York, PA - Dover seniors Tanner Link and Mike LoPresti were in awe of each other's performance after the Eagles hosted Garden Spot on Friday night.
Link led the offense and LoPresti was all over the field as a part of Dover's inspired defense that stifled the Spartans vaunted offense.
"They did it. It was all the defense," Link said. "When we scored early, it was the defense that gave us the ball with good field position."
Still, Link was pretty good himself, scoring four touchdowns as the Eagles knocked off their visitors from the Lancaster-Lebanon League in impressive fashion, 27-12.
The defense limited Garden Spot to 197 total yards, and opened the game by forcing three straight three-and-outs, while helping Dover improve to 2-0 on the young campaign.
Spartans dangerous option quarterback John Armburst was held to 41 yards rushing -- 30 of which came on one carry late in the game. The senior also was limited to eight completions in 23 passing attempts.
"We knew they would bring it. We prepared ourselves for it," LoPresti said. "Mostly, we had to contain the outside and fill the gaps."
After the second defensive stand, it took only one play when Link caught a slant pass from Connor Snyder and went off to the races for a 67-yard score.
"Coach (Bill) Miller said if we see them shift to cut inside. Connor recognized it too," Link said. "I felt the first guy hit my leg, but I still had my balance."
One play after the ensuing Spartan three-and-out, Link took a handoff from Snyder, burst between the tackles, cut inside, then outside before following the block from receiver Curtis Harman for a 56-yard touchdown run.
Garden Spot (1-1) used a long kickoff return to set up an eight-play, 34-yard drive that made the score 14-6. But Logan Ambrose's 45-yard return gave the Eagles the ball at midfield and Link ran in from 8 yards out for his third score in a span of less than nine minutes.
The Eagles starting offense entered the game a perfect 7-for-7 in touchdown drives after last week's win over Hanover. However, Miller wasn't surprised when the Spartans held Dover in check for its first two series.
"They came out and punched us in the mouth last year," he said. "We just have to trust each other."
A terrific touchdown catch from Connor Schlegel, but missed 2-point conversion, brought Garden Spot to within 21-12, midway through the fourth quarter.
But as was the case all night, the Eagles answered with a relentless 80-yard drive, led by Snyder, who ran three times for 67 yards on the series. Link capped the night with a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:53 remaining, and finished with 117 rushing yards and 184 total.
Snyder had 64 yards rushing and added 98 through the air and Jared Shipley pounded out another 57 yards on 10 carries.
"We keep coming every play," LoPresti said. "Like (assistant) coach (Eric) Lam says, 'Fast, physical, finish.'"
Garden Spot 0 6 0 6 -- 12
Dover 14 7 0 6 -- 27
Do -- Tanner Link 67 pass from Connor Snyder (Dalton Heim kick), 4:58.
Do -- Link 56 run (Jonathon Taylor kick), 3:24.
GS -- Connor Schlegel 4 run (kick failed), 11:55.
Do -- Link 8 run (Devin Heffley kick), 8:10.
GS -- Schlegel 12 pass from John Armbrust (pass failed), 6:20.
Do -- Link 4 run (kick failed), 2:53.
-- GS -- Do
First downs -- 9 -- 11
Rushes-yards -- 29-140 -- 38-251
Passing -- 8-24-0 -- 4-11-2
Passing yards -- 57 -- 97
Total yards -- 197 -- 348
Punts -- 8-37.9 -- 4-29.2
Fumbles-lost -- 6-1 -- 3-1
Penalties-yards -- 2-10 -- 4-28
Rushing -- Garden Spot, Dakoda Leid 12-55, John Armbrust 6-41, Ryan Connell 2-15, David Drescher 1-9, Austin Haas 6-8, Tanner Reed 1-8, Connor Schlegel 1-4; Dover, Tanner Link 19-117, Connor Snyder 6-64, Jared Shipley 10-57, Dylan Ehrlinger 1-7, Mike LoPresti 2-6.
Passing -- Garden Spot, Armbrust 8-23-0-57, Tyson Petersheim 0-1-0-0; Dover, C. Snyder 4-11-2-95.
Receiving -- Garden Spot, Haas 5-31, Schlegel 1-12, Leid 1-8, Joshua Padilla 1-6; Dover, Curtis Harman 2-28, Link 1-67, Logan Ambrose 1-2.