Barons overcome halftime deficit, top L-S 41-20

By on September 27, 2017
Manheim Central running back Colin Erb (left) goes head-to-head against  Lampeter-Strasburg  linebacker  James  Hake  (14)  while scoring on a three-yard run last Friday. Photo by Alan Johnson

Manheim Central running back Colin Erb (left) goes head-to-head against Lampeter-Strasburg linebacker James Hake (14) while scoring on a three-yard run last Friday. Photo by Alan Johnson

When Manheim Central’s Tyler Flick received the hand-off on the first offensive play of the second half in Friday’s game, the Barons trailed Lampeter-Strasburg 13-7.

The 6-foot-0, 191-pound running back followed the block of Brett Wolgemuth, who pulled from his line position, and sprinted towards the goal line as Vinny Lester shoved aside the only Pioneer with a good angle on Flick. As Flick crossed the goal line 13 seconds into the half, he erased the lead that the Pioneers painstakingly built in the first half.

“We knew we were getting the ball at half-time,” Manheim Central coach Dave Hahn recalled. “We knew what we wanted to do. We were able to execute on that first play.”

From there, the Pioneers would threaten but never regain the lead.

Flick finished with 203 rushing yards, two touchdowns and set up two Colin Erb scores as the Barons dominated the second half to defeat Lampeter-Strasburg 41-20 in both teams’ Section Two opener at Manheim’s Elden Rettew Field.

The first half opened with the Pioneers wasting a time-out before running a play in a move that seemed destined to haunt them late in the second quarter, but MC senior lineman Joe Kolk ensured that the time-out was a wasted effort immediately. On the first play from scrimmage, Kolk barreled past his opponent and sacked L-S quarterback Todd Shelley. Two plays later, Kolk pushed his opponent back, then slid off the block to his left and hit Shelley as Shelley began to run. Kolk emerged from the pile with the football.

Given the ball at the L-S 16, the Barons overcame a penalty and used two offensive plays to score. QB Evan Simon ran for six yards before Flick swept left, stiffed-armed a defender and ran into the end zone for a 7-0 lead after Niko Gavala’s first of five extra points.

But the Pioneers entered the game at 3-0 and they demonstrated why with their next possession. L-S needed just five plays to tie the score at 7-7 when Shelley hit Marc Wilson for a five yard TD pass.

The game appeared destined to become a barn-burner early, but the defenses stiffened through the rest of the half. The Barons ran only 12 plays after the touchdown, while the Pioneers had drives of 11 plays and six plays, leading to Peyton Denlinger kicking field goals of 22 and 19 yards to give Lampeter-Strasburg a 13-7 lead into halftime.

“We only had the ball 16 times in the first half,” Hahn said. “We really never got anything going in the first. Our defense came up big twice to allow to the two field goals. That allowed us to stay in the game. It took us a little bit until we got our feet under ourselves.”

Flick’s touchdown opened the third quarter and provided MC with the slim 14-13 lead. Isaac Perron extended it when he intercepted Shelley’s pass on the Pioneer 40-yard-line and ran nearly untouched to the end zone.

“We were running coverage where I had the deep third,” Perron explained. “The quarterback released it and I knew it was mine. I went up and got it. I broke a tackle (when) one guy dove at my feet.”

Following the interception, L-S climbed back into the game when they covered 69 yards with a Shelley pass to Cam Niemeyer.

With lead down to one point again, Evan Hosler forced a fumble that Will Rivers recovered on the Baron 32-yard-line. Flick ran for 64 of the 68 yards the Barons needed for their next touchdown. Colin Erb bulled his way forward from three yards out to make the lead 28-20.

Rivers intercepted Shelley on the Pioneers next play, the first of three consecutive defensive stands that ended in interceptions, and the Barons needed only four plays to score. Erb scored from the one yard and the Barons led 35-20.

“It was a simple dive play, just straight forward, up the gut,” Erb recalled. “The linemen did a good job peeling in and taking the one technique out to open the hole. It was pretty easy to get in there. I really didn’t get (hit) until I was in the endzone. When they pushed them, they got them all away until I got in.”

Ben Wagner and Perron picked off passes on the next two Pioneer drives and the defense forced a punt to stifle the high-flying offense.

Evan Simon completed only two passes in the game and the second was the final touchdown with 2:37 left in the game to set the final score.

“We didn’t start off hot like we planned,” Simon. said, “The second half, we came out fast and they came out slow. We took advantage of that. (Flick) was a stud out there. He started the second half for us.”

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