From the first day of warm-up practice on Aug. 8, the last Lancaster-Lebanon League football team still standing after this fall, we’ll bring you three LL League gridiron facts on a daily basis to keep you in the loop. About what’s going on around the league …
Making segment-by-segment predictions for the upcoming 2022 LL League football season
Here’s your first look at LL League Section 1 football for the upcoming 2022 season
Here’s your first look at LL League Section 2 football for the upcoming 2022 season
Here’s your first look at LL League Section 3 football for the upcoming 2022 season
Here’s your first look at LL League Section 4 football for the upcoming 2022 season
Here’s your first look at LL League Section 5 football for the upcoming 2022 season
Continuing the preparation for Week 1:
1. A 3-pack of traveling-trophy games rolls out of the chute Friday, and it’s always fun. Solanco visits Lampeter-Strasburg in the annual Milk Jug game, while Daniel Boone welcomes Exeter for the Pig Iron Bowl, and Kutztown hosts Fleetwood in the Hall of Fame game. Throw away all the records when the Golden Mules and the Pioneers, the Blazers and the Eagles and the Cougars and the Tigers drop the gloves. … The Milk Jug Trophy – it’s a real milk jug, right next to South Lanco’s farm and painted blue and white on one side for LS and black and yellow on the other for Solanco – currently sits in Lampeter. LS holds a 9-3 lead in the trophy series, including last year’s 28-14 victory over LS, which will host again this season, at the start of a new 2-year schedule cycle. Keep an eye on the QB spot on Friday; Solanko returns to pitch man Brody Mellinger to run the triple-option, while the LS will trot out a new signal-caller this season. Camp War depicted Hunter Hildenbrand and Trent Wagner. The Pioneers will be looking for some positive momentum heading into the tough-as-nails Section 4 race. Meanwhile, Solanko is expecting to make a lot of noise in Section 3, so there is plenty riding on this opener – including the Milk Jug Trophy. … Daniel Boone and Exeter have been squaring off on the gridiron since 1960, and in 1966 they began playing for the Pig Iron Travel Trophy. Blazers and Eagles Did not play last year due to COVID-19 issues, ending a string of 61 consecutive skirmishes. But the rivals are back for Week 1, this time on a non-league tilt, as DB prepares for life in Section 3, and Exeter, the reigning D3-5A champ, prepares for the Section 2 race, opening up the defense of that crown. . The Eagles lead the Blazers 37-18-1 in the Pig Iron Bowl series. There should be plenty of fireworks in Birdsboro on Friday. Don’t miss it. … Last but not least is the Hall of Fame game, beating Fleetwood in Kutztown on Friday. The Tigers lead the trophy series 7-1. Coincidentally, the Cougars’ 21-20 drubbing at Fleetwood in 2009 was Kutztown’s last win in a Berks League Section 2 tilt, nearly 12 years ago. … More about all Berks County rivalry games here. … There’s no trophy up for grabs, but Columbia and Eastern York will square off Friday in a “River Rivalry” game. Those school districts are separated by the venerable Wrightsville Bridge, which spans the Susquehanna River. That rivalry game got a lot more interesting this offseason Bid Kyle, who led the Crimson Tide to the Section 4 title and the D3-2A semifinals last year, — ta-da — left the station to take a coaching opening at Eastern York. Kyle will bring his Golden Knights to Columbia on Friday. Circle it.
Pig Iron Trophy! pic.twitter.com/FXe0xYhvd4
– ExeterTwp PA FB (@ExeterTwpFB) August 22, 2022
Sign up for the LL Football exclusive newsletter
2. It’s a good thing that Hempfield is set to return three D-back key-cogs this season; Security Braydon Felsinger and Brian Williams and cover-corner Gabe Benjamin More The Black Knights will be tested right out of the gates on Friday when they travel to York County to take on Dallastown. Wildcats feature WR Kenny Johnson, which has committed to Pitt. The flank burner had seven TD receptions on 46 catches for 852 yards — 18.5 yards per grab — last fall, and he’s back to terrorizing opposing tight ends. Dallastown also offers a returning QB Owen Strouse — who completed 66 percent of his throws for 606 yards and seven TD tosses while sharing signal-caller duties — and RB Caleb Fox, who trotted for 556 yards with five TD runs last season. We’re expecting big things from Hempfield’s D, including that vet Felsinger-Williams-Benjamin secondary trio. All eyes will be on that group Friday, when the Knights try to slow down Mr. Johnson.
For Hempfield’s Aidan Shorter, plenty of motivation heading into his senior football season
3. Due to some ongoing construction projects at the athletic complex, Northern Lebanon will now play a road game in Week 1; The Vikings flip-flop places with Pine Grove, so the Cardinals will welcome the NL on Friday. Both teams had some holes to plug this offseason; The Vikings needed to overhaul their O-line and find some D tacklers, while Pine Grove needed to pick a full-time QB. as it seems Mason Kroh, who took some snaps last year — 24-for-63 for 335 yards with 2 TD tosses on 9 picks — will handle those duties. He was PG’s leading receiver last fall, with 24 grabs for 332 yards and three TD snags. The Cardinals will also return a RB Garrett Lehman, who darted for 520 yards with four TD runs last fall, when PG went 1-9, including a 13-7 Week 1 setback against the NL. The Cardinals’ lone dub was a victory over Shenandoah Valley, and they’ll snap a six-game losing skid in Friday’s tilt against an NL team looking to make it back-to-back D3 playoff trips. A few new starters were sprinkled in on both sides of the ball for the Vikes, and there were only a handful of returning starters up front. Jared Esenroad. But the QB Grady Stichler returns, and the Cubs will have enough returning skills at his disposal to make the NL’s O go.
Check out the roundup show after LL League Media Day …
More LNP LL League football coverage