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MYERSTOWN>> Four weeks of the regular season remain, but the Section Three championship may slowly be shaping into a two-horse race.

Elco held off Donegal, 34-32, Friday night in Myerstown, leaving only two unbeatens left in the smallest division of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Raiders (3-3, 3-0 Section Three) rode stellar performances from running back Tyler Horst and senior signal caller Jeff Martin to their third straight win, as Horst churned out 162 rushing yards and Martin fired four touchdowns passes.

Elco will meet fellow undefeated Northern Lebanon (6-0, 2-0) next week in Fredericksburg to determine a section leader. By topping the Indians, the Raiders notched yet another victory against a team with a winning record, a feat they did not manage once in their three previous seasons.

"It's definitely a great feeling. We worked so hard to get where we are now and it's not over," said Elco senior Dylan Stoops, who reeled in a pair of touchdowns. "You have a bunch of guys like this coming together, it's pretty special."

Donegal (3-3, 2-1) now falls back to the pack after failing to close an early deficit that hit two scores early in the second quarter. Buoyed by a pair of Martin scoring strikes, the Raiders went on to hold a 20-6 lead at the break, which did not last in the face of big-play Indian touchdowns.

Donegal quarterback Derek Mohr connected on a pair of 50-yard passing scores after halftime, while Austin Dimeler and Mario Marshall also ran in touchdowns post-intermission. However, amid the lightning-quick answers to Elco's thunderous running game, the Indians also missed two extra points and were stuffed on a two-point conversion.

"We weren't very fundamental tonight," Donegal coach Jeff Polites said. "Our kick game wasn't very good, couldn't cover. Our extra points were non-existent. We didn't play fundamental defense. We score 32 points, we expect to win the game."

Ryan Rolon and his 44 rushing yards trailed Horst's total in the backfield, but Rolon took just as many carries did down the stretch as the star junior did to seal the victory. Senior Travis Zimmerman also toughed out needed yards, operating behind a line that often included extra blockers and almost always cleared space needed for key first downs.

That piece was no more evident than when the Raiders ran out the final 5:14 to victory despite interrupting Donegal timeouts.

"That was a true team effort. We're putting up eight, nine linemen on a play and letting Tyler and those guys grind it out," Raiders coach Bob Miller said. "That gelling, that unity the team has right now is the reason that works. Tyler's a beast, but it's everyone taking pride in what they do up front."

Martin's 10-yard touchdown throw to Andrew Olson on a key third down in the final quarter registered as the night's game-winning score. The senior gunslinger fell six passing yards shy of 6,000 his career, a mark he'll surely attain next week. Such a record inevitably brings on additional spotlight, one Miller knows all of his players will endure as the season progresses and is thus already working to prepare them for.

"We talked about now as you're climbing up the ladder and having success, that your character matters most," Miller said. "Now is when people are really looking at you and now is when you have to dig down. You're going to get everyone's best game. All the discipline and responsibility that the coaches ask for becomes more important. And the other thing is, I'm really proud."

Elco 34, Donegal 32

D061412—32E61477—34

First Quarter

E — 46-yard Martin pass to Horst. (Kick fails)

Second Quarter

E — 8-yard Martin pass to Stoops. (Miller kick)

D — 43-yard Dimeler run. (Kick fails)

E — 15-yard Rolon run. (Miller kick)

Third Quarter

D — 65-yard Mohr pass to Shirk. (Kick fails)

E — 5-yard Martin pass to Stoop. (Miller kick)

D — 7-yard Dimeler run. (Shirk run)

Fourth Quarter

D — 52-yard Mohr pass to Woods. (Kick fails)

E — 10-yard Martin pass to Olson. (Miller kick)

D — 2-yard Marshall run. (Run fails)

DEFirst downs1416Rushes-yards39-19934-211Passing3-7-215-22-4Passing yards168156Total yards367367Punts4-30.255-28.6Fumbles-lost1-11-0Penalties-yards2-106-46
Individual statistics

Rushing — D: Austin Dimeler 13-97, Tanner Shirk 11-60, Mario Marshall 9-51, Tyler Snyder 1-3, Tyler Amspacher 1-(-1), Derek Mohr 4-(-11). E: Tyler Horst 19-162, Ryan Rolon 7-44, Travis Zimmerman 5-15, Andrew Olson 1-6, Jeff Martin 2-(-16).

Passing — D: Mohr 3-7-168-0. E: Martin 15-22-154-0.

Receiving — D: Shirk 1-62, Calvin Woods 1-52, Dimeler 1-51 . E: Horst 2-53, Olson 6-42, Ryan Rolon 1-18, Luis Rolon 1-17, Dylan Stoops 3-17, Travis Zimmerman 2-4.

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