Friday Night Leftovers: A-C seniors go out in style
Recapping Week 10 Lebanon County football action in this week's edition of Friday Night Leftovers
Annville-Cleona seniors, Myers, lead way to first section title since 2004
Friday was a special and historic night for the Dutchmen in winning a least a share of the Section 3 title with Lancaster Catholic for the first time in 12 years - and it came on senior night.
Fittingly, it was the seniors who stepped up and led the way when it mattered most.
After trailing 14-7 with 9:33 left in the half, the Dutchmen took over, especially in the second half, scoring 27 unanswered points.
Griffin Hertz started the trend, hooking up on a 68-yard touchdown pass from Noah Myers to tie the game at 14 at the half.
Hertz followed with a back-breaking interception of Donegal's Kobe Bistline, leading to a 55-yard game-clinching touchdown by Cameron Hoch.
That run also put Hoch over 100 yards rushing (109) for the final time in his career.
A-C coach Matt Gingrich wasn't at all surprised by the way his seniors left everything they had on the field in their final game in red.
"We got 20 of them and a lot had never played football before. These 20 that were here stuck it out," Gingrich said. "They set the tone in weight room, class room, hallway, in social media, and on the practice field. They love each other and they love us."
And this senior class leaves all their success to Gingrich and the rest of the coaching staff.
“We have the best coaches in the whole freaking league," Hoch said. "It doesn’t matter. They got everybody in the weight room and everybody worked their butt off. I just love these guys.”
Myers also led the way with a big night of 246 total yards (138 passing, 108 rushing), with three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing).
"We really didn't make any adjustments. We just put in a better effort, 100-percent every time. Our line did an incredible job tonight, too," Myers said.
And he not only wanted this for his senior teammates, but for his family.
"It's incredible. My brother played here in 2006-2009 and he never won one," Myers said. "I couldn't ask for a better team and I love them all."
Robertson, Vernet shine in Palmyra victory
It was Robertson to Vernet, but it seemed like Montana to Rice much of the night.
Palmyra's epic 30-26 Senior Night victory over Milton Hershey didn't net a desired district playoff spot, but it did provide a showcase for the sometimes overlooked talents of senior quarterback Peter Robertson and his classmate and wide receiver, Braden Vernet.
Overshadowed much of the season by the Cougars' potent running game and defense, Robertson and Vernet took center stage on Friday night, connecting on 8 completions fort 149 yards and two touchdowns to lift their team to the win.
Not bad for a guy in his first year as a quarterback and a receiver who didn't even play football last season.
"Braden Vernet and the line and all those guys, have been phenomenal," Palmyra coach Chris Pope said. "And Pete with the passing game, he has come a long way from Game 1. It's just amazing what he's done in his time as a quarterback."
Cedar Crest run game key in strong finish
When the Falcons have been successful this season, its been because of a productive ground game and stout defense.
In Friday's 35-6 win over Lampeter-Strasburg, which clinched Cedar Crest's first winning season since 2004, the Falcons ran for 347 yards.
And the defense got after it again in shutting down L-S' offense, holding the Pioneers' ground game to 90 yards, and also got on the board thanks to a 47-yard pick-six by Devon Bernard.
"We’re a good team defensively and offensively, but our defense is definitely tough," said Cedar Crest coach Rob Wildasin.
In finishing one of the more successful seasons in a little over a decade, Wildasin says the program is exactly where he wanted it to be when he first took over.
“When I took the job I told them that in three years you’ll know that this program is on track, he said.
And the Cedar Crest coach also says there's no reason to think his team can't build off this year's success after year one in Section 2.
"It’s a grind; we knew that. It’s tough football; we knew that, but I don’t think we’re out of the mix," he said. "I don’t think there’s anybody that thinks we’re a pushover and I don’t think that there’s anybody that is thinking we’re a powerhouse, so we’re definitely in the mix."
Knight closes out career with a bang
Coming off a torn ACL that pretty much ruined his junior season, Kyle Knight had a lot to prove this season - mainly that he could stay healthy and give Elco strong, steady play at quarterback.
He did that and then some, while helping the Raiders to a solid 5-5 campaign. And he saved his best for last, starring in Elco's 28-27 regular season finale win at Pequea Valley on Friday night.
All Knight did was rush 31 times for 227 yards and three touchdowns, while also completing 11 of 22 passes for 100 yards and another TD.
“The last couple games he’s been unbelievable,” Elco coach Bob Miller said of his quarterback, to GameTimePA.com's Daryl Simione. “Part of that is he just makes things happen. And we have a great set of skill kids and a heck of a line that can open holes for him with everybody in the stands knowing he’s going to be carrying the ball. So it’s a credit to all of them and then his sort of play-making ability.”