They say it's a game of inches.
Cedar Crest, sadly, needs no reminder this fall.
Following a fourth-down Hempfield stop on their final drive of the night, the Falcons dropped to 2-5 Friday, a mark most following their season would hardly believe. Evan Horn scored three touchdowns, pushing Cedar Crest to the brink of another road upset for the second consecutive week. The Falcons trailed Manheim Township by one score at the outset of the fourth quarter last week and fell 38-35 against Hempfield in this past Week 7.
Even in their earlier losses, including a 16-point home defeat to Manheim Central, the blue and white fell just shy of victory against heavily favored opponents. Between Horn, the emergence of his freshman brother, Logan, at quarterback, junior Justise Belleman at tailback and a sturdy line up front, the ingredients of a winning team appear there.
It's just a matter of timing, luck and an inch or two. Cedar Crest has three more Friday nights to put those all together.
RHETTE HEROIC IN DEFEAT FOR PALMYRA >> The Palmyra football team had a lot to be proud of, even in defeat, after Friday night's 28-24 loss to Camp Hill in a showdown of 6-0 teams at Buck Swank Stadium.
But perhaps no Cougar had more reason to hold his head high than junior running back/linebacker Alon Rhette, who was simply a warrior in defeat.
In addition to rushing for 140 yards on 27 carries and scoring Palmyra's first touchdown, Rhette was all over the place on defense, contributing, among other things, a key fourth-quarter sack that temporarily kept the Cougars in front.
His best work, though, came on the ensuing kickoff after Camp Hill had grabbed a 21-17 lead early in the fourth.
Doing his best Marshawn Lynch impersonation, Rhette popped a 40-yard kickoff return in which he broke tackle after tackle and dragged the pile a good 10 yards or so before he was finally dragged down.
It was an effort that the boisterous Palmyra Homecoming crowd won't soon forget, even if it wasn't quite enough to keep the Cougars undefeated.
"He really stepped up," Palmyra coach Chris Pope said. "Alon's a player, he really is. I'm proud of the way he played. He left it out here."
ANNVILLE-CLEONA SET FOR SHOWDOWN WITH NL>> The latest Section Three showdown in a season already filled with them comes Friday night, when Annville-Cleona visits Northern Lebanon looking to play spoiler in the section while also enhancing its district playoff hopes.
A-C dropped its first section showdown a few weeks back when it fell to Elco 40-39 in an overtime heartstopper on a Thursday night, but it has righted the ship since then, beating Ephrata and Kutztown with ease to improve to 5-2.
True, those teams are nowhere near frontrunning Northern Lebanon's caliber, but A-C looks to be as prepared as it can be for the upcoming battle.
Should be a good one.