There were few treats for the Lebanon Cedars Friday evening in their Halloween Eve Section Two football clash with powerful Lampeter-Strasburg at Alumni Stadium.
The Pioneers scored on eight of 11 possessions — that doesn't even count J.B. Boynton returning the second-half kickoff 79 yards for a score — and buried the Cedars, 62-21.
Boynton's electrifying return made it 35-0 just seconds into the second half and kicked in the mercy rule. Lebanon matched the Pioneers TD for TD the rest of the game, but it was way too late for the Cedars, who suffered their sixth consecutive loss and fell to 2-7 overall, 0-6 in the section.
The Pioneers, meanwhile, have been on an opposite path. The win was their fifth straight and they improved to 7-2 overall, 5-1 in the section race.
Collin Shank, the Pioneers' outstanding senior quarterback, played only one half and led his team to a 28-0 lead. Shank completed 10-of-13 passes for 180 yards and one score. Junior running back Shane Lawler scored two touchdowns in the first half while gaining 56 yards on 14 carries. He also hauled in three passes for 25 yards. Senior receiver Andrew Hay caught three passes for 45 yards as the Pioneers put the game out of reach by halftime.
To their credit, the outmanned Cedars battled hard in the second half and played like the score was 0-0.
"You don't quit. You try to compete," Lebanon coach Gerry Yonchiuk said, searching for silver linings in a tough season. "Our guys played real hard and competed in the second half."
Yonchiuk replaced starting QB Cody Kissinger with senior Daniel Caricabeur to start the third quarter. Two plays after Boynton's kick return, Caricabeur rewarded the decision with a brilliant 62-yard scamper to put the Cedars on the board. The Cedars would score two more times in just over 12 minutes, but the problem was, they couldn't stop the L-S reserves (L-S coach John Manion pulled his starters at halftime), who racked up 20 points on three straight possessions. That made it 55-14 at the end of the third quarter.
In addition to Caricabeur — who tallied the Cedars' final score in the fourth quarter and gained 77 yards on just three carries — the other bright spot was senior tailback Malik Hunter. Hunter rushed for 129 yards on 13 carries. He had an impressive 54-yard TD run with 7:02 left in the third. On the play, he used a great burst of speed to navigate a small hole in the O-line.
"I thought Malik Hunter ran real hard tonight," Yonchiuk said.
Referring to Hunter's touchdown, Yonchiuk said, "Yeah, he doesn't need much room."
Two turnovers in the first quarter doomed the Cedars because L-S converted both into scores. The Cedars picked up two first downs on their opening possession, but a Kissinger pass was intercepted by George Grau. Three plays later, Chad Gaudino raced 72 yards with a pass from Shank and was tackled at the Cedar 1. Lawler scored on the next play.
Two possessions later, Kissinger was hit hard while rolling out of the pocket and fumbled. Playing defense, Shank recovered. Nine plays later, Shank scored from the 1, and it was 14-0.
Lampeter-Strasburg 62, Lebanon 21
LS - Lawler 1 run (Denlinger kick)
LS - Shank 1 run (Denlinger kick)
LS - Lawler 6 run (Denlinger kick)
LS - Gaudino 13 pass from Shank (Denlinger kick)
LS - Boynton 79 kickoff return (Denlinger kick)
Leb - Caricabeur 62 run (kick failed)
LS - Groshong 1 run (kick failed)
Leb - Hunter 54 run (Hunter run)
LS - Boynton 55 pass from Edwards (Denlinger kick)
LS - Knapp 9 run (Denlinger kick)
Leb - Caricabeur 1 run (Cruz kick)
LS - Smith 10 run (Denlinger kick)