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IMG_4231BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – The Northern Lebanon football team never gets too far ahead of itself. But if the Vikings would ever indulge themselves the luxury of looking down the road and sneaking a peak at the horizon, they’d like what they see.

On a drizzly Friday night at Fred Gahres Stadium, Northern Lebanon cleared a huge hurdle in its quest for what could be its third Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three championship in four years by swamping Annville-Cleona for a 41-13 homecoming victory. Showing off their big-play capabilities and stuffing the Little Dutchmen’s vaunted rushing attack, the Vikings turned what was billed as a showdown into a laugher.

After the Little Dutchmen scored on the contest’s initial possession, Northern Lebanon ripped off 41 unanswered points. The Vikings scored six touchdowns – three on the ground and three through the air – on plays of 35 yards or longer.

IMG_4179Following back-to-back L-L Section Three titles in 2014 and 2015, the Vikings limped through the 2016 campaign. And now at 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the section, Northern Lebanon is poised to at play for another section crown and again qualify for the District Three Class AAAA postseason.

For the Vikings, it was their sixth straight victory over Annville-Cleona. The Little Dutchmen, who were situated fifth in the latest District Three Class AA power rankings, fell to 5-3 on the fall and 2-2 in the section.

“You always want to win,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Roy Wall. “That’s why we play. Our goal, every year since we got here in 2010, has been to win a section championship. We don’t deviate from that. Another goal would be to win a playoff game, and see where we go from there.

IMG_4131“It was this week’s game,” added Wall. “I know it sounds cliche, but we take it one game at a time. We never think ahead. The energy is always on our current opponent.”

“It would be cool,” said Northern Lebanon senior back Stevie Herb of a possible third title. “Last year things didn’t go good. We have some guys stepping up. We have a lot of talent. It just kind of came together.”

“We had a lot of little things we messed up, and it translates,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Matt Gingrich. “We played well offensively, but you its hard to move the ball when it’s second-and-15. They’ve (his players) got to get over the stigmatism of playing these (Vikings) guys.

“They’ve (the Vikings) got 15 kids who wrestle and lift year-round,” continued Gingrich. “We do OK in that area. You can only do so much. That’s three-sport kids for you. I can not get these guys to wrestle enough.”

Northern Lebanon tallied three second-quarter touchdowns to take a 20-7 lead to the intermission, and it was a 45-yard Herb touchdown run up the middle of the Annville-Cleona that seemed to spark the Vikings. Two minutes later, Viking quarterback Michigan Daub’s pump fake freed receiver Christian Trader for a 58-yard fly pattern down the left sideline that made it 13-7.

And with 2:35 left in the second quarter, Herb ripped off another long run, this one from 80 yards out, to whip the homecoming crowd into a frenzy.

IMG_4148“You can’t make a living on big plays,” said Wall. “The defense was consistent. I ran the same (option) offense for 21 years. We knew it. We knew what we wanted to do. We were going to try to blow it up.

“We practice,” Wall continued. “Those plays didn’t happen by accident. We have good athletes. Coaching is very simple. You identify players who can make plays and you get them the ball. And you identify role players and give them assignments they can handle.”

“The tide has changed,” said Herb. “Last year, they (the Little Dutchmen) were going for the section. This year, we’re going for the section. It was important in that this is a pretty good rivalry.”

IMG_4230“We told them (his players) if they (the Vikings) go four or five yards a carry, we will win,” said Gingrich. “We were doing that. But we had to use some back-ups, and they’re young. With the stigmatism we have, we had kids worrying about getting into a fight. If they (his players) can’t keep their cool, I can’t help them.

“To be quite honest, going into the game, our goal was to get it to the second half,” added Gingrich. “I thought we were out-manned at some positions. I think our defensive backs are going to be good.”

A Little Dutchmen fumble kept Northern Lebanon’s momentum alive in the third quarter. Daub hit Isiah Davila with a pair of touchdown tosses, three minutes apart in the third period – one from 35 yards out and the other from 40 yards away.

It was 34-7 before Herb tallied his third touchdown of the evening, a 40-yard jaunt to pay-dirt, with 3:19 remaining.

“We really haven’t done anything yet,” said Wall. “We just started doing what we do better. We just keep doing it better.

“That’s (how the Little Dutchmen played) not for me to judge,” added Wall. “They had their game plan and we had our game plan. And we won 41-13. Our kids played hard.”

IMG_4112“Personally, I think everybody’s the same (importance),” said Herb. “But I guess as a team, probably Annville-Cleona is our biggest rival.

“At the beginning of the season, we made a lot of mistakes,” added Herb. “As the season wore on, we worked on a lot of things and made less mistakes. We want to play clean football.”

“Growing up, I never thought of the county games as being special,” said Gingrich. “For me, its important because when those guys (his players) graduate, they’re men. I’m proud of what we created. For six years, we haven’t beaten them (the Vikings), but they haven’t always been the better team.

IMG_4121“They’re (the Vikings) good. They’re strong. They’re physical,” Gingrich continued. “Daub is really good. He’s made significant improvement. Their kids play hard. But they will face the same issues we faced tonight. They’re good against us.”

The Little Dutchmen made it look easy, driving the opening kickoff 69 yards on nine running plays to take a 7-0 lead. Little Dutchmen quarterback Noah Myers did the honors from two yards away.

But after that, thanks to the Northern Lebanon defense, fumbles and deteriorating field conditions, the Little Dutchmen experience difficulties moving the ball.

IMG_4190“Our kids just started to play football,” said Wall. “We always start out slow. Our defense has been carrying us. We’re not getting gorged.”

“We needed to wake up,” said Herb. “At the beginning of the game, we got a wake-up call. Once we got going, the line started blocking better. When it started getting muddy, we realized we had to do whatever it took to win.

“After that first drive, we realized we had to play hard and get physical,” Herb added. “Their quarterback (Myers) ran pretty hard, so we had to go low.”

The Vikings out gained the Little Dutchmen 406 total yards to 284, despite Annville-Cleona running 74 plays to Northern Lebanon’s 37. The Little Dutchmen fumbled nine times, losing just one, but the Vikings did not put the ball on the ground.

Herb rushed ten times for 195 yards. Daub completed ten of his 17 pass attempts for 192 yards.

“We didn’t get a push,” said Gingrich. “When you’re in this type of weather, if you can’t get a push, it’s going to be tough. It was exactly what we thought they were going to do. Nothing special. It was nothing we haven’t seen or gone against. It was pretty basic what they did. We did not execute.”

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

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 2017 Northern Lebanon Football Schedule

Date Teams Score
8/25
7:00 pm
Pine Grove
at Northern Lebanon
7
32
9/08
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Northern Lebanon
35
7
9/15
7:00 pm
Daniel Boone
at Northern Lebanon
21
24
9/22
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
40
6
9/28
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at York Suburban
31
28
10/06
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
35
21
10/13
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
10/20
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
10/27
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
11/03
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic

 

 

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2017 Annville-Cleona Football Results

Date Teams Score
8/25
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Trinity
34
36
9/01
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Biglervillle
51
13
9/08
7:00 pm
Camp Hill
at Annville-Cleona
20
39
9/15
7:00 pm
Hanover
at Annville-Cleona
14
21
9/22
7:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
14
37
9/29
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
0
45
10/07
1:00 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
12
42
10/13
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
10/27
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
11/03
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Donegal

 

 

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Northern Lebanon 3 0 100.00 6 1 85.71 210 131
Lancaster Catholic 3 0 100.00 3 4 42.86 176 136
Donegal 2 1 66.67 3 4 42.86 170 159
Annville-Cleona 2 2 50.00 5 3 62.50 237 195
Pequea Valley 1 2 33.33 2 5 28.57 140 189
Elco 1 3 25.00 2 5 28.57 89 270
Columbia 0 4 0.00 0 7 0.00 88 295

 

 

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Berks Catholic 7- 0- 0  0.777639  1.000000  0.505865  7.4  34.5  0.0  33.7
2 Lampeter Strasburg 5- 1- 0  0.737569  0.869231  0.576648  5.7  36.3  0.9  26.7
3 Shippensburg 5- 1- 0  0.687518  0.869231  0.465426  5.7  26.3  0.9  30.2
4 Bishop McDevitt 4- 2- 0  0.686747  0.741935  0.619294  4.6  36.0  1.6  22.1
5 Northern Lebanon 6- 1- 0  0.628312  0.877698  0.323507  6.1  20.9  0.9  43.6
6 East Pennsboro 5- 2- 0  0.626689  0.691275  0.547751  5.2  34.7  2.3  28.7
7 Susquehanna Township 3- 3- 0  0.588660  0.598214  0.576983  3.4  37.1  2.3  27.2
8 Susquehannock 5- 2- 0  0.584103  0.716312  0.422513  5.1  27.4  2.0  37.5
9 Conrad Weiser 4- 3- 0  0.582285  0.630872  0.522901  4.7  34.3  2.8  31.3
10 Gettysburg 4- 3- 0  0.525410  0.618705  0.411382  4.3  25.3  2.7  36.2
11 West Perry 3- 4- 0  0.513999  0.459854  0.580177  3.2  36.0  3.7  26.1
12 Northern York 3- 4- 0  0.508122  0.475177  0.548387  3.4  34.9  3.7  28.7
13 Big Spring 4- 3- 0  0.502393  0.583942  0.402722  4.0  25.2  2.9  37.3
14 Milton Hershey 2- 4- 0  0.457077  0.333333  0.608320  1.9  38.8  3.8  25.0
15 Kennard Dale 3- 3- 0  0.449458  0.524194  0.358114  3.3  22.4  3.0  40.2
16 Donegal 2- 4- 0  0.429073  0.339623  0.538402  1.8  34.7  3.5  29.8
17 Greencastle Antrim 2- 4- 0  0.427043  0.396825  0.463975  2.5  29.3  3.8  33.9
18 West York 1- 5- 0  0.399999  0.198113  0.646747  1.1  42.8  4.3  23.4
19 York Suburban 1- 5- 0  0.319059  0.149123  0.526758  0.9  34.5  4.9  31.0
20 Hamburg 1- 6- 0  0.313234  0.127517  0.540222  1.0  39.0  6.5  33.2
21 James Buchanan 0- 4- 0  0.222170  0.000000  0.493711  0.0  15.7  4.5  16.1

 

PIAA District Three

 Class AAA Power Rankings

AAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Middletown 6- 0- 0  0.785831  1.000000  0.524068  6.4  33.8  0.0  30.7
2 Wyomissing 6- 0- 0  0.710978  1.000000  0.357730  6.8  24.0  0.0  43.0
3 Bermudian Springs 5- 1- 0  0.658778  0.838983  0.438528  5.0  28.0  1.0  35.9
4 Littlestown 6- 1- 0  0.635244  0.836879  0.388801  5.9  24.7  1.2  38.8
5 Annville Cleona 5- 2- 0  0.542638  0.679389  0.375497  4.5  23.6  2.1  39.3
6 Trinity 3- 3- 0  0.522632  0.452381  0.608494  2.9  39.4  3.5  25.4
7 Schuylkill Valley 3- 3- 0  0.512068  0.500000  0.526819  3.1  35.9  3.1  32.2
8 Lancaster Catholic 3- 4- 0  0.461332  0.416058  0.516667  2.9  32.6  4.0  30.5
9 Eastern York 2- 4- 0  0.453471  0.377049  0.546875  2.3  35.0  3.8  29.0
10 Susquenita 3- 4- 0  0.402244  0.365517  0.447132  2.7  32.4  4.6  40.0
11 Biglerville 1- 5- 0  0.379457  0.189394  0.611756  1.3  39.6  5.4  25.1
12 Pequea Valley 2- 5- 0  0.322425  0.266667  0.390575  1.8  24.5  5.0  38.2
13 Boiling Springs 0- 6- 0  0.314302  0.000000  0.698450  0.0  45.1  6.1  19.5
14 Eastern Lebanon County 1- 5- 0  0.290720  0.188525  0.415625  1.2  26.6  5.0  37.4
15 Kutztown 0- 6- 0  0.208214  0.000000  0.462697  0.0  32.3  6.4  37.5

 

 

 

 

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