Zephyr Defense Prevails Once Again over Easton Area 31-14
The game looked similar to the one played last year in Whitehall. Both were tied at halftime, then the Zephyrs took advantage of some turnovers by the Red Rovers to take the 31-21 win. This time around the only thing different was the score, though not by much. Three interceptions by the Whitehall defense in the second half propelled the Zephyrs to a convincing 31-14 victory in front of a capacity crowd at historic Cottingham Stadium.
“We lost alot of players from last year’s team. We did not know how we were going to be this year,” said Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert after the game. “Tonight we realized that we have a pretty good team.”
Whitehall got on the scoreboard first on their opening possession as Jeff Charles(9-15 177 yards 0 Int’s) connected with Conor Sullivan on a 55 yard scoring pass just 1:10 gone in the first quarter. Connor Ilgefritz tacked on the PAT to give the Zephys a 7-0 lead.
Easton’s Kyle Bambary tied the score at seven with a five yard run of his own at the 5:21 mark of the opening quarter. That score remained right up until halftime.
The second half was dominated by the Whitehall defense. Tyler Williams got turnovers started by picking off senior quarterback Brad Wilkens at the Red Rover 47, that led Connor Ilgenfritz to connect on a thirty yard field goal midway through the third quarter.
Then it was Ryan Bonshak’s turn to intercept Wilkens in the end zone for a touchback. The Zephys then went on an 80 yard march to paydirt. The drive did have some controversey as a pass from Charles to Saquon Barkley appeared to be trapped along the Red Rover sideline but was ruled complete for a 26 yard gain. Bonshak completed the drive with a seven yard run up the middle giving his team a 17-7 lead with 24 seconds left in the quarter.
Easton was not going quietly in this battle to remain in first place in the LVC. Nolan Kilpatrick scored on a five yard run to pull the Rovers to within three at 17-14 at 7:33 mark of the final period.
Then Easton made a crucial mistake when the ensuing kickoff fell into the waiting arms of Mustafa Mitchell at the Whitehall 23. 77 yards later Mitchell crossed the goal line giving the Zephs a 24-14 lead with 7:20 left in the contest.
Bonshak got in the mix again picking off his second pass of the night which set up his team inside the Rover 25. Saquon Barkley (19 carries 60 yards) ripped off a 22 yard dash up the middle to complete the scoring for the night.
The win gives Whitehall (8-1, 7-1 LVC) a half game lead over Parkland for the LVC title. The Trojans play Central Catholic Saturday night.
“This is my first time playing at this historic field. What a way to remember this place by getting this kind of win here tonight,” Bonshak said.
Whitehall concludes its regular season next week at home against Northampton on Senior Night at Zephyr Stadium.
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