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Written by: Pat Weider on Monday, September 13th, 2021
Team of the week: Lampeter Strasburg. After losing week one, LS has come back to win 31-0 over Penn Manor and 19-0 over Conestoga Valley. Shutting out teams back-to-back weeks is a really impressive effort by LS. The next match-up is 2-1 Solanco with their option attack, should be a good match-up.
5 questions with Victor Ridenour Head Coach of Lampeter Strasburg
1)After losing week 1 how was your team able to respond to win the next two games?
For many of our kids, the Warwick game was their first varsity experience. It was an eye-opener for them. I’m not sure they were ready for how fast the varsity game is. Hats off to Warwick though. They were fantastic that night. Since then, our kids are working hard throughout the week to get “Friday night reps” in practice. They are getting more comfortable with our schemes on both sides of the ball.
2) Can you talk about your defense performance in the last two weeks? Shutting out your opponents two weeks in a row is really impressive.
The defense really started to click the morning of Penn Manor during our walk-through. It was as if a light bulb went off about where they need fit and how to execute our calls. Garry Morrison, our DC, has done a great job with those kids. They are playing well as a unit right now.
3) Can you discuss how the transition has gone for you from being DC to now Head Coach?
The transition, for the most part, has been smooth. I’ve been here with these kids for many years. I’m not a completely new voice. The seniors and juniors know me and my coaching style/personality. I’m calling the offense this year. I did change some things. I want to bring the defensive mentality that we’ve had the last few years to the offensive side of the ball.
4) What did it mean to your community to get the win Friday night against your rival Conestoga Valley?
I think that’s what maybe gets missed sometimes. Football is a community sport. The towns/districts get behind the kids and root hard for them. That’s the pull of Friday night lights. To get a win against a rival feels good for everyone.
5) Can you talk about the challenge of facing a Solanco team with their option-based offense?
When you think of Solanco right away you think about their offense. They will challenge you not only physically but mentally as well. We have to maintain discipline and we have to trust each other. As easy as it is to talk about their offense, their defense is playing well. They are great tacklers and they pursue well. It’s a big rival, it’s a trophy game, it will be a challenge.
I will be covering Lampeter Strasburg vs. Solanco Friday night. Follow me on Twitter @footballcoach79
Coach of the week: Ben Thompson of J.P. McCaskey. Being a 1st-year head coach is tough. Becoming a head coach 6 days before the start of the season is even more difficult. That is what happened to Thompson when Sam London stepped down before the season started. All Thompson has done is win 2 out of the first 3 to start his tenure at McCaskey.
Player of the week: Weston Stoltzfus Octorara. In Friday’s 55-13 win over Pottstown, he was 8 of 11 for 256 3 Touchdowns. Octorara is 3-0 on the year and is lead by their QB.
Play of the week: Power. Power is the classic football play we all have seen run in High School, College, and NFL. It is a simple play that involves the backside guard pulling and leading the back through the whole. The key is the front side guard and tackle must get a push on the defensive tackle. Then the fullback must kick out the defensive end. The RB will then follow his pulling guard through the hole.
Warick WRs Cooper Eckert and Ryan Fink during Fridays game
Football has 4 downs, so here are 4 thoughts from what I saw, watched, and heard this week:
1) Manheim Central continues to impress with another win. The Barons coming off of their 1st losing season since 1974 Central took care of business again Friday night with a 60-0 win over Susquehanna Township. They are now 3-0 on the year.
2) Most of section 1 of LL had a rough weekend of Football. Hempfield, Wilson, Manheim Township, Cedar Crest all lost. McCaskey and Penn Manor were the only two teams that had wins. Section 1 is wide open with usual favorites Manheim Township and Wilson both 1-2.
3) I was at Warwick and Ephrata on Friday. I came away really impressed with Warwick. After losing a big group of Seniors who had a lot of success, it wasn’t out of a question that they might struggle some this year. Warwick so far has looked the part and has started 2-1 with 2-1 Penn Manor coming in this week. Should be a fun match-up. Also, Andre Wiedman of Ephrata is a legit RB and someone to keep an eye on. He had 181 yards rushing in the loss.
4) Section 4 will be really interesting in the LL. Columbia looks legit after beating Hanover and is now 2-1. Also, Octorara is 3-0 and looks really good. Plus you got ELCO who won the section for 1-1 with their 1st game canceled because of Covid. Plus Northern Lebanon is 2-1. Should be a fun section this year.
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