FREDERICKSBURG >> Having one star player can make a coach's life a whole lot easier. In Roy Wall's case, he might have more than one.
Northern Lebanon climbed to 4-0 on the season Friday night, with a 57-26 win over Ephrata, who fell to 0-4 on the year. The play of running backs Dylan Weaver and Luke Funck was electric, along with improvement from senior quarterback Issac Wengert.
The Vikings scored four consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter to push them to victory, concluded by Wengert's 15-yard touchdown pass to Corey Teasdale.
Teasdale finished the night with five catches for 82 receiving yards, with three of his receptions gaining the Vikings over 15 yards each.
"He's been there all year," Wall said of Teasdale. "The last couple of weeks we've been running the ball, so today I wanted to see if we could throw the ball a little bit too."
Transfer running back Dylan Weaver has emerged as a star on both sides of the ball for the Vikings in his first year with the team. Weaver rushed for two touchdowns on just seven carries, accumulating 98 yards on the ground. The junior back also added a 73-yard punt return to tack another touchdown on the Vikings' mounting lead late in the second quarter.
Weaver's counterpart in the backfield, Luke Funck, added 67 rushing yards on 10 carries, including an 11-yard scamper on Northern Lebanon's first drive of the year. The Vikings marched 95 yards in just 2:28, sparked by Wengert's 51-yard pass to senior Colton Herb on the second play of the six-play drive.
Wengert finished the evening with 159 passing yards on 7-of-12, but tossed a second-half interception. He's not the dual threat Issac Ray was for the Vikings last year, but has been a reliable complement to tag alongside the duo of Weaver and Funck.
The five bruising bodies playing in front of Weaver and Funck have been the reason for Northern Lebanon's strong ground attack, especially Friday night against Ephrata's inferior defensive line.
"Our offensive line has been playing well all year," Vikings head coach Roy Wall said. "We knew they would be a strength and they have been."
Wall views his club as the continual favorite in the section and any team who hopes to win the section will have to topple Northern Lebanon head on.
"We're the defending section champs," Wall explained. "Right now, with Annville-Cleona losing, we're undefeated in the section."
There's substantial room for improvement for this season's Vikings, however, who were outscored 19-14 in the second half.
"We've been scoring some points," Wall said. "We just need to stop giving up big plays, they got two on our first team (defense). We want to stop that when we get into the rest of section play."
The Vikings face Pequea Valley next Friday in their first section road game, looking to stay undefeated at the half-way point of the season.
Northern Lebanon 57, Ephrata 26
NL- Luke Funck 11 yard run (conversion successful) Noah Smith two yard run
NL- Issac Wengert one yard run (conversion failed)
E- Jerrad Malmer one yard run (Caroline Stauffer kick)
NL- Dylan Weaver 60 yard run (conversion failed)
NL- Luke Funck one yard run (conversion successful)
NL- Weaver 73 yard punt return (conversion successful)
NL- Wengert 15 yard pass to Corey Teasdale (Colton Herb kick)
E- Malmer 13 yard pass to Charles Warden (Stauffer kick)
NL- Dylan Weaver three yard run (Herb kick)
E- Brendan Holbritter ten yard pass to Tyler Mentzer (Stauffer kick missed)
NL- Funck 84 yard kickoff return (Herb kick)
E- Holbritter four yard run
NLEFirst downs1412Rushes-yards30-19829-121Passing7-12-19-35-1Passing yards159154Total yards357275Punts9-856-60Fumbles-lost4-21-0Penalties-yards0-05-31.8
Rushing: NL- Weaver 7-98, Funck 10-67, Wengert 9-30, Smith 3-(minus two), Negreiros 1-5; E- Malmer 12-34, Warden 2-2, Wright 1-0, Reider 4-58, Barrett 2-4, Mentzer 1-(minus five), Holbritter 1-8, Frees 6-20
Passing: NL- Wengert 7-12-1, 159 yards; E- Malmer 6-20-1, 78 yards; Holbritter 3-15-0, 76 yards
Receiving: NL- Teasdale 5-82, Herb 2-77; E- Warden 4-78, Mentzer 3-38, Klaus 1-22, Barrett 1-16