Defense Flounders Against Potent Cocalico Offense

The Buckskins square off against Cocalico at Friday night’s game. Photo Credit: Ethan Miller

By Ethan Miller ‘23

The Cocalico Eagles’ offense mainly consists of one play – the dreaded triple option. By having one RB in the backfield and a receiver in motion before the snap, the QB is able to hand it off, pitch it, or run it himself, forcing the defense to basically pick a runner to go after. If they guess wrong, tough luck, since the offense just tore off another big game. The 50-year-old play is one of the most versatile single plays in a coach’s playbook, and the Eagles have it mastered. Unfortunately, that meant that on Friday night, the CV Buckskins struggled mightily against the Cocalico offense. 

When the game started, it appeared that CV might have a shot at winning in the inevitable shootout, as the offense played well right out of the gate. Though the defense struggled immediately against the Cocalico run game, the Buckskin offense for the most part kept pace in the first half.

Cocalico got on the board with a touchdown to lead 6-0 early in the first quarter. On the following drive for the Buckskins, QB Macoy Kneisley led the team down the field for a touchdown. Tight End (TE) Aiden Johnson made a fantastic toe-drag catch on the sideline to keep the drive going, and WR Jaiyell Plowden pulled off an amazing catch in the endzone in which he leapt over two defenders for a 24 yard score, putting CV up 7-6. The Eagles would charge right back with another touchdown, making it 12-7 as they failed on a two-point conversion attempt. The score would stay that way into the start of the second quarter. 

The Buckskins, already driving to start the second, got deep into Cocalico territory before sophomore kicker Kyle Jankowski had a field goal attempt blocked. The defense came up with a rare stop on the Eagles offense, giving the ball right back to CV. This time, they would be able to put more points on the board, as Kneisley hit Tyler Klopp out of the backfield for a 12-yard touchdown, making it 14-12 after the extra point. Cocalico marched right back down the field to score another touchdown, which gave them the lead at 18-14. On the following kickoff, the Eagles attempted an onside kick, surprising the Buckskins and recovering the kick, giving Cocalico the ball again with excellent field position. They would quickly score to make it 25-14 in favor of the Eagles going into halftime.

The hope among fans at halftime was that the Buckskin defense would be more prepared for Cocalico’s dynamic triple-option run scheme. The Eagles received the ball to open the second half, and the defense went right back to backsliding as the Cocalico offense rolled down the field into the red zone immediately. The defense mustered up some strength with their backs against the wall, as Zach Phy recovered a fumble to give the ball back to the offense early in the third quarter. The offense took that gift and ran with it- or rather, threw with it, as in just three plays the Buckskins were celebrating in the far end zone. After an incompletion and a 26 yard completion to WR Avery Tran, QB Macoy Kneisley and WR Jeff Fisher connected for a 66 yard touchdown that pulled the Buckskins back within 4 at 25-21 in favor of Cocalico. From there, things went downhill fast, as the Eagles began to run away with the game, scoring 2 unanswered touchdowns before the quarter came to a close while the Buckskin offense couldn’t muster anything. 

Entering the fourth, Cocalico led 39-21, and they quickly added yet another TD making it 46-21.  CV would manage one last touchdown, a 30 yard touchdown catch-and-run for TE Aiden Johnson that brought the Buckskins a little bit closer at 46-28, but from there the scoring ended and the game came to a close without any more points being added to the scoreboard. The 46-28 loss drops CV to 3-4 on the season, and 1-1 in their section. 

While the defense struggled mightily throughout the duration of the game, the offense continued to perform as well as they had in the 2 games coming into Friday’s contest. QB Macoy Kneisley completed passes to 7 different receivers, and all 4 of his passing touchdowns were to different players. Overall, the offense tallied nearly 400 total yards – it was the defense that got shredded. Up next, CV plays Manheim Central at home for homecoming next Friday night.

Box Score


Player of the Week

Junior QB Macoy Kneisley gets the nod this week after a great game behind center on Friday night. While completing 20 passes en route to a completion percentage over 60 percent, he threw for 341 yards with 4 touchdowns and only one interception. Kneisley’s play kept the team in the game, leading 4 scoring drives. This is his second POTW award of the season (Week 4). 


Week 1: WR Avery Tran

Week 2: RB Nick Tran

Week 3: OLB Michael Burnett

Week 4: QB Macoy Kneisley 

Week 5: RB Nick Tran

Week 6: RB Nick Tran

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