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Brycen Armold does it all to lead Manheim Central to thrilling win over Twin Valley

Written by: on Saturday, November 18th, 2023. Follow Matt Hagy on Twitter.


Photo courtesy of Rick Martin

ELVERSON – Manheim Central running back Brycen Armold announced his return to the Barons backfield in a big way in their District 3 4A semifinal matchup with Twin Valley on Friday night. Armold fended off nagging injuries to rush for 368 yards and six touchdowns to help lead Manheim Central to a 65-28 win over the Raiders and back into the District III 4A Championship Game.

Armold had missed the Barons (11-1) past three games, but you would not have been able to tell with the explosiveness the 5’6 senior showed on Friday.

“It is my senior year and being back with the team was the most important thing,” Armold said. “It felt really great to be back out there and my line helped make my success possible tonight.”

Armold, the 3,000+ career rusher, needed 24 carries to get his season-high total that sent the Barons to their 24th all-time appearance in a District 3 final. Manheim Central has won 18 District 3 Championships which is still the most of any program in District III.

“You play the game to win, and I am not going to say we will be just happy to be there next week,” Barons head coach Dave Hahn said. “We want to win, and we are going to work to win against a great team.”

The final score was not indicative of the fireworks that represented the theme of the first half between the two squads. Manheim Central quarterback Zac Hahn went to work right away and put the Barons out front first at 7-0 just over two minutes into the contest after finding his top target, Aaron Enterline, on a 39-yard touchdown pass. Enterline caught five passes for 64 yards and set the Barons career receiving yard record that was held by Jake Novak.

Manheim Central seemingly had Twin Valley (10-2) stopped on its opening possession of the game, but a personal foul penalty on a punt gave the Raiders second life. Twin Valley made the most of it as Ean Winchester scored from a yard out on the ground to tie things at seven. Winchester’s run was set up by a 46-yard catch-and-run from Raiders running back Drew Engle.

Armold wasted little time to get the Barons the lead back as he raced 68 yards down the left sideline to set up his first touchdown of the night from three yards out on 4th and 1. Evan Myers countered with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Engle on the first play of the second quarter to tie the game at 14 on 4th and 6. The back and forth action continued as the Barons methodically worked its way down the field and took the advantage back at 21-14 following a 1-yard QB sneak from Hahn on 4th and goal. The Raiders yet again had an answer for the Barons on their next drive when Evan Myers rushed up the middle from 11 yards out and tied the game up at 21.

30 seconds later, two Armold runs had Manheim Central in front at 28-21 in the frantic first half. However, the first mistake was committed by the Raiders in the final minute of the second quarter when an Evan Myers pass was intercepted by Enterline at the Barons 3 yard line.

Twin Valley opened the second half with a three-and-out and had the first punt of the game that was not negated by a penalty returned by Enterline deep into Raider territory. Hahn extended the Barons lead to two scores for the first time in the contest at 35-21 when he rolled out of the pocket and found an open Bode Sipel for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Evan Myers powered the Raiders down the field with four runs and set up Winchester’s second touchdown of the night that made it a 35-28 game in the third quarter, continuing the theme of the night.

Armold had other ideas as his dazzling night came to a crescendo on the first play of the Barons ensuing drive when he sliced up the left sideline for an 80-yard touchdown, his longest rush of the night, to make it a 42-28 game.

“When we have a lot of guys that can do different things, we can score in all aspects of the game,” Armold said. “It feels great knowing we have that luxury of getting that many guys involved in the game.”

The run did more damage to the Raiders than expected as they suddenly began running out of answers to the potent Baron offense. Manheim Central did not allow a single point after the long touchdown run and added three more scores from Armold to close out the Raiders historic program season.

“I think we were there on defense in the first half, we just did not finish plays,” Dave Hahn said. “Coach (Jared) Shearer made a couple of adjustments and got us right, but it was mostly just playing with that intensity and determination that we needed. We have a lot of guys that play both ways and we just needed that time to just talk and settle down.”

The Barons amassed a whopping 441 yards on the ground and 600 total yards of offense against the Raiders and did not punt the entire game. They had two drives that were stopped only because the half ended on each occasion. Zac Hahn finished the night 10-of-14 with 159 yards through the air with his two touchdown passes, while setting the Barons single-season passing yard record and crossing 5,000 passing yards for his career.

Twin Valley, the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s No. 1 ranked offense, put up gaudy offensive numbers as well with 499 total yards of offense that helped the combined yardage between the teams go over 1,000 at 1,099. Engle and Evan Myers each rushed for over 100 yards with Engle going for 161 on 18 carries while Myers had 136 on 23 carries. Engle finished with 254 all-purpose yards after catching four passes for 93 yards. Myers went 10-of-17 for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Raiders set a new program record with their 10 wins and held a share of the LL Section 3 title with Ephrata plus Garden Spot.

The Barons will run into a familiar foe in defending 4A state champion next week Bishop McDevitt next Friday in Harrisburg. Manheim Central fell 40-0 to the Crusaders in last year’s District 3 4A Championship game.

“It is going to take a lot and we must be at our best next week, Dave Hahn said. “They are just as explosive on offense as anybody we have played. It will take a great team effort that includes holding onto the ball and get some stops with maybe some turnovers as well. It is a monumental challenge to face an excellent team like McDevitt is, but I think we are up for the task.”

Manheim Central 14 14 21 16 65
Twin Valley 7 14 7 0 28

Scoring Summary

1 Manheim Central Enterline, 39 pass from Hahn (Greiner kick) 9:48
1 Twin Valley Winchester, 1 run (Frey kick) 7:02
1 Manheim Central Armold, 3 run (Greiner kick) 5:02
2 Twin Valley Engle, 31 pass from E. Myers (Frey kick) 11:53
2 Manheim Central Hahn, 1 run (Greiner kick) 7:10
2 Twin Valley E. Myers, 11 run (Frey kick) 3:50
2 Manheim Central Armold, 40 run (Greiner kick) 3:20
3 Manheim Central Sipel, 27 pass from Hahn (Greiner kick) 9:23
3 Twin Valley Winchester, 2 run (Frey kick) 6:54
3 Manheim Central Armold, 80 run (Greiner kick) 6:40
3 Manheim Central Armold, 1 run (Greiner kick) 3:15
4 Manheim Central Armold, 1 run (Sipel pass from Hahn) 9:38
4 Manheim Central Armold, 9 run (Hahn rush) 6:20

Team Statistics

Manheim Central Twin Valley
First downs 25 18
Rushes-yards 37-441 46-299
Passing yards 74 121
Total yards 600 455
Passes COMP-ATT-INT 10-14-0 10-17-1
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-average 0-0 3-43.3
Penalties-yards 6-60 10-110

Individual statistics


Manheim Central: Armold 24-368, Enterline 2-50, Geib 4-23, Hahn 6-1, TEAM 1-(-1)

Twin Valley: Engle 18-161, E. Myers 23-136, Winchester 2-3, Hartwell 1-0, Moser 1-0, Rose 1-(-1)


Manheim Central: Hahn 10-14-0—159

Twin Valley: E. Myers 10-17-1–156


Manheim Central: Enterline 5-64, Sipel 3-63, Callahan 2-32

Twin Valley: Engle 4-93, Winchester 2-29, Grundy 2-23, Pinciotti 1-7, Rose 1-4


Manheim Central: Enterline

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