LANCASTER – Manheim Twp. finally solved its green and white problem by beating Central Dauphin, 17-14, to start the 2017 season.
Entering Friday, the Blue Streaks (1-0) were 0-7 against their Mid-Penn Conference rival in regular season play since 2010. Their offense and resiliency allowed them to snap that winless streak in front of their home crowd.
Central Dauphin had a chance to send the game to overtime but Ethan Van Buskirk, one of the midstate’s best legs, missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired. Van Buskirk also missed a 51-yarder earlier in the fourth quarter.
The Rams (1-1) play Wilson next week in their third straight road game to start the fall. The Streaks play South Western on the road.
Manheim Twp. quarterback Luke Emge finished 19-of-29 for 220 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Harvard commit overthrew a few receivers on the night but he made plenty of big-time throws.
Rece Bender had eight catches for 117 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown strike from Emge that tied the game at 7 heading into the break. Running back Grayson Sallade had 96 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
CD quarterback Brady Straub finished with 88 yards and a touchdown pass. Mike Wise-Belle had 19 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.
DEFENSIVE STARS: Following a 5-yard penalty, Manheim Twp. had second and goal from the CD 14-yard-line midway through the third quarter. CD’s Tyler Leisher picked off Emge in the end zone to keep the score 7-7.
Later in the game, Leisher had a 91-yard kickoff return that Wise-Belle turned into a short TD run three plays later.
GAME-CHANGING PLAY: Sallade peeled off a 69-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to give the home team a 17-7 lead.
KEY STAT: Manheim Twp. engineered a 98-yard scoring drive to tie the game at 7 with 38.6 left in the half. The Blue Streaks controlled the ball for 4:07 before Bender’s TD grab tied things up.
Interviews with Head Coach Mark Evans, RB/LB Grayson Sallade and QB Luke Emge: