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Written by: Pat Weider on Saturday, October 16th, 2021
George Eager addresses his team after a 17-14 win over Township Friday Night.
Hempfield beat Manheim Township 17-14 Friday night in a huge win in Section 1 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Hempfield dominated the line of scrimmage and time of possession all night as they kept the explosive Township offense off of the field. Hempfield improved to 5-3 (2-1 in section play) and Township dropped to 5-3 (2-1 in section play). It was the 1st time Hempfield beat rival Township since 2013. Hempfield Head Coach George Eager on the victory “A lot of people doubted us after last week’s loss to Cedar Crest, but we came out and got the victory tonight”. Quarterback Cam Harbaugh of Hempfield paced the black nights with 175 yards passing and rushing for 92 yards on 15 carries and 2 touchdowns. Harbaugh on the victory “It feels great after disappointing last week, especially against your rival”.
Hempfield opened the scoring with a long touchdown drive mixing runs and short passes. It was capped off by Cam Harbaugh of Hempfield when he ran in from 10 yards out. Hempfield had a 7-0 lead with 4:55 left in the 1st quarter. Township then responded with a touchdown drive of their own when Hayden Johson hit Connor Mollett with a 3-yard touchdown pass. Then Hempfield answered with a trick play. A flea-flicker. Harbaugh hit Thomas Minnich with a 48-yard touchdown pass, to take a 14-7 lead. A lead they would take into the half. Quarterback Cam Harbaugh on the trick play “We knew we were going to pull it off. And it worked great”.
Township had one other successful touchdown drive for a touchdown when Hayden Johnson rushed in from 1 yard out, but much of the second half was Hempfield controlling the game with long drives. Only one drive resulted in points when they had a short field to score end the scoring for Hempfield at 17 points. Eager on the offensive approach “As an offensive coach, this is awesome. When you can run the ball and get 3 yards you always got a chance to win the game”.
One of the keys to victory for Hempfield was limiting the big plays of Township. Penn State football commit Anthony Ivey was limited to 2 catches on the night and never broke a big play all night. Eager said the key to victory was the offense controlling the time of possession and limited the opportunities for Township. Eager said, “I told them at halftime we had to run the ball in the second half and keep their offense off of the field”.
Hempfield’s ability to run the ball with three running backs staying fresh was huge. Running Backs Evan Smith, Stephen Katch, and Grant Hoover all mixed and matched runs all night. Then you throw in a dual-threat QB in Cam Harbaugh and you have a devastating run game. Eager said, “We have 3 quality running backs and a QB who can run the ball and we leaned on them all night”. Also, Adam Acker caught 9 passes for 72 yards. A lot of his passes were short passes that were extension of the run game. Several were caught on 3rd down. Acker on the win “It felt great to get the win. I love this team and the coaching staff did a great job preparing us”.
Cam Harbaugh and Thomas Minnich pose together with the Joseph Kurjiaka Trophy
Defensively to hold a Township defense to 14 points after they had averaged 46 points over the last three games was an impressive effort by Hempfield. Of course George Eager gave credit to his best friend and Defensive Coordinator Jay Ridinger. “My best friend and DC Jay did a great job”. This win was one of the biggest in recent memory for Hempfield.
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