John Buffone and Matt Catrillo break down four Week 5 matchups in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Video by John Buffone
We got our first taste of section play last week and while some teams stumbled out of the gate, others went full steam ahead. Week 5 will give teams a chance to put their slow starts in the rearview mirror or an opportunity to continue riding last week's momentum.
Record last week: 9-3
Overall record: 51-18
Winning percentage: 74%
THE GAME: Cocalico (2-2, 1-0) at Manheim Central (4-0, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Manheim Central
THE REASON: The Barons put on an offensive show against L-S last week. Their 69-14 victory made a statement to the rest of Section Two that the road to a section title just may go through Manheim.
There’s no doubt that Cocalico’s veer offense is hard to defend but the Barons are outscoring their opponents 225-31 through four games and the scariest aspect is that they’re doing it through the air as well as on the ground.
THE GAME: Penn Manor (1-3, 1-0) at Hempfield (0-4, 0-1)
THE WINNER: Penn Manor
THE REASON: Comets’ coach John Brubaker notched his first win at Penn Manor last week with an impressive 48-12 victory over Lebanon in which three players rushed for over 100 yards.
Penn Manor’s offense is making strides each week and I like them to come out of Landisville with a win Friday night against a Black Knights squad that is a sporadic on offense.
THE GAME: Manheim Township (2-2, 1-0) at Conestoga Valley (3-1, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Manheim Township
THE REASON: Get your popcorn ready because this matchup has the potential to produce some fireworks. Both teams have talented quarterbacks that lead equally explosive offenses.
This isn’t simply Township’s Luke Emge vs CV’s Grant Stoltzfus however. Both teams have showed promise running the ball with Blue Streaks’ back Grayson Sallade rushing for 150 yards vs Hempfield last week and CV’s Connor Brinton showing plenty of explosiveness out of the backfield.
I’m giving the slight edge to Township because I believe in their ability to make a defensive stand when necessary.
THE GAME: McCaskey (2-2, 0-1) at Wilson (3-1, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: Wilson showed a little vulnerability last week after squeaking by Warwick, 14-10. Look for the Bulldogs to take care of the ball better this week and have a more effective day on the ground against McCaskey.
THE GAME: Garden Spot (2-2, 1-0) at Cedar Crest (3-1, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: Look for both teams to try to establish the run game in this one. All seven of Cedar Crest’s touchdowns came on the ground vs Ephrata last week and Garden Spot rushed for 275 yards against Solanco.
I’ll take Garden Spot because of the versatility of dual-threat QB Cameron Roth.
THE GAME: Lebanon (1-3, 0-1) at Warwick (2-2, 0-1)
THE WINNER: Warwick
THE REASON: The Warriors are trending upward after pushing Wilson to the limit last week. Meanwhile, the Cedars are giving up a lot of points on defense and will have a hard time containing Warwick QB Tyler Trimarchi.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (3-1, 0-1) at Solanco (1-2, 0-1)
THE WINNER: E-Town
THE REASON: Despite falling to Cocalico in their section opener, E-Town continues to force turnovers on defense and that could play a key role this Friday vs Solanco.
The Mules are giving up nearly 40 points per game so every possession is important.
At this point, I trust the Bears’ defense to continue making plays.
THE GAME: Lampeter-Strasburg (3-1, 0-1) at Ephrata (0-4, 1-0)
THE WINNER: L-S
THE REASON: After taking a beating last week, the Pioneers will have a chance to bounce back in a big way against a winless Ephrata team that is giving up close to 50 points per game.
THE GAME: Elco (2-2, 0-1) at Donegal (1-3, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Elco
THE REASON: Donegal finally broke into the end zone and the win column last week with a 35-14 win over Columbia but they will face a tougher task this week when they host the Raiders.
I like the two-headed rushing attack of Elco QB Kyle Knight and tailback Tyler Horst to take control in this one.
THE GAME: Pequea Valley (3-2, 0-1) at Columbia (0-3, 0-1)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: The Braves had a rough go of it in their Section Three opener against Northern Lebanon last week; allowing 27 points in the second half in a 40-13 loss.
Look for Pequea Valley to get back on track against Columbia, who hasn’t scored more than 14 points in a game so far this year while allowing an average of 38.
THE GAME: Lancaster Catholic (2-2) at Annville-Cleona (3-2, 1-0)
THE WINNER: Lancaster Catholic
THE REASON: Despite taking a loss, the Crusaders held tough with powerhouse Berks Catholic last week and hope to carry some momentum into Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Little Dutchmen are flying high as well after pulling out a 27-21 win over Elco in their Section Three opener.
While this could be close in the second half, a few big plays (ground or air) from Lancaster Catholic QB Bryan Downey could clinch a win for the Crusaders.
Lebanon County Pick
York Suburban at Northern Lebanon