Leaf it to Warwick’s Midget team for a fun time

By on November 14, 2012

Talking Sports By

Bruce Morgan The day I was dreading finally came last Saturday. I knew it was close at hand, I could see it coming like a big locomotive, and I knew I would have to deal with it sooner rather than later.

Granted, it wasn’t of catastrophic proportions. As best as I can tell, McDonald’s hasn’t canceled the Quarter Pounder with Cheese selection off of their menu. But I still had to brace myself for it. With that in mind, I headed to St. James Catholic Church on Saturday morning to support my son Brooks and his Boy Scout Troop 142 at their pancake breakfast. Within a half hour, I had a belly full of sausage and flapjacks smothered in butter, along with a hot cup of coffee, and it was back to the house. There and then is where I finally met the dreaded task head on — raking the zillion leaves which a couple of weeks ago had looked so beautiful hanging in the trees, but now had turned the grass into a yellow, red and orange carpet.

As I began repeating the motion over and over of pulling the rake, gathering the leaves and stuffing them into bags (that is, until my neighbor Joe Bennett saw me and graciously allowed me to use his tractor and a trailer to dump them in), my thoughts quickly turned to getting a break. Finally, after my family and I made a couple of trips to the Warwick Township recycling station, the job was done and it was time to do something fun — cover the Warwick Midget football C Red team’s playoff semi-final game against Willow Street. It didn’t disappoint. The Warriors won the game 12-0 and I got a chance to see one of the most remarkable receptions I’ve seen all season, courtesy of Ethan Minnich. It wasn’t only Minnich, though, that performed well. Those little guys can really play, and now this Saturday at Manheim Central, they will be playing in the finals.

That game, of course, was one of just several during an eventful weekend. With so much happening, I thought it would be fun to list a few of the highlights, in no particular order, from the weekend that was. So without further ado, here we go:

ü Minnich’s catch, simply put, was a thing of beauty. The Warriors’ offense got the ball back with just 29.5 seconds left in the first half, leading just 6-0, following another defensive stand, and quarterback Justin Gerhart lofted a pass over the middle in Minnich’s direction. It was hard to tell whether a Willow Street defender got his hand on the pass, but as Minnich battled for the reception, the ball fell down his body. Somehow, though, Minnich stuck with it, reached down behind his back and got his hands under the ball as it dropped between his legs, and tucked it away for a 16-yard reception to give the Warriors a first down at the Wolverines’ 23-yard line. Time expired following one more play, but except for the round of applause which erupted from Warwick’s fans at the final horn, Minnich’s grab brought the loudest ovation.

ü It won’t necessarily go noticed in the boxscores, but David Hnasko’s eight-yard run in the second quarter personified the Warriors’ desire to win their game on Saturday. Seemingly carrying half the Willow Street defense on his back, he kept his legs churning and turned what should have been a short gain into a big one, helping to set the table for Warwick’s first score.

ü The Lancaster-Lebanon League finished with a 5-4 record in the first-round of the District Three playoffs on Friday night. It looked like that record might be even better with McCaskey leading Central Dauphin 13-10 at halftime and Donegal up 21-6 on Conrad Weiser at the break. Ultimately, both the Red Tornado and Indians suffered defeats. Another L-L team, previously unbeaten Garden Spot, was on the losing side of a 35-7 setback to Manheim Central. As a Garden Spot graduate, I had mixed feelings going into that game and I thought the final outcome would be a lot closer than it was, as I’m sure a lot of others did as well. To me, though, I’ve got to believe that the lack of competition in Section Three hurt Garden Spot. Some might argue that there wasn’t a lot of competition in Section Two either outside of Cocalico, Manheim Central and Lampeter-Strasburg. Although teams like Elizabethtown and Conestoga Valley were down, they can still give teams a wake-up call when they let down against them. Meanwhile, the Barons were in survival mode down the stretch, not only to improve their District seeding but to make the playoffs, period. If you need any evidence of the importance of staying sharp through the playoffs, look no further than this year’s World Series. The San Francisco Giants had to go deep to knock off the Cardinals, at the same time that the Detroit Tigers were sweeping the New York Yankees. When the Fall Classic started, the Tigers, with their power-packed lineup, were a different team and the Giants took four straight from them.

ü Manheim Central 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior tight end Taylor Geib had his fourth 100-yard receiving night of the season against Garden Spot, pulling down a game-high eight catches for 167 yards. Geib might have been overshadowed this fall a little bit by Lancaster Catholic running back Roman Clay, who was deservedly grabbing a lot of the headlines in the League this season. He broke Tommy Long’s all-time L-L rushing record in the Crusaders’ 32-14 win over Hershey last Friday. But Geib needs no introduction to opposing teams’ defensive coordinators and he will be a well-known star in the League in 2013.

ü There’s not many positive things surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles these days, but to me, I was at least glad to see Nick Foles get a chance to play on Sunday. Let’s face it … the Eagles aren’t going anywhere and they need to make some wholesale changes. True, their injury-ravaged offensive line is terrible, but as I was watching the Eagles’ post-game show after their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, I’ve got to agree with Ray Didinger that they have to find out if Foles can play and whether he’s the quarterback of the future. Plus, with Philadelphia the longest of longshots to get back into the playoff picture, watching Foles might be one of the last reasons to even bother watching the Eagles this season.

Unbelievably, I’m watching more leaves fall into the yard as I finish up this column. Let’s see … there’s no pancake breakfast that I know of being held this Saturday. But fortunately, the Warwick C Red Midget football team is playing again. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at Manheim Central’s Rettew Field against Manheim Township, with the winner taking home the championship. If you get a chance, I’m sure they’d appreciate your support. Good luck, guys. More COLUMN, page B-3

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