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Exeter blanks Boyertown, 28-0

BOYERTOWN — Exeter’s stifling defense and multi-pronged running attack proved too much for Boyertown to handle Friday night as the Bears fell 28-0 in their season opener.

Although the game started out as a defensive battle with a scoreless first quarter, Exeter pulled away in the second, scoring two touchdowns, amassing 172 yards on the ground in the first half.

“The kids had a little bit of an adjustment getting up to game speed and, overall, I was very pleased with the effort,’ said Exeter coach Matt Bauer. “The kids played whistle-to-whistle.’

Boyertown only managed 11 yards of net offense in the first half.

“The defense just kept grinding, playing hard, fast. We kept getting the ball back,’ said Exeter two-way lineman Michal Menet. “I could not be more proud of the guys I’m playing with. We just play hard and fast.’

“It started out really great,’ Boyertown first-year coach George Parkinson said. “(Then) a lot of our guys who are inexperienced were getting fatigued early. Going against those big guys, it was a tough battle on the line of scrimmage … that’s why we struggled. We couldn’t keep them out offensively.’

Four different Eagles combined for a total of six sacks Friday night.

“It’s a great front four for us,’ Bauer said. “They’re all veterans and definitely the strength of our team.’

Boyertown managed just 88 yards of offense in the entire game, most of it coming in the fourth quarter after Parkinson lifted starting junior quarterback Lawrence Garnett for sophomore Evan Gianetti.

Gianetti threw 12 times for five completions, totalling 59 yards. Garnett managed only 14 yards worth of passing. Of his two completions, one was a screen that tipped out of a running back’s hands and into offensive guard Shawn O’Donnell’s hands for a 12-yard gain.

“I’m a little disappointed,’ Parkinson said. “I was pleased that, for the most part, (Garnett) kept his poise, which was good, because we hadn’t seen that in the last couple scrimmages … He has so much more running ability and I don’t think he brought it to the table tonight.’

Garnett lost 24 yards on the ground Friday night. His most successful plays were options but many times he was caught behind the line or stuffed moving forward.

“We’re very pleased with what (Gianetti) did tonight. For a sophomore to walk in there and have the poise he did and have the focus, we’re very pleased,’ Parkinson said. “There’ll be a battle (for quarterback) this week for sure.’

Parkinson said he was mostly happy with his defense, saying Exeter’s points came mostly from “a couple big breaks they had.’

Like their defensive line, the Eagles’ offense shared the load on the ground. Quarterback Chase Yocum and running backs Mitch Pyles, Jeremy Tibbetts and Braelin Grill all scored touchdowns, combining for 282 yards.

“We’re still running back by committee and we’ve got a lot of hungry kids,’ Bauer said. “It’s a good thing with all the backs hungry.’

Tibbetts led Exeter’s running backs with 77 rushing yards but Yocum was the lead rusher Friday, amassing 148 yards on the ground.

Parkinson said some work needs to be done since the Bears are running a new system, with a few delay of game calls coming.

Still, he was encouraged by the Bear sideline remaining loud until the final whistle.

“One of the things we’ve been working on is the team concept,’ Parkinson said. “I don’t care if its 50-0 them or 50-0 us, we play one way — all out.’

 

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