BY JEFF FALK
SOUTH LEBANON – First they channeled their emotions. Then they became opportunistic.
Ultimately, they controlled the line of scrimmage and generated some big plays.
But the real key might have been what the Cedar Crest Falcons didn’t do.
On a pleasant Friday night at Ed and Jeannie Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, Crest’s ability to manage the start of the game – and the season – proved pivotal in its 28-6 triumph over Lebanon, in the 48th renewal of the Cedar Bowl. The Falcons scored the season-opening rivalry’s first 28 points – including a pair of touchdowns 45 seconds apart at the end of the first quarter – then pretty much held the Cedars at bay the rest of the way.
Falcon junior quarterback Chris Danz completed 12 of 16 pass attempts for 184 yards and three touchdowns, to three different receivers. Meanwhile Cedar Crest senior rusher Tyler Cruz toted the rock 21 times for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the pre-game hype, the contest unfolded pretty much the same way that most of the previous six Cedar Bowls had. The victory was the seventh straight for the Falcons in the series – by a combined margin of 298-90 – one that Cedar Crest now leads 32-15-1 all time.
“At times, we cashed in on a couple of their mistakes,” said Cedar Crest head coach Rob Wildasin, who’s never been on the wrong side of a Cedar Bowl outcome. “But we made some mistakes in the second half. It would be fun to see who benefitted more from the other’s mistakes.
“It unfolded like a Week One or a Week Zero game,” continued Wildasin. “There was some bad football out there. Honestly, I think it was all that (first game mistakes, the rivalry, nerves).”