Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Barons rush by Mounts

Ephrata stuffed Manheim Central on its first play from scrimmage Friday night. The Mountaineers ended up doing the same thing on the first plays of the Barons’ next two offensive series.

Unfortunately for Ephrata, Central had a lot of success on many of its other plays, scoring on each of the first six series it had the ball, on the way to posting a 55-0 (boxscore) homecoming victory.

Three plays after the initial stop by the Mounts, Barons quarterback Kody Kegarise hit a wideopen Jake Novak for a 60-yard touchdown.

Holding Ephrata to three-and-out, a short punt set Central up inside Mountaineers territory and on fourth-and-long, Novak hauled in a 39-yard scoring strike.

Set up at the Ephrata 43 on the next possession, Dante Himelright was stopped on first down, but sprinted 43 yards for another score on second, making it 21-0 less than nine minutes in.

“Things kind of clicked for us this week in practice,” Barons coach Dave Hahn said. Central improved to 3-1 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, and 6-1 overall. “We had a really tough Tuesday and a really good Wednesday. We bounced back. It was probably one of the most hostile practices and most fun.”

Almost scored: Ephrata’s Dustin Fisher seemed headed for paydirt as he romped down the sideline for a 75-yard gain midway through the fourth quarter. However, he was caught from behind by defensive back Will Rivers on the Barons’ 6-yard line.

Four plays later, the diminutive sophomore Rivers intercepted a pass in the end zone, preserving the shutout.

Star of the game: Novak scored on both of his receptions, finishing with exactly 99 yards receiving.

Key statistic: The one-sided first half saw Central outgain the Mounts 297-13. Ephrata had one first down in the opening 16 minutes, a 23-yard pass from Brendan Holbritter to Shane Wright late in the first quarter.

Quotable: “I don’t know. It’s six of one, half-a-dozen of the other. I am kind of happy with both,” Hahn said when asked which he liked more, the 297 yards for or 13 against.