BY JEFF FALK
It may be that Roy Wall finally got his message through to the troops. And as a result, the Vikings are on the board.
On Friday night in Hamburg, the Northern Lebanon football team registered its initial victory of the season, 14-6 over the home-standing Hawks. The Vikings had opened 2011 with two disappointing losses, to Pine Grove and Lebanon.
This time around, the Vikings got it done with mental and physical toughness, fewer mistakes and a staunch defense. Northern Lebanon punished Hamburg with its option running game, was a plus-three in the turnover/takeaway category and its defense did not surrender a touchdown.
The Hawks fell to 2-1 on the year.
Northern Lebanon led 7-0 at the break, after driving the length of the field and chewing up a majority of the second-quarter clock to get a short keeper from quarterback Tanner Dresch.
Then early in the final period, the Vikes upped their advantage to 14-0 on a touchdown scamper by Corey Wall. Hamburg did return the ensuing kickoff for its only score of the evening, but that was all it could muster.
Fullback Colton Ryan surpassed the century-mark for rushing on the evening. Northernn Lebanon ran the ball over 50 times for more than 200 rushing yards.
Elsewhere in scholastic football on Friday:
Annville-Cleona 28, Fleetwood 27
At Fleetwood, the Little Dutchmen also recorded their first triumph of the year. But it wasn’t easy, as Annville-Cleona was forced to rally and ultimately turn away a late Tiger attempt at a two-point conversion and upset.
After Fleetwood had pulled to within a point with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, A-C’s Tyler Fitting defended a passing attempt at a two-point conversion that could’ve been decisive.
With the win, Annville-Cleona evened its overall mark at 1-1.
Down most of the evening, the Little Dutchmen took a 28-21 lead with just over five minutes to play on a Freddy Hess touchdown burst. Prior to halftime, Hess’ touchdown reception and two-point conversion had tied the game at 14.
Fleetwood fell to 0-3.
Hershey 44, Cedar Crest 23
On the turf of Hersheypark Stadium, the Falcons hung with the Trojans for the better part of three quarters. But 23 unanswered points by Hershey dropped the Falcons to 0-3 on the year.
A 33-yard field from Dalton Ritter had pulled Cedar Crest to within 21-16 of the Trojans midway through the second stanza. Hershey improved to 3-0 on the year.
The Falcons played from behind most of the night, but tied the game at seven on a Garrett Levengood-to-Darin Kline touchdown collaboration in the opening period. Running back Rich Ellinger got CC to within 14-13 with a scoring run.
But the Falcon defense experienced difficulties containing the Hershey offense, surrendering nearly 500 yards of total offense. Hershey enjoyed a 31-16 advantage in the locker room.
Cedar Crest’s other touchdown was another Levengood to Kline strike.