That doesn't make the Raiders much different than the majority of teams at this early point in the season.
Including, believe it or not, their opponent on Friday, the Lebanon Cedars. Yes, the same Lebanon Cedars who were demolished 67-0 in the Cedar Bowl two weeks back, and shut out again last week in a mistake-filled 21-0 loss at Northern Lebanon.
But amid the loss last week that left them with a whopping 88 points allowed and a big fat zero scored thus far this season, Lebanon head coach Gerry Yonchiuk saw progress where most probably saw more backward steps.
In the form of the Cedars outgaining the victorious Vikings and moving the ball with some much-needed consistency, although it was an advantage that was erased by a slew of costly turnovers and ill-timed penalties that kept them out of the end zone again.
And also in terms of a growing attitude of confidence at what they believe they are capable of doing and some good old-fashioned anger at themselves for not having proven it yet.
"The first week was just so ugly, no doubt about it," Yonchiuk said. "But we just put that to bed, there's nothing you can do about it. Last week, I thought we played well, but we didn't do the little things to close it out.
"I feel very good about the how team has practiced this week. I think the
For it to happen this week, the Cedars will have to get by an Elco team that opened with a 44-6 rout of Hamburg in Week One, then backtracked a bit in last week's 33-13 defeat to Steel-High.
But the Raiders played the second half of last week's contest without junior quarterback/running back catalyst Cameron Strause, who was sidelined by severe cramps but expected back this week.
"We feel good going into the Lebanon game," Elco's first-year head coach Robert Miller said. "The kids understand the problems we had on Friday night. You can't do that (make mental mistakes) against a much more disciplined Steel-High team and a much more athletic Steel-High team. They understand what they gotta do, it's just a matter of executing.
"Coming in Week One against Hamburg, we didn't have stupid mistakes and we didn't have turnovers. Week Two, it was mental mistakes. We can't have that. They know what they gotta do, it's just a matter of execution."
The improved focus and execution that both the Cedars and Raiders are seeking should be enhanced by what has become a spirited rivalry since its inception in 2006.
The teams have split the six meetings, with three of the contests decided by four points or less. Neither Yonchiuk nor Miller would be surprised if another tight battle comes about on Friday, in what will also be the fourth annual Autism Awareness game between the two schools.
That tradition began in 2009 with the help of former Elco coach and current Manheim Township boss Mark Evans as a way to raise funds and awareness for those dealing with autism, including Yonchiuk's 11-year-old son, Colby.
"They've been really good games," Yonchiuk said of the Elco-Lebanon series, "and I expect the same this week. It's a fun night with the autism awareness (aspect), everybody really enjoys it. It gets the school district excited."
"I think it's been a close series, back and forth," said Miller, who experienced the first two meetings, which were each decided by a single point, as an assistant to Evans. "It seems to be one (game) where our kids bring a little extra. Hopefully we're able to execute and not let that rivalry take over and lose our focus."
There's a bit of a law of averages feel to Lebanon's current struggles, and a sense that a team with a standout quarterback like Mark Pyles and a potentially explosive running back in Jeremy De La Cruz could break out at any moment. The return of offensive lineman Alex Cabinaw from injury should also give Lebanon a boost.
Miller has already cautioned his club about the possibility of Lebanon finally finding their stride this week and making sure if it does, the Raiders are ready to respond.
"Lebanon moves the ball," Miller said. "They did it against NL, they did it at times against Cedar Crest. We can't count on them turning the ball over five times. We're either going to create (turnovers) to get them or we're gonna really have to execute on both sides of the ball.
"I just hope we can count on our kids to take advantage of the turnovers like we didn't against Steel-High. They had five (fumbles) in the first half and we only got one."
Meanwhile, Lebanon's focus, in addition to holding onto the ball, will be on slowing down the Raiders' ground game, which is capable of inflicting a good deal of damage with Strause operating behind a big, physical offensive line led by highly-touted senior tackle Schuyler Harting.
Lost amid another shutout loss last week was the fact that Lebanon did a decent bend-but-don't-break act against Northern Lebanon's vaunted option attack. If it can turn in a similar performance this week, it could finally put a check into the win column. If not, the Raiders will be the ones heading into next week's opening of Lancaster-Lebanon League section play with some positive momentum.
"The key is Strause," Yonchiuk said. "If you want to beat them, you've gotta stop him. I think they lost something passing when Anthony (last year's quarterback Pletz, now playing for Annville-Cleona) left, but it makes them focus more (on the running game). And they're pretty damn good at what they do. They try to wear you down and keep the ball out of your hands.
"We can't turn it over. That's a big part of it."
Hamburg at Northern Lebanon, 7 p.m.
The county's lone unbeaten team and a burgeoning feel-good story, the Vikings will look to build on their impressive start when the Hawks continue their early-season tour of Lebanon County opponents by making the trip down I-78/Route 22 to visit the 'Burg and Fred Gahres Stadium.
Already 0-2 after receiving fat lips from Elco and Annville-Cleona, Hamburg appears to be facing its toughest foe yet in Roy Wall's somewhat surprising Vikings.
A number of new faces in big roles - quarterback Isaac Ray, running back Derek DiAngelis, receiver/kick returner Mason Yost - have propelled Northern Lebanon to its fast start, but all in all it's been a solid, workmanlike team effort that has made the Vikes the early class of the county.
Not to get ahead of ourselves - coaches hate that, you know - but another impressive win this week would set Northern Lebanon up nicely for a potential run in Section Three, with winnable games with Annville-Cleona and Pequea Valley starting off the league slate the next two weeks.
Hershey at Cedar Crest, 7 p.m.
What to make of these Falcons - are they the underrated group that bullied Lebanon in the Cedar Bowl or the team that couldn't find the end zone last week in a 21-0 loss to Lower Dauphin?
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of those contrasting first two results, but we'll know more after this week's matchup with the Trojans at Earl Boltz Stadium.
Hershey comes to town with a 2-0 record in tow, but one of those wins is last week's narrow - and somewhat puzzling - 36-32 win over an Elizabethtown team that is in the midst of a 15-game losing streak that stretches back to 2010.
In short, it looks like a winnable game for the Falcons. Just how winnable depends on which Crest team shows up Friday night.
Annville-Cleona at Schuylkill Valley, 7 p.m.
A tip of the cap to the Little Dutchmen, who showed some moxie in overcoming a 20-7 halftime deficit to trip up Hamburg, 25-20, last week.
Now 1-1 and apparently improved over last season's 1-9 squad, A-C will need some of the spirit it showed last week when it heads to Leesport to take on the Panthers. Schuylkill Valley has racked up a staggering 88 points through its first two contests, including last week's 54-28 rout of Panther Valley.
A-C flashed some firepower of its own last week, though, getting 100-plus yard rushing efforts from Mitch Rodkey and Quentin Hall in the come-from-behind win at Hamburg.
Donegal at Palmyra, 7:30 p.m.
Tough start for the Cougars after a pair of bruising setbacks to Northern and Muhlenberg, and, well, life's probably not going to get any easier with 2-0 Donegal heading to "the Buck."
But Palmyra has certainly played tougher competition to date than the Indians have - their wins are over lightly-regarded Elizabethtown and Fleetwood - so that could be a good sign for the Cougars.
And, hey, it's also Homecoming at Palmyra on Friday, so perhaps some good vibes from the alumni will help the cause as well for a Cougar squad that will beginning a most challenging Mid-Penn Keystone slate next week at Susquehanna Township.