Recapping Week 4 Lebanon County football action in this week's edition of Friday Night Leftovers....
Hoch's hustle lost key to A-C win
Cameron Hoch didn't have a big statistical night in Annville-Cleona's dramatic 27-21 win at Elco, catching three passes for 35 yards and rushing three more times for 15 yards.
But the A-C senior did make arguably the game's most important play, one that was lost a bit in the excitement of his team's game-winning goal line stand in the closing seconds.
After A-C fumbled deep in Elco territory late in the fourth quarter, the Raiders' Nate Beamer scooped up the ball at the Elco 5 and raced all the way to the A-C 40 before being corralled by Hoch.
It was a touchdown-saving play - and maybe a season-saver. If Hoch doesn't give his all to make the tackle Beamer either scores or gets a lot deeper into A-C territory with plenty of time still left.
That fact wasn't lost on A-C head coach Matt Gingrich.
"Hochie made a great play on that tackle," Gingrich said. "That could save the season. And there was a lot of kids running, so it wasn't just him."
Sailsman shines in dark Lebanon loss
It wasn't a good night for Lebanon, as evidenced by its 48-12 loss to Penn Manor that ended the Comets' 16-game losing streak that dated back to 2014.
But as he's been for much of the season, sophomore quarterback Zakee Sailsman was a bright spot for the Cedars, this time throwing for 312 yards in the loss.
Sailsman connected on 18 of 31 pass attempts, including long touchdowns of 80 and 66 yards to senior wide receiver Shaq Ortiz. Playing up in Section One this season is bound to create more struggles for Lebanon, but it should also produce more opportunities for Sailsman to get better and eventually help his team improve as well.
Dynamic duo in making for Northern Lebanon
After losing top running back Luke Funck for the season due to injury in last week’s loss at Daniel Boone, the NL offense was in need of some sparks offensively. Besides Stephen Herb stepping up at running back, it seems as though the Vikings have found a dynamic duo through the air.
And as it turns out, it’s been developing for years.
The connection between quarterback Michigan Daub and wide receiver Christian Trader has come alive in the last two games, including four long touchdowns. Two of those came in last night’s 40-13 rout of Pequea Valley, where Daub and Trader hooked up for touchdowns of 76 and 45 yards. Trader finished with 151 yards receiving on five receptions, while Daub finished 8-of-18 with 176 yards passing.
“We’ve been growing up playing together since we were six years old. It’s nice having him as my receiver,” Daub said. “We’re coming together as a group, and my line is blocking for me and giving me time for him to get open. It’s just good.”
“It feels great making plays for our team. We knew we had to step up big to get this win because of Funck,” Trader said. “I knew I could get open if he had time. It just worked.”
Falcons bounce back doing what they do best
Turnovers had been an issue for Cedar Crest in its last two games. The Falcons got away with it in a win at home against Northern Lebanon. But it finally cost them in last week’s loss at Lower Dauphin.
And as pointed out last week, all Cedar Crest needed to do was get out to faster starts, which meant establishing what it does best offensively – the run game. And the Falcons definitely accomplished both tasks in their 49-16 rout of lowly Ephrata.
Cedar Crest rushed for 422 yards on 41 carries – 130 from Tate Seyfert on just five carries to go with two touchdowns. The Falcons also found themselves up 22-0 after the first quarter and 43-0 at the half. Not only was the end result a blowout win – it was also a clean game.
Let’s be clear, coming into this game, the Falcons were clearly the better team. But the fact they bounced back the way they did – getting out to a lead by sticking to the run and especially without turning the ball over – is still something to build on to again get back on a run.