NUMBERS GAME: Manheim rolls Conrad Weiser; Williams wins #300
MANHEIM, Pa. – Football is more than just the X’s and O’s and Johnny’s and Joe’s. The numbers are fun to crunch.
465 – total number of victories in Manheim Central’s history. 10 – number of 500-point scoring teams to the Barons’ credit. 42 – number of District 3 playoff victories.
But tonight, the number that mattered the most was 300, as in 300 career victories.
Manheim Central (13-0) broke a 7-7 tie with 35 unanswered points to defeat Conrad Weiser (10-3) 42-7 from Elden Rettew Field in Manheim, securing 300 career victories for head coach Mike Williams. Williams’ career record stands at 300-59-3.
With the win, the Barons will take on Susquehanna Township (12-1), a 7-6 winner over West York, for the District 3 “AAA” championship. It will be Manheim’s 18th appearance in the D3 championship game.
Williams became the 10th coach in state history with 300 victories, and the third to reach the milestone this season, joining Jim Roth (306) and Don Bailey (303).
“It would have been easier to do it without all the added pressure (of a playoff game),” Williams said.
True. It may have been. Three hundred could have been a distraction. And for a time, Conrad Weiser was hanging right with the Barons, battling to a 7-7 tie toward the end of the first quarter after DJ Robinson scored on a 35-yard touchdown run.
But then the Barons did like they normally do. They simply pulled away.
“We started to play some good football there,” Williams said. “We got a few key stops. We were afraid for a bit that it would be a we score, they score, we score, they score kind of game.”
Tyler Griffith answered Robinson’s touchdown with one of his own – a 49-yard jaunt right up the middle to buoy Central’s lead to 14-7.
Dakota Royer got in on the scoring act, helping push Manheim’s lead to 21-7 with a remarkable 19-yard catch on a 3rd-and-goal situation. The Barons started 1st-and-goal on the four, but a holding penalty 12 yards deep in the Baron backfield pushed them back to the Weiser 26. It was the equivalent of a 22-yard penalty.
Royer got Manheim on the board to open the game scoring with an eight-yard catch from Gorman. On the night, Royer, a Penn State recruit, caught five passes for 91 yards and two scores.
Gorman added a third scoring toss to open the third quarter, finding Derek Hart from 34 yards out, fueling Central’s fire and building a 28-7 lead.
Joe Gruber pushed the advantage to 35-7 with a five-yard run toward the end of the third quarter, and Griffith capped the scoring with a seven-yard run to invoke the mercy rule with 6:17 left in the game.
Weiser had entered the game with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Robinson and Codie Butler. At the start of the weekend, there were only seven such backfield duos in the state.
Robinson finished with 85 yards on 11 carries. Butler had himself a game – racking up 187 yards on 29 carries – but it mattered little being down by such a wide margin. The Scouts ran for 272 yards on the night, but only mustered 45 yards passing.
A couple of key failed fourth down attempts and a Zach Guiles interception late in the first half sealed the silver and blue’s fate.
“It’s tough,” said Weiser head coach Alan Moyer. “We weren’t real successful throwing the football.”
The Scouts’ final stat line through the air showed exactly that – only four completions in 12 attempts.
As it so often happens this time of year, Manheim Central is headed back to Hershey yet again to play for yet another District 3 championship. Central’s put up impressive numbers and racked up impressive victories at Hershey, one of its homes-away-from-home.
For those number crunchers out there – here’s a hint: next week’s most important number for Manheim will more than likely be 16.
They’ve already gotten 300 out of the way.
NOTES: Williams was joined on the field after the game for a ceremony with players from all of the teams he’s coached at Manheim, from 1981 to the present. Each team held up a sign designating the number of victories in that given season, and fans counted upward to 300 wins with public address announcer Joe Wells.
As Williams addressed the team, Dakota Royer and another Baron snuck up behind him and doused him with a cooler filled with water. Asked if he was cold afterward, Williams smiled.
“I’m alright,” he said. “I don’t feel a thing. I don’t feel a thing.
Manheim has now scored 529 points on the season – the 10th time in school history the Barons have a team that has topped the 500-point mark. That ties Southern Columbia for the most 500-point teams produced by one school.
Susquehanna Township and Manheim Central have never met in the District 3 playoffs.
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