Friday Night Leftovers: Week 6
Less than 15 minutes had elapsed since the end of his team's 34-32 victory over Donegal and Elco coach Bob Miller was having hard time recalling how it began.
You'll have to excuse him. It's been tough keeping up with the red hot Raiders as of late — even for their head coach.
Elco reeled off its third straight victory Friday night, all over section opponents, to set up a battle of unbeatens in Week 7 at Northern Lebanon. The Vikings sport a similarly unblemished mark in section play and a sparkling 6-0 record overall. Carried by their offensive balance and powerful play in the trenches, the Raiders have bounced back from what could've been a fatal start.
Now it's a matter of keeping their good health and outlook, which have keyed the recent resurgence.
"We've got to stay healthy," Miller said. "We've got to stick to being focused more than as 3-hour football player. Be a 24-hour, good man. That's my biggest thing because that's working."
After quarterback Jeff Martin led Elco to a 20-6 halftime lead against the Indians, running backs Tyler Horst and Ryan Rolon picked up the post-intermission slack to put the game away. The Raiders rushed for more than 200 yards, and that physical approach will be tested against a Northern Lebanon team that prides itself on winning at the line.
Suffice to say, is it Friday night yet?
PALMYRA CELEBRATES WIN WWE-STYLE>> A sense of jubilation was in the air as the Palmyra football team headed for its postgame meeting on the field after Friday night's dominating 19-0 shutout win at Boiling Springs.
But that was nothing compared to the thrill the Cougars received a few minutes later from assistant coaches Chris and Zach Bleiler.
Prior to Friday night's contest, the Bleiler brothers, pro wrestling fans, promised the Palmyra defense they would engage in a WWE-style wrestling match at practice this week if the defense could hold Boiling Springs star running back Bryan Malone under 80 yards in the game.
The Cougars held up their end of the bargain, limiting Malone to just 28 yards. And so the Bleilers were true to their word, providing an impromptu bit of pro wrestling-like action that saw Chris deliver a realistic-looking move popularized by WWE star Randy Orton — The RKO — to his younger brother as Palmyra players and coaches looked on in delight.
Actually, they went bananas, as a 'knocked out' Zach Bleiler lay prone on the field from his brother's devastating version of the RKO.
In short, it was a hilarious bit of team bonding that exemplified just how much Palmyra is enjoying their 6-0 start to the season.
VIKINGS FIND A WAY — AGAIN >> Last week, it was four lost fumbles that the Northern Lebanon football team swatted away like a pesky fly.
Friday night, it was a 13-0 deficit and the absence of big-play running back Dylan Weaver that the Vikings overcame.
It hasn't always been pretty, but Northern Lebanon is 6-0 after Friday night's 16-13 come-from-behind win over Williams Valley and looking increasingly unflappable as each week goes by.
The Vikings have not only overcome adversity in the last few weeks, they've thrived in the face of it, which is a tribute to their character and competitiveness.
The stretch drive has arrived for defending Section Three champ Northern Lebanon, which faces Elco in a first place showdown on Friday night, and if the last few weeks are any indication it looks like it's ready to handle anything that comes its way.
HORN RETURNS, FALCONS FALL JUST SHY>> Cedar Crest freshman quarterback Logan Horn returned to the field Friday after sustaining an injury at Wilson last week and nearly led his group to a road win at Manheim Township. But the Blue Streaks, as they have in recent years, nonetheless topped Cedar Crest (2-4, 1-2 Section One) despite two long Horn touchdown passes to Raymie Ferreira.
While frustration must inevitably be bubbling on the Falcons sideline over their three-game skid, the 21-12 defeat revealed signs of hope for the program, namely in Horn and a defensive effort that held Township to 14 points through three quarters. Unfortunately for Crest, the next test won't be any easier, as the blue and white face their third straight road game at Hempfield (5-1, 2-1).