BY JEFF FALK
At the beginning of the season, head football coach Tom Waranavage vowed there would be improvement in his Cedar Crest Falcons in 2012. And there was.
But did the Falcons improve enough?
On Friday night in Millersville, Cedar Crest ended its campaign with a 54-0 loss to Penn Manor. The Comets settled the issue by racing out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter, before taking a 41-0 bulge to the break.
The entire second half was played under a continuously running clock brought on by the mercy rule.
With the loss, Cedar Crest went 2-8 in 2012 and 1-6 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Falcons won one more game than in 2011 when they went 1-9, and at times they were more competitive, but there were also results like Friday.
In Waranavage’s four seasons in South Lebanon, Cedar Crest has gone a combined 8-32.
With the win, Penn Manor, the fourth seed in the District Three Class AAAA power rankings, improved to 9-1 overall.
With 371 rushing yards, the Comets out gained Cedar Crest 449 total yards to 245. Falcon Damon Edwards toted the ‘rock’ a dozen times for 65 yards.
Elsewhere in scholastic football this weekend:
Donegal 43, Annville-Cleona 0
On Friday night in Mount Joy, the Little Dutchmen put up a struggle, before succumbing to the host Indians’ second-period onslaught. The score was 0-0 after 12 minutes of play, but 28-0 Donegal at the intermission.
The setback made Annville-Cleona 3-7 during 2012 and 2-5 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Donegal, the eighth ranked Class AAA team in District Three, moved to 9-1 on the year.
Donegal ground out 385 yards on the ground, on its way to a 411-206 advantage in total yards. Junior Mitch Rodkey paced the Little Dutchmen with 88 yards on 30 carries.
Bishop McDevitt 49, Palmyra 14
In Harrisburg, in the final game of Bishop McDevitt’s famed home field affectionately known as ‘The Rock Pile’, the Cougars’ bid to avoid a win-less campaign came up short. After enjoying one of the finest football seasons in school history in 2011, the Cougars endured one of the worst in 2012.
Palmyra went 0-10 this fall and 0-7 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference. Bishop McDevitt, the top seed in the District Three Class AAA tournament, improved to 10-0 on the year and 7-0 in the division.
The Cougars actually scored first in this one, taking a 7-0 lead with 8:08 left in the opening quarter on a Mason Laudermilch to Tom Weidner five-yard scoring strike. But the Crusaders responded with 1:59 of the quarter remaining to knot the score at seven.
Bishop McDevitt hit Palmyra with a 28-point second period, then took a 42-7 lead, 2:37 into the third stanza. The Cougars’ other score resulted from a Laudermilch 25-yard touchdown run in the third period.
Palmyra’s defense did an admirable job in limiting the Crusaders to 351 total yards. On the other side of the ball, the Cougars piled up 174 total yards.
Palmyra turned the ball over four times.
Columbia 24, Northern Lebanon 0
At Fred Gahres Stadium in Fredericksburg, the Vikings were shut down and shut out in their season finale. Following a scoreless opening 12 minutes of play, the Crimson Tide recorded a pair of second-quarter scores to take a 12-0 lead to halftime.
After opening the season with wins over Pine Grove and Lebanon, injury-depleted Northern Lebanon closed out its season with eight straight setbacks. The result made Columbia, the fourth ranked Class A team in District Three, 4-6 overall.
In the second half, Columbia registered touchdowns in both the third and fourth periods.
The Crimson Tide went for 225 yards on the ground, and out gained the Vikings 338-205. Northern Lebanon experienced four turnovers.