Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Trojans defeat Mounts

“Regroup, Rebuild, Return.” This motto that the Ephrata football program has embraced focuses on growth. According to head coach Scott Shelley, the inability to field a JV team last season has put the team in a tough position in which players are learning the game while competing on Friday nights.

Unfortunately, for the fifth consecutive week, Ephrata found itself overmatched, and it fell behind in the first half, and eventually lost the game 49-0 [box score].

“I thought we had an opportunity to grow a bit in this game because the kids have been working hard,” Shelley said. “It’s hard to struggle out of hole, but it’s not for lack of effort.”

The Trojans opened the game with a big kickoff return and scored a few plays later on a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Thomas Merkle.

York Suburban’s second score was almost too easy, as running back Dajour Henderson busted right up the middle untouched and raced 67 yards for a touchdown.

Ephrata did show some signs of life in the first half. The defense battled hard and forced some negative plays for the Trojans. Additionally, the offense had a few bright moments led by sophomore quarterback Jory Hagen. Hagen found Michael Caraballo down the sideline for gains of 21 and 18 yards, and also hit Alexander Rummel for 21 yards on a well-designed fade pattern.

Turning point: Ephrata fumbled on its own 25-yard line and York Suburban scored minutes later on a six-yard touchdown pass from Merkle to Collin Mailman to push the Trojans’ lead to 20-0.

Star of the game: Ephrata linebacker Pat Griffith played solid defense all night, delivering a number of good hits while recording a sack and two other tackles for loss.

Key statistic: Zero. As in the amount of points the Mounts gave up in the second half after surrendering 49 in the first half. The defense played much more disciplined and swarmed to the ball.