But LHS head coach Gerry Yonchiuk thinks this year his Cedars can.
Conventional wisdom also says that a two-quarterback platoon cannot work.
But Yonchiuk thinks his planned shuffling of senior Alex Trautman and sophomore Mark Pyles can and will succeed.
And, of course, no one believes that any team that throws the ball as much as Lebanon does with its Air Raid offense can be a consistently successful football program.
But despite some evidence to support that belief, Lebanon did ride the Air Raid to a District Three playoff berth in 2008.
So, conventional wisdom be damned and with all of the above in mind, here comes the 2011 Lebanon High football team.
"Our expectations are high," Yonchiuk, the Cedars' sixth-year head coach, said of his senior-laden, receiver-heavy squad. "These guys (the seniors) as freshmen had one loss. They have an inner confidence, I believe they feel it's their turn, their opportunity. I think the league race is wide open, I really do. So I think it gives us an opportunity to compete for that."
Those best-laid plans to contend for the section crown hinge, of course, on the aforementioned quarterback platoon of Trautman, the productive, well-thought-of, incumbent starter, and Pyles, the wildly promising, undeniably talented sophomore.
How good does Yonchiuk
If it doesn't, then consider that Trautman appears to be very much on board with the idea, even going out of his way to heap praise on Pyles at the recent Lancaster-Lebanon League Media Day.
"We will play both," Yonchiuk said. "We're gonna have certain packages for Mark, he's a talented guy and we want to get him
When Pyles isn't under center, he'll be joining a receiving corps that Yonchiuk says is the deepest he's had in his six years at Lebanon.
Seniors Tyler Antal and Isaiah Baker front the eight-member crew that also includes fellow seniors Steven Padillas, Kiev Gardner and Alex Kuhn, a basketball player out for football for the first time. In addition, juniors Kodi Zombro and Drey Murray also figure to haul in some passes from Trautman and Pyles.
On those fairly rare occasions when the Cedars do the run the ball, senior Adrian Krall, Padillas and promising sophomore Jeremy De La Cruz will handle the job.
Up front, the Cedars aren't loaded with big bruisers, but Yonchiuk believes projected starters Aaron Cabinaw, Carlos Sepulveda, Erik Caba, Tyler Roth and Jorge Ocasio fit the uptempo, play-as-fast-as-possible Air Raid system perfectly.
"Having a returning all-league Section Two quarterback is a huge start," Yonchiuk said. "And the athleticism and quickness of our linemen... We're not gonna mash you and do the Ohio State three-yards-in-a-cloud-of-dust deal, but we're gonna spread you out and play as fast as we can. And having eight (receivers) will allow us to hopefully play even faster, because we can rotate them by series. I've never been able to do that before."
But if the Cedars are to
But Yonchiuk is confident Lebanon won't be as porous as they were a season ago when they allowed 274 points, including 229 over the last seven games.
The strength of the defense figures to be at linebacker, where Antal and Pyles will move in from the secondary to join holdovers Gardner and hard-hitting senior Jed Murray.
On the line, Cabinaw, Caba and Gerald Goodmond will man the ends, with Sepulveda, 6-4, 385-pound sophomore Nathan Tobias and sophomore Darius Ramsey handling the nose tackle spots.
The secondary, meanwhile, is pretty experienced and very athletic with Padillas, Baker, Krall, Zombro and De La Cruz patrolling the passing lanes.
"I feel we keep making progress every year (defensively)," Yonchiuk. "Frank Isenberg, our defensive coordinator, I think he does a great job. We're as sound as we can be. Our schemes are good. We have a tendency to get beat up and we've lost some guys and that affects it. But our guys play hard for him, play hard for the staff and play to the echo of the whistle, and that's all we can ask of them.
"I believe we'll have a very solid defense. Our defense could be our strength. And I really hope it is. If we can stop people and score one more point we'll be all right."
The memory of last season's second-half collapse - Lebanon lost six in a row after the 3-0 start before rebounding to the win the season finale, 42-14, over Elizabethtown - could also serve the Cedars well this time around.
The margin of defeat in three of those six straight losses was just seven points, giving Yonchiuk hope that his squad's veteran leadership could turn those close losses into victories this season.
"I think what happened is we caught ourselves," he said. "We were 3-0 and had a shootout with L-S after spotting 'em 14 points, and I think maybe we felt we were better than we were. Then we went into Garden Spot and they knocked the living dog out of us, they killed us, and that really brought us back down to earth.
"I'm hoping with a senior-led group we're strong enough with our leadership to win those close games."