Miners top Blue Devils
SHENANDOAH — During their three-game losing streak, Minersville struggled to get off to a fast start in each game.
That changed Friday night in the team’s second matchup of the season with Shenandoah Valley.
Jared Yoder returned the game’s opening kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown as the Miners went to beat the Blue Devils 35-0 in a Schuylkill League Division II game.
“We felt we could’ve gotten something like that all year, finally broke one,” said Miners’ head coach Damian Buggy of the kickoff return. “We took advantage when we had the opportunity.”
Minersville (2-4, 1-0 D-II) took control of the game behind the power running of Kenny Yurkonis, who rushed for 82 yards on 11 carries and scored two goal-line touchdowns, and Jordan Berdanier, who went for 40 yards and a score on eight rushes.
Berdanier’s score capped off a 12-play drive by the Battlin’ Miners midway through the first quarter that was saved multiple times by quarterback Scott Schwalm. Schwalm connected with Gehrig Hossler on a 12-yard pass on a fourth down early in the drive, then linked up with Bryce Ellinger for 13 yards after a penalty pushed the Miners from the 2-yard line to the Shenandoah 15.
Yurkonis added his first touchdown midway through the second quarter, putting another exclamation point on another long and methodical Minersville drive.
“We were more balanced this week than in other weeks,” Buggy said, referring to his team’s offensive balance early in the game. “So I was happy with the outcome.”
The Devils had trouble moving the ball all night as the Miners’ defensive front held the home team to a net gain of 3 yards rushing and only 47 total yards.
Shenandoah (1-5, 0-1) moved the ball at times, thanks in large part to nine Minersville penalties that totaled 75 yards, but an injury to quarterback Joseph Karvois in the second quarter made it almost impossible for the Devils to mount any comeback.
When asked if he was impressed with his defense’s performance, Buggy said, “Absolutely.”
Yurkonis added his second score for the Miners in the third quarter to increase the lead to 28-0.
Jacob Hoffman added a 58-yard sprint for the Miners late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring, and Jayden Eubanks picked off Najunas on the following drive to put the game away for good.