Barons-Eagles Part Two
Ephrata Review Sports Editor
It certainly doesn’t get any better than this, sports fans.
When the District Three brackets came out a little more than three weeks ago, local fans were salivating over the fact that, if everything would go right, we could have Manheim Central-Cocalico, Part Two.
Well, we are here. In two days, both local powers will meet at Elden Rettew Field with a District Finals berth on the line.
What a great accomplishment for both programs, first of all. Both have become two of the top programs in the Districts, and never before have they met each other with so much at stake.
The Barons, who defeated Cocalico, 24-12 in that first match-up in early October, come into Friday’s game winners of 12-straight. However, Manheim has struggled through the first two rounds to get past Garden Spot (31-17) and Susquehanna Township (17-14).
Cocalico, on the other hand, hit a few speed bumps immediately after the loss to the Barons but have since righted the ship. The Eagles have not lost since, and have been gradually playing better, especially in their two post-season victories over Gettysburg (43-8) and Lancaster Catholic (35-21).
In that first meeting in October, Manheim came out swinging, jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and held a 24-6 half-time cushion before the Eagles finally got going in the second half. It was too little, too late for Cocalico.
That can’t happen this time around if the Eagles want to continue on. With their run-based, time-consuming offense, the Eagles have to at the very least, keep it close heading to the fourth quarter.
Cocalico is a team that rarely makes mistakes, but in that first meeting miscues were plentiful on the Eagles’ side. The Eagles are plus-24 in the turnover margin all season, and they’ll need to find a way to increase that number this time around.
As for what I see, I think it boils down to which team is playing better, and I just have a feeling the Eagles get it done. They are playing so well right now, with so much confidence, and will have a chip on their shoulders after falling to the Barons during the regular season.
As for a score, I’m thinking somewhere in the vicinity of 28-21 with the Eagles scoring the deciding touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure another trip to Hershey.
Can’t wait. This one has the looks of an all-timer.
This Week’s Predictions: In case you are interested, here are my picks to win this Friday in District playoff action:
AAAA- Wilson over Lower Dauphin; Cumberland Valley over Dallastown.
AAA- Bishop McDevitt over Conrad Weiser; Cocalico over Manheim Central.
AA- Berks Catholic over Littlestown.
A- Steel-High over York Catholic.
One ‘T’ Or Two?: Been spelling Jhet Janis’ name with two T’s since he burst onto the high school scene a few years ago. Then a few week’s back, a fellow writer and I noticed that it was spelled in the program with just one ‘T’.
Confused, I asked him about it after the game and he told me it’s officially one ‘T’ on his birth certificate, but he didn’t mind either way which way we spelled it.
I was going to keep it at two, but have noticed others starting to spell it with one, so from now on, he’ll be known as Jhet in this publication.
More RUTH, page B-4