Eagles rip Bears, clinch share of title
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Cocalico clinched a share of the Section Two title Friday night at home with a 42-14 victory over visiting E-town.
But do not think the Eagles are the least bit satisfied. Cocalico wants to own the section outright, and can get that accomplished with a win at archrival Ephrata Friday night in the regular season finale.
"I’m excited and happy for the kids but yet I think our kids want to finish it off and win an outright championship and not have to share it with Manheim Central. That’s the first and foremost thought in our minds right now," Cocalico Coach Dave Gingrich said.
To do that, the Eagles (6-0 Section Two, 8-1 overall) must take care of business against a Mounts team that regained some momentum this past Friday with a very impressive 35-0 road victory at Solanco. Also, the Ephrata Review Cup will be on the line so there is added incentive.
This past Friday, the Cocalico offense was in high gear, rushing for 408 yards on 41 carries. Nick Reitenbach led the way with 192 yards on 17 carries while quarterback Brock Gosling added 116 yards on 10 runs. Spencer Moser was the big play man with four touchdowns on the night.
Cocalico jumped on top 7-0 late in the first quarter as Moser cashed in from eight yards out. Then, after E-town missed a field goal attempt on its ensuing drive, the Eagles went on top 14-0 as Moser scored on a 30-yard run.
E-town got on the board in the second as running back Kirby Breault took a hand-off and tossed to Nick Lonardi for a 46-yard score with 10:14 to go in the half. But the Eagles regained a two touchdown lead at 21-7 with 1:49 to go as Jhett Janis connected with Moser on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
After the Bears cut it to 21-14 in the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Max Daley to Thomas Stephens, Cocalico answered again, this time on a 28-yard TD run by Reitenbach.
Then in the fourth, Cocalico finally pulled away as Reitenbach hurdled a defender on his way to a 48-yard score. Moser then capped the scoring with a 20-yard TD run late.
"I thought E-town played very well," Gingrich said. "We put the ball on the ground a little bit, which is uncharacteristic, but we moved the ball well. E-town did some things offensively that we didn’t defend well at times but we also did some good things. We just weren’t as sharp as I would have liked us to be."
Looking ahead to this Friday, it will be a reunion of sorts as Gingrich and his team will go up against several former Cocalico players and coaches, who now make up a majority of the Mounts’ staff, including head coach Scott Shelley and offensive coordinator Phil Kauffman.
"They got a quality staff over there and their kids are playing really well right now," Gingrich said. "That game against Solanco I was very impressed with them. I thought offensively they did a lot of nice things, and defensively they played really well."
Gingrich said his biggest concerns heading into the game are the unknowns.
"The first thing that concerns me is Ephrata has nothing to lose," he said. "It’s a rivalry game, their last game…They’ve used some trick plays, and have used them throughout the season and I’m sure every one that they have they’ll be bringing them out for this game. That’s a concern right there, preparing for the unknown."
"And I think their kids are playing at a high level right now," he continued. "Their running game is very good, the quarterback (Bobby Nye) is making some good decisions…I think they are running the ball very well. Their line came off the ball well against Solanco, and defensively, Scott has used a variety of defenses so there is a lot of unknown. Many times you go into the game and know what the other team is going to do, but we are just going to have to prepare for everything. We’ll have to prepare for every possible defense there is and execute."
After Ephrata shocked the Eagles 21-20 two years ago, Cocalico re-claimed the Review Cup last season with a 28-15 win in Denver.
Kickoff for Friday is slated for 7 p.m. More EAGLES, page B-4