The Funding Zone

Cocalico becomes the first 12 seed to win Districts as they pound Exeter for the 5A title

Tagged under: District 3, Game Photos, Gameday Hub, News, Playoffs

| November 25, 2022


Photos by Bill Snook

“From 3-4 to here now as District Champs is incredible” Cocalico Head Coach Bryan Strohl said after his Cocalico Eagles stomped the previously undefeated Exeter Eagles 34-14.  Quarterback Josh Meyer had two rushing touchdowns of his own, Aaryn Longenecker had two interceptions as Cocalico continues its Cinderella run onto states.

Everything started off just the way the visiting Eagles wanted with an opening 15 play drive capped off by a Sam Steffey 2-yard score (7-0). Exeter could not muster anything on their opening possession and Brayden Eppinette back from injury took a jet sweep 47 yards for another Cocalico touchdown (13-0, PAT blocked).

After 1 quarter Exeter seemed to get back on track as Richie Karstens powered his way in on 4th and goald from the 1 yard line. This made it a one score game at 13-7 and momentum appeared back to the home squad. With under 2 minutes in the half Exeter forced another punt and had one more shot. Aaryn Longenecker stepped in and picked off Mason Rotteli at the Eagles 42 with just 49 seconds in the second. On the next play Meyer’s first pass of the night saw Longenecker streaking down the sideline to put Cocalico up 20-7 heading into the break.

Exeter found new life mid third quarter with Penn State Commit Joey Schaffler at quarterback hitting a couple of long pass plays to put the Eagles in business. Richie Karstens finished things off with another 1-yard score making it 20-14. Right when Exeter seemed to be in control, Meyer hit that man Longenecker again for a big pass play to end the quarter.

To start the final quarter, Cocalico had the ball at the Exeter 28, two plays later Meyer bounced off several defenders for a 12-yard touchdown (two point try was good making it 28-14 Eagles). Whether it was Rotelli or Schlaffer at QB Cocalico’s defense was on the prowl, notching 3 sacks and several big-time hits.

The 12th seed Eagles would notch their schools fourth district championship with another Josh Meyer touchdown, this time from 5 yards out (34-14). Exeter just could not get into any rhythm all evening and were finally finished off when Chucky Drain picked off Rotelli for another turnover. Final score here would remain 34-14 shocking the previously undefeated Exeter Eagles. “These kids love being together, they knew our schedule was tough early on and we would get better” Coach Strohl replied “Kudos to them for adjusing, but we just found better ways”.

Cocalico will march onto states and will take on WPIAL champ Pine-Richland, they’re senior class now has two district titles to add to their history.

Link to more photos below

entire gallery by Bill Snook HERE

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