kirk completed 11-of-17 passes for 214 yards and three TDs. Floyd took eight carries for 104 yards and a TD run. The pair even connected on a 51-yard TD strike, from Kirk to Floyd. If these two stay healthy, Township could cruise to its third straight Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One title. — Kyle Kutz

McCASKEY: With six juniors, three sophomores and a freshman, the Red Tornado is getting a whole lot of on-the-job training. Too often the youth shows. After yielding 840 yards rushing in three starts, the Tornado tightened up that part of the game, only to surrender four touchdown passes to Cedar Crest. And on offense it took so long to get untracked, the game was long over. Still, Big Red put 20 points on the board in a fourth-quarter rally, a foundation for the future. — Dave Byrne

PENN MANOR: The Comets’ offensive woes continued in Week 4, as Penn Manor was held to just 99 total yards by Manheim Township's relentless D. While Luke Braas completed 8-of-19 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, the Comets also totaled minus-31 yards on the ground, and let Township's O rack up 514 total yards. Next week, Penn Manor takes on Wilson at home — another undefeated Section One opponent. — Kyle Kutz

WARWICK: When Hempfield's Tanner Hess scored on a 68-yard run early on the Knights' third play from scrimmage on Friday night, it marked the first time this season that Warwick trailed. But it didn't last long. The Warriors' dynamic big-play offense had eight plays of 19 yards or longer in the win, and there were plenty of heroes in the mix. QB Joey McCracken was a perfect 8-of-8 in the second half, making him 15-of-18 in the game for 278 yards with four touchdowns, while Conor Adams (5 catches, 137 yards, 3 TDs) had his second straight 100-yard receiving week, and running back Colton Miller reached the 100-yard rushing mark in back-to-back weeks, with two more TD runs. — Bruce Morgan

WILSON: The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 on Friday, and they've scored at least 42 points in each of their last three games. While Wilson’s offense has clicked, Friday's game against Manheim Central illustrated areas where the team can improve. The Bulldogs lost the turnover battle against the Barons, giving up the ball twice, including one that led to a Manheim Central touchdown. Smoothing over the mistakes, as Kaleb Brown continues to grow in his role as a starting quarterback, could make the Bulldogs an even tougher out as the race for the Section One crown unfolds. — Tim Gross



COCALICO: Everyone knew how big of a threat Cocalico QB Noah Palm was before his team's 49-12 victory over Elizabethtown on Friday; he had accounted for 13 touchdowns heading into the game. But the Eagles topped the Bears with a balanced attack instead. Five players, including Palm, found the end zone, with Cody Shay and Steven Flinton scoring twice. Cocalico's defense was largely able to shut down E-town until late in the game as well; the Bears had just one first down in the opening two quarters, and Eagles’ defenders Brock Gingrich and Shawn Fester each had sacks. — Kyle Morgan

CONESTOGA VALLEY: The frustrated Buckskins dropped to 0-4 and had to turn the Lampeter Bowl trophy over to L-S while their offensive struggles continued. Aside from Week 3's 42-39 loss at Spring Grove, CV hasn't been able to score more than two touchdowns in a game and totaled just 202 yards on Friday. There were flashes of promise as Bradley Stoltzfus aired out a second-quarter touchdown pass to Eddie Hernandez, after consecutive connections with Zach Fisher and James Williams showcased his speed with a 75-yard score late in the fourth quarter. — Diana Pugliese

ELIZABETHTOWN: In the absence of sophomore QB Pat Gilhool due to injury, the Bears had to rely on freshman backup Josh Rudy on offense against Cocalico. Despite the loss, Rudy handled himself well, going 5-for-12 through the air and accumulating 183 passing yards, including an 86-yard bomb to wideout Cole Rice. Three of those incomplete passes were drops. The Bears didn't do much offensively until garbage time, but they had to be pleased to see such a young signal-caller meet one of the best in the L-L League head-on. — Kyle Morgan

GARDEN SPOT: The Spartans are going to have to find a way to help strong-armed quarterback Jesse Martin. Garden Spot’s offense was repeatedly stalled by dropped passes while being shutout at Solanco. Extending possessions, with or without points, would also help keep the Spartans’ defense from getting warn out spending too much time on the field. — Steve Navaroli

LAMPETER-STRASBURG: The talk so far this season has been about the Pioneers' offense — and understandably so — but it was the defense leading the charge in Friday's 49-14 win over CV. L-S forced a three-and-out on the first drive, but turned it over on downs on its first possession. Christian Garver provided the spark with a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown, before two fumble recoveries led to another two scores. Berkeley Wagner added another interception in the fourth quarter, jumping the route and returning the ball 52 yards to stall what had been a productive CV drive. If L-S can keep both sides of the ball clicking like that this season, they'll be hard to knock off in the section. — Diana Pugliese

MANHEIM CENTRAL: The Barons are glad to have their nonleague schedule in the rearview mirror. Manheim Central's opponents in the first four games have a combined record of 10-2 in their other games so far this season. Despite the early season tests, the Barons feel like they have plenty to build on and learn from as they transition into the Section Two schedule. Against Wilson, at times the offense clicked. At times the defense stood its ground. But a lack of consistency prevented them from capitalizing on those gains. With kicker Nate Reed sidelined with an injury, quarterback Evan Simon attempted a field goal late in Friday's game against Wilson, something Manheim Central coach Dave Hahn said Simon had shown he could do in practice. — Tim Gross

SOLANCO: While it is easy to be enamored with the Golden Mules’ offense, which piled up 499 yards — all on the ground — against Garden Spot on Friday, the Solanco’s defense deserves some recognition. Led by tackling machines Seth Harnish and Nate Neuhauser, the Mules limited the Spartans to only 123 yards of offense while pitching a shutout. — Steve Navaroli


ANNVILLE-CLEONA: The Little Dutchmen have to be concerned about their pass defense after giving up 347 yards through the air at Northern Lebanon. They host Columbia Friday night, and the Crimson Tide’s offense is built around quarterback Matt McCleary’s arm. McCleary also poses more of a running threat than Northern’s Ethan Borcky did. Against the Vikings, Annville-Cleona got good pressure on Borcky, but lost contain on him when he scrambled. A-C did sack Borcky seven times and picked him off twice, but time after time the Dutchmen had good initial coverage in the secondary, only to see it break down when Borcky extended plays. It will be important for A-C to keep McCleary bottled up against Columbia. — Chris Courogen

COLUMBIA: Multiple offense, multiple threats. The Crimson Tide enjoyed a balanced night offensively in their Week 4 matchup vs. Pequea Valley, accumulating 168 yards through the air and 163 yards on the ground to romp past the visiting Braves. Justin Elliott shined in his first feature role at RB, churning out 121 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 totes. Meanwhile, senior signal-caller Matt McCleary found six different receivers (Ryan Redding, Darnell Tucker, Demetrius Diaz-Ellis, Keegin Zink, Michael Poole and Elliott) on 12-for-15 passing, throwing for three scores and a trio of 2-point conversions. That’s some widespread production for a roster of just 35 strong. — Daryl Simione

DONEGAL: The Indians stayed unbeaten in the Section 3 race, dispatching Lebanon to help clear the four-way tie atop the section standings. The offense hammered Section 3’s top yards-per-game defense for 417 yards, and scored five touchdowns. But the margin of victory could have been higher; Donegal fumbled three times on Lebanon’s half of the field, twice at the goal line. It put pressure on the defense to protect the lead late, and for the second week in a row they answered the call, coming up with a pair of timely interceptions to secure the win. — Will Welliver

ELCO: The Raiders were able to keep Octorara guessing in their 14-6 win. Braden Bohannon was occasionally lining up at running back instead of quarterback. This gave Elco the chance to have him run from different positions, and gave Cole Thomas the opportunity to complete a 13-yard pass for a first down on the Raiders' opening drive. Bohannon finished with 104 yards on 27 carries. — Dave Bohr

EPHRATA: The Mountaineers had a super start at Lancaster Catholic on Friday, and Ephrata grabbed a 14-7 first-quarter lead, and kept punching back against the Crusaders. Alas, Catholic’s defense held Ephrata in check, getting a pair of interception returns for touchdowns as the Mounts had their modest 2-game winning streak snapped. But here’s the silver lining: This program has come a long, long way since that otherwise forgettable 52-game losing streak. And here was Ephrata, playing in a first-place showdown game in Week 4, against the defending section champs. That’s a big deal for the Mounts’ program, as it continues to rise up. And remember this name: Freshman RB-LB Andre Weidman can flat-out play. — Jeff Reinhart

LANCASTER CATHOLIC: The beat — and the streak — goes on for the Crusaders, who rallied nicely past Ephrata for a 43-14 victory on Friday. That’s a 14-game regular-season unbeaten streak for Catholic, the longest active streak in the L-L League. And the Crusaders remained in a first-place tie atop the Section 3 chase with Donegal, which visits Catholic in Week 9, by the way. Defense was the difference for the Crusaders in Week 4; Devin Atkinson and Henry Gartley both returned interceptions for scores, and Catholic held Ephrata to 202 yards, one week after the Mounts torched Annville-Cleona for 648 stripes and 58 points. And this: Catholic is getting healthy; the Crusaders have had a few kids dealing with some nagging injuries, and those kids are starting to make their way back on the field. — Jeff Reinhart

LEBANON: For a 15-minute stretch, between their first and second touchdowns of the game, the Cedars were outscored 21-0 and lost the yardage battle 196-8. It put Lebanon in a hole that proved too big to climb out of against Donegal. The Cedars piled up 243 yards in the second half, but their fourth-quarter rally stalled when an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown was called back by a penalty, and two offensive drives ended in interceptions. — Will Welliver

NORTHERN LEBANON: Don’t be surprised if the Vikings pull off an upset somewhere along the way this season. With the elusive Ethan Borcky at quarterback, and fleet receivers like Chase Bressler, Alex Folmer and Nate Leedy-Reidel for him to throw to, Northern Lebanon could easily get into a shootout and come out on top. The Vikes’ defense, meanwhile, struggles to stop people. But if the offense can avoid turnovers, it has shown signs it can keep pace. Annville-Cleona had pressure on Borcky all night, and somehow he managed to keep plays alive enough to throw for 347 yards. Leedy-Reidel was open all night, finishing with seven catches for 140 yards. Bressler caught four passes for 127 yards, including touchdowns of 68 and 49 yards. And Folmer had three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. That’s a lot of offense. If they can avoid turnovers, it will keep them in some games. — Chris Courogen

OCTORARA: It was good news-bad news for the Braves' kicking game in a 14-6 loss at Elco. Dylan Smith kicked two field goals, of 18 and 38 yards, to keep Octorara in the game. But the special teams also allowed a 77-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter, which set the Raiders up to go ahead. Octorara also missed a chance to get an onside kick back in the fourth quarter. — Dave Bohr

PEQUEA VALLEY: The Braves might have found something on offense late in Friday’s road setback against Columbia. With starting quarterback Collin Bailey beleaguered by an aggressive Crimson Tide pass rush, the Braves switched to a Wing-T look in the fourth quarter to account for their lone touchdown. After Andrew Weaver took a handoff up the middle for 32 yards, receiver Dustin Huber snagged a 7-yard touchdown from backup QB Nathan Fisher to crack the scoreboard. Though Bailey made some good throws on Friday night, some misdirection could help steady the pocket against more athletic defenses. — Daryl Simione

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