Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Exeter Takes Measure of Mounts


Ephrata head football coach Scott Shelly didn't seem or talk like a coach whose team had just lost its first game of the 2013 season, a 34-7 [box score] defeat at the hands of Exeter Friday night in Ephrata. But then Shelly always sees the silver lining in his team.
 
"It's going to come," said Shelly with a big smile on his face. "One day the breaks are going to come our way and it will all come together. These kids work their butts off and I am so proud of them."
 
Ephrata took the opening kickoff and was promptly stopped by a huge Eagle defense and forced to punt from its own 31.
 
However the Mountaineer defense, led by Dakota Keefer and Joshua Gehman, matched Exeter as they forced the Eagles to punt after just four offensive plays.
 
Sophomore Gyree Durante started at quarterback for the Mounts but was frustrated most of the first half by the Exeter defense.
 
Durante was eventually replaced by Bobby Nye in the second half, and Nye had little success moving the ball.
 
On their second offensive possession, the Eagles struck paydirt when Robbie Devich hauled in a 29-yard TD pass from Chase Yocum to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 4:48 left in the opening period.
 
After Ephrata was forced to punt again, the Eagles needed only five plays to score again. This time Yocum called his own number for the final five yards of the drive to make the score 14-0 with just 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
 
Yocum finished the night with 107 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns and one passing TD.
 
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers found yardage at a premium, as they gained only 34 total yards.
 
With 7:07 left in the first half, Exeter scored again when Manny Soto rumbled 25 yards for the touchdown after breaking three tackles.
 
Early in the second half neither team could muster much offense, until with only 1:56 left in the third quarter, the Eagles finally scored on a 21-yard rush by Yocum.
 
On the ensuing kickoff, Keefer hauled in the kick at his 10, broke two tackles and broke free up the right sideline to outrace the Eagles for the lone Ephrata touchdown.
 
Exeter would finish out the scoring with a 50-yard run by Matt Hampton to send the Mounts to their opening-night loss.
 
"It's been tough," said Shelly. "In our scrimmage with Lancaster Catholic one of our better players was injured (Blake Weaver injured his collarbone), and then early in the game we lost another one of our better players when Jeremy Kachel hurt his shoulder. So we have a lot of kids who are only playing for the first time and have to learn the system."
 
Shelly finished his comments with a smile when he said, "It will come around."