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IMG_5462BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Initially, they really, really liked seven. Now they want – need? – eight.

That’s fairly typical behavior for overachievers.

On a cool Friday night on Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, the Cedar Crest football team reached its stated preseason goal of seven wins with one of its most complete and significant victories of the year, a 31-7 Senior Night demolition of Elizabethtown. For all four quarters, the Falcons took it to the Bears, in all three phases of the game.

IMG_5423Using a swarming and improving defense to set up an opportunistic offense, Cedar Crest opened a 31-0 lead late in the third quarter. E-town avoided the shutout with a late turnover and a late touchdown.

With the triumph, the Falcons, who missed out on last year’s postseason with a 6-4 record, improved to 7-2 on the year and 4-2 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. But Cedar Crest, which was ranked fifth in a Class AAAAA field that takes eight for its postseason, may need to prevail in its regular-season finale next week at Lampeter-Strasburg to get in.

The loss dropped Elizabethtown to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the circuit.

“I didn’t remind our players about that,” said Cedar Crest head coach Rob Wildasin of his squad’s preseason goal. “We’re an 8-2 team. I didn’t use that. We’re going to prepare like crazy for Lampeter-Strasburg.

IMG_5491“Honestly, I think I saw that (the possibility of eight wins) in that Central (last week’s 42-7 loss to Manheim Central) game,” continued Wildasin. “I saw something in us I liked. Our goal is to get one more win.”

“That’s been our goal the last two years,” said Falcon receiver Brody Dunlop of the district postseason. “We were 6-4 last year. We’re glad we got to seven. But we need eight for the playoffs.”

The Falcons were never seriously headed, after senior Chad Ryland gave them a 3-0 edge with a 32-yard field goal 5:24 in. The score, like a number on the night, was set up by good field position produced by the defense.

Then on the second play of the second quarter, Cedar Crest hit E-town with a 62-yard scoring connection between Dunlop and quarterback Logan Horn. That made it 10-0.

“We were pretty physical,” said Wildasin. “It’s something we’re starting to do. We are capable of being physical. We played tough. I’m proud of them (his players).

“We kind of felt like we were the better team,” Wildasin continued. “We were ready to bounce back. The key was getting after it, offensively and defensively. I thought we played tough.”

“We ran a post,” said Dunlp of his first touchdown. “And Logan gave me a perfect ball. It was an open field from there.

IMG_5484“I thought we played well,” added Dunlop. “But we made mistakes.”

A blocked punt helped produce the touchdown that extended Cedar Crest’s lead to 17-0. Horn took care of the dirty work by racing 23 yard to pay-dirt, 4:55 before intermission.

Then in the middle of the third quarter, Falcon Kendell Shand set up a touchdown he would later score. He intercepted a Bear aerial, and four snaps later – on a fourth-down-and-inches pitch – Shand rambled 24 yards down the right sideline to move the scoreboard to ‘Home 24, Visitors 0′.

“Defensively, we played awesome,” said Wildasin. “Coach (Nick) Lambros had a great game plan. They’ve been very coach-able. We leaned on them offensively. Every game is different. But I thought we played well defensively last week.

IMG_5447“I thought our defense played awesome tonight,” Wildasin continued. “But I thought our defense played really well against Solanco. Tonight was about being tough.”

“They are overlooked,” said Dunlop of the defense. “They helped us with field position. It started up front. Our offensive line and defensive line played great.”

Dunlop scored his second touchdown of the evening, with 29 seconds of the third quarter remaining. He hauled in a ten-yard strike from Horn, his fourth receiving touchdown of the season.

“I think our best win was definitely Lower Dauphin,” said Wildasin. “And Solanco might have been our second best. Tonight, I felt like we left some things out there.”

IMG_5515“We’ve been trying to improve, game-to-game, half-to-half,” said Dunlop. “We’ve gotten closer, and we’re playing as a team. And everyone’s gotten better at their individual positions.”

The Falcons ended up out gaining the Bears 367 total yards to 187. Cedar Crest limited Elizabethtown to 112 rushing yards on 32 attempts.

Horn rushed ten times for 95 yards. He also completed ten of his 18 pass attempts for 167 yards.

“I’m a math guy,” said Wildasin of the probability of the Falcons qualifying for the postseason. “And I do try to figure it out. It would be huge. Two times in four years would be great.”

“Are you happy to be covering Cedar Crest football again?,” he added. “We’re not a door mat. We’re not a bye week. Go Falcons!”

“We played well,” said Dunlop. “We were focused from the start. It meant a lot. For our seniors, it was their last home game.”

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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2017 Cedar Crest Football Results

Date Teams Score
9/01
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
14
42
9/08
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Northern Lebanon
35
7
9/15
7:00 pm
Lower Dauphin
at Cedar Crest
35
41
9/22
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Ephrata
41
7
9/29
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Garden Spot
60
30
10/06
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Cedar Crest
55
6
10/13
7:00 pm
Solanco
at Cedar Crest
21
42
10/20
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Central
6
42
10/27
7:00 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
7
31
11/03
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lampeter-Strasburg

 

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IMG_5546 PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Harrisburg 8- 0- 0  0.836559  1.000000  0.636798  9.3  53.3  0.0  30.4
2 Manheim Central 8- 0- 0  0.799627  1.000000  0.554726  9.0  44.6  0.0  35.8
3 Cocalico 8- 1- 0  0.776627  0.913706  0.609085  9.0  51.0  0.9  32.7
4 Governor Mifflin 8- 1- 0  0.753646  0.917073  0.553901  9.4  46.5  0.9  37.5
5 William Penn 7- 1- 0  0.742140  0.917582  0.527709  8.4  42.9  0.8  38.4
6 Cedar Crest 6- 2- 0  0.708731  0.800000  0.597180  6.8  48.7  1.7  32.9
7 Waynesboro 6- 2- 0  0.682117  0.784810  0.556604  6.2  41.3  1.7  32.9
8 Exeter Township 5- 3- 0  0.642762  0.696429  0.577169  5.9  49.6  2.6  36.3
9 Elizabethtown 5- 3- 0  0.624477  0.685185  0.550278  5.6  44.6  2.6  36.5
10 Lower Dauphin 4- 4- 0  0.608950  0.569620  0.657020  4.5  53.4  3.4  27.9
11 Cedar Cliff 6- 3- 0  0.593814  0.730964  0.426186  7.2  31.9  2.7  43.0
12 Dover 5- 3- 0  0.577301  0.625000  0.519003  5.3  41.7  3.2  38.6
13 Northeastern 4- 4- 0  0.560188  0.592105  0.521179  4.5  42.5  3.1  39.0
14 Palmyra 5- 3- 0  0.556013  0.598765  0.503759  4.9  40.2  3.3  39.6
15 Solanco 4- 5- 0  0.545409  0.508475  0.590551  4.5  48.8  4.4  33.8
16 Conestoga Valley 4- 5- 0  0.539739  0.543353  0.535323  4.7  44.0  4.0  38.2
17 Twin Valley 4- 5- 0  0.492345  0.462428  0.528912  4.0  46.7  4.7  41.6
18 Mechanicsburg 3- 5- 0  0.477513  0.440789  0.522397  3.4  41.4  4.3  37.9
19 Garden Spot 2- 6- 0  0.470100  0.306667  0.669851  2.3  56.1  5.2  27.7
20 South Western 2- 7- 0  0.461671  0.287582  0.674446  2.2  57.8  5.5  27.9
21 Muhlenberg 3- 5- 0  0.457170  0.416667  0.506674  3.3  43.7  4.6  42.5
22 Daniel Boone 2- 6- 0  0.455823  0.310811  0.633060  2.3  54.0  5.1  31.3
23 Hershey 2- 6- 0  0.419519  0.297297  0.568900  2.2  45.0  5.2  34.1
24 Red Land 1- 7- 0  0.368996  0.159722  0.624776  1.2  52.2  6.1  31.4
25 Lebanon 1- 8- 0  0.354845  0.154362  0.599879  1.2  49.7  6.3  33.2
26 Spring Grove 1- 7- 0  0.347538  0.166667  0.568603  1.2  46.0  5.8  34.9
27 New Oxford 0- 8- 0  0.308368  0.000000  0.685261  0.0  58.4  7.1  26.8
28 Ephrata 0- 8- 0  0.286144  0.000000  0.635876  0.0  53.4  6.8  30.6
29 Fleetwood 0- 8- 0  0.231657  0.000000  0.514793  0.0  43.5  7.4  41.0

 

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