Barons earn share of Section Two title

By on November 9, 2016
Junior wide receiver Jake Novak (right) had eight receptions for 134 yards and two TDs in Manheim Central’s 50-8 win over Garden Spot last Friday. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer.

Junior wide receiver Jake Novak (right) had eight receptions for 134 yards and two TDs in Manheim Central’s 50-8 win over Garden Spot last Friday. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer.

Manheim Central football coach David Hahn wanted to pressure a young Garden Spot team right from the outset.

The Barons won the coin toss, took the football and scored within two minutes to jump on Garden Spot early in a 50-8 win in New Holland.

“We told the kids, ‘We need a quick start. Get on them early, (get) on them often and finish drives,’” Hahn explained.

With the win, MC tied Cocalico for the Section Two title and sent them into the District Three 5A playoffs on a five-game winning streak with hopes to go deep into the post-season.

“It feels good,” senior quarterback Kody Kegarise said. “A Section title is a Section title, even though we are sharing it for the second year in a row. We’re a playoff team. We’ve got to keep at it and keep doing what we’re doing.”

Kegarise finished the game with 134 rushing yards and two scores, along with three TD passes and 294 yards through the air. Jake Novak caught two touchdowns and Austin Geib had one of 62 yards.

Kegarise opened the game with a 23-yard run after Tyler Flick set up the Barons at their 39. A pass to Geib and two more runs by Kegarise gave the Barons second-and-6 from the eight. From there, Novak caught his first TD and gave Manheim the 6-0 lead when the point after failed.

The defense gave up 37 yards to Cameron Roth and Jahad Jeffers but forced a punt from the MC 43. The kick put the Barons at the 20, but the Spartans were flagged for illegal procedure. The second punt pinned the Barons at the 8-yard line. A 72-yard run by Kegarise fell victim to a holding penalty and set the line of scrimmage at the five.

A stand by the Spartan defense may have altered the game, but Kegarise kept finding room to run around the right side to take the Barons to the 23. After completing passes to Novak and Gunnar Royer, Kegarise kept the ball as the Spartans bit on a fake up the middle and ran to the left for a 41-yard TD.

“It was a counter play,” recalled the QB. “I faked it to Erb because that was our jumbo package. I followed the two big guys up the middle and they did a good job opening up the hole and I got down the sidelines.”

The successful two-point conversion run by Colin Erb set the lead at 14-0.

Later, Geib hauled in a 38-yard TD pass with 9:48 left in the second quarter, making it 17-0.

“It was a slant play,” Geib said. “They were playing a cover three (and) it left the middle wide open. The outside linebacker would jump the out route so all we had was open field. I broke a couple tackles and I was in there.”

The gain could have been significant, but not a TD had Geib not danced around the first defender.

“He had outside leverage on me so I took two steps to the outside and broke it (inside),” he said.

While the Barons were running rampant, Spot’s two-headed offense generated little yardage.

“I think our defense did a good job,” Hahn said. “They played heads-up football. They got to the ball and swarmed (Jeffers). They didn’t give him a lot of room to run. They did a great job.”

“We were trying to force them to give the ball to Jeffers,” he added. “We didn’t want the quarterback to have the ball. We were taking (Roth) away and making Jeffers run it in between the tackles because we felt we had a chance.”

The MC offense had two chances late in the first half and capitalized on both to extend their lead. Flick scored with 2:49 left on a two yard run, and then Kegarise added a touchdown from the two yard line to set the halftime score at 36-0.

The Spartans received the kickoff to open the second half but their first possession resulted in only one yard. A poor punt set up the Barons at the Garden Spot 45, even after a Baron holding penalty. On fourth-and-four from the 39, Kegarise went to pass and found Novak wide open downfield for the touchdown.

“Jake was wide open,” Kegarise said. “I put some air under it because I knew I wasn’t going to underthrow it or overthrow it. I made sure I got it there.”

Kegarise opened the Barons’ last scoring drive of the game by scrambling right and turning back left before hitting Royer for a 35-yard gain to the 17. Two runs by Flick and one by Erb moved the Barons to the one before Kegarise scored on fourth down with 1:37 left in the third quarter.

Roth showed why Hahn’s strategy was to keep the Spartan QB’s chances limited when he ran 41 yards for a touchdown with 3:41 left.

“I thought we came out in the second half and did what we needed to do, but then we faded,” Hahn said. “When you’re up 50-0, it’s kind of hard and loses a little of its luster. We faded on both sides of the ball. I was disappointed we didn’t finish.”

“We know (Garden Spot is) young but they came out and played very spirited tonight,” he added. “I thought they were pretty tough. I know that they gave us some things and Kody’s tough to defend but they still played tough.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *