Penn Manor turns over the victory to the Pioneers, 20-7

Turnover differential is what ultimately killed the Penn Manor Comets (now 0-2) in tonight's game, and the Pioneers (now 1-1) recovered from last week's loss by forcing four turnovers while having a +3 turnover differential, en route to a 20-7 win.
It was a gorgeous evening under
the lights for football

The Pioneers also brought multiple playmakers to the field. Darren Metz had two TD receptions, including one where he essentially sprinted the length of the field after catching a screen pass. Chase Pirozzi had two interceptions and otherwise played shutdown coverage, making it a tough night for Penn Manor quarterback Grant Gale. Chad Gaudino stripped the ball for another Pioneers turnover, and also contributed to the passing game, including a 45-yard reception. Strong defensive linemen Pete Tollinger and Merek Hilliker both had sacks that eventually led to Penn Manor punting back to the Pioneers. And of course QB Bear Shank played well again, throwing 3 TD passes, two to Darren Metz and the third to Garrett Groshong.
Bear Shank led the Pioneers' offense with three touchdown passes, including two
to Darren Metz (88) and one to Garrett Groshong
The game was not all perfect for the Pioneers. They played mostly bend not break defense, allowing Penn Manor to consistently move the ball but score just once. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but the Pioneers run defense still looks weak and often struggles to seal the edge and misses easy tackles in the open field. Failure to fix this problem for future games could be consequential, especially against teams who don’t turn the ball over as much as the Comets. Bear also made an ill-advised throw in the red zone that was intercepted, but easily made up for it with otherwise fantastic play.
The Pioneers line up before a play

In good news for L-S, the defensive secondary essentially shut out Penn Manor’s passing game and the special teams recovered a muffed punt which led to a TD the ensuing play. As I said the Pioneers played bend not break defense, which on the good side led to only one Penn Manor score, certainly a good showing for the defense. L-S will win games by keeping the score low, and this game is certainly a good example.

In the end, any win is a good win for any football team, but there are issues to be fixed. The running defense could be exposed by any team committed to running the ball and the offensive line needs to give Shank more time to make plays. 
It will be up to Coach Manion to rally the troops in practice to get
the team prepared to face Conestoga Valley next week
Hopefully these problems can be fixed by a good week of practice and the Pioneers can repeat their success next week against the Conestoga Valley, who will be coming off a 54-21 loss at the hands of Solanco, whom the Pioneers play in two weeks.

--Kevin Reed, Football Reporter; Photos by Jacky Kirchner, Staff Photographer

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