Pioneers Defeat Mules, Hoist Milk Jug Trophy

The fifty-yard line at J.K. Mechanical Field is exactly 10 miles away from the fifty-yard line at Solanco High School. While maybe that's just a random trivia fact you'll forget about tomorrow, it sets the stage for a fierce gridiron rivalry. The Pioneers and the Golden Mules, fighting for the glory of the Milk Jug Trophy.

On the opening drive, the Mules dove into the bag of tricks. Robert Castanga took the handoff from his quarterback, ran near the line of scrimmage, set his feet, and tossed it downfield to a wide-open Elijah Cunningham for the first score of the game. 

On the other hand, the Pioneers looked dull and behind the 8-ball during the first quarter. Things went from bad to worse after that, with star tight-end Beau Heyser getting injured attempting to catch a low pass from Berkeley Wagner. 

In the absence of Heyser, others took the spotlight. Hunter Hildenbrand and Julian Lopez both found the endzone for the first time, Hildenbrand in the air and Lopez on the ground. "You know, they really rallied. A lot of young kids stepped up today." Coach Ridenour said following the game. 

Jonathan Mellinger added rushing touchdowns 4 and 5, pounding one in from the goal-line and another from the edge of the RedZone. Despite the slow start, the Pioneers showed their class and recorded a 28-14 win.

With the win, the Pioneers now hold a 9-3 lead in the trophy series. Next up is a long trip up to Fredericksburg for a league-mandated crossover game against the Northern Lebanon Vikings. The Vikings are also 3-1, recording wins over Pine Grove, York Tech, and most recently Lebanon. 

By Logan Moyer, LS News Editor-in-Chief
Photos by Logan Thompson, LS News President and Cam Reynolds, LS News Photographer

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