There were postponements, showers, and wet footballs all over, but that didn’t stop the Comets and Buckskins from providing an entertaining matchup in Millersville. Penn Manor, behind a strong rushing attack and stout defensive performance, prevailed to start 1-0 for the first time since 2019. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better than that, a close call I guess you couldn’t ask for anything more.” Coach John Brubaker said, “I’m proud of us for coming back and winning and doing what we needed to do when we needed to do it”.
Fans from both teams braved the delay and constant rain as things predictably started out slow with both teams held scoreless in the first quarter. That changed quickly when receiver Nick Tran of Conestoga Valley took a jet sweep 20 yards to pay dirt. The PAT was blocked making it 6-0 Conestoga Valley.
Momentum changed soon when junior punter Peter Skiadas pinned the Buckskins inside their own 2-yard line. 2 plays later sophomore defensive end Dhamir Wesley stuffed Conestoga Valley in the end zone for a Comet's safety making it 6-2. Two possessions later first-time starting QB Eli Warfel scampered in from 7 yards out to make it 9-6 Penn Manor.
In the third quarter, as the rain started to consistently pour, each side saw a few dropped passes, fumbled snaps and busted plays. The score remained 9-6 heading into the 4th quarter. Penn Manor had the ball inside the 5-yard line twice but couldn’t punch it in.
After another Skiadas punt put CV at their own 5, Senior Quarterback Mason Kneisley threw a bomb to Avery Tran who did the rest for a 95-yard touchdown. The PAT was no good making the score 12-9 Buckskins.
Penn Manor came right back behind a strong rushing attack. Junior running back Noah Bolin took 23 yards to the house. The PAT was good making it 16-12 Penn Manor. “We just did it upfront, the offensive line played great; we could run the ball whenever we wanted to.” Warfel said “The fans were so loud it was unbelievable.”
Conestoga Valley drove to their 48-yard line and the Comets defense stuffed Nick Tran to shut the door. “We had some great defensive stops, once we found ourselves offensively, we knew what we needed to do, and we did it”. Both Warfel, Coach Brubaker and all the players were proud of the win but were also ecstatic to celebrate with their fans. “That was awesome man, the fans were incredible, '' Brubaker replied, “This is my 35th year of coaching, last year was like the weirdest thing, having nobody here, totally quiet, that's what high school football is all about”.
Conestoga Valley will look to rebound next week when they face Garden Spot at home. Penn Manor will look to keep their momentum when they travel to Lampeter Strasburg for the Backyard Brawl.