Lampeter-Strasburg clinches dominant LL League victory over Ephrata | High school football
Lampeter-Strasbourg coach Victor Ridenour hoped his side could show their explosiveness on Friday against Ephrata’s visit.
Mission accomplished – and then some.
The Pioneers dominated every phase of the game en route to a 63-7 victory over the Mountaineers in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three football game.
LS (4-0 in the league, 8-1 overall) won their eighth game in a row and won nothing worse than a tie for their second straight Section Three title and ninth Sectional Championship in the LL league.
It was meant to be a showdown of sorts, with Ephrata one game behind in the section race after suffering her first section loss in Week 8 against Donegal.
“I wanted to try and reestablish the line of scrimmage on offense, and we’ve had a lot of slow starts on this side of the ball,” said Ridenour. âI know we can be explosive and I wanted it to show. And tonight, they answered that call; they did a great job, getting a good push up front.
Ridenour noted running back Giovanni Malatesta, who had 73 yards and three touchdowns in 10 carries, all in the first half.
Quarterback Berkeley Wagner roughly matched Malatesta, rushing for 72 yards and three touchdowns in just eight carries while going 2-for-4 for 32 yards in the air. Two of Wagner’s scores came in a 35-point first quarter, and his third in the second as the Pioneers added another 21 for a 56-7 lead at halftime.
âI’m just thinking of the offensive line; when they leave, we leave, âsaid Wagner. âAnd they went tonight and we just had our way to the front. They kept pushing, and when they do it makes my job so much easier – I have the easiest job in the world.
Defensively, it wasn’t much different. Ephrata was limited to under-7 rushing yards on 15 carries in the first half and didn’t get a first down until about six minutes from time to time. The Pioneers intercepted two passes and Jackson Heeter recovered from a missed kickoff in the end zone for a score.
Carson Coleman posted the other first-half score for LS on a 9-yard run.
In the kicking game, Andrew Reidenbaugh performed all nine PATs and belted kickoffs that approached or into the end zone. One checked at the 1-yard line because Ephrata expected him to enter the end zone as well; the ball was then searched inside the 5 and recovered by Heeter in the end zone.
“I thought maybe we were going to have some chances,” said Ephrata coach Kris Miller. “We just didn’t execute, and they took the ball and scored right away, and dominated the game from kick-off.”
Ephrata’s biggest play of the night was a 73-yard kickoff return by Jeremiah Knowles with 2:32 left in the second quarter, putting the Mountaineers at the Pioneers 22-yard line. On the fourth and 1, Andre Weidman traveled 13 yards around the left end for the TD.
With a stopwatch in the second half, neither team had much possession time. LS finished the scoring with a 15-yard TD led by Julian Lopez with 2:22 left.
For the game, LS even had 400 yards, including 368 rushing. The defense held Ephrata to 89 total yards.