BY JEFF FALK
Following a promising start to the 2012 campaign, Lebanon County football teams have fallen on hard times.
Not only was this weekend the locale’s ‘loss’ weekend, it was also Lebanon County’s ‘lost’ weekend.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the County’s six scholastic football squads went a combined 0-6. Time to regroup, put it in the past and move on.
In Quarryville, Lebanon High enjoyed a couple of rare leads, before falling to Solanco 35-21. The Cedars led 7-0 and 14-7 at the break, before breaking down and being overwhelmed in the second half.
The loss dropped Lebanon to 0-6 on the year and 0-3 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
The Cedars grabbed a seven-point advantage midway through the opening stanza on a seven-yard touchdown jaunt by junior quarterback Mark Pyles. Then in the second quarter, Pyles hit Nicholas Negron with a 15-yard scoring strike to put the Cedars ahead 14-7.
But after halftime, Solanco tallied four unanswered touchdowns, all on the ground, to assume a 35-14 lead. Lebanon High added its final score with 1:28 to play when Pyles found Xavier Baez with a five-yard TD strike.
Once again, Pyles sparkled in defeat. He threw 27 passes, completing 17 for 166 yards. Pyles also ran for 76 yards.
But the Mules, posted 419 rushing yards on 46 totes of the pigskin and attempted just three passes all night. The Cedars gained 291 total yards.
Elsewhere on the gridiron this weekend:
Donegal 41, Elco 0
In Mount Joy, the Raiders found little to be happy about, as they were blitzed by the Indians. Donegal opened up a 28-0 halftime bulge, then invoked the mercy rule in the second half.
After opening the season 3-1, Elco was outscored by the L-L Section Three heavyweights Donegal and Garden Spot 81-7 in the last two weeks. The Raiders are now 3-3 on the fall and 1-2 in the section, while the Indians improved to 5-1 and 2-1.
After the Raiders short-circuited Donegal’s opening possession, the Indians scored on their next four drives. It was all Donegal the rest of the way.
Elco was limited to less than 50 total yards. Meanwhile, the Indians easily surpassed that total on the ground alone, piling up 275 rushing yards. Donegal collected a total of 355 yards.
Donegal got on the board late in the first quarter on a lengthy run. The Indians added touchdowns early in the second quarter, in the middle of the stanza and just before halftime.
Elco turned the ball over three times.
Garden Spot 43, Annville-Cleona 14
In New Holland, unbeaten bully Garden Spot pushed around the Little Dutchmen. Annville-Cleona surrendered the first 24 points of the contest and never recovered.
With the setback, Annville-Cleona fell to 2-4 on the campaign and 1-1 in Section Three of the L-L. The first-place Spartans are now 6-0 on the year and 3-0 in the section.
The Little Dutchmen put an end to the Spot scoring run that opened the game, in the form of Noah Connor’s short touchdown burst with five minutes of the second half remaining. But the Spartans regained their momentum by putting another touchdown on the scoreboard before halftime.
Garden Spot’s lead reached 43-7 before A-C reserve quarterback Zac Southall located Mitch Rodkey with a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Annville-Cleona was plagued by a season-high five turnovers. Garden Spot limited the Little Dutchmen to 50 yards rushing, and Annville-Cleona barely broke the century mark in yards gained.
The Spartans notched ten points in the final five minutes of the opening stanza, then fed on Annville-Cleona turnovers the rest of the half.
Garden Spot totaled 310 yards of offense.
Fleetwood 27, Northern Lebanon 7
At Fleetwood on Saturday night, the Vikings endured their fourth straight seback. For the Tigers, it was their second victory of the year.
The highlight of the Vikings’ evening came in the second quarter when they drove the length of the field to get an eight-yard scoring collaboration between quarterback Isaac Ray and Mason Yost. That gave Northern Lebanon a 7-3 lead, an advantage it took to the locker room.
But Fleetwood scored 24 unanswered points over the final 24 minutes of play.
After opening the year 2-0, the Vikings are now 2-4 overall. The Tigers are now also 2-4.
The final statistics – Fleetwood’s 306 total yards to Northern Lebanon’s 243 – were closer than the scoreboard. The Vikings’ defense, a perceived strength at the start of the season, allowed 280 yards on the ground.
The Tigers assumed the lead for good early in the third quarter with a short touchdown run. Fleetwood’s second field goal of the game upped its advantage to 13-7.