Everybody’s humble.

This guy is deflecting praise, that guy’s deflecting praise. The offense is complimenting the defense, and the defense is complimenting the offense.

Heck, when you’re 4-0 there’s enough credit to go around.

On a pleasant Friday night at ELCO Stadium on Sept. 15, the Raider football team passed its most difficult test to date, with a spirited 28-21 triumph over visiting Conrad Weiser. ELCO emerged victorious from the see-saw affair when junior quarterback Steven Rosado scored on a one-yard sneak with 1:00 left to play.

ELCO lineman Luke Bailey (left) offers protection as quarterback Steven Rosado leaves the pocket. (Jeff Falk)

With the contest knotted at 21 in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Raiders pieced together a nine-run, 59-yard possession predicated on motivated execution.

The contest served as ELCO’s Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four opener and the result pushed it to 4-0 on the season, following three relatively lop-sided non-league victories. While the Raiders’ start to the season should set them up for even more meaningful games down the road, things figure to get increasingly more difficult in the coming weeks.

“They’ve shown a lot of improvement,” said ELCO head coach Bob Miller of his troops. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up and fill holes. When you have this many players you’ve got to find a way to get them on the field because they’ve worked so hard.”

“Now you’re starting to see guys like (Mitchell) Fredrick and (Austin) Yesko making bigger contributions, and Elliott Kreider had harder runs,” continued Miller. “Again, it all starts up front. Those guys are making the system work.”

“They’re (the offensive linemen) basically new,” said senior tailback Jake Williams, who paced the ELCO offense with 23 rushes for 238 yards. “But they lifted and worked out during the offseason. They’re very underrated. I see my role as just kind of a support guy for the younger guys to talk to. On the field, it’s just running and blocking.

ELCO star tailback Jake Williams stretches before the start of last night’s game. With 238 yards and two touchdowns, Williams enjoyed another outstanding performance. (Jeff Falk)

“I’d say Jesus gets the most credit,” Williams added. “By leaning on my faith, it gives me peace at the games. Knowing it’s about Him and not me.”

ELCO had taken a 21-14 advantage 1:26 into the final quarter on a 47-yard Williams spring to paydirt. But Conrad Weiser responded four minutes later with a 25-yard touchdown collaboration between quarterback Donovan Gingrich and receiver Josh Miller, on a fourth-down-and-nine snap.

“What I remember about the fourth quarter was the physicality of the line play and the hard running of Jake Williams,” said Miller. “I thought Steven (Rosado) ran the offense beautifully and Elliott Kreider’s versatility was off the charts.”

ELCO captains (left to right) Elliott Kreider, Jake Williams, Steven Rosado and Gavin Bicher walk arm-in-arm for the pregame coin flip. Leadership continues to play a key role in the Raiders’ evolving team culture. (Jeff Falk)

“It was an important win because it was Friday night and it’s high school football,” added Miller. “We have a lot to clean up, we really do. But the kids played hard, and they kept their heads up. They responded to adversity and challenges. Finishing that last drive showed their heart.”

“What stood out to me was the whole team’s energy and grit and heart,” said Williams of the decisive fourth period. “That was great. Every (Friday) night is important. It’s always 1-0. It’s a nice rivalry with Conrad Weiser.”

“We don’t look back,” Williams continued. “But we’ve lost to Weiser in the past. Not that we have anything to prove. It was like the next step for us. There’s a big difference between a 3-0 team and a championship team.”

The Raiders roar on to the artificial turf of ELCO Stadium. (Jeff Falk)

The Raiders enjoyed a 14-7 lead at halftime, courtesy of Williams’ 58-yard scoring jaunt in the middle of the second stanza and Rosado’s initial one-yard sneak. Rosado’s touchdown capped a 13-play, 89-yard march that chewed up most of the first-quarter clock.

“This was closer,” said Miller of his team’s previous three victories. “We got stopped on drives tonight. We gave ourselves some really tough situations with a lack of discipline. They (the Scouts) did a great job. They matched us score for score until the end.”

“I honestly feel like we could’ve played a lot better,” said Williams. “But it was awesome how we came together at the end. We were a little frustrated throughout the game. But we kind of put it behind us.”

Some 333 of the Raiders’ 353 total yards came on the ground. Conversely, 189 of Conrad Weiser’s 281 total yards came through the air.

With his 238-yard-two-touchdown performance, Williams now has 1161 rushing yards this season and 17 scores.

“The defense did well,” said Miller. “We got ourselves in some bad positions. But to step up and make that stop at the end, this is not last year’s team.”

ELCO Raiders

Read all our coverage of the Raiders here.


Head Coach: Robert Miller

Assistant Coaches: John Carley, Robert Williams, Wyatt Hall, Earl Thomas, John Wetzel

Jersey NumberNameGradePosition
1Jordan HartzJr.WR/DB
2Justin SmuckerJr.WR/DB
3Steven RosadoJr.QB/DB
4Shane BoyerJr.WR/LB
5Jackson ConnersSr.WR/DB
6Gavin BicherJr.QB/LB
7Phillip HorstJr.TE/DE
8Austin YeskoJr.RB/DB
9Ira GensamerSr.RB/DB
10Elliott KreiderSr.RB/LB
11Dom HerzogSr.WR/DB
14Ethan BusserJr.WR/LB
15Dante JamesSr.WR/DB
16Sara MillerSr.WR/DB
17Josh BlairJr.QB/LB
19James ProsserSr.WR/DB
20Jude WeaverSr.WR/DB
21Jonathan FisherJr.WR/DB
22Jake WilliamsSr.RB/LB
23Zane TrostleJr.RB/DB
24Mitchell FrederickJr.RB/LB
25Lee TobiasSr.RB/DB
26Landon GoodisonJr.K/P
28Butch SavichSo.WR/DB
29Issac HarmsSr.WR/DB
30Griffin KreiderFr.QB/DB
32Ellis GensamerSo.RB/LB
33Brady StoopsJr.RB/DL
34Victor FelicianoSr.WR/DB
35Dom ShaakJr.RB/DB
38Isaiah AngleySr.RB/DL
40Rhyce FaustJr.WR/DB
41Hunter MehaffeySo.WR/DB
42Elejandro WeisterSo.WR/DB
44Connor ShowalterSo.WR/DB
45J.C. DejesusJr.RB/DL
50Luke BaileySo.OL/DL
51Paul WilliamsSo.OL/DL
52Avery KurtzJr.OL/DL
53Alex Muniz CruzSr.OL/DL
54Robert LubinJr.OL/DL
55Brayden MalloyJr.OL/DL
57Mason SipeSo.OL/DL
58Carter KemperSr.OL/LB
59Tupac Vasquez-DislaJr.OL/DL
60Lukas MorascoJr.OL/DL
62Griffin FisherSr.OL/DL
63Asher GrierSo.OL/DL
64Dominick LattaruloJr.OL/DL
65Riley McDonaldSo.RB/LB
66Chris BatemanJr.OL/DL
67Ty LandisSo.RB/LB
68Jason ArnoldSr.WR/DB
71James KuhneSo.WR/DB
72Dawson OckerSr.OL/DL
74Cole HaagSo.OL/DL
75Bryce MaizeJr.OL/DL
76Josie Lebron-MatosSo.WR/DB
77Tyler ShaakSo.OL/DL
78Dylan ReddingerSr.WR/DB
79Ethan BretziusSo.OL/DL
80Tyce FiddnerJr.TE/DE
81Michael BooksJr.WR/DB
82Bryant AukerSr.WR/DB
84Noah BurgessJr.WR/DB
85Landon LeonardJr.TE/DE
87Chase HessJr.TE/DE
88Bryce HaislipSr.WR/DB
89Dalton PyzkaSo.TE/DE
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Jeff Falk is a seasoned journalist based in Lebanon, PA. He's a graduate of Cedar Crest High School, Penn State University, and a lifelong resident of Lebanon, born and raised. Currently, he is a feature writer for Engle Publishing in Lancaster, the editor of LebCoSports.com, sports director at WLBR...


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