Kegarise scores four TD’s in win over GS

By on November 4, 2015


 Manheim Central defensive back Gavin Guyer (left) chases Garden Spot running back Jahad Jeffers during action last Friday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim Central defensive back Gavin Guyer (left) chases Garden Spot running back Jahad Jeffers during action last Friday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Kody Kegarise was excited.

Manheim Central’s QB had led his team to a 28-10 win by rushing for four touchdowns among 23 runs for 209 yards. He passed for 111 more yards.

“It feels great (to score four TD’s),” he said, “but quickly added, “I’m just pumped for Solanco.”

Coach Dave Hahn stayed in the present longer to praise his QB.

“He was awesome tonight,” he said. “I am so happy for him. Kody made great reads. We were running options and kept the ball and were able to run. There were some plays we knew we could get with Kody running the ball.”

When Kegarise used Damon Camacho as his option, Camacho added 112 yards towards the Barons’ team total of 337 ground yards.

“Damon got the hard yards tonight,” Hahn said.

An early run by Camacho, on second-and-15, resulted in a fumble that set up Garden Spot on the Manheim 35 yard line.

The Spartans nearly took full advantage when Cameron Roth hit Max Focht with a pass that Focht took to the end zone. An illegal procedure wiped out the TD and linebacker Sam Martin sacked Roth for a seven-yard loss on the next play. GS managed to convert on fourth-and-nine to keep the drive alive long enough to get a field goal from Logan Eby.

“(After) that first-quarter fumble, I felt like, ‘Here we go again,’” Hahn said. “I didn’t want to start out slow again. We’ve done that a number of times.”

The Barons took possession after the kick-off with 6:07 left in the quarter and began pounding the Spartans with Camacho around both ends but mostly up the middle. On second-and-10 from the 22, Kegarise faked the handoff to Camacho, ran to his right and then straight to the goal line for the first touchdown with 2:45 left in the first.

Another steady diet of Camacho and Kegarise runs, aided by completions to Tyler Lutz and Justin Lundgren, sent the ball to Spartans’ 11. On first down, Kegarise kept the ball and cut inside a defender at the line. The defender had arms on him but could not get the QB down. Two or three players had him nearly stopped him, but Kegarise reached out to get the ball into the end zone.

With time running down in the first half, Roth rolled to his right and looked downfield for Focht. Sam Martin forced Roth to underthrow the pass and Jay Barreto came back for the ball, jumped and intercepted the ball in front of Focht. The pick was the first of four on the evening by Central.

While Kegarise and Camacho successfully attacked the Spartan defense, Jahad Jeffers had similar success against MC’s defense. Jeffers finished the game with 142 rushing yards, including 81 in the first half.

“Jeffers is a heck of a runner; strong up top,” Hahn said. “We talked about getting low. When we stayed square and stuffed the line, we were able to pin him. He’d killed us in the middle.”

Jeffers’ runs paid dividends early in the third quarter while opening the passing game for Roth. Roth hit a well-covered Brock Kauffman in stride down the middle of the field. Kauffman was tripped up at the one yard line, but Jeffers ran in for the TD one play later.

With the score uncomfortably close at 14-10 and most of the half left, the Barons’ defense began to stiffen on the run and held Jeffers to one long gain for the rest of the game and nine yards total in the fourth quarter.

The Spartans made adjustments to their game plan to counter Camacho.

“They started to pick it up and they started to crash three guys down on me,” Camacho said. “That left it wide open for Kody to run. In the first, I was picking up some yards and they adjusted to it.”

Kevin Starner’s pick set the Barons up at their 43 and Kegarise capitalized quickly on the opportunity. On third-and-inches, Sam Martin lined up in the backfield and Camacho lined up as a wide receiver. Kegarise took the snap and followed Martin’s block through the line and ran down the right side. Camacho set a block downfield that enabled Kegarise to run to the end zone for the 21-10 lead.

“We put him out as a receiver and he did a heck of a job blocking out there,” Hahn said. “He doesn’t get a lot of reps out there blocking but he was unbelievable out there blocking for us … When you work that hard and you spring other people open, that’s awesome.”

Lowen Hanselman ended the next Spartan drive with an INT with 5:10 left in the game. The Barons ran the clock down to 1:14 before Kegarise scored his fourth touchdown from 29 yards out.

That’s what I love about our defense,” said Hahn. “Hanselman gets beat early but he doesn’t give up. He keeps fighting and later in the game, he gets a big pick and kills their drive.”

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