Mounts fall to Donegal, finish season 0-10

By on November 5, 2014
 Ephrata’s Hunter Lehman fights for extra yardage during Friday’s season finale at Donegal. (Photo by Dwight Palm)

Ephrata’s Hunter Lehman fights for extra yardage during Friday’s season finale at Donegal. (Photo by Dwight Palm)

There were some good and bad to take away from Ephrata’s 67-21 season-ending loss at Donegal this past Friday.
The Mounts finished their first Section Three season winless at 0-6, and were 0-10 overall this year. They’ll take a 22-game losing streak into next season.
On a positive note, the Mounts found the endzone three times Friday, which was the first time all season they scored more than one touchdown in a game.
Sophomore quarterback Jory Hagen (9-for-19) threw for 119 yards and a pair of scores to pace the Mounts. Alex Rummel hauled in a 19-yard scoring toss from Hagen while the other went to Lane Kurtz on a seven-yard hook-up.
The final Ephrata score came on the ground as Hunter Lehman completed a six-play, 59 yard drive with a one-yard plunge with 5:56 to play.
“We continue to improve (offensively),” Ephrata Coach Scott Shelley said. “Our backs ran hard and had some nice lanes to run through due to good blocking. We protected the passer well and gave our QB time to throw. There were some big holes in Donegal’s secondary that we exploited. This is all due to the hard work the players put in and their desire to improve in practice.”
Defensively, Ephrata was gashed for 547 yards on the ground by Donegal. Connor Maxwell led the way with 193 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries. Bryce Sadler added 110 yards and three scores on nine carries.
Coach Shelley said it was a combination of breakdowns on his team’s end and the complexity of Donegal’s Wing T offense which led to the high offensive output by the Indians.
“(It was) both,” he said. “If you do not see the Wing T, except once a year, it is a very difficult offense to defend. We provided the team with a sheet just to explain what to look for from a Wing T team, which was something I had developed at Cocalico after seeing them every year when I was there. It is an offense where you have to attack them and play on their side of the line of scrimmage. A young team, still building confidence in their positions, sometimes waits a bit too long to make the proper reads and by then it is too late. With more experience they will see the reads better and be able to react quicker. Plus Donegal had two outstanding running backs.”
Donegal led just 14-7 late in the first quarter after Rummel’s score, before running off 40 unanswered points to grab an insurmountable 54-7 advantage at the half.
Kurtz scored his touchdown in the third quarter before Lehman closed out the scoring with his one-yard run late.
After going 0-10 for the second-straight year, Shelley what he took away from this season.
“(Last year and this year) were two different years all together at first glance, but if you look closer, the two seasons were intertwined directly,” he said. “Last year we had experience but injuries devastated the roster. We had some tough breaks, literally. Losing so many players to injury also did not allow for us to play a JV schedule last year which brought us to this year. We lost all of our starters from last year and now we asked these inexperienced young men to carry the battle flag with literally no Friday night lights time. It is a Herculean task for any team. But to answer your question as to what do I take away from this year, I see a group of players that worked hard and diligently all year in practice, to improve. I saw some leaders emerge. I watched as talent began to rise to the top and players started to mature at their positions. There were also, what I hope will be lessons learned from the adversity of this year, that will lead the players into next season.”
Heading into the of-season, Shelley was asked what needed to be done to start the process of turning this thing around.
“To answer your question as simply as I can, what we need to continue moving in the right direction is ‘commitment,’” he said. “A commitment to excellence. The same commitment and dedication you would have in a family, a bond or promise to not only do it for one’s self, but for the person on the right and the person on the left.”

About Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *