Barons blank Ephrata
JOHN CRAWFORD Review Correspondent
, Staff Writer
Running with a brutal efficiency, Manheim Central rolled over Ephrata 65-0 last Friday in War Memorial Stadium.
Marc Royer ran for 167 yards and three touchdowns and Ian Hanselman went for 156 yards and two touchdowns as the first-place Barons improved to 6-0 in Section Two play (8-0 overall).
"They are pretty good running backs," said Barons Coach Mike Williams said of the pair. "Marc Royer is pretty special running back. He’s got talent that you can’t teach and Ian’s a hard runner so we just had some situations where, rather than throw the ball, we were bound and determined we were going to run it. They broke the sidelines a few times and made great plays. Both of them are really, for our program, special running backs."
"It is easy to be a high school coach when you can run the football," he continued. "There are not many years where we have the talent level that you can do that. Our running backs are as good a one-two punch that we’ve had ever."
Bobby Nye ran for 32 yards on 12 rushes to lead Ephrata, which remained winless at 0-6 in the section (0-8 overall).
Nye also made plays on the Barons’ initial drive that nearly denied Central a first possession score. The Barons had moved the ball down to the Ephrata four yard line but need four downs to score. Nye brought down Royer on third-and-goal for no gain but Royer punched through on fourth down for the 7-0 lead.
Following a Mountaineer three-and-out, the Barons’ next drive covered 56 hard-earned yards on 10 plays in 4:57 of game time before finishing with a Tony Staffieri pass to Andrew Seiverling touchdown. This drive also required converting a fourth down for a score, this time from the 16-yard line.
Ephrata’s Dakota Keefer took the ensuing kick-off out to the Mounts 45-yard line. Holding the ball for 6:06, Ephrata drove the ball down to the MC 24 with runs by Gyree Durante, Nye and Keefer. They turned over the ball on downs when Keefer gained two yards on fourth-and-four.
"That one drive they had was pretty good," admitted Williams. "They were blowing us out a little bit. We made a couple of adjustments but they got to us. They were knocking us backwards."
Despite being down by 14 midway through the second period, the Mounts forced the Barons to drive the ball and managed to keep the ball from then for a significant amount of time; however, the last half of the second quarter proved disastrous for Ephrata. On the first play following the punt, Royer took a sweep 76 yards for a touchdown. Before the end of the half, the play succeeded two more times to give Manheim a 35-0 halftime lead. Hanselman had the next two touchdowns. The first covered 66 yards and the second went for 50 yards
"The plays were our horn play, an outside sweep type play," explained Hanselman. "On (those plays), our line sealed up the end to give us huge holes to run behind. That was the key to the play. They set it up; we ran through it and tried to break away."
Royer opened the second half scoring with a 58-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. Taylor Geib completed the Barons’ next possession with a five-yard touchdown pass from Colin Fry. By the end of the third quarter, Manheim led 49-0.
Underclassmen finished the game for Central and managed two touchdowns and a safety to reach the final tally of 65-0. Junior wide receiver Dan Weiderrecht took a pass from Staffieri for a 56-yard touchdown. After the game, Williams was almost apologetic for passing.
Williams explained, "We did throw a pass there at the end but when the defense starts to load up and put eight or nine guys in the box, we had some of our younger guys in there and I just didn’t feel like I wanted to get them pounded so we threw the ball."
Tyler Hoag ran in the final touchdown from the four yard line.
After the game, Ephrata Coach Scott Shelley addressed the Barons after speaking with his own team.
"You started your first team but didn’t play a lot," said Shelley. "We could see that you were willing to give up your playing time for your other teammate’s reps and that means a lot to us. You guys gave it your all and you ran the ball in the first half (almost) every time. That’s a credit to you guys, the coaches and the staff. You get maligned a lot of times if you run up the score but we could see out there what was going on. I wish you guys the best of luck."
"That was a class thing that he did," said Williams.
Ephrata now has two chances remaining to get a win. Up next, the Mounts host Solanco, which earned its first victory of the season this past Friday in a 28-7 win over E-town. The Mules invade War Memorial this Friday at 7 p.m. in the final home game of the season for Ephrata.
The following week, the Mounts close out the year at Cocalico.
More EPHRATA, page B-8