On a Monday evening, perfect for high school football, with a bright sunny sky, high clouds and a cool southerly breeze, the Solanco Golden Mules trampled the host Oxford Hornets by a 25-0 score. It was sweet revenge for the 14-10 loss suffered at the nest last season.B. J. Enck (10 carries - 101 yards), had a monster night scoring three touchdowns. The junior running/defensive back also added a 40-yard catch and an interception to his list of credits.
Oxford deferred after winning the toss and Solanco began their first offensive series on their own 27-yard line following the kickoff. The Mules marched down-field picking up four first downs before the Hornets dropped Enck for a six-yard loss setting up a field goal attempt on fourth and 12. The attempt sailed wide left. Up until that six-yard loss, Enck had romped for 36 yards on three carries during the drive and Brock Snider had a 36-yard TD sweep to the outside called back as a result of a clipping penalty.
Oxford found the going rough from the start with Sam Johnson, Solanco's inside linebacker, keying the defense on the Hornets first offensive series.
Solanco lost another scoring opportunity on their next possession when Enck's 25-yard sprint to the end zone was nullified on a holding penalty.
The visitors finally arrived in the home team's end zone late in the second quarter when Enck culminated a one-play drive set up when Johnson stripped the ball from an Oxford runner which was recovered by Dexter Jennings at the Hornet's six-yard line. Enck needed but one play to run in the pigskin giving the Mules a 6-0 lead with 4:40 showing on the clock.
Oxford, who was without the services of their top receiver Gabriel Yuille, never threatened until late in the second quarter. A Trevor Marsh spectacular catch for an interception at the Solanco 11-yard line ended the threat with less than two minutes left on the clock.
Solanco increased their lead to 12-0 early in the second half when they recovered a squiggling opening kickoff at the Oxford 40-yard line, after a Hornet player couldn't maintain possession.
Following seven and 12-yard runs by Snider to open the third quarter, Enck kicked in the after-burners to race the final 21 yards with 11:09 showing on the clock.
With Neil Donahue (6-4, 315), Tim Latham (6-3, 230), Bryan Boulden (6-0, 255) and Dan Nelson (5-10, 215) applying defensive pressure, the Hornets floundered on both sides of the ball allowing the Mules to own the fourth quarter. "Our line did a great job on both sides of the ball," said Solanco head coach Joe Pearson. "Offensively they came off the ball and ran their feet." Pearson went on to say that the success of the Solanco offense sits on the shoulders of the team's linemen and on Monday evening they did a great job.
With 10:18 left in the fourth quarter Enck added TD number three with an 11-yard jaunt on a first and 10 from the 11. A Justin Zellman 12-yard pass completion to Marsh on a fourth and seven at the Hornet 23 highlighted the scoring drive.
Solanco ended their scoring when John Fisher, a sophomore running back/wide receiver, scampered into the Hornet end zone from 26 yards out with 46.3-seconds left in the game. The drive featured a five-yard gain by Dave Strawser and Jordan Elvey. Ben Maule split the uprights on the point after attempt to end the Mules scoring.
Oxford started freshman, Geovani Cruz (7 completions-19 attempts-2 interceptions), at quarterback for the first time this season. Former starting QB, Nick Martino, moved to wideout and caught one pass for six yards.
DeQuan Gray, a sophomore, was Cruz favorite receiver catching three passes for 42 yards.
Zellman, stepping in for Ben W. Miller, as the Mules' signal-caller, completed seven of 12 passes with one interception. The junior QB completed two passes each to Snider (14 yards), Marsh (16 yards) and Mike Buffington (13 yards), and hit Enck with the longest, a 40-yard completion.
Pearson used a nine-player running attack that in addition to Enck featured Elvey (54 yards), Snider (42), Fisher (27), Zellman (26), Ryan Kutz (16), John Kirk (11), Strawser (5) and Vince DeMeo (5). "Our backs ran hard and did a good job holding onto the ball," said Pearson.
Solanco amassed 363 yards of total offensive opposed to Oxford's 114. The Mules held Oxford to minus rushing yardage in the second half and less than 50 in the first. "Defensively we were able to contain Oxford's athletes and tackled very well," added Pearson. "With everything said, this team has responded well to all of the adversity of the last two weeks with games being postponed twice, having to practice on short weeks. They prepared with a purpose. Our goal has been to win in everything we do and we are starting to do that from preparation for the games to the work in the classroom."
Solanco opens the L-L League season with the reigning Section II co-champions, Elizabethtown. on Saturday night, Sept. 20.