Conestoga Valley used field possession that led to quick scores on Friday to down Lebanon 56-6 on the Cedars’ Homecoming Night.
The loss drops the Cedars to 0-6, (0-3 in Lancaster-Lebanon League Division 2 play) while the Buckskins improved to 5-1 overall, 2-0 in the division.
Conestoga Valley needed only one play to score from eight yards out following a 32-yard punt return that placed the Buckskins inside the Cedars’ 10-yard line. That made the score 7-0 with 8:53 to play in the first quarter.
The Cedars responded with a TD of their own on the third play from scrimmage in their second drive of the game. Following a short kickoff that set up the Cedars with great field position, the Cedars would need only four plays to cut the lead to 7-6.
Senior wide receiver turned quarterback Paul Trace hit sophomore wide receiver Malachi Briddel in the flat for a pass completion and run by Briddel that went 69 yards for the touchdown. The Cedars missed the extra point, however, to keep the score at 7-6.
Cedars head coach Frank Isenberg said the QB-WR duo is developing a strong onfield connection.
“We’re a work in progress at quarterback,” said Isenberg. “As I’ve said, I put Paul Trace in a difficult situation a few weeks back and he’s growing. Malachi Briddel, a sophomore, I mean, he’s athletic, he is a dude. He’s a young guy but you can see the capabilities he has. Early on in that second drive, you could see that he’s a playmaker for us. I don’t know if people know he’s the real deal.”
Down 21-6 early in the second quarter, the Cedars ran what appeared to be the same play with Trace connecting with Briddel in the flat for a catch and the Cedar’s speedy WR shedding his defender. Briddel turned on the jets and burned down the CV sideline, untouched, for what appeared to be a 92-yard touchdown.
A penalty against the Cedars, however, negated the play and a touchdown that would have pulled them to within nine points. Isenberg was puzzled by the call, telling the referees at the time that both of his players were wide receivers and were in a legal formation.
“They said it was an illegal formation,” said Isenberg. “They were (legal) on film, but, I mean, it’s something you can’t change. Yeah, it was a big play, and it would have kept us in the game at that point, too. It was definitely a bad call for us, but it happens.”
Conestoga Valley used their ground game coupled with some timely passes and field position to reach the end zone multiple times with drives that required five plays or fewer for the Buckskins to score.
The Buckskins possessed the ball around midfield nearly the entire evening as the Cedars’ inability to move the ball along with several untimely personal foul calls cost them valuable field position.
Leading 42-6 at the half, Conestoga Valley inserted their second team into the game to grind the ball on the ground and the time on the clock in the second half.
The Buckskins’ longest drive of the evening, an 11-play, 71-yard, run-only drive that lasted more than the last six minutes of the third quarter, culminating with a touchdown at the start of the final stanza.
The game began under cloudy but dry skies and on a somber note as players on both teams and their fans conducted a moment of silence in memory of Lebanon School District superintendent Arthur Abrom. Abrom passed away earlier this week following a nine-year battle with cancer.
On a much happier note, the Cedars crowned their 2023 homecoming court and named Ramone Urena as homecoming king and Aggy Discuillo as homecoming queen. Griffin Gonzalez and Aaliyah Ferrer, 2022 homecoming king and queen respectively, relinquished their crowns to the new royalty as the halftime festivities came to a close.
Head Coach: Frank Isenberg
Assistant Coaches: Greg Herr, Tyler Roth, Jason Capello, Nathan Myers
|26||Jesucristo Echevarria Figueroa||WR/LB||Junior|
|70||Elis Bentez Jimenez||OL/DL||Sophomore|
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