By Brandon Stoneburg
We're just two weeks in to the 2015 football season, but it's never too early to start analyzing. There's a lot to soak in from Friday night's action, so I decided to look back and hand out a few awards/superlatives. This will be a weekly award presentation, so tune in and enjoy.
The winners are.....(drum roll)....
Biggest boot: Andrew Luckenbaugh’s game-winning 45-yard kick for Spring Grove.
The senior is no stranger to big kicks - he hit a 47-yarder as a freshman and has been one of the league's best kickers since. So with 8:28 to go in the game and the score tied at 14, Luckenbaugh lined up his kick and drilled it through the uprights.
"I've been doing it for a while now, it's mainly keep focused and go in and do my job," Luckenbaugh said. "Every time, I think of (a kick) as an extra point."
The kick also gave head coach Kyle Sprenkle his first career victory.
Biggest blunder: Dover.
Not only did the Eagles get penalized 120 yards for the second-straight week, but they also missed an extra point that would've tied the game with seven minutes to go. It proved costly as Dover fell to Big Spring, 36-35.
Most touching moment: Red Lion’s pregame ceremony.
I have no connection or investment in Red Lion, but even I was tearing up in the press box. Before the Lions' first game back at Horn Field since losing teammates Stone Hill and Nick Mankin in a car crash, Red Lion played a touching video tribute in which players and coaches talked about what they missed about Hill and Mankin. There was a tearful moment of silence, a loud roar when the team was introduced carrying Hill and Mankin's jerseys, and a chilling rendition of the National Anthem sang by Red Lion graduate and The Voice finalist DaNica Shirey. It was a roller coaster of emotions and a well-done tribute by Red Lion.
Best 0-2 team in the state: Biglerville.
At least according to head coach Alex Ramos.
"It's so frustrating, we have to be the best 0-2 team in the state," he said.
Best in the state may be a stretch, but I see his point. The Canners have lost two games by a combined four points, including a heartbreaking overtime defeat in week 1, and they've held second-half leads in both.
Best Drake impression: Hanover.
"Goin' baaaaaack to back."
How about those Nighthawks? The same team that won five games combined in the previous five seasons and finished last in the league in nearly every statistical categories last year, started this campaign off with back-to-back wins while showing off the league's best offense.
Talent level hasn't been an issue in Hanover. The issue was a lack of a winning mentality. So the first few games were crucial in showing the Nighthawks that they're capable of winning games.
Best Justin Bieber impression: Bermudian Springs.
"Where are you now?"
It was a well-known fact that Bermudian could take a step back this season. Yes, the Eagles won 39 regular season games in the last four years, but they had to replace 20 starters this offseason. The results haven't been pretty. The Eagles are last in total offense (234 yards) through two weeks after topping the charts last season, and are 0-2. The Eagles are young and they'll be better but this is the year that the rest of Division III gets its best shot at the perennial bully.
Best secondary: New Oxford.
In two games the Colonials’ defense has given up just three completions for 16 yards. Not bad.
Biggest statement: Dallastown shutting out West York.
After a sluggish start against Lancaster Catholic in week 1, the Wildcats shut out cross-division rival, West York, 10-0. Shutting out any opponent, especially a team of West York's caliber, is impressive. While other Division I teams (Central York, South Western) stumbled Friday, Dallastown shined.
Biggest bounce back: Spring Grove and Fairfield tied.
Both the Rockets and Green Knights were shut out week 1. Fairfield's loss was especially ugly (42-0 in a game called in the second quarter). But both squads bounced back and picked up notable wins against nonleague opponents. Spring Grove knocked off Mechanicsburg, 17-14, and Fairfield dominated James Buchanan, 34-6.
Biggest oddity: Two perennial powerhouses and defending division champs - Bermudian Springs and West York - are a combined 0-4.
Meanwhile, Hanover, Susquehannock, York County Tech and New Oxford (who combined for 4 wins last season) are 5-3.
Second oddest stat: Biglerville's Scott Cooper, who was among the league's best tailbacks last season when healthy and was named a GameTimePA preseason player to watch, has carried the ball 23 times for 1 yard. One. Yard.
Congrats to all of our winners, see you next week.