Eagles had the look
Sports Editor Cocalico had that look in it’s eye.
From the pre-game warm-up on Monday night, I could sense the Eagles were bound and determined to avenge last year’s heart-breaking 21-20 loss to Ephrata and win back The Review Cup.
Then the game started and boy was there some hitting going on… Ephrata did put the ball on the ground seven times, but on at least five of those it was because of a lethal Cocalico hit.
The Eagles definitely seemed to want it more Monday, and went out and got it.
Simply put, Cocalico had the fire, hit extremely hard and executed better than did the Mounts.
The unfortunate part for Ephrata is had the Mounts just cut their mistakes in half, they could have very well won that game. Ephrata certainly moved the ball, with 326 total yards. But just when the Mounts seemed to be gaining momentum, they put the ball on the ground.
That was obviously too much to overcome. And with the meat of their schedule right around the corner, they had better correct this problem in a hurry.
Perhaps it was a one-time thing. It didn’t seem to be too much of a problem last week against Exeter. The thing is, when they are facing Section One teams, even if they cut that total in half it’s going to be a problem.
One thing is for sure–ball security will be a prime focus in practice this week. Because without it, the Mounts won’t stand a chance in the upcoming weeks.
Cocalico did a great job running its veer attack Monday, particularly in the first half. The Eagles reeled off 255 yards on the ground, with 190 of it coming in the first half. One key to this I believe is the maturation of quarterback Brock Gosling, who took over mid-season last year and has really grown into the position.
While it’s simple to the eye, that offense is based on precision timing and quick thinking by the quarterback. I thought Gosling made some excellent reads on when to pitch and when to keep the ball. Ephrata certainly was having problems stopping it, particularly early.
As far as Ephrata was concerned, I was really impressed with the play of senior running back Tim Murray. Not only did Murray run the ball hard in limited opportunities (6 carries, 54 yards) but he was the primary weapon through the air as he hauled in six catches for 124 yards.
It was his best night of varsity football.
It’s amazing how each team has gone through peaks and valleys during this amazing series that dates back to 1954.
While Ephrata leads the overall series 31-21, Cocalico is closing fast after winning eight of the last 10 meetings.
Ephrata won it 11-straight times from 1961 through ’71, and enjoyed another 10-game win streak from 1986 through 2001 (the teams did not play from 1994 through ’99). Since then, it’s been all Cocalico.
The Mounts only two victories came in 2003 and of course, last year.
After enduring the wrath of Hurricane Lee for what seemed to be an eternity, the teams had to feel a little weird lining up to play football on Monday night.
Coaches hate to get out of a routine, and both Dave Gingrich and Jim Vieland mentioned after the game how strange of a week it was getting prepared to play this game.
The bad part about playing Monday is you only have three days to prepare to play this Friday.
I’m sure both teams didn’t do much Tuesday, leaving only Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for two big games this week.
Cocalico is really facing a tough road with Berks County power Governor Mifflin on the slate this week, followed by Manheim Central and then L-S.
Ephrata has no picnic either, facing a CV squad Friday that’s still spitting bullets from its 7-3 loss to the Mounts last year. Ephrata then plays Manheim Township and an improved Penn Manor squad the next two weeks. More RUTH, page B-4