Barnesville wins fourth straight

SARAHSVILLE – It was all green here Friday evening when the Shenandoah Zeps (0-5) hosted the red-hot Barnesville Shamrocks.

Barnesville started off early and never let up in the first half and went on to post a 51-20 victory.

“I’m very happy with the way we played” exclaimed Shamrock head coach Matt Johnson as they pounded their way to their 4th consecutive win posting 314 yards of offense.

Senior Barnesville (4-1) quarterback Kyle Yaquinta once again led the way for the Rocks, as he went 6-for-8 with 150 yards, going to the air for two TDs, and running for two more. Barnesville took its opening drive for 56 yards on 7 plays, with Yaquinta capping it off with a 12-yard run for his first. David Brown booted the PAT to begin the scoring at 7-0.

Unfortunately for the Zeps, their first drive didn’t end in such fashion. Backed up in their own territory, Shamrock Josh Schnegg tore right through the middle of the line and sacking Zep signal caller Eli Hurst for a loss of 13 yards and the safety. Following the punt, again, Yaquinta punched it in from a yard out to bring the margin to 16-0 with 3:33 left in the 1st quarter.

Shenandoah did get some help on the next drive when a Zep punt was fielded, returned and then fumbled, spoiling a big Shamrocks’ play. The Zeps recovered and continued the drive from their own 6-yard line. In 10 plays, the drive reached the Shamrock 38 before Shenandoah was again forced to punt. Pritchard made a 44-yard return up to the Zeps’ 30-yard line on the punt. The drive concluded in a Pritchard 4-yard rush for the score.

After a botched snap, the Shamrocks again took over needing one play to reach the end-zone again. From his own 41 yard line, Yaquinta scrambled to get free before hooking up with Jacob Anderson for a 79-yard reception to bring the score to 30-0 at the midway point.

The second half, however, the Zeps finally began to show some life as quarterback Eli Hurst broke free for a 34-yard scramble less than 4 minutes into the 3rd quarter.

After trading punts, Dylan Burkhart took one of his 14 totes on the night in for a score on the second play of the drive. Burkhart led the Rocks rushing attack accumulating 53 yards.

The ensuing possession, the Zeps offense needed the same amount of plays as Hurst scattered around before hitting Dakota Hornak for a 45-yard yard reception.

“It’s happened in almost every game, we’ve jumped out. We didn’t let them back in it but we could have,” said coach Johnson. “Good teams play with fire all the time, and that’s something we need to develop.”

The last possession which the Shamrock first team manned the field, Yaquinta hit big target Kyle McIntire for a 45-yard touchdown pass before calling it a night. At that point, the margin had increased to 44-14 after David Brown polished off his last PAT to convert a perfect 6-6.

Shenandoah’s Michael VanFossen led all rushers with 95 yards on 5 carries, broke free right up the middle and winning a what looked to be a lopsided foot race.

“Best we have played all year, they are buying in, and fighting.” pointed out Zeps head coach Kaleb Lawrence.

“Going on week 6 but they are starting to get it. Special teams are just giving too much field position.” he continued.

The Rocks, who received more than generous field position, compiled 152 yards rushing and 150 passing on the night, which presents themselves as deceiving numbers when putting up 50 points. Shenandoah did lead the Rocks in first downs edging them out 15-14.