Barons contain Brown in rout of CV
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
It’s that time of year when teams are starting to watch the out-of-town scoreboard a little bit.
Manheim Central is no different.
And unfortunately for the Barons, although they took care of their own business last Friday with a 49-7 drubbing of long-time rival Conestoga Valley in Witmer behind a solid defensive effort and a three-touchdown night by junior running back Ian Hanselman, they didn’t get a lot of help from others.
Despite improving to 7-2 overall (5-1 Section Two), the Barons gained only two spots in the latest power ratings, inching up to 13th with just one game left on the slate. They host Solanco this Friday at 7 p.m. to close out the regular season.
"That’s human nature," Manheim Central coach Mike Williams said of looking at the playoff picture. "We’re analyzing the final week … who’s going to win, where we could possibly be. We’re doing that because we’re trying to figure out, ‘Should we go scout them,’ and so on. But right now, our destiny is not so much controlled by our own won or loss, but it’s controlled by other teams winning or losing. That’s not a great way to deal with it. You want to try to do things on your own and not depend on others."
With Solanco holding a 1-9 overall record, the Barons can’t expect a lot of bonus points if they go on to defeat the Mules this week.
But they will certainly be looking to maintain momentum after earning their third straight win at the expense of CV (3-3 L-L, 3-6 overall) last Friday. Part of the recipe for success was containing Buckskins’ 1,000-yard back Anthony Brown, who managed just 20 yards in the first half when the Barons bolted to a 35-0 lead at the intermission.
"When the game was on the line, we held him down pretty good," Williams said. "I think traditionally, we play pretty good against the top backs in the league. It was just a mindset more than anything X’s and O’s wise."
Since giving up 48 points in a loss to Cocalico four weeks ago, the Barons have, in fact, been holding their opponents down rather impressively, yielding just two TD’s in their past three games. Although the defense still has room for improvement, particularly in third-and-long situations and pass defense, Williams has seen progress.
"We got on them pretty good (following the loss to Cocalico)," Williams said, "and I think they’ve rose to the occasion a little bit. We’re still not playing defense like we’d like to play but we have improved and the kids are playing with more enthusiasm, more intensity."
MC junior quarterback Colin Fry opened the scoring when he reached paydirt on a three-yard run early in the first quarter. That would be a sign of things to come for the Barons, as they would go on to score on five of their first six possessions to pull away.
Ian Hanselman, who ran for 152 yards, scored the first of his three TD’s later in the first — a six-yard scamper — to make it 14-0 after one. The junior running back added touchdown runs of 15 and 54 yards in the second quarter, and then Justin Greene’s three-yard TD rush, following a fumble recovery by junior defensive back Nick Brubaker, made it 35-0 late in the half, invoking the mercy rule.
We have some individuals that are playing very well," Williams said. "It’s a question of playing hard on every play. That’s another issue. We have guys that make great plays, but we make a great play and then don’t make too good of a play later on. It’s getting more consistent. Playing on every down is what we’re looking for."
Fry’s second TD of the night, an 18-yard sprint in the third quarter, pushed the Barons’ advantage to 42-0 before Brown finally got CV on the scoreboard with a 44-yard touchdown run in the final stanza.
Although Brown finished with 129 rushing yards on the night, the bulk of those came on two long runs — gains of 54 and 44 yards — when the game was no longer in doubt.
"I thought we did a pretty nice job (on Brown)," Williams said. "I think we just played aggressive defense."
Dan Wiederrecht’s four-yard TD rush later in the fourth quarter completed the Barons’ scoring and allowed them to turn their focus toward Solanco this Friday night. More BARONS, page B-12