There was a brief but exciting appearance by Sara Miller on center stage. And great promise shown by other members of the supporting cast like Steven Rosado and Austin Yesko.
Not to mention a fleeting moment of brilliance from a member of a rival production, Anthony Montijo.
But for the second week in a row, the performance of the ELCO football team looked more like the Jake Williams Show, starring Jake Williams.
Well, it did.
That’s not to say that the Raiders decked Annville-Cleona 49-7 in Myerstown Thursday night (in what was the final meeting of these two longtime Lebanon County rivals) solely because senior running back Williams was again playing the lead role expertly.
The above mentioned players also contributed to ELCO’s second straight smashing success on stage.
But no one had a prayer of taking the starring role away from Williams, who outshined his own 2023 debut performance last Friday, when he romped for 234 yards on just 8 carries and scored four touchdowns while also adding a 90-yard kickoff return score to the opening night festivities in a win at West York.
Thursday, Williams surpassed his own lofty standards by rumbling for 320 yards on 21 carries and five touchdowns, with all five TD runs coming in the second quarter, to help ELCO open up a 35-7 halftime lead.
“He is a humble player for such a talent,” ELCO coach Bob Miller said of his star player. “He runs with awesome speed, physicality and vision. But he gives credit to his teammates and the glory to God.”
Williams’ first two scores came on runs of 26 and 47 yards that staked the Raiders to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Montijo provided A-C with a brief burst of momentum with a 61-yard dash to paydirt midway through the period, cutting the deficit to 14-7, only to see Williams cross the goal line three more times before intermission would mercifully arrive.
“Jake Williams is very talented and physical,” A-C coach Matt Gingrich said. “Kudos to their team. Congrats to the better team. Their coaches and players were better prepared and I take that responsibility squarely on my shoulders”.
In addition to Williams’ many heroics, ELCO also got strong play from the lines, and solid play from fullbacks Elliott Kreider and Mitchell Frederick, as well as second half scoring runs from QB Steven Rosado and Yesko.
Miller’s daughter, senior wide receiver Sara Miller, also got in on the act by coming up with her second career reception, a 20-yard grab of a Rosado aerial in the fourth quarter.
“I’m so proud of our kids,” Miller said. “Our line played incredible on both sides of the ball and the blocking of Elliott Kreider and Mitchell Frederick and the receivers helped pave the way.”
And as noted above, the contest served as the final chapter- at least for the foreseeable future- of a long and storied football rivalry between ELCO and A-C. There are no hard feelings that led to the decision and it was made in each program’s interest going forward, given their respective enrollments. ELCO will pick up another longtime county rival in Northern Lebanon to replace A-C.
“We are sad to see the game with Annville end but we are excited to pick up another county rival with Northern Lebanon,” Miller said.
Head Coach: Matt Gingrich
Assistant Coaches: Joe Heckard, Greg Keener, Joe Shay, Jon Bopp, Drew Speraw, Cody Dodson, Jonathan Lum, Mike Miller
Head Coach: Robert Miller
Assistant Coaches: John Carley, Robert Williams, Wyatt Hall, Earl Thomas, John Wetzel
|53||Alex Muniz Cruz||Sr.||OL/DL|
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