John Buffone and Pat Huggins break down four Week 8 matchups in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Video by John Buffone
In a stretch of losing three of its last four games, it’s pretty clear that not everything has bounced the way of the Elco football team.
After a team endures some gut-wrenching losses that has pretty much knocked it out of contention, all it wants is a little something to go its way to steal a win on a special night for those playing in their final game on their home turf. It also doesn’t hurt if you derail a county rival’s season, too - and earn a little sweet revenge of last year’s crushing loss to Northern Lebanon in the process.
The Raiders got their wish, putting the Vikings' hopes of a Section 3 three-peat back in jeopardy with a 14-7 win Friday at Elco High School on Senior Night.
“The players won the game and it says a lot about them,” Elco coach Rob Miller said. “The fact they were able to continue fighting through all the close games and adversity, and continue to persevere in this game is a credit to them. It was a hard-fought game and we came together as one.”
Raider running back Tyler Horst, one of the 12 seniors honored, led the way with 124 yards on 26 carries, including some big runs on third down keeping drives alive.
And earning the win against the Vikings is not only meaningful for him in his last home game, but brought back childhood memories.
“We’re all just trying to win, just like NL is. But after our game with them last year, we did have this circled on the schedule,” Horst said. “This was a big game for both teams, being a rivalry game. It’s extra special for me having played NL since pee-wee football, and it feels great to come through.”
“He’s a warrior on both sides of the ball. Same thing with the rest of our seniors,” Miller said. “It’s freaking awesome for Tyler. He’s been waiting for this, so it’s great to see him have a break out game.”
Fellow senior quarterback Kyle Knight also put in a big night, especially on the ground, with 123 yards rushing on 20 carries and a touchdown, while throwing 2-for-9 for 35 yards with a touchdown and a pick.
After a slow start for both teams, the Raiders were the ones to finally make a move, striking first on a 3-yard touchdown run, taking a 7-0 with 9:56 left in the half.
Elco’s other score came on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Knight to Ryan Eshleman to make it 14-0 Raiders with 2:17 left in the half.
NL looked like it would respond on its ensuing drive, but it was halted by a second Michigan Daub fumble that went through the back of the end zone.
It certainly came back to haunt Daub and his teammates, as they finally cut the deficit in half with 2:53 left on a 30-yard run by Stevie Herb.
But the Vikes never saw the ball again, as the Raiders recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
Along with three turnovers, NL was also tormented with an 0-for-4 night in the red zone.
“It’s all about these guys coming out to enjoy their season,” Miller said. “I don’t care who we play. On senior night we were coming out to win, and that’s what mattered most. These guys deserve it.”
Elco 14, Northern Lebanon 7
Northern Lebanon_ 0 _ 0 _ 0 _ 7 _ — _ 7
Elco_ 0 _ 14 _ 0 _ 0 _ — _ 14
Elco — Kyle Knight 3 run (Dane Miller kick)
Elco - Ryan Eshleman 4 pass from Knight (Miller kick)
NL — Stevie Herb 30 run (Daub kick)
First downs _ 9 _ 14
Rushes-yards _ 27-171 _ 48-242
Passing _6-23-1 _ 2-9-1
Passing yards _ 82 _ 35
Total yards _ 253_ 277
Punts _ 3-123 _ 6-149
Fumbles-lost _ 2-2 _ 0-0
Penalties-yards _ 5-49_ 3-15
Rushing — NL: Stephen Herb 13-144, TD; Michigan Daub 12-11; Noah Smith 1-0; Christian Trader 1-16. Elco: Tyler Horst 26-124; Kyle Knight 20-123, TD; Nate Beamer 2-(-5).
Passing — NL: Daub 6-23-1 for 82 yards Elco: Knight 2-9-1 for 35 yards, TD.
Receiving — NL: Trader 6-82. Elco: Ryan Eshleman 1-4, TD; Horst 1-31.