Barons keep pace atop Section Two

By on October 8, 2014
With Lancaster Catholic driving, MC senior linebacker Zach Christian (24) raps up Crusader QB Jordan Scott (4) for a loss. (Photo by Mike Shull)

With Lancaster Catholic driving, MC senior linebacker Zach Christian (24) raps up Crusader QB Jordan Scott (4) for a loss. (Photo by Mike Shull)

A clash of football styles resulted in a win for the Manheim Central’s ground and pound style against the air attack of Lancaster Catholic.
Damon Camacho ran for 115 yards, followed by Anthony Staffieri’s 68 yards and Tyler Martin’s 41, as the Barons earned a 24-3 win over the Crusaders in a Section Two battle in Manheim.
The Crusaders managed only 81 rushing yards, but Jordan Scott threw for 192 yards.
With the victory, Central improved to 3-0 in league play (5-1 overall) and remained tied with Lampeter-Strasburg (3-0 L-L, 5-1 overall) in first place in the Section standings heading into a showdown with the Pioneers this Friday. Lancaster Catholic fell to 1-2 L-L (2-4 overall).
“We figured tonight would be kind of a test and a real challenge because they have a good offense,” Barons’ coach Mike Williams said. “I think we held our own. They moved the ball on us but we held our own overall.”
Neither team scored in the first, but Jordan piloted Air Lancaster to 74 yards through the quarter and their sole scoring drive started with 1:20 left before period’s end. The Crusaders reached the Barons’ nine-yard line before a sack by Zach Christian pushed them back to the 15 yard. Jordan dropped back to pass on third-and-goal but Christian pressured him into an incompletion. Dan Miklos then kicked a 33 yard field goal to put the Crusaders up 3-0.
The Barons’ offense, while not stuck in neutral, produced little of worth until they got the ball with 5:08 left in the half. Suddenly, they began to tear apart the Crusaders’ defense. Staffieri opened with a 16-yard run and two plays later, ran for 12 more. Camacho ran four times and gained 30 yards, many coming after first contact when he spun off the first attempted tackle. Eventually, Martin ran around the right side for an eight-yard TD with 2:53 left. The Barons never faced a third down on the drive.
“I think we just wore them down just a shade and we got a little faster tempo offense,” Williams said. “We just clicked.”
The offense clicked dramatically on their next possession. The Barons followed a Crusader three-and-out with one of their own, except theirs included a 52-yard touchdown on third-and-10.
From their 48 yard line, Staffieri swung a short screen pass to Zach Sylvester on the left side.
“We called a screen, threw it out there and he just made a great play,” Staffieri recalled. “He hit the hole hard and scored.”
“I just caught the ball and made a few cuts,” Sylvester said. “It was golden. (I saw) two or three (blockers in front of me) and I cut in back inside and saw green turf in front of me.”
When he caught the pass slightly behind the line of scrimmage, Sylvester saw Sam Martin, Jared Green and Tucker Ford ahead of him and all three made their blocks. Sylvester ran untouched and nearly unchallenged to the end zone.
“We practice it a lot,” he said. “I knew my linemen were good. I knew my receivers were good. They were going to block for me.”
With two minutes left in the half, the Crusaders had time to cut into the 14-3 Baron lead and worked their way to Manheim 16-yard line on fourth down. Miklos tried a field goal, but the Barons’ Jared Greene broke through and blocked the attempt.
“It was the turning point of the game, I thought,” Williams said. “They get (it) there and they’re still in (the game) at 14-6 but the block kind of deflated them a little.”
The block would not be the only special teams’ big play. Derek Adams kicked a field goal to set the final score at 24-3 with most of the fourth quarter to play. More importantly, he pinned the Crusaders back with touchbacks following each Baron kickoff.
“The field goal was big,” Williams said. “(Being up) 21-3 was a little shaky &tstr; 24-3 was pretty good. We pride ourselves on special teams. We’ve got a great kicker. That’s where your special teams start. The kids played well. He kicked the ball into the end zone so they had very few returns.
“Punting was great,” he added. “Special teams are one-third of the game. We don’t neglect them. We put a lot of extra time into them.”
The field goal drive was sustained by a muffed punt recovery by the Barons.
“That was a big mistake on their part,” Williams said. “We got just a field goal but that was a key. We had the ball in good field position to run time off the clock so that was a big mistake on their part.”
The offense scored 10 points in the second half, including a Camacho touchdown, to secure the win but the defense needed and provided big plays to protect it. They followed Camacho’s TD with a Drew Eshelman interception. Gavin Guyer picked off Scott with two minutes left in the game to squelch Catholic’s fading last hope.
“That was a huge win,” Staffieri summarized. “We need the momentum. We’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us, so to beat someone like Catholic, who is pretty good, should give us some confidence.”

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