BY JEFF FALK
Over the years, Lebanon County has seen its share of win-less high school football seasons. But the locale has never endured two in one year.
Now the County is in real danger of having that happen.
On Friday night, both the Lebanon and Palmyra football squads lost their ninth straight game to open the 2012 campaign. The Cougars were beaten by Lower Dauphin 50-3 and the Cedars were dropped by Lampeter-Strasburg 56-7.
In Palmyra, on Senior Night at Buck Swank Stadium, the Cougars assumed a 3-0 lead on Cole Bowman’s 32-yard field goal in the first quarter, but then the visiting Falcons posted the next 50 points of the Mid-Penn Keystone Division encounter. During the drive that resulted in Bowman’s points, the Cougars drove 80 yards, 50 of which came courtesy of senior quarterback Mason Laudermilch’s six completions.
With the loss, Palmyra fell to 0-9 on the year and 0-6 in the division. The Cougars will conclude their regular season on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Bishop McDevitt.
Lower Dauphin is now 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Keystone.
The Falcons collected 23 points in the second quarter alone and took a 20-point advantage to the break. When Lower Dauphin continued its scoring in the second half, it brought the mercy rule into play.
On the strength of 259 rushing yards, Lower Dauphin out gained the Cougars 365 total yards to 228.
Lampeter-Strasburg 56, Lebanon 7
In Lampeter on Friday night, the scenario for the Cedars was similar. Locked in a 7-7 duel with the host Pioneers, the Cedars allowed the next 49 points.
After spotting L-S an early 7-0 edge, Lebanon High responded five minutes later with a one-yard burst by versatile Jeremy De La Cruz that knotted the scoreboard. But the Pioneers answered with a three-yard touchdown run before the first quarter was out and then added took a 21-7 lead to the intermission.
The third quarter was all Lampeter-Strasburg, as it rolled to three touchdowns in the stanza to break the game wide open.
With the setback, the Cedars fell to 0-9 on the fall and 0-6 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
In the passing game, De La Cruz caught 11 aerials for 111 yards.
Lancaster Catholic 49, Cedar Crest 0
In Lancaster, the Falcons were again physically out-manned, this time by the rugged Crusaders. By opening a 42-0 halftime lead, Lancaster Catholic invoked the mercy rule for the entire second half.
The defeat made Cedar Crest 2-7 on the year and 1-5 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Falcons will close out their campaign on Friday night against Penn Manor.
Lancaster Catholic, the reigning PIAA Class AA champion, improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in Section One. Crusader senior star Roman Clay gouged the Falcon defense for 315 yards rushing on 12 carries, an average of more than 26 yards per tote.
The Crusaders recorded a pair of first-quarter touchdowns on runs by Clay, and carried a 42-0 bulge to the break.
Behind Clay’s monster outing, Lancaster Catholic out gained Cedar Crest 480 total yards to 202.
Donegal 54, Northern Lebanon 6
At Fred Gahres Stadium in Fredericksburg, the depleted Vikings put up a fight before succumbing to the talented Indians. Northern Lebanon surrendered points on six of Donegal’s eight possessions.
Northern Lebanon’s seventh straight setback left it 2-7 on the fall and 0-5 in Section Three of the L-L. The Vikes will close out 2012 on Friday night at Columbia.
With the triumph, Donegal moved to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the section.
In the middle of the third quarter, Northern Lebanon pieced together an eight-play, 65-yard march to get a 13-yard touchdown collaboration between quarterback Isaac Ray and receiver Kyle Blackman. But by that time, the Indians were sitting on a 33-0 cushion.
Donegal had built a 13-0 lead through 12 minutes of action, then registered three more second-quarter scores.
Offensively, the Vikings were held to 107 yards of total offense, 60 of which came over the ground. Donegal accumulated over 400 yards of total offense.