Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Mounts firing on all cylinders


The master plan finally came together for the Mountaineers in Quarryville on Friday night.
 
Blake Weaver scored three touchdowns, Bobby Nye threw for two and Ephrata (2-4 league, 2-7 overall) played stout defense in a 35-0 [boxscore] win over L-L League Section Two foe Solanco.
 
With a completely new coaching staff for the 2012 season and a young, inexperienced roster, Ephrata coach Scott Shelley knew that his first year at the helm could be a difficult one.
 
"The idea was that we wanted the kids to start believing in themselves and getting them to understand it takes hard work, discipline, emotion and intensity for you to win," Shelley said. "We've been working on that and it basically took nine weeks because of their inexperience.
 
"But they're getting the idea, credit to them. Our kids have come so far."
 
And there was no better indication than Week Nine.
 
After a scoreless first quarter, Weaver capped a two-play, 34-yard drive with a 29-yard touchdown run four minutes into the second quarter. On the following Solanco possession, Weaver intercepted a Caleb Groff pass to end Solanco's drive. One play later, Weaver outjumped a Golden Mules defender and raced 56 yards for a touchdown to quickly give Ephrata a 14-0 lead.
 
At the break, the Ephrata defense held Solanco (1-5, 1-8) to three first downs and 90 yards while Weaver had accounted for 95 yards on 12 carries in addition to a 57-yard catch.
 
"That's the way the veer is supposed to be run," Shelley said. "The line took charge, the backs ran hard and that's what we wanted.
 
"For (the team) to come out the way they did tonight was a real big step for them. I'm really proud of them."
 
Running back Scott Liebl extended Ephrata's lead to 21-0 after a 1-yard TD run with 2:47 left in the third quarter. The next Mounts' possession, Weaver was back at it again. This time, he was on the receiving end of an end-around pass by backup QB Justin Mease for a 29-yard score to give the Mounts a 28-0 lead.
 
"The last couple games, we've been losing," Weaver said. "It's definitely good to come back and get this win to show that we haven't given up at all."
 
Weaver finished the game with 143 yards on 17 carries and had 85 yards receiving while Nye was 3 for 4 for 73 yards and two touchdowns, and Mease 2 for 2 for 66 yards and a touchdown.
 
"We tried to run the ball as much as we could," said Weaver, who also credited the offensive line. "We tried to keep the clock moving and score as many points as we could. It worked out great."
 
Ephrata dominated the line on both sides of the ball and held the advantage in time of possession all night. The Mounts averaged 4.80 yards per carry and accounted for 355 total yards.
 
"We've been working on the philosophy," Shelley added. "It's about hard work. You just can't just say you're going to win and (expect to win).
 
"We're a veer offense team and we have got to be able to block and drive people. It's taken them some time to get it, but this is a big step for us tonight."
 
In the final week of the regular season, the Mounts will match-up with another veer offense team; their backyard rival Cocalico Eagles.
 
Shelley and offensive coordinator Phil Kauffman were each longtime coaches for the Eagles and both retired after the 2003 season.
 
"I'm excited to play the game, not for any more reasons. It's going to be a good game. There's no way in this green earth that we match up with them," Shelley said.
 
"What (the Cocalico game) has got to be for us is a measuring rod. Have we come far enough to challenge them?"