Hempfield defeats Manheim Township 17-14 with good defense and big plays
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Pat Weider | September 23, 2022
Hempfield Marching Band playing after a 17-14 win.
Hempfield beat Manheim Township 17-14 Friday night to improve to 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in section play. Township dropped to 3-2, and 1-1 in section play. Hempfield built up a 17-0 lead and was able to hang on for the win. Hempfield stymied Township most of the night until the Blue Streaks led by QB Hayden Johnson came alive in the 2nd half with 2 huge touchdown drives to make it a 17-14 game. Township had a chance to win the game when they got the ball at their 2-yard line, and they drove to the Hempfield 13-yard line, but they missed a game-tying field goal to lose 17-14. Hempfield Head Coach George Eager on the win “We won 2/3 of the game. We won the game on special teams and defense”.
Hempfield opened the scoring with 31-yard goal in the 1st QT by Cannon Biscoe. Both offenses were largely slowed down in the 1st half, but Hempfield connected on a 36-yard Hail Mary Touchdown pass from Stephen Catch to Gabriel Benjamin. An incredible play to end the half and take a 10-0 lead. Katch the backup QB plays in certain packages and plays running back as well. He is also used as the deep ball QB since he has the biggest arm. Katch had this to say about the game-changing play “I was just trying to throw it up and not get sacked”.
The 2nd half opened with a bang when Grant Hoover went 97 yards for a kickoff return touchdown. Hoover on the kickoff return “Every single play I try to score. I found a whole and we had great blocking”. Eager on the return “He hit it with speed and it was great blocking”. Suddenly Hempfield had a commanding 17-0 lead, but Township and Quarterback Hayden Johnson would not back down.
Johnson led two impressive drives. The 1st ended on a 2 yard rushing touchdown by Johnson. The 2nd touchdown drive Johnson hit favorite target Landon Kennel on a beautiful back shoulder fade for a touchdown. Suddenly Township had clawed back to only being down 3 points. Township drove all the way down from their 2 yard line to the Hempfield 13 yard line, but missed the field goal to lose a heart breaker 17-14 to their bitter rivals. Johnson in defeat had 247 yards passing, but did throw 2 costly interceptions in the 1st half.
Defensive cordinator Jay Ridinger of Hempfield came into the game with a plan to help slow down the Township defense. Here is what he had to say about Township offense “Our game plan was to stop the pass. The QB is phenomenal. WRS are so good”. Most the game Hempfield stayed in 2 high safety looks and dropped between 7 or 8 players in coverage. A bend, but don’t break defense. The other key in the 1st half was the two interceptions by his defense. Ridinger had this to say “Any time we can get the ball back it is a win for us. It will get us another possession on offense”.
Coach Eager was very happy to beat rival Township for the 2nd year in a row. He had this to say about the win “It means everything to us and our school”. He also emphasized to his team that they need to keep improving and they have a long way to go as a team. Beating your rival to improve to 4-1 on the year is a good Friday night for the Hempfield football team.
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