Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Buckskins top Mounts

Replacing a four-year starter at quarterback is no easy task, but Conestoga Valley Tanner Schwik was up for the task Friday night. Taking the reins of the Buckskins offense from prolific passer Grant Stoltzfus, Schwik and wide receiver Jose Barbon put on a show-connecting for three touchdowns in the season opener in Ephrata, winning on the road 49-7 [boxscore].

“The game plan is always going to be to get Barbon the ball because he’s so dangerous,” CV head coach Gerry Novak said. “Anytime the ball is in his hands, he’s going to make things happen.”

Turning point: After a Yozeph Bencosme touchdown run gave the Buckskins a 14-0 lead, Joe Cardina’s kickoff was covered at the Ephrata 17 by Tyre Stead. Three plays later, Schwik found Barbon for their first touchdown connection of the night-a 14-yard completion for the 21-0 lead.

Star of the game: Barbon collected 257 allpurpose yards, pulling in six passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns and added a 64-yard punt return in the second quarter.

Key statistic, part one: Schwik, who had four completions over 20 yards, finished 11-for16 for 228 yards and four touchdowns.

Key statistic, part two: Ephrata rotated quarterbacks Nate Young and Caden Keefer throughout the game. In the fourth quarter, Keefer led a 6-play, 79-yard drive with three carries for 52 yards-including a 15-yard touchdown run for the lone Ephrata touchdown. Keefer finished with 91 yards on nine carries and was 6-for-9 for 53 yards through the air.

Quotable: “Finally, in the third and fourth quarter, we relaxed and started executing. We were just so tense early on, so worried to make mistakes that we were a step too slow.” — Ephrata head coach Kris Miller.