Hornets rout Huskies
Before the Hornets were finished celebrating last week’s 77-13 season opening win over Dieruff, they were already thinking about their next game.
While the players and coaching staff were happy with the win, they also saw some things their team needs to work on before it faces some of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference’s more powerful teams.
“It feels good to come out and get a win,” said sophomore running back Sone Ntoh. “Some of the mistakes we made can’t happen. There are bigger games down the road where those will really cost us. We can play a lot better. We can eliminate most of the mistakes.”
Emmaus looked solid on both sides of the ball. But some penalties on offense and some missed tackles on defense will be the focus heading into next week’s clash with Whitehall.
“We’re going to enjoy this one,” said Hornet head coach Harold Fairclough. “We put in the work to get this one. Obviously the first game looked like a first game for both sides. We did a great job for the most part executing. A lot to clean up. We can’t make those mistakes next week.”
“We played great for the first week,” said senior outside linebacker Jared Skibinski. “But we definitely have a lot of things to clean up. We’re looking to improve every week.”
Skibinski, a senior making his first start on the Hornet defense, came up with two big plays in the game. He intercepted a Husky pass that led to an Emmaus touchdown in the first quarter. He also scooped up a fumble in the end zone for touchdown.
“He kind of came out of nowhere and made some big plays for us,” said Fairclough. “That’s what we’re going to need – different guys every week to step up and make plays.”
The Hornets, which debuted their spread read option offense, saw a lot of different players make plays on both sides of the ball in week one.
Emmaus’ two sophomore running backs led the way. Lubens Myers ran for 132 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Ntoh carried seven times for 40 yards and three scores.
“They put on a pretty good performance tonight,” said Fairclough. “They’re starting to feel a lot more comfortable in the scheme. They’re starting to see the cuts. They both have that explosiveness.”
After a few years where Emmaus relied nearly solely on a running game, this year’s offense is more balanced and focuses on countering what the defense is showing.
The Hornet players love the new scheme.
“We love it,” said Ntoh. “It’s a spread offense but that doesn’t mean we can’t be physical.”
“They’re open to the change,” said Fairclough. “Our personnel didn’t fit what they were doing. I think this scheme fits our personnel a lot better.”
Senior quarterback Derek Sheaffer had one of his best games as a Hornet. He completed nine of 15 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He spread the ball around to six different receivers, with Ryan Fritz (3 catches, 61 yards and a touchdown) and Drew Schwindenhammer (2 catches, 40 yards) leading the way.
Emmaus opened the scoring when Myers ran for a 28-yard touchdown with 7:40 to play in the first quarter. Ntoh made it 14-0 when he ran in from a yard out with 30 seconds left in the first period.
The Hornets got the ball right back on Skibinski’s interception and Ntoh scored one play later on an 11-yard run.
Sheafferr hit Fritz for a 44-yard touchdown pass early in the second period. Grant Ritter forced a Dieruff fumble on the Huskies’ next possession. Skibinski fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 35-0 lead with 9:34 left in the first half.
After Dieruff scored on an intercepted pass, Myers returned the ensuing kick off 80 yards for a touchdown. Ntoh added a 2-yard touchdown run just over a minute before halftime to give his team a 49-6 lead heading into the locker room.
After Myers ran for a 50-yard touchdown early in the second half and Emmaus’ Benjamin Maehrer recovered a fumble on an errant Husky punt snap to put Emmaus up 63-6.
The Hornets final two scores came on a 26-yard run by Blake Reed and an 11-yard run by Mekhi Flannigan.
Veteran Hornet kicker Carson Landis nailed all 11 extra points in the game.
Emmaus heads into next week’s game against Whitehall looking to improve on its week one performance. The Zephyrs are coming off a 46-0 win over Pocono Mountain East.
“I know they’re going to be well prepared,” said Fairclough. “We’re looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be a challenge. We’re going to work. We’ve got to clean up some things from [Friday night].”