Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Text Size

Spartans shut out Ephrata


When a football team wins, one might think the coach would be happy, but Garden Spot head coach Matt Zamperini wasn't too impressed with his team even though it shut out Ephrata 21-0 [box score] Friday night.
 
"I'm not happy with the little things," said the coach. "It seems like they are resisting change. I don't see progress.''
 
The Spartans (2-0) could have won by a wider margin, but a tough, inexperienced Ephrata defense picked off two Mitchell Martin passes to thwart drives, and Garden Spot fumbled the ball six times, two going over to Ephrata.
 
Meanwhile Ephrata coach Scott Shelley had praise for his young team.
 
"We only have one returning player from last year, and most of the other guys never stepped on the grass, so overall I'm pleased," he said.
 
The Mounts (0-2) were turned away on just three offensive plays to start the contest, and Garden Spot ran off a 10-play drive, chewing up 5:21 off the clock before turning the ball over on downs with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
 
Next it was Ephrata's turn to reel off a 10-play drive of their own before giving the ball back to the Spartans on their 34.
 
Again the Mounts defense stood tall and forced a fumble on their 1 when Martin had the ball stripped and Scott Liebl recovered at his own 4.
 
But this time Garden Spot was not to be denied, thanks to its own defense.
 
Ephrata quarterback Justin Mease passed over the middle but Seth Rehrer stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball at the 29, then slipped through a tackle en route to the first score of the game.
 
Next it was the special teams' turn to shine as Austin Haas fielded a short punt at the Ephrata 47 and took it all the way to put Garden Spot up 14-0 with 4:52 remaining in the first half.
 
Just before the half ended, Ephrata's Jeremy Kachel intercepted his first of two passes to stop a Spartan drive.
 
Garden Spot's Adam Haas led the game with 132 yards on 18 carries, while Ephrata's Blake Weaver rushed for 25 yards on nine carries.
 
"After sitting out last year (with a torn ACL) I'll take the game, but I'm not pleased. I still have a long way to go," said Haas.
 
On the Spartans' first drive of the second half, Martin connected with Michael Harrison, who made a beautiful 22-yard catch in the corner of the end zone to finish the scoring.