LEBANON - Sometimes things just don’t go your way. A missed tackle here, a questionable call there, and a team that maybe just played their best game in years.
Penn Manor had lost 16 straight football games dating back to 2014. But the Comets scored on their opening drive, going 47 yards in eight plays for an early 7-0 lead and did not let up en route to a stunning 48-12 Lancaster-Lebanon Section One victory over the Lebanon Cedars on Friday night.
“Our kids have persevered," said a jubilant PM coach John Brubaker Jr. "They continued to work hard. Last year was tough. We were young and inexperienced. This year we got some kids back and it was nice to come out here and get a win.”
In all, Penn Manor (1-3, 1-0) racked up an astounding 606 yards of offense, with three backs going over 100 yards against the Cedars (1-3, 0-1).
“We wanted to pound the ball and we had some success doing that,” Brubaker said. "We have four seniors and a junior on the offensive line and we want them to take control of the game and I think they did there. It was neat to see multiple backs have some success in the game.”
They also had success keeping Lebanon’s normally prolific triple option attack contained by applying pressure on quarterback Zakee Sailsman on almost every play, often getting into the backfield right after the ball was snapped.
Brubaker said, “They’ve got a super young quarterback and he really makes their offense go. Our goal there was to try to contain him because he makes a lot of plays with his feet and he’s got some composure to throw on the run, too, so that was our No. 1 goal coming in.”
Sailsman was able to make some magic, though, when he found Shaquell Ortiz open behind the Comet defense for an 80-yard touchdown strike to make it 7-6 Penn Manor, but the Comets immediately responded and were able to secure their first win.
Lebanon travels to Warwick next week.
Kirstyn Messner was crowned Lebanon's 2016 Homecoming Queen at halftime.
Penn Manor 48, Lebanon 12
Penn Manor _ 21 _ 6 _ 7 _ 14 _ — _ 48
Lebanon _ 6 _ 0 _ 0 _ 6 _ — _ 12
PM — Grant Gale 44-yard pass from Josiah Edwards (Liam Hart kick), 3:50
Leb — Shaquell Ortiz 80-yard pass from Zakee Sailsman (kick blocked), 2:41
PM — Evan Jones 2-yard run (Hart kick), 2:19
PM — Theoren McElheny 1-yard run (Hart kick), 0:08
PM — Tony Dandridge 84-yard run (kick failed), 7:31
PM — Gale 10-yard pass from Edwards (Hart kick), 8:10
PM — Jones 3-yard run (Hart kick), 7:09
Leb — Ortiz 66-yard pass from Sailsman (pass failed), 5:02
PM — Stephen Albright 41-yard run (Hart kick), 2:16
_ PM _ Leb
First downs _ 25 _ 15
Rushes-yards _ 48-459 _ 33-103
Passing _ 7-9-0 _ 18-30-1
Passing yards _ 147 _ 312
Total yards _ 606 _ 415
Punts _ 1-25.0 _ 4-36.9
Fumbles-lost _ 2-0 _ 1-1
Penalties-yards _ 11-90 _ 5-25
Rushing — PM: Jones 18-127, Edwards 4-18, McElheny 17-138, Dandridge 4-129, Vozzella 1-4, Brown 1-10, Hollinger 2-(-5); Leb: Hillesheim 4-10, Kauffman 14-46, Blauch 2-3, Sailsman 9-26, Rivera 4-18.
Passing — PM: Edwards 7-9-0-147; Leb: Sailsman 18-30-1-312.
Receiving — PM: Gale 4-83, Dandridge 1-37, Roman 2-27; Leb: Blauch 2-11, Ortiz 3-148, Hillesheim 6-107, Beckley 2-20, Imm 1-7, Manzolillo 1-8, Kissinger 1-7.