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Three L-L League football facts for October that will take Ephrata supporters down memory lane thirty


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Switching from regular season mode to playoff mode

1. There will be 15 L-L League squads in the District 3 playoffs: Manheim Central (35th trip), Wilson (31st trip), Wyomissing (30th trip), Cocalico (25th trip), Lancaster Catholic (20th trip), Lampeter-Strasburg (18th trip), Manheim Township (17th trip), Exeter (14th trip), Garden Spot (13th trip), Conestoga Valley (12th trip), Annville-Cleona (10th trip), Elco (8th trip), Schuylkill Valley (8th trip), Cedar Crest (7th trip), Twin Valley (4th trip) and Ephrata (2nd trip). … Longest droughts snapped: Ephrata is in for the first time since 1987; Conestoga Valley for the first time since 2010.

2. Rematch alert: For the second year in a row, Annville-Cleona will host Camp Hill in a D3-2A semifinal. This year, the game will be played at Alumni Stadium — where Lebanon plays its home games — because of ongoing construction at A-C. … In last year’s game, the Dutchmen rolled to a 42-13 win over the Lions. A-C gouged out 420 rushing yards; 2,000-yard back Phoenix Music raced for 160 yards with two TD runs, and Cael Harter — a 1,000-yard back for the Dutchmen this season — bolted for 134 yards with a pair of TD runs to spearhead the offense. … Camp Hill isn’t shy about going up top; QB Drew Branstetter, a 2,100-yard passer in 2022, has a fun-bunch of wideouts in Alex Long, Noah Doi and Tommy Corbin at his disposal. Could be a busy night for A-C cover corners and safeties.

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3. The year was 1987. Ronald Reagan was in his second term as president. Gas cost — wait for it — 90 cents a gallon. A loaf of bread cost 55 cents. A dozen eggs set you back 78 cents. Top movies at the box office included Beverly Hills Cop (Part 2, for you Axel Foley fans), Platoon and Fatal Attraction. And the top songs on the radio (you remember radios, right?) included Walk Like An Egyptian by the Bangles (cool video on Mtv; you remember Mtv?), Alone by Heart, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston. Heck, I was a junior in high school. That was the last time Ephrata went to the District 3 football playoffs. The Mounts had a 9-1 regular season, shared the Section 2 title with Elizabethtown, and made the Class 3A semifinals — back when just four teams per class got in. Ephrata fell to Bishop McDevitt 21-12 in that game — on a frigid night in Mechanicsburg, according to accounts from newspaper clips. The Mounts were coached by Merv Witmer, and QB Scott Lintz and RB Eric Frees made Ephrata tick. Those were the days. Now, 36 years later, the Mounts will be making their much-anticipated return trip to the playoffs; they’ll host Lower Dauphin in a 5A first-rounder at The War on Friday. Now I have that Whitney Houston song stuck in my head ...

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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