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CURTAIN: Final act of Raiders' football season ends with awards, banquet

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Two Middletown seniors won awards as the Blue Raiders ended a successful 2015 football season with a banquet hosted by its booster club on Sunday, Nov. 22 at St. Peter's Lutheran Church.

The banquet, sponsored by the Raider Club, included video highlights of the Raider's 7-4 season and rare appearance in the District 3 playoffs. Middletown lost to East Pennsboro in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs, 42-20 on Friday, Nov. 13.

Justin Shaver received the Melvin Fager Sr. Memorial Award from Coach Brett Myers. The award, named for Fager, a former Middletown student, athlete and coach, is given to the senior who best displays leadership, hard work, dedication, committee and pride. The winner is chosen by the coaching staff.

Caleb Leggore received the David H. Degler Award from Larry Etter, sportswriter and Raider beat reporter for the Press And Journal. The award is named for Degler, a Middletown football player who died of a heart attack on the practice field at the age of 17, and is given to a senior player who best displays leadership, character, desire and heart. The winner is chosen by a committee specifically created to present the award.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 16:46

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LD FOOTBALL: Feisty Falcons fall to CD, 21-13

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For 46 minutes of a 48-minute football game, Lower Dauphin was poised for an upset of the top-seeded team in the District 3 Class AAAA playoffs.

Down by only a point, 14-13, to powerful Central Dauphin, as time wound down in the fourth quarter,  the Falcons were still standing – amazingly, considering their foe's huge offensive and defensive lines, their three interceptions and two fumbles, their blocked extra point that made the difference in the score.

The Rams hung on, adding a late touchdown to win, 21-13, on Friday, Nov. 20 at  George "Speed'' Ebersole Stadium in Lower Paxton Twp., and the season ended for the Falcons – and, it turns out, for their coach. After the game, Coach Rob Klock assembled his team on the field and told them he was resigning – a temporary retirement, he says – after 14 years as Lower Dauphin's head coach.

It was a decision Klock made with his family well before that moment. He wants time to watch his two sons play football in college – older son Trey currently plays for Georgia Tech, and younger son Tommy, the Falcons' quarterback, will head to college next fall. The moment after the game, after a valiant effort that punctuated, and perhaps defined, the Falcons' season, "just seemed like the right time,'' Rob Klock said.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 16:41

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RAIDER FOOTBALL: Middletown fights, but falls to East Pennsboro, 42-20 in playoffs

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Middletown Coach Brett Myers and his team set some goals for themselves heading into the 2015 grid season. And most of those goals had been met.  But as well as the season had gone for the Blue Raiders this fall, everything came to a screeching halt on Friday, Nov. 13 at East Pennsboro in a disappointing 42-20 loss to the host Panthers in a first-round District 3 Class AAA playoff game.

Even with the loss, Myers and his coaches had to be pleased with the efforts their charges put into what turned out to be a pretty good year.

The goals – fielding a competitive team, recording a winning season, earning some major victories and making the playoffs – were met as the Blue Raiders finished the regular season with a fine 7-3 overall record. That finish landed the team almost smack in the middle of the post-season playoff picture with an 11th seeded among the 16 playoff teams.

Drawing East Pennsboro, the winner of the Mid-Penn Conference’s Colonial Division, was their reward. Unfortunately for the Middletown side, the Panthers (9-2) had the better game on Friday and ended the Raiders’ season rather abruptly.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 16:41

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LD FOOTBALL: Led by injured star, Falcons stage comeback, beat Colts, 22-12

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In the first two quarters of its first-round District 3 playoff game, Lower Dauphin looked discombobulated by a relentlessly threatening Cedar Cliff offense, lousy field position and a blustery, cold, unbearable wind that rustled the flags atop Hersheypark Stadium so violently that it seemed it would rip them off their poles.

Nearly all of the first half was played on Lower Dauphin's side of the field in the Class AAAA clash on Friday, Nov. 13, as the Falcons' defense fought to stop one Cedar Cliff march toward the end zone after another.

On the few occasions that Lower Dauphin's offense took the field, it played without its star running back, who watched from the sidelines with a sore shoulder injured in the Falcons' regular-season finale, deep in its own territory, and with little success.

Somehow, the Falcons trailed only 3-0 at halftime – timely defensive gems and the strong wind forced two incomplete Cedar Cliff passes on fourth down near Lower Dauphin's goal line and a missed field goal – and Coach Rob Klock realized he had to do something "to get their heads where they needed to be.''

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:21

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Eleven LD student-athletes pick their colleges


Eleven Lower Dauphin High School student-athletes have signed letters of intent with colleges that commit them to play their sports on the NCAA level.

With families, friends and coaches watching, the students signed their letters during a ceremony in the school cafeteria on Wednesday, Nov. 11 – the first day of the early signing period for high school seniors committing to play NCAA sports.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:02

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