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IMG_2921BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – Its offense has been explosive. Its defense has been opportunistic. And its special teams have been, well special.

It has protected and cherished the ball. Its approach has been been workmanlike. And its focus has been intense and unwavering.

It would be hard to imagine a scenario where things could have gone much better – to his point of the year – for the Northern Lebanon football squad.

IMG_2966On Friday night at Fred Gahres Stadium, the Vikings recorded their fourth impressive victory in as many outings this season, a 57-26 manhandling of Ephrata. It was a 14-7 game, until Northern Lebanon exploded for 29 points over the final 9:23 of the first half to open a 43-7 locker room bulge and bring the mercy rule into effect.

No less than six different Vikings scored points, in a variety of ways. Junior backs Luke Funck and Dylan Weaver tallied three touchdowns apiece for Northern Lebanon.

The outcome marked the third time this season that Northern Lebanon eclipsed the 50-point plateau, and the Vikings have now outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 196-78. The result also made them 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, while Ephrata fell to 0-4 on the year and 0-1 in the circuit.

IMG_2900After going a combined 13-27 in head coach Roy Wall’s first four years at the helm, Northern Lebanon is now 13-2 over the last two seasons.

“No, we’re not surprised by this,” said Wall. “We’re the defending section champions. We’re undefeated in the section and we’re 4-0.

IMG_2904“We won the game,” added Wall. “We scored 57 points. I’m pretty happy.”

“No, this isn’t good enough for this group of guys,” said Viking senior quarterback Isaac Wengert. “We’re hungry. We’re not accepting the minimum. We’re going for the highest standard possible. That’s why we work so hard at practice.”

It was the electric Weaver, a transfer from Central Dauphin, who sparked the explosion that created the distance between the Vikings and Ephrata.

IMG_2851On the first snap after the Mounts had pulled to within 14-7, Weaver made a number of Ephrata tacklers miss on his way to toting the pigskin 60 yards to paydirt. Then a 27-yard, Wengert-to-Corey Teasdale collaboration and a 31-yard Weaver scamper set up the Funck plunge that made it 28-7.

After the Northern Lebanon defense forced a three-and-out, Weaver took the subsequent punt 62 yards to ‘The House’. And with 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Wengert and Teasdale completed the onslaught – and a five-play, 77-yard march – with a 15-yard touchdown pass over the middle.

IMG_2949“He’s a good player,” said Wall of Weaver. “He’s a threat every time he touches it. But so is Luke Funck. Our offensive line has been playing well. Coming into the season, we knew it was going to be a strength, and it has been.

“We played well enough to win,” Wall continued. “We made some mistakes. But overall I thought we played well.”

“We could’ve played a lot better, especially defensively,” said Wengert. “It’s assignment football. Our offense was cooking like it’s been all year.

“We can definitely be better defensively,” continued Wengert. “We’re a defensive team first, no matter what. We eat, sleep and drink defense. We hit people, and we hit people hard.”

IMG_2918Despite starting at its own five-yard line, Northern Lebanon drove its opening possession 95 yards in six plays to take an 8-0 lead, on Funck’s ten-yard sprint to the left pylon. The key play in the drive was Wengert’s 51-yard hook-up with Colton Herb.

With 1:38 of the opening quarter remaining, Wengert made it 14-0 Vikes, with a one-yard sneak. That capped a ten-play, 62-yard Viking possession.

“I never feel comfortable until it’s over,” said Wall. “We’re scoring some points. But we have to stop giving up some big plays.

“We can improve,” added Wall. “We can score more points and give up fewer points.”

“I think I played pretty good,” said Wengert, who completed seven of his nine pass attempts for 162 yards and one interception. “I could be throwing the ball a little better. It’s just a matter of getting in sync with receivers. It’s all about practice and repetition. But the running game is going well, and the speed option is going well.”

IMG_2885On the second snap of the fourth quarter, the Vikings turned a short field and a 25-yard Wengert completion to Herb into Weaver’s three-yard scoring burst and a 50-14 advantage. Not to be out done, Funck returned a kickoff 82 yards for the touchdown that made it 57-20.

Ephrata scored the final points of the game on the final play of the game.

“We were up and we gave up some points,” said Wall. “That’s never good. It still goes as points against Northern Lebanon.”

“We want to be section champs, back-to-back, and make a statement in districts,” said Wengert. “That the Northern Lebanon program is here to stay. We’re not going to be satisfied to go one and done. We’re a very hungry team.”

IMG_2925Doing most of its damage in the first half, Northern Lebanon piled up 367 yards of total offense. The Viking defense limited Ephrata to 140 rushing yards on 32 carries.

Weaver gained 97 yards on the ground on four carries.

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to see more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-nine/.

Northern Lebanon 57, Ephrata 26

Northern Lebanon 14 29 0 14 57
Ephrata 0 7 7 12 26

NL- Luke Funck 10 yard run (conversion successful) Noah Smith two yard run

IMG_2944NL- Isaac Wengert one yard run (conversion failed)

Second Quarter

E- Jerrad Malmer one yard run (Caroline Stauffer kick)

NL- Dylan Weaver 60 yard run (conversion failed)

NL- Luke Funck one yard run (conversion successful)

NL- Weaver 62 yard punt return (conversion successful)

NL- Wengert 15 yard pass to Corey Teasdale (Colton Herb kick)

Third Quarter

E- Malmer 13 yard pass to Charles Warden (Stauffer kick)

IMG_2943Fourth Quarter

NL- Dylan Weaver three yard run (Herb kick)

E- Brendan Holbritter ten yard pass to Tyler Mentzer (Stauffer kick missed)

NL- Funck 82 yard kickoff return (Herb kick)

E- Holbritter four yard run

 

NL E
First downs 14 12
Rushes-yards 27-208 32-140
Passing 7-9-1 9-30-1
Passing yards 159 146
Total yards 367 286
Punts 9-85 6-60
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 0-0 5-31.8
IMG_2954Individual statistics

Rushing: NL- Weaver 6-97, Funck 9-64, Wengert 9-30, Smith 3-(minus two), Negreiros 1-5; E- Malmer 12-34, Warden 2-2, Wright 1-0, Reider 4-58, Barrett 2-4, Mentzer 1-(minus five), Holbritter 1-8, Frees 6-20

Passing: NL- Wengert 6-8-1, 111 yards; E- Malmer 6-20-1, 78 yards; Holbritter 3-15-0, 76 yards

Receiving: NL- Teasdale 4-67, Herb 3-92; E- Warden 4-78, Mentzer 3-38, Klaus 1-22, Barrett 1-16

 Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Northern Lebanon 1-0 4-0
Donegal 1-0 2-2
Elco 1-0 1-3
Annville-Cleona 0-1 3-1
Pequea Valley 0-1 2-2
Ephrata 0-1 0-4
Columbia 0-0 0-4

IMG_28772015 Northern Lebanon Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/04
Pine Grove
7:00 PM W 52-0
09/11
@Lebanon
7:00 PM W 51-27
09/18
@Hamburg
7:00 PM W 36-25
09/25 *
Ephrata
7:00 PM W 57-27
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
10/02 *
@Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Pequea Valley High School
10/09
Williams Valley
7:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/16 *
Elco
7:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/23 *
Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/30 *
@Donegal
7:00 PM Donegal High School
11/06 *
@Columbia
7:00 PM Columbia High School

 

IMG_2897Roy Wall’s Tenure at Northern Lebanon

2014 – 9-2

2013 – 3-7

2012 – 2-8

2011 – 5-5

2010 – 3-6

 

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