500 and counting Barons hit milestone with win over L-S
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Manheim Central coach Mike Williams certainly didn’t draw it up this way.
On a night when his Barons were going for their 500th win in program history, they gave more than 500 yards to the Collin Shank-led Lampeter-Strasburg offense.
Fortunately for Manheim Central, its offense was up to the task, as Marc Royer ran for a game-high 207 yards and two touchdowns, Ian Hanselman rushed for 124 yards and three TD’s and QB Colin Fry threw for a score and ran for another, leading the Barons to 56-31 shootout win at Manheim’s Elden Rettew Field.
When it all ended, the numbers 5-0-0 were placed atop Manheim Central’s Don Yingst pressbox and Williams received a souvenir T-shirt commemorating the milestone win.
"It feels good," Williams said of No. 500. "I didn’t coach in all 500 victories – there are other coaches and other former players and and assistant coaches and our community that are all part of it. We happen to be here at the right time when we hit the 500 mark and I’m sure somebody will be here when we hit 600. I doubt if it will be me, but it will be nice for them to celebrate too."
Besides reaching their 500th, the Barons (4-0 L-L, 7-0 overall) also grabbed sole possession of first place in the Section Two standings, knocking off an L-S (3-1 L-L, 4-3 overall) team which was previously unbeaten in league play.
Royer and Hanselman led the way, combining for 331 of Manheim Central’s 384 rushing yards and sparking an offense that gained 501 total yards. Royer now has 1,136 rushing yards on the season. Dan Wiederrecht added 208 all-purpose yards, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Central needed all of it, considering the night Shank had under center for the Pioneers. The sophomore signal-caller completed 19-of-33 passes for 355 yards and two TD’s, along with rushing for 43 yards and a score.
Asked what impressed him most about Shank, Williams said, "How physical. We couldn’t tackle him. We bounced off of him like we were little kids. Passing-wise, he didn’t have to do much. He had guys so wide open. But the physical play, the toughness for a sophomore, you’ve got to be kidding me.
"I congratulated him and said, ‘Hey, you could play fullback for us right now?,’" Williams joked. "He’s a great player. But they have some nice skill players too. They came to play. (L-S coach) John (Manion) had them ready to play and they did a good job against us, they really did."
That was evident from the get-go when Shank directed an eight-play, 72-yard scoring drive, capped by Kyle Horner’s (7-24 rushing) one-yard TD run around right end with 6:12 left in the first to put L-S up 7-0.
That was just the start of the fireworks. The Pioneers’ lead lasted just 14 seconds, as Wiederrecht received the ensuing kickoff at the goal line, found a lane and went the distance to paydirt. Coupled with kicker Damon Crouse’s first of six PAT’s, the Barons tied the game 7-all.
"That helped us," Williams said of Wiederrecht’s return. "It’s something that we spend a lot of time on and I think we do a pretty good job with it. We have some good skill kids back there to execute it too."
The Pioneers have their own core of good skill kids, and when Reese Nelle took a pass on a slant pattern 78 yards deep into MC territory, that set up a one-yard TD pass from Shank to Horner in the right corner of the end zone to put L-S back up 14-7.
Again, Central answered, this time with Hanselman scoring up the gut from seven yards out on an 11-play, 80-yard drive. The PAT hit the upright, but the Barons were within one, 14-13, with :50.5 left in the first.
On their next possession, Fry’s 14-yard TD pass to tight end Taylor Geib in the back of the end zone, on a play-action, gave the Barons a lead they never relinquished, 20-14.
"The defense didn’t stop (L-S) that much, but the big thing that we did is, our offense answered the bell every time they scored," Williams said. "We have a pretty nice offense, I will say that. Our offense is decent. But defensively, we probably aren’t going to be at the top of the list in Section Two after tonight."
The Barons’ defense did get turnovers on the Pioneers’ next two possessions, and after Royer recovered a fumble at the L-S 30, Fry rumbled 29 yards to paydirt to put Central in front 27-14 with 4:25 left in the half.
Shank’s nine-yard TD pass to Horner, after just lofting the pass over the outstretched arm of linebacker Royer, got L-S back to 27-21, but Hanselman’s two-yard TD run with 40.1 seconds left on the clock, following a 64-yard kickoff return by Wiederrect, made it 34-21, Barons, at the half.
Following a defensive stop by Central to start the second half, Royer’s 24-yard TD run, in which he found a dead end up the middle and bounced it to the outside, put the Barons up 41-21 with 6:15 left in the third.
"Marc Royer is special. He does some nice things," Williams said. "He’s a glider. He has that ability to change speeds and he gets out in the open and he can turn it on. Plus he has something you don’t teach. He just has that ability to side-step and glide and cut and weave. Ian’s more of a power runner. He had a good game tonight too. He ran hard. They’re our 1-2 punch."
After the Pioneers answered with a 34-yard field goal by Matthew Wright, cutting MC’s lead to 41-24, Hanselman scored his third touchdown of the night on a five-yard run. Fry’s two-point pass to Andrew Seiverling pushed Central’s advantage to 49-24 with 10:30 to go in the fourth.
Just over four minutes later, Shank came back with a two-yard TD run for L-S, but the Barons completed the scoring on Royer’s 34-yard run to paydirt with 2:28 remaining.
And with that, Central was able to celebrate its milestone 500th win.
"Our kids are second to none here," Williams said. "We coach them hard and they work hard. So I give them credit and my coaching staff. And like I said, I’m only part of the 500. There’s other coaches that did their thing too."
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