Looking back at Week 2 of the Lebanon County high school football season with another edition of Friday Night Leftovers:
Vernet stepping up for Palmyra
Of course, any team that wants to be successful has to be able to run the ball effectively and dominate the opponent on defense. Palmyra has certainly checked those boxes while bolting to an impressive 3-0 start.
But the Cougars are also developing another important ingredient for success - a downfield passing threat - thanks to the emergence of senior receiver Braden Vernet. Vernet, back out for football after not playing last year, has just five catches thus far but they've almost all been big ones, accounting for 107 yards (21.4 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. He's hauled in a TD pass in all three Palmyra games, including a 28-yard strike from Peter Robertson in Friday night's 28-0 win at Elco.
If Vernet keeps making a big play or two every game, a dangerous Palmyra team will become even more of a headache for future opponents.
Lebanon offense explodes
It showed flashes of potential in last week's Cedar Bowl loss to Cedar Crest, but Lebanon did quite a bit more than that on Friday night at Ephrata. En route to a 37-8 victory, the Cedars exploded for 544 total yards, including 392 on the ground.
Quarterback Zakee Sailsman led the way, throwing for 152 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 142 more and another score. Running back Josh Kauffman also had a big night, piling up 125 yards on the ground along with a 21-yard TD romp.
It's only one game, and much, much tougher competition awaits the Cedars in their Section One schedule, but Friday night's effort was nonetheless a promising step forward for a revamped Lebanon team.
Northern Lebanon's aggressive game plan backfires
The Vikings have always been known for their aggressive style of play, which worked in their favor numerous times last year. But in just the second game of the season, that plan has already come back to haunt them, in what played a major part in NL's down fall in the second half of their 41-12 loss Friday at Cedar Crest.
After retaking the lead at 13-9 late in the third quarter, the Vikings were eager to accelerate the momentum swing in their favor, as NL coach Roy Wall elected to try an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff - which Cedar Crest easily recovered. The Falcons then started from their own 49 and marched right down the field to take the lead back, 15-12. Then on their ensuing possession, the Vikings went for it on fourth-and-eight from only their own 23 and didn't convert, leading to the Falcons taking a 22-12 lead thanks to a 32-yard hook up from Logan Horn to Greyson Williams on the following play from scrimmage. Everything continued to unravel for the Vikings after that en route to the lopsided defeat.
“The quarterback always has the option to go if he sees something that was there, unless I tell him not to go," Wall said after the game. "Our philosophy is play fast and loose. We go for two, we don’t punt the ball very often. And when we do punt it, its going to be rugby style with the option to always put ourselves in position to make plays. Cedar Crest did a nice job of preventing us from making big plays.”
Friday's lopsided win gives the Falcons their first 2-0 start in 13 years.
Tough night for Annville-Cleona run D
All eight touchdowns allowed by the Little Dutchmen defense came on the ground in its 54-34 loss Friday at Camp Hill. Four touchdowns came from the Lions' Billy Williams, with the other four coming from Quinn Buffington - whose four scores totaled 100 yards.
Overall, Camp Hill finished with 339 rush yards - 155 from Buffington, and 114 from Williams.
A-C did have success on the ground however, with 266 rush yards - 113 from Dylan Bomgardner - but just couldn't keep pace with the Lions in the 20-point loss.