Daniel Boone pushes past Lampeter-Strasburg, 34-14

LANCASTER — Once the playoffs arrive, seedings become insignificant.

The No. 14 Daniel Boone Blazers proved that Friday night as they upset No. 3 seed Lampeter-Strasburg 34-14 in the first round of the District 3-AAA playoffs at JK Mechanical Stadium.

“I’m so proud of our guys and the way they played tonight,’ said Daniel Boone head coach Bill Parks. “Coming in, they knew this was a huge game, and they refused to let it get the best of them. They came out fired up and played as a team all four quarters.’

“We definitely feel like we’re not a 14 seed,’ Daniel Boone quarterback Nick Hughes said. “We know what kind of team we are, but our record doesn’t necessarily show it. It’s just something we show in our heart and how hard we fight on the field. I think that showed tonight.’

With the win, the Blazers advance to the second round where they will face No. 11 seed Milton Hershey next Friday night.

Early on, it looked as though the Pioneers were in control as quarterback Collin Shank opened the game with a 30-yard pass to Garrett Groshong. Just five plays later, Shank found Ross Souders across the middle for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 just over six minutes in.

After trading three-and-outs, the Blazers took over at their own 47.

On the fourth play of the drive, Hughes found Paul Galanti who took it to the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown to make it 7-7 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.

“We knew we needed to put together a scoring drive right away,’ said Galanti. “Early on against a team like that, we knew we had to take advantage of whatever chance we got to bring us back in the game.’

After forcing another Pioneer three-and-out, the Blazers took over at their own 35-yard line and eventually moved it down to the Pioneer 40.

Then on the first play of the second quarter, Cinque Ramsey took a hand-off for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Daniel Boone.

After a Souders fumble and punts on ensuing drives, the Pioneers eventually took over at their own 18.

On the fourth play of the drive, Shank completed a pass to Jason Sindorf who took it 62 yards to make it 14-14 going into the half.

According to Pioneer head coach John Manion, evening up the score before the half should have given his team the momentum it had been searching for throughout the first half.

“I thought our team would come out with a little more fire in the second half,’ he said. “But credit to Daniel Boone; they came out with so much intensity in the second half. We really didn’t have an answer.’

Lampeter-Strasburg moved the ball efficiently on its opening drive of the second half, using 10 plays to move the ball 60 yards. But their hard work went for not as the Pioneers’ kicker missed a 28-yard attempt to end the Pioneer drive.

On the second play of the ensuing Blazer drive, Galanti took a hand-off 85 yards for the score giving Daniel Boone the 21-14 lead.

“They were over-pursuing a lot up front so I was just trying to find the cut-back lanes,’ said Galanti, who finished with 193 total yards and two scores. “Credit goes to my blockers though. They made all the holes and gave me a lot of big play opportunities tonight.’

Then, after the Blazers forced a three-and-out, Darius Hinton blocked Sindorf’s punt and fell on it in the end zone to extend the lead to 27-14.

“The line split right in front of me, and I saw an opportunity,’ said Hinton, who also finished with two sacks and a recovered fumble. “Coach (Parks) has been telling us all season that a blocked punt can completely change the way a game is going. It gave our sideline a lot of momentum. We were ready to close the game out.’

Hughes capped off the scoring with a 6-yard TD scamper.

“We played so well on all three sides of the ball,’ said Parks. “We’re happy with the win, but no reason to let up just yet. We’ve got to get ready for next week and come in with the same mentality and same intensity as we had tonight.’

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