FREDERICKSBURG – After starting the year with a win at Pine Grove, a few things haven’t gone the way of the Northern Lebanon Vikings football team. After leading 13-9 late in the third quarter at Cedar Crest two weeks ago, everything unraveled in 41-12 loss. Then the Vikings lost star running back Luke Funck for the season in last week’s 28-24 loss at Daniel Boone.
And the as the old cliché in football says, “Next man up,” that has proven to be no different for NL. Except in this case, its next “men” up, in quarterback Michigan Daub, running back Stephen Herb, and wide receiver Christian Trader.
Daub threw for 176 yards passing and two touchdowns while rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also had a field day with Trader, hooking up for two long touchdowns to lead the Vikings in a 40-13 rout over Pequea Valley on Friday in their Section 3 and home opener.
“Christian had a big game last week, so it’s no surprise. But he does a great job getting open and making big plays,” Northern Lebanon coach Roy Wall said. “Michigan is just following suit at quarterback. He’ll be fine as we continue to go through the year.”
After Herb gave the Vikings a 7-6 lead late in the first on a 1-yard touchdown run, Daub and Trader’s first long connection went for 76 yards, increasing the lead to 13-6 with about four minutes left in the half. The Vikings duo then opened the second half with a 45-yard touchdown on a third-and-15, making it 19-6 NL with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
“I thought we needed to step up. Christian is a big player for receiving, but Stevie stepped up big two games in a row for Luke,” Daub said. “Hopefully we all continue to do that job.”
Herb stepped up not only offensively, but in all three phases. He finished with 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while also recording an 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown, his third overall, making it 34-6 NL with 11:43 left. He also had a 29-yard return deep into Braves territory, setting up his second rushing touchdown of the night from 23 yards out that made it 40-6 NL.
All three of Herb’s scores were part of a stretch of 40 unanswered points by the Vikings after the Braves struck first with a 6-0 lead with eight minutes left in the opening quarter.
After one of four Braves’ fumbles occurred at midfield, Daub added his touchdown on the ground from 5 yards out. Then the two-point conversion on a fullback dive from Luis Negreiros gave the Vikings a commanding 27-6 lead with 3:41 left in the third.
That early Pequea Valley score came courtesy of a 22-yard touchdown run by Connor Horst, thanks to a Noah Smith fumble. The fumble occurred a few plays after Smith took the opening kickoff 40 yards to the Pequea Valley 45.
Jrue Gray added a 41-yard touchdown run for the Braves with about five and half minutes left to cap all scoring.
And not only was it the “next man up” mentality coming into play, it was the fact that despite a few adversities in the first few weeks of the season, Wall says his team hasn’t forgotten their No. 1 goal.
“We’ve won the last two section titles and that’s still in play for us. That’s been a big goal. Pequea Valley’s an up-and-coming team. Our kids really stepped up the second half, made plays and got turnovers,” Wall said. “We had some adversity with Luke getting hurt, and Stephen, Christian and Michigan stepped up. The defense stepped up too. It was a good win all around. We needed it.”
Northern Lebanon 40, Pequea Valley 13
Pequea Valley _6 _ 0 _0 _7 _ — 13 _
Northern Lebanon _7 _ 6_ 14_ 13_ — 40_
PV - Connor Horst 22-yard run. (Elmer kick no good) 8:00
NL - Stephen Herb 1-yard run (Michigan Daub kick) 5:23
NL - Christian Trader 76-yard pass from Daub (Daub kick no good) 4:03
NL - Trader 45-yard pass from Daub (Daub kick no good) 6:45
NL - Daub 5-yard run (Negreiros run) 3:41
NL - Stephen Herb 85-yard fumble return. (Daub kick). 11:43
NL - Herb 23-yard run (Daub kick no good) 7:45
PV - Jrue Gray 41-yard run (Elmer kick) 5:27
_ PV _ NL
First downs _6 _ 10
Rushes-yards _35-228 _ 34-213
Passing _2-6-0 _8-18-0
Passing yards _ 25 _ 176
Total yards _ 253_ 389
Punts _ 4-161_ 1-58
Fumbles-lost _ 4-4_ 2-1
Penalties-yards _4-25 _ 6-40
Rushing — PV: Connor Horst 7-51, TD; Jordan Lapp 17-94; Joey Liney 1-0; Ryan Smith 3-13; Brandon Hershey 1-11; Jrue Gray 6-59, TD. NL: Stephen Herb 18-96, 2 TD; Noah Smith 2-0; Michigan Daub 11-93; Christian Trader 2-10; Eyan Margut 1-4.
Passing — PV: Lapp 2-6-0 for 25 yards. NL: Daub 8-18-0 for 176 yards, 2 TD.
Receiving — PV: Anthony Davido 1-5; Smith 1-20. NL: Trader 5-151, 2 TD; Will Thompson 1-5; Caleb Fischer 2-20.