BY JEFF FALK
After hitting rock bottom, the Cedar Crest football team is now on its way up. But no one said there wouldn’t be bumps during the ascent.
On Friday night at Earl Boltz Stadium in South Lebanon, the Falcons were competitive in a 45-31 setback to Hershey High. Cedar Crest was within 21-19 of the Trojans before they notched a pair of pre-halftime touchdowns.
With the loss, Cedar Crest, which blew out rival Lebanon 67-0 in Week One, saw its non-league mark slip to 1-2. The Trojans moved to 3-0 with the triumph.
With senior signal-caller Nick Cascarino throwing for 327 yards, the Falcons piled up more than 530 yards of total offense. But Cedar Crest simply couldn’t stop Hershey, especially when it counted and after it fell behind.
Trailing by 16 points at the break, the Falcons got a 40-yard scoring hook-up from Cascarino to Steve Miller after halftime. But Hershey would tack on another touchdown before the end of the third period to lengthen its advantage.
The Falcons’ opening touchdown resulted from a Grant Boehler scamper that tied the score at seven. Then later in the first quarter, Damon Edwards’ scoring burst pulled Cedar Crest to within 14-13.
Cedar Crest again reeled in Hershey in the second period, as Cascarino found Miller with a short scoring strike.
Boehler finished with 113 yards of rushing, while Edwards surpassed the century-mark in receiving yardage.
Elsewhere in scholastic football on Friday night:
Hamburg 34, Northern Lebanon 13
At Fred Gahres Stadium in Fredericksburg, the Hawks registered the first 21 points of the contest on their way to a 34-6 lead. Northern Lebanon experienced difficulties moving the football, while being let down by its usually reliable defense.
The Vikings’ first loss of the campaign came inexplicably to a Hamburg outfit that had dropped its first two games of the year, to Elco and Annville-Cleona. Northern Lebanon will get its shot at the Little Dutchmen on Friday in Annville.
Isaac Ray and Mason Yost accounted for all of Northern Lebanon’s points. The sophomores combined on a pair of short touchdowns through the air.
But on the night, the Vikings were limited to 170 yards of total offense. On the other side of the ball, the Hawks gouged the Northern Lebanon defense for 50 rushing attempts, 216 yards on the ground and 316 total yards.
Donegal 68, Palmyra 27
At Palmyra’s Buck Swank Stadium, the Cougars clawed back from an early deficit, only to see the Indians hit them with 35 unanswered points. After starting 2011 3-0, the 2012 Palmyra football team is now 0-3.
A medium-range scoring strike from quarterback Mason Laudermilch to sophomore Mitchell Cooper capped a 20-0 Cougar outburst that pulled them to within 35-27 midway through the third stanza. Just after the homecoming intermission, Laudermilch had hooked up with Alex Graybill on a long touchdown completion.
Before the break, Joey Hess got Palmyra rolling with a ten-yard scoring spurt.
But the Palmyra defense yielded nearly 600 yards of total offense to the Indians, who improved to 3-0 on the campaign.
After Donegal had recorded the first three touchdowns of the game, Dino Faiola got the Cougars on the scoreboard with a short TD burst early in the second stanza.
Schuylkill Valley 27, Annville-Cleona 6
In Leesport, the Little Dutchmen encountered difficulties generating offense, despite their deployment of multiple weapons. Annville-Cleona managed less than 80 yards of total offense and barely reached double-digits with its rushing output.
The outcome left Annville-Cleona 1-2 on the campaign. Schuykill Valley is now 3-0.
A-C spotted the Panthers an early 7-0 advantage, before Noah Conner punched one in from in-close for the Little Dutchmen. But Schuylkill Valley answered that score with one of its own prior to the first half expiring, then pulled away with 15 third-quarter points.
The Little Dutchmen defense surrendered 400 yards of total offense to the Panthers.