BIRDSBORO - They say the measure of a man is how he responds in the face of adversity.
So, on the first play from scrimmage at Daniel Boone on Friday night, when two-way senior star Luke Funck went down with an injury, the Vikings’ season hung on what happened next.
On the very next play, Stephen Herb took a handoff from Michigan Daub and went 71 yards for a touchdown.
But Daniel Boone matched the Vikings scoring drive for scoring drive the rest of the way en route to a 28-24 non-league victory over Northern Lebanon (1-2).
NL quarterback Michigan Daub said, “I felt like we needed to rely on our passing game, but Stevie stepped up real big with that first carry. I thought we had it after that.”
“Luke’s the heart and soul of our team and to lose someone of his caliber, you can’t really replace that,” Northern Lebanon coach Roy Wall said.
The Vikings nearly did pull out the win without Funck. Daub hooked up with Christian Trader seven times for 188 yards and two touchdowns - of 55 and 46 yards in the second quarter - that gave Northern Lebanon a 24-21 lead at halftime.
Trader said, “I played my heart out tonight, but it just wasn’t enough.”
But without Funck in the lineup, the defense struggled to stop Daniel Boone almost as much as the Blazers struggled stop the Vikings without their starting running back.
Wall said, “They can move the ball and they have some athletes. Obviously losing Luke hurts. We’re going to have to find some other people. We just weren’t ready to do that tonight, but I thought Stevie, Michigan and Christian really stepped up and some of our younger players, too."
Northern Lebanon will have a week to find those people to step in as they host Pequea Valley next week in their first home game, also the opener of Section III play.
“We had opportunities in the second half and didn’t capitalize on three trips,” Wall said. “We have to be more consistent.”
Daniel Boone 28, Northern Lebanon 24
Northern Lebanon _12 _ 12 _0 _0 _ — _ 24
Daniel Boone _14 _7 _ 7_ 0_ — _ 28
NL — Steve Herb 71 run (run failed), 11:25
DB — Ryan Okuniewski 29 pass from Josh Ehst (Dylan Walker kick), 8:02
NL — Michigan Daub 26 run (pass failed), 4:41
DB — Okuniewski 31 pass from Ehst (Walker kick), 1:15
NL — Christian Trader 55 pass from Daub (run failed), 9:34
DB — Chase Lacey 8 pass from Ehst (Walker kick), 5:16
NL — Trader 46 pass from Daub (run failed), 0:52
DB — Lacey 2 run (Walker kick), 0:20
_ NL_ Daniel Boone
First downs _ 7 _ 14
Rushes-yards _ 24-145 _ 46-266
Passing _ 13-21-1 _ 5-10-1
Passing yards _ 241 _ 133
Total yards _ 386 _ 399
Punts _ 1-46 _ 2-31
Fumbles-lost _ 1-0 _ 1-1
Penalties-yards _ 8-60 _ 11-93
Rushing — NL: Herb 7-85, Smith 1-2, Daub 16-58; DB: McIntosh 23-117, Ehst 10-116, Okuniewski 1-(-1), Lacey 10-26, Goodrich 2-8.
Passing — NL: Daub 13-20-1-241; DB: Ehst 5-10-1-133
Receiving — NL: Funck 1-(-2), Smith 3-29, Trader 7-188, Shearer 2-26; DB: Okuniewski 5-104, Lacey 2-19.