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BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – Team ahead of self, always. Yet, they refuse to focus on concrete team goals and accomplishments.

They accentuate the positives, downplay the negatives and take what opponents give them.

But do you know the best thing about the Elco football team? The Raiders know who they are.

And they make no excuses about that.

On a clear Friday night at Northern Lebanon’s Fred Gahres Stadium, consistent Elco stayed unbeaten with a convincing 36-7 triumph over the hometown Vikings. By scoring on their first four possessions, the Raiders opened a 29-0 lead late in the first half.

With the outcome, Elco ran its overall record to 5-0 and 4-0 in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. With the triumph, the Raiders clinched a share of their first section title since 2000 – a championship they can win out right with a home win over Columbia next week.

The result also moved Elco closer to its third straight District Three Class AAAA playoff appearance. The Raiders were positioned second in a District Three AAAA classifcation that qualifies four for its postseason.

The setback dropped Northern Lebanon to 0-4 in the circuit and 0-5 on the fall.

“The thing that stands out to me is that we came out not looking ahead,” said Elco head coach Bob Miller. “We guaranteed ourselves a shot at a share of the section title. But they (his players) never brought it up. They’re not focused on that.

“I’ll read the papers,” continued Miller. “But I don’t care about that. That’s for fans. Thirty years from now, the kids are going to remember the experience. You don’t get section rings. We control what we control.”

“We needed to get turnovers and we needed to make third-down stops,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Roy Wall. “Everytime something happened, there was something that went wrong. They have a nice team. They played hard.

“I give all the credit to them (the Raiders),” Wall continued. “They beat us. They executed a great game plan. We had moments, but not enough of them. We had to play a perfect game, but it’s a learning experience.”

Elco took advantage of short fields all night.

The Raiders scored 2:31 in, on their first possesion of the evening, grabbing an 8-0 lead on quarterback Braden Bohannon’s 18-yard touchdown jaunt. It was the first of four rushing touchdowns on the night for Bohannon.

The second came with 3:04 of the opening quarter remaining. His 11-yard scoring scamper capped a seven-snap, 48-yard drive.

“We had fun,” said Miller. “We showed great team culture. It was a pretty good football experience. I was pleased with the way we executed. We played good defense, put them (the Vikings) behind the sticks and ran the ball like we do.”

“Everytime we had momentum, it was taken away from us,” said Wall. “They (the Raiders) have a great team. I’m not taking anything away from Elco. They’re going to do well.

“We got that early fumble (on Elco’s first offensive snap of the game, that was awarded to the Raiders),” added Wall. “It’s huge. We get the kids all pumped up and we get the ball, and we get the ball taken away from us. It’s like a gut punch. They’re a good team and we needed to limit possessions.”

Elco also tallied a touchdown 4:59 into the second stanza, on Cole Thomas’ four-yard run to make it 22-0. Then 1:40 before the break, Bohannon ran another one in, from nine yards away, to extend the Raiders’ advantage further.

“Fans will say that,” said Miller, of the individual talent on his team. “But here’s the selfless thing about Braden: he put himself at the blocking back position. Fans say we should throw the ball more, and when we were passing the ball, they said we should run the ball more. We do what the defense gives us. Our players find success within our game plan.

“We’re just glad we’re out here playing,” Miller added. “That’s our thing right now.”

“Just about every team we’ve played has a winning record,” said Wall. “Our schedule is tough. Some teams didn’t get to play because of COVID. We played some tough teams and we’ve gotten better.

“We try to focus on the positives,” continued Wall. “It’s taken awhile to get things going. We’re not horrible. We’re better than we were last year. Defensively, we start one senior. We focus on what we do well and what we can do better, and try to build on that.”

Elco’s lead reached 36-0, 7:51 after halftime. Bohannon’s electric return of a Viking punt set the stage for his one-yard plunge into the end zone.

Northern Lebanon got on the scoreboard with 28 seconds remaining, with Rasheed Beldor’s eight-yard burst to paydirt.

“They competed the whole way to the end,” said Miller of the Vikings. “There’s something to be said for that. They were clean. I think they have some youth. At some point, they’ll turn it around.”

“I tell the kids, ‘You could’ve gotten to a point where you didn’t play this season,'” said Wall. “They’ve been given a gift. We didn’t expect to get out of September.”

The Elco defense held the Vikings to a net of negative-one rushing yards, and a total of 52 yards. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders were racking up 271 total yards, 265 of which came on the ground.

Bohannon carried 15 times for 110 rushing yards.

“Nothing great from life comes from doing it yourself,” said Miller. “It’s important to be a great worker and to be part of a team.”

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

2020 Elco Football Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/18
7:00 pm
Elco
at Ephrata
28
27

Nonleague
9/25
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
10
40

League
10/02
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
14
53

League
10/09
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
22
19

League
10/16
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/23
7:00 pm
Columbia
at Elco

League
10/30
7:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal

Nonleague

2020 Northern Lebanon Football Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/18
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
39
7

Nonleague
9/25
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Octorara
6
39

League
10/02
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
14
28

League
10/09
7:00 pm
Columbia
at Northern Lebanon
47
13

League
10/16
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/23
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley

League
10/30
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg

Nonleague

PIAA District Three

Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Lampeter Strasburg4-0-0 0.768326 1.000000 0.485169 4.30 11.45 0.00 12.15
2Eastern Lebanon County4-0-0 0.741574 1.000000 0.425721 4.10 9.60 0.00 12.95
3Cocalico3-1-0 0.684408 0.797619 0.546039 3.35 12.75 0.85 10.60
4Bishop McDevitt (3)3-0-0 0.677778 1.000000 0.283951 3.55 3.45 0.00 8.70
5Conrad Weiser4-0-0 0.675718 1.000000 0.279373 4.20 5.35 0.00 13.80
6Northern York3-0-0 0.663900 1.000000 0.253112 3.15 3.05 0.00 9.00
7West York2-0-0 0.633544 1.000000 0.185654 2.10 2.20 0.00 9.65
8Octorara3-1-0 0.604862 0.743243 0.435730 2.75 10.00 0.95 12.95
9East Pennsboro2-1-0 0.590872 0.688525 0.471519 2.10 7.45 0.95 8.35
10Berks Catholic2-2-0 0.574885 0.578947 0.569921 2.20 10.80 1.60 8.15
11Donegal2-2-0 0.543705 0.500000 0.597122 1.90 16.60 1.90 11.20
12Kennard Dale1-2-0 0.538873 0.403509 0.704319 1.15 10.60 1.70 4.45
13Greencastle Antrim1-2-0 0.522451 0.358491 0.722846 0.95 9.65 1.70 3.70
14Big Spring1-2-0 0.435339 0.323077 0.572549 1.05 7.30 2.20 5.45
15Garden Spot1-3-0 0.430562 0.283784 0.609959 1.05 14.70 2.65 9.40
16Eastern York0-4-0 0.316944 0.000000 0.704319 0.00 10.60 3.50 4.45
17Kutztown0-3-0 0.310749 0.000000 0.690554 0.00 10.60 3.35 4.75
18Susquehannock0-3-0 0.302830 0.000000 0.672956 0.00 10.70 2.65 5.20
19James Buchanan0-2-0 0.165613 0.000000 0.368030 0.00 4.95 2.00 8.50

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPSPA
Elco401.000501.00017977
Columbia310.750410.80017484
Octorara310.750410.80017485
Annville-Cleona120.333230.400106162
Pequea Valley030.000040.00087173
Northern Lebanon040.000050.00047189

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