Lebanon Sports Buzz
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 BY JEFF FALK

 LEBANON – Performing when the outcome is on the line is more than some sort of random act or good fortune. It’s a science, an art.

 It requires a blending of preparation, a clear mind and talent.

 On a humid Friday night at Lebanon Alumni Stadium, junior quarterback Isaiah Rodriguez’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Bowers with five seconds left gave hometown Lebanon a thrilling 14-9 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three victory over Lebanon County rival Elco. Out of a broken play, Rodriguez rolled left and threw against his body to Bowers, who was well covered in the left corner of the end zone.

 The dramatic play capped the Cedars’ crucial 12-snap, 78-yard drive that began with them trailing 9-8, with less than three minutes remaining. On the winning march, the emerging Rodriguez went eight-for-ten for 68 passing yards and also ran for a first down.

 The outcome was a nice bounce back for the now 1-1 Cedars, who had dropped a disappointing, season-opening decision to Cedar Crest in last week’s Cedar Bowl. For Elco, it was its second last-second setback in as many weeks.

 “Wow. Just wow,” said Lebanon head coach Gerry Yonchiuk. “It was a rollercoaster. There were ups and downs. We had led the whole game and it looked like we were going to lose by a point. It was a lesson in not giving up and staying calm.

 “It was the break-down of a play,” continued Yonchiuk. “Isaiah reversed the field. We work on ‘scramble’ hard in practice. On every level, it’s the toughest thing on a defense. He threw a lazer. It was a heck of a team effort, and we didn’t panic. They knew what they had to do on that particular play. To make that throw when he was going left, that’s good stuff.”

 “I don’t know what happened,” said Elco head coach Bob Miller. “They scored.

 “We gave ever bit of effort we had,” Miller continued. “The other team scored in the final seconds, again.”

 The Raiders had taken their first lead of the contest early in the final quarter. A high snap sailed over the Lebanon punter’s head and into the end zone, and he was forced to cover it for the safety that gave the Raiders a 9-8 edge.

 “No, we weren’t tired at the end,” said Yonchiuk. “We’re only using two players both ways, and we try to give those guys rests when we can.

 “Elco has some tough kids and they fought hard,” added Yonchiuk. “If we don’t complete that pass, they’re out of here with a 9-8 win. They’re going to make you earn it.”

  “That is the most unbelievable group of warriors that I’ve ever been associated with,” said Miller of his troops, “and they put forth a great effort. You’re not going to find bigger hearts anywhere.”

 The Cedars scored a touchdown and assumed an 8-0 lead on their first possession of the game.

 Lebanon marched 66 yards on ten plays and got a similar Rodriguez-to-Bowers scoring collaboration in the left corner of the end zone, this one from 20 yards away. Then with a little trickery, and the Raider defense out of position, Joseph Mejias-Rios ran in the Cedars’ two-point conversion.

 But after that, Lebanon encountered its share of difficulties moving the ball. Until the outcome was on the line, that is.

   “It can spring-board you,” said Yonchiuk of the result. “Winning is as contagious as losing is.

  “To clean up some stuff from last week to this week was huge,” Yonchiuk continued. “I hate Week Zero. Last week we had all those penalties. This week the game management was better.”

 “Their kids fought,” said Miller of the Cedars. “It was a good game.”

 The Raiders cut into Lebanon’s lead late in the first half. On the first snap after a Cedar fumble, Elco junior quarterback Braden Bohannon weaved his way through the Lebanon defense for a 49-yard scoring scamper.

 It was 8-7, 2:27 before halftime.

  “He’s just so talented,” said Yonchiuk of Bohannon. “You think you have him hemmed in, but he escapes. He’s not only a good athlete, he can fly. He’s like a running back playing quarterback.”

  “I was expecting them (his players) to play hard, and they did,” said Miller.

 Lebanon held a slight edge in total yards, 229-201.

  For the game, Rodriguez completed 15 of 29 pass attempts for 195 yards. Bowers caught five of those balls for 70 yards.

 Bohannon rushed 21 times for 124 yards.

 “During the off season, we worked together three mornings a week,” said Yonchiuk of Rodriguez. “We worked on every aspect of his game. I think basketball helped him because he was in some intense battles. He’s tough. That’s why you see him calm all the time. He doesn’t get rattled.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Elco Football Schedule

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
8/23
7:00 pm
Elco
at Susquenita
19
21
 
8/30
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
   
9/06
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
   
9/13
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
   
9/20
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
   
9/27
7:00 pm
Ephrata
at Elco
   
10/04
7:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
   
10/11
7:00 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
   
10/18
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
   
10/25
7:00 pm
Columbia
at Elco
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 2019 Lebanon High Football Schedule
 
 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
8/23
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
6
28
 
8/30
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
   
9/06
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
   
9/13
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Lebanon
   
9/20
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon
   
9/27
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Columbia
   
10/04
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
   
10/11
7:00 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
   
10/18
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Lebanon
   
10/25
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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