Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Pioneers rush past Mounts


The Phantom of the Opera appeared out of the shadows and dashed across the field at the conclusion of the Lampeter-Strasburg band’s energetic pregame performance.

The mysterious masked interloper would provide the evening’s last bit of drama, as the Pioneers dominated from the opening whistle on their way to a 61-6 [boxscore] Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two football victory over Ephrata.

Stars of the game: The L-S offensive line dominated with its array of punishing interior blocking as well as an impressive display of athleticismontrapplays and sweeps to the outside.

Particularly impressive was the patient running of Cam Niemeyer, who demonstrated an uncanny ability to wait for his blockers and follow their leads to daylight. Not only did the senior successfully dart up and down the field on running plays, but he also had an electric 48-yard interception return that set up an L-S touchdown.

Turning point: The Phantom left the field and the Pioneers arrived with a vengeance. L-S marched 55 yards on seven plays on its first drive and never looked back as it scored 40 firs thalf points.

Four different Pioneer players — Niemeyer, Todd Shelley, Marc Wilson, and Drew Smith — tallied rushing touchdowns in the first half to spark the runaway victory.

Key statistic: Thirteen — the number of Ephrata plays in the first half that went for either zero yards or negative yardage.

The L-S defense relentlessly pressured Ephrata quarterbacks Nathaniel Young and Caden Keefer while stifling the Mountaineers’ running game. Although Keefer was able to spring a few big runs, L-S swarmed to the ball repeatedly and even created two turnovers.