Even if it was momentary, some much needed competitiveness was injected into the historic series. But in the end, the result was very typical.

And in this important rivalry, results are all they remember.

The Cedar Crest Falcons raise the Cedar Bowl Trophy. The Cedar Crest Falcons played host to the Lebanon Cedars in the Cedar Bowl on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. The Falcons were victorious 49-6. (Travis Boyd)

On a mild Thursday night at Ed and Jeannie Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, Cedar Crest once again dominated Lebanon, 49-6, in the 51st renewal of the annual Cedar Bowl football game. Lebanon scored first and led 6-0 for 7:37 of game clock, before the Falcons flexed their muscles, asserted themselves and tallied the rivalry’s final 49 points.

The contest served as the regular-season finale for both sides.

Cedar Crest has now won 11 straight games over the Cedars and leads the all-time Cedar Bowl series 35-15-1. Lebanon’s last triumph in the famed series came in 2011.

Ethan Bowman (36) strides in to kick an extra point as Jack Waranavage (4) holds. (Travis Boyd)

But the victory also moved the Falcons to 8-2 on the year and all but assured them a spot in the upcoming District Three Class AAAAAA playoffs. In the latest District Three power rankings, Cedar Crest was positioned eighth in an AAAAAA classification which takes eight teams for its postseason tournament.

A District Three playoff berth would represent Cedar Crest’s fourth in the last 10 years.

The loss concluded Lebanon’s third straight winless campaign. The Cedars have dropped 32 straight contests overall dating back to the 2020 campaign.

“Coming in, I thought we were the better team,” said Cedar Crest head coach Rob Wildasin. “Obviously, you want to win, but you also want the games to be good games. Honestly, tonight was a competitive game at the beginning.

“It’s a capper on the season,” Wildasin continued. “It was an emotional night. It’s a win for the seniors on their last time on this field. It’s a culmination of a lot of work, by the staff and players and families. We’ve been all-in for a long time. It shows in many ways.”

“No, the rivalry is not doing well,” said Lebanon head coach Frank Isenberg. “It’s definitely a rivalry because of the community and the kids. But Cedar Crest has had our number for the last 12 years. Until we knock them off, it’s not much of a rivalry.”

Lebanon Head Coach Frank Isenberg taalks to his team during a time out. (Travis Boyd)

The Cedars were extremely competitive early and were trailing just 7-6 when they drove 81 yards in 10 plays to the Cedar Crest five-yard line. But it was at that point that the momentum switched noticeably and decisively in the Falcons’ favor, thanks to Owen Chernich’s interception in the end zone.

Malachi Briddell (8) and Derek Infante (2) celebrate a Cedars TD. (Travis Boyd)
Malachi Briddell (8) scores a Cedar touchdown after catching a slant pass. (Travis Boyd)

Chernich’s pick sparked an eight-play, 80-yard Cedar Crest march that resulted in Chernich catching a seven-yard scoring strike from quarterback Jackson Custer. The Falcons enjoyed a 14-6 advantage in the locker room and were never seriously headed in the second half of action.

Jackson Custer (8) has the ball slip out of his hands as he rolled out. (Travis Boyd)

“Owen’s interception was huge,” said Wildasin. “We just weren’t settled in. If he hadn’t made that play, it could’ve been different. We could see it coming. Once we got to halftime, I could see it.”

Owen Chernich (2) celebrates with Jack Waranavage (4) after scoring a touchdown. (Travis Boyd)

“We had a turnover in the first half,” said Isenberg of the turning point. “We had some kids go down with cramps. Losing Malachi Briddell in the second half hurt.”

Seven minutes into the game, Lebanon pounced on a fumble deep in Cedar Crest territory and turned it into a 6-0 advantage. Lebanon quarterback Paul Trace hit Briddell with a 13-yard touchdown toss.

Malachi Briddell (8) runs outside and cuts it back for a nice gain. (Travis Boyd)
Malachi Briddell (8) is about to make a great catch on a deep pass as Jack Waranavage (4) defends. (Travis Boyd)

“We just weren’t settled in,” said Wildasin. “They (the Cedars) came out and played very well at the start. We knew they would. We took a punch and kept playing, and we handled our business.”

“In the first half we battled,” said Isenberg. “Cedar Crest is a tough team, and the rivalry game was a motivator. In the second half, there was a little bit of attrition. Cedar Crest played well. They ran the ball successfully in the second half. But yes, absolutely, that was our best first half of the season.”

The Falcons emerged from the halftime locker room and really took it to the Cedars, mostly on the ground. Cedar Crest notched three touchdowns in a span of 6:03 in the third quarter to push its lead to 36-6.

Fernando Marquez scored twice and running mate Alex Abreu once, all on short bursts.

Alex Abreu (0) gallops outside of a nice block. (Travis Boyd)
Fernando Marquez (44) breaks through the middle of the Cedar defense for a big gain. (Travis Boyd)

Chernich’s third touchdown of the evening, a minute into the final period, made it 43-6 and brought the mercy rule into play.

“If you told me at the beginning of the season we’d go 8-2, I’m taking it,” said Wildasin. “We played one team that has an enrollment smaller than ours. It was all uphill battles. I’m proud of our guys.

Falcon seniors pose with the family of “Big Mike” Rivera who lost his life in a car accident. (Travis Boyd)

“It’s a good season. It’s one to be proud of,” added Wildasin. “It was one of the best seasons in Cedar Crest history. It wasn’t too long ago that this wasn’t a competitive program. It’s a cliché but we stayed healthy and kept getting better at practice. I’ve seen the progress.”

Cedar Crest out gained Lebanon 408 total yards to 77. Marquez carried 15 times for 135 rushing yards, while Abreu added 14 totes and 56 yards on the ground.

Fernando Marquez (44) breaks through the middle of the Cedar defense. (Travis Boyd)

In addition to his three touchdowns, Chernich also had a pair of interceptions.

“This senior class has endured a lot,” said Isenberg. “There’s definitely a lot of positives to the season, but it’s a long road ahead. Our quarterback (Trace) was so unselfish. He wasn’t a quarterback; he was a receiver. But he did what we asked him to do.”

Cedar Bowl History

2023 – Cedar Crest 49, Lebanon 6
2022 – Cedar Crest 47, Lebanon 0
2021 – Cedar Crest 38, Lebanon 0
2020 – COVID-19
2019 – Cedar Crest 28, Lebanon 6
2018 – Cedar Crest 42, Lebanon 1
2017 – Cedar Crest 42, Lebanon 14
2016 – Cedar Crest 26, Lebanon 14
2015 – Cedar Crest 41, Lebanon 7
2014 – Cedar Crest 38, Lebanon 24
2013 – Cedar Crest 40, Lebanon 24
2012 – Cedar Crest 67, Lebanon 0
2011 – Lebanon 47, Cedar Crest 14
2010 – Lebanon 35, Cedar Crest 7
2009 – Cedar Crest 33, Lebanon 14
2008 — Lebanon 39, Cedar Crest 7
2007 — Cedar Crest 30, Lebanon 19
2006 — Lebanon 28, Cedar Crest 7
2005 — Lebanon 14, Cedar Crest 13
2004 — Cedar Crest 34, Lebanon 7
2003 — Lebanon 29, Cedar Crest 24
2002 — Cedar Crest 14, Lebanon 7
2001 — Cedar Crest 42, Lebanon 24
2000 — Cedar Crest 39, Lebanon 6
1999 — Cedar Crest 42, Lebanon 6
1998 — Cedar Crest 63, Lebanon 21

1997 — Cedar Crest 49, Lebanon 12
1996 — Lebanon 41, Cedar Crest 6
1995 — Cedar Crest 28, Lebanon 0
1994 — Cedar Crest 28, Lebanon 0
1993 — Cedar Crest 35, Lebanon 20
1992 — Lebanon 7, Cedar Crest 0
1991 — Cedar Crest 20, Lebanon 14
1990 — Lebanon 35, Cedar Crest 31
1989 — Lebanon 13, Cedar Crest 6
1988 — Lebanon 0, Cedar Crest 0
1987 — Cedar Crest 14, Lebanon 6
1986 — Cedar Crest 14, Lebanon 0
1985 — Cedar Crest 28, Lebanon 23
1984 — Lebanon 23, Cedar Crest 7
1983 — Cedar Crest 14, Lebanon 7
1982 — Cedar Crest 23, Lebanon 0
1981 — Lebanon 15, Cedar Crest 9
1980 — Cedar Crest 15, Lebanon 13
1979 — Cedar Crest 34, Lebanon 0
1978 — Lebanon 14, Cedar Crest 0
1977 — Cedar Crest 20, Lebanon 8
1976 — Lebanon 14, Cedar Crest 6
1975 — Cedar Crest 32, Lebanon 14
1974 — Cedar Crest 39, Lebanon 8
1973 — Lebanon 22, Cedar Crest 0
1972 — Cedar Crest 15, Lebanon 13

Note: Cedar Crest leads the all-time series 35-15-1

Cedar Crest Falcons

Read all our coverage of the Falcons here.


Head Coach: Rob Wildasin

Assistant Coaches: Nick Lambros, Brandon Kirsch, Brian Powers, Tom Gerhart, Shawn Rambler, Tom Waranavage, Logan Horn, Jona Padilla, Nevin Pagan, Bob Peebles, Bob Griffiths, Gary Wildasin

Jersey NumberNameGradePosition(s)
0Alex Abreu12RB/DB
1Leo Tirado Jr.12WR/DB
2Owen Chernich12WR/DB
3Asher Ford12WR/DB
4Jack Waranavage11WR/DB
5Cristhian Viveros11WR/DB
6Cameron Tirado10WR/DB
7Kayden Tirado11RB/LB
8Jackson Custer11QB/DB
9Seth Warren11TE/DL
10Fernando Marquez12RB/LB
11Logan Oriel12WR/LB
12Lucas Nolan11WR/DB
13Diego Yanez10WR/LB
14Connor McCracken10TE/DE
15Cameron Hansell10QB/DB
16Malachi Victor11WR/LB
17Kaeleb Fees11WR/DB
18Travis Kemberling10WR/DB
19Dillon Hoffman11WR/DB
20Yadi Rosario10WR/DB
21Caleb Dorshimer12TE/LB
22Kenyon Figueroa12WR/DB
23Josh Tricoche11RB/DB
24Preston Barton12WR/DB
25Noah Miller10RB/LB
26Richie Hernandez12FB/LB
27Landen Weaber10WR/LB
28Landyn Kline10RB/LB
29Liam Setcavage10WR/DB
30Justin Moreno10WR/DB
31Alex Thies11WR/DB
32Samantha Fink10K
33Kai Speaks9WR/LB
34Antonio Tirado9WR/DB
35Eli Beard9RB/DB
36Ethan Bowman11K
37Dominic Roth12RB/LB
38Isaiah Zimmerman9RB/LB
39Tre Wamsher11WR/DB
40Joe Arnt11RB/LB
41Jordan Eisenhauer12WR/DB
42Anthony Lantz11WR/DB
43Garrett Starry9TE/LB
44Skyler Sherman9WR/DB
45Conner Rowe11WR/DB
46Jackson Chernich9TE/DE
47Terrance Wilson9WR/DB
48Calvin Dash9WR/DB
49Gavin Berkheimer9OL/DL
50Aidan Arnold11OL/DE
51Keenon Hopple9OL/DL
52Caden Wolfe9OL/DL
53Nicholas Lambros12OL/DT
54Paxton Thomas10OL/DL
55Cameron Simone12OL/DE
56Christian Weaber12OL/DL
57Tyler Toscano10OL/DL
58Alex Kissinger11OL/DL
59Christian Simpson10OL/DL
60Wyatt Fox10OL/DL
61Jordan Cullen11OL/DL
62Brady Shobe10OL/DT
63Austin Brubaker11OL/DL
64Jayden Storm10OL/DL
65Evan Pierce11OL/DL
66Landen Gross10OL/DE
67Damarius Galarza10OL/DE
68Carter Eisenhauer11OL/DL
69Jimmy Trump10OL/DL
70Tristan Long11OL/DL
71Pal Bhavsar12OL/DL
72Carter Ober10OL/DL
73Ahmed Mohamed11OL/DL
74Isaiah Sepulveda12OL/DL
75Connor Shanaman10OL/DL
76Michael Rivera12OL/DL
77Nathanael Harbaugh11OL/DL
78Bruce Gonzalez10OL/DL
79Alex Contreras11OL/DL
80Ben Custer9TE/DE
81Jayden Marley10WR/DB
82Chase Warren9TE/DE
83Luke Oriel10QB/DB
84Cole Shanaman9OL/DL
85Cole Stevenson11OL/DL
86Nolan Brubaker9TE/LB
87Aiden Schomp12TE/DE
88Grayson Frankenstein11TE/DE
91Bryan Duffy10RB/LB
99Dylan Fuhrman11TE/DE

Lebanon Cedars

Read all our coverage of the Cedars here.


Head Coach: Frank Isenberg

Assistant Coaches: Greg Herr, Tyler Roth, Jason Capello, Nathan Myers

Jersey NumberNamePositionGrade
2Derek InfanteWR/DBSenior
4Riquelme EstevezWR/DBSenior
5Jack HerrWR/LBSenior
6Derrick BriddellWR/DBSenior
7Tayvian RiveraWR/DBSenior
8Malachi BriddellWR/DBSophomore
9Aidan FernandezTE/LBSenior
10Brandyn CastroQBJunior
11Braylon BeaverWR/DBSenior
12Jahkeim MedlockRB/DBSenior
13Benjamin FenstermakerWR/DBSenior
14Jeavon CortesWR/LBSenior
15Paul TraceWR/DBSenior
16Josiah WrightTE/DLSenior
17Kareem StonerQB/DBJunior
18Juan RiveraWR/DBSophomore
19Jovani Rivera-GonzalezWR/DBSophomore
20Kai RiveraRB/LBJunior
21Sebastian PolancoRB/LBSophomore
22Camron BuchmoyerRB/LBSophomore
24Anthony KlishWR/DBSophomore
25Nathan BorderRB/LBSenior
26Jesucristo Echevarria FigueroaWR/LBJunior
27Jamil GordonWR/DBSophomore
30Messiah WilsonTE/LBJunior
32Josean WrightWR/LBFreshman
33Issac CortesWR/LBJunior
34Reinaldo RiveraRB/LBJunior
50Colin DaughertyKSenior
52Omar Aguilar-OrtizOL/DLJunior
54Ethan RiveraOL/DLSophomore
60Dujhan BaezOL/DLJunior
62Daniel HersheyOL/DLSophomore
64Derryck BrickleOL/DLSophomore
65Mahkye CortesOL/DLSenior
65Colin JohnsenOL/DLSenior
70Elis Bentez JimenezOL/DLSophomore
72Cayden ClentimackOL/DLJunior
75Cameron HarbaughOL/DLSophomore
76Omar MileteOL/DLJunior
78Corbett BrickleOL/DLSenior
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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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