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FREDERICKSBURG >> The Northern Lebanon Vikings concluded the regular season last year with eight consecutive wins. Looking to earn repeat as Section champion, Roy Wall's club could be well on its way to another run of victories throughout the 2015 season.

The Vikings forced four first-half turnovers during their rout of Pine Grove (0-1) in their 52-0 home opening victory Friday night. Northern Lebanon outscored the Cardinals 39-0 in the first half and dominated defensively, allowing just 64 total yards the entire evening as the game started late due to lightning strikes.

"I said at the beginning of the year, our strength is going to be our defense," Wall explained. "It's only the second shutout since I've been here. As far as we go this season, it's going to be the result of our defense."

Northern Lebanon's defense recovered four Cardinals' fumbles on the evening, with two of them returned as touchdowns. Senior linebacker Tyler Mengel picked up a fumble for an 18-yard touchdown return to give the Vikings a 20-0 advantage with just under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, already determining the game outcome unofficially.

Senior quarterback Issac Wengert earned the start behind center following Issac Ray's graduation last year. Wengert led the Vikings to two first-quarter touchdowns, connecting with Noah Smith and Corey Teasdale through the air on 27- and 35-yard passes. Wengert finished the night with 89 passing yards on 5-of-7 passing including one interception.

"He's the quarterback this year, a first-year starter," Wall said of Wengert. "He's got that gun slinger mentality and he runs our offense pretty efficiently."

Sophomore running back Dylan Weaver added two touchdown runs of his own in his first start for the Vikings, after he won the starting running back job for Northern Lebanon this summer. Weaver beat out Noah Smith as Northern Lebanon's premier back and finished his first game with 64 rushing yards on just seven carries. Luke Funck also contributed a one-yard touchdown run for the Vikings.

"Dylan's new to the program," Wall said. "He won the job as our running back and we have a lot of weapons, but he's just one of them. He had a great night tonight, it's pretty difficult because he didn't play for us last year, it's difficult (for the other team) to scheme for him."

One area of significant concern for the Vikings moving forward is their special teams unit, especially in the kicking game. After connecting on a two-point conversion after their first touchdown, Vikings senior kicker Colton Herb was successful on just two extra point attempts.

"We'll just go for two, it's not a big deal," Wall said, regarding their strategy moving forward. "We could of went for two more than we did, it's three yards, we should be able to get those three yards when we need it."

The Vikings face the Cedars in a road contest at Lebanon High School next Friday.

Northern Lebanon 52, Pine Grove 0

Northern Lebanon201967—52Pine Grove0000—0

First Quarter

NL- Issac Wengert 27 yard pass to Noah Smith (conversion good)

NL- Wengert 35 yard pass to Corey Teasdale (Colton Herb kick missed)

NL- Tyler Mengel 18 yard fumble return (kick missed)

Second Quarter

NL- Dylan Weaver 23 yard run (kick blocked)

NL- Luke Funck one yard run (conversion failed)

NL- Weaver two yard run (kick good)

Third Quarter

NL- Weaver 82 yard run (kick missed)

Fourth Quarter

NL- Isiah Davila 84 yard fumble return (kick good)

NL – PG

NLPGFirst downs116Rushes-yards20-6640-60Passing5-8-11-7-1Passing yards894Total yards15564Punts4-1055-156Fumbles-lost3-06-4Penalties-yards6-524-33
Individual statistics

Rushing: NL- Weaver 7-64, Wengert 5-(minus five), Funck 3-0, Daub 3-(minus one), Negreiros 2-8; PG- Ney 12-(minus 27), Lutz 17-60, Rittenbaugh 2-(minus two), Levan 7-18, Kaufman 1-8, Lehman 1-3

Passing: NL- Wengert 5-7-1, 89 yards, Daub 0-1-0, 0 yards; PG- Ney 1-7-1, 4 yards

Receiving: NL- Smith 2-40, Teasdale 3-49; PG- Leninger 1-4

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