Wilson WL Hammers Out 53rd Straight League Win
Two legendary District Three programs came into Friday night’s action tied with 52 consecutive Lancaster-Lebanon League wins. Manheim Central’s dominant run ended in 2006. Shortly thereafter the Wilson Bulldogs began their march into history. Starting in 2007, Section 1 of the Lancaster Lebanon league became the stomping ground of the Bulldogs. These eight seasons of L/L perfection came down to a final fourth quarter drive to immortality. Wilson’s 9 play 60 yard drive rallied the Bulldogs past Hempfield 15-9 to set the all time Lancaster Lebanon Leagues consecutive win steak at 53 games.
Wilson’s Head coach Doug Dahms team had enormous pressure entering the contest, “I told the guys on the bus to go out there and have some fun.” Dahns also said that despite the pressure from the streak and playing away from home against an undefeated team, “the team expected to win.” Coach also said that “…you don’t want to share a record like that. You want to put it up in the stratosphere where it’s going to take something incredible to break it.”
Wilson’s Defense was the key to victory. The Bulldogs held the potent Hempfield rushing attack to only 149 yards. The defense also did not allow a score. Hempfield’s points all came from special teams. “Defensively our guys did a great job,” said coach Dahms. Offensively Wilson out gained Hempfield 264 -174. The Bulldogs relied on the ground game all night. Bailey McElroy’s 119 yards led all rushers.
The game was a hard hitting defensive dominated struggle from the start. Despite most of the first quarter being played in the Wilson end of the field, we were scoreless after the first quarter. Each team moved the ball in the second quarter, but no drives produced points.
Wilson finally began to move the ball late in the first half. Starting a drive at their own 20 with just under three minutes in the half, the Bulldogs moved down the field. Jon Fox maneuvered under a 29 yard pass from QB Collin Powers in the end zone with :42 left in the half for a TD. Wilson had drawn first blood and it was 7-0.
23 minutes of stalemate now led to one minute of excitement. The ensuing kickoff was taken by Hempfield standout Will Blair at his own 10. Blair then bolted through the Bulldogs 90 yards to tie the score. We went into the half tied at 7 in an exciting contest.
The third quarter started with both teams defenses being dominant. Late in the quarter, Wilson set up for a punt deep in their own end. The snap sailed over the punter’s head. He was downed in the end zone and Hempfield now had the lead 9-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Wilson mounted consecutive drives in the fourth quarter, none of which produced points. One drive ended with an interception by Hempfield in their own end zone. Wilson had one last shot at the record.
The Bulldogs took control of the ball on their own 40 with just over six minutes left. Utilizing the running of Bailey McElroy and a nice run by QB Collin Powers, the Bulldogs drove the ball into the red zone. With 2:13 to play Alex Twiford blasted into the end zone from the three. A two point conversion put Wilson on top 15-9.
The final two minutes were pressure packed. Hempfield moved the ball up the field following the kick off. Finally the Bulldog defense sacked Hempfield QB Sam Kramer on a fourth down play with only seconds remaining. The victory had been sealed. The record established. The weight of years of Bulldog team excellence lifted from this teams’ shoulders.
Conestoga Valley is next up for Wilson at home. Hempfield tries to move on with a matchup with Cedar Crest.
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