Huskies win again
Mifflin County rolls past Big Spring
NEWVILLE — When interim Mifflin County football coach Scot Sechler took over the football program before the Huskies’ homecoming game against West Perry, he knew he was in for a challenge.
Sechler, Mifflin County track-and-field’s sprinting coach, has taken his expertise in running and brought it to the football field, as Mifflin County used a power running game to sprint past Big Spring, 35-13, in a Mid-Penn Colonial Division matchup at Bulldog Stadium on Friday night.
The Huskies rushed for 261 yards on 41 carries, and running back Gage Schaeffer dominated for a second-straight week, carrying the ball 16 times for 157 yards and three scores in the win.
“Gage is a great kid with a lot of speed,” Sechler said. “From watching film, we knew that if we could get him the ball in open space he would be able to get loose. I’m really proud of the offensive line, they did a great job blocking up front.”
While the offense was tiring out the Bulldog defense with a plethora of handoffs and counter plays, it was the Husky defense that came out strong in the game, shutting the door on multiple Big Spring drives with four stops on fourth-and-short, stalling a potent Big Spring rushing attack.
“The defense really stiffened up when they needed to,” Sechler said. “They have a bend, don’t break mentality. They gave up some plays but they really stepped up.”
The Huskies fell behind early in the contest, after Big Spring fullback Zach Hasko finished off a long touchdown drive with 3:33 left in the opening quarter, plunging through a big hole and shaking a Mifflin County defender for the game’s opening touchdown. Silas Keiter’s extra point was no good, so the Bulldogs led 6-0.
It was the first of a series of plays that led to the Bulldogs’ downward spiral as the tides turned quickly in the second quarter and Mifflin County began to pour it on, scoring three touchdowns in the period.
Schaeffer scampered off tackle on a counter for a 20-yard touchdown run, before Husky running back Kross Todaro punched it in on the ground from 17 yards out to give Mifflin County a 14-13 lead.
The Bulldogs continued to move the ball down the field as they had throughout the first half, but that drive was cut short when Big Spring quarterback Ethan Lee’s pass toward the sideline was intercepted by the Huskies’ Aaron Wagner with a little less than a minute to go in the opening half.
Just two plays later, the Huskies went to a trick play, though it went far from smoothly. Former quarterback and current wide receiver Noah Wright came around on a jet sweep, but Big Spring busted through the line and forced a fumble, before Wright picked up the ball and found a wide open Todaro for a 48-yard score with 26 seconds remaining in the second.
It was just that kind of night for the Huskies.
“That’s not exactly how we designed it,” Sechler said. “It worked out, though. Having Noah as a wide out we knew there were some things we can do with him. It was a busted play and wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but it got the job done.”
The Huskies received the second-half kickoff and picked up right where they left off, as Schaeffer took a handoff and started to run right, before cutting to the left on the counter play and sprinting down the sideline for a 69-yard touchdown that seemingly put the game out of reach, as the Huskies built a commanding 28-13 lead.
In the second half, the Huskies smothered Big Spring running back Ryan Adams, who came into the game with more than 1,000 yards on the season, and limited him to just 26 rushing yards in the second half, and 111 on the night.
The defense rose to the occasion in the second half, ending multiple Big Spring drives with fourth down stops in their own territory. Wagner added a second interception in the second half.
It was a particularly impressive night for Wagner, as the sophomore corner did a great job limiting the lengthy 6-foot 6-inch wide receiver Joseph Yaukey to just seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.
“Oh my gosh, they had so many big wide receivers,” Wagner said laughing. “Their quarterback was overthrowing a little bit and we just did our best to take advantage of that. We stayed ahead of them and tackled them right away when we could.”
With Schaeffer’s 157 yards, it is now the second week in a row where he has shined as a feature back. Schaeffer has rushed for 276 yards and five scores in his last two games.
“It’s been pretty great,” Schaeffer said. “The line has done great blocking and creating holes. That’s all I can say.”
The wins in the past two weeks have made a huge impact on a team that has struggled to find victories recently. The Huskies have outscored West Perry and Big Spring a combined 96-34.
Both Wagner and Schaeffer reflected on the changes in the past two weeks.
“It’s a little weird because we aren’t used to this,” Wagner said. “But I think the way we handled it, especially tonight, I think it showed that we are one of the better teams in the conference now.”
“I think that everyone was sick of losing,” Schaeffer said. “Everyone has stepped up and put more heart into that because we want to change that.”
Mifflin County now heads back to Mitchell Field on Nov. 3, to take on a powerhouse in Waynesboro. The Indians are currently 6-2, and are one of the top teams in the Mid-Penn Colonial.
“When I took over I told the kids we were going to end 3-0,” Sechler said. “We’ve got one more to finish. It will be Senior Night. I’d like to call for everyone in the county to come out. The kids really feed off the energy from the crowd and they need your support.”
Mifflin County 35, Big Spring 13
Mifflin County 0 21 14 0–35
Big Spring 6 7 0 0–13
Order of scoring
BS–Zach Hasko 7 run (kick failed), 3:33
MC– Gage Schaeffer (Davis Wagner kick), 11:00
BS — Joseph Yaukey 16 pass from Ethan Lee (Keiter kick), 8:07
MC– Kross Todaro 17 run (Wagner kick), 1:16
MC– Todaro 48 pass from Noah Wright (Wagner kick), 0:21
MC– Schaeffer 69 run (Wagner kick), 11:39
MC– Schaeffer 3 run (Wagner kick), 7:39
First downs 10 13
Rushes-yards 41-261 38-194
Passing 77 125
Comp-Att-Int 4-6-1 13-27-2
Total yards 338 319
Punts-Avg. 3-41.3 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 7-55 5-35
RUSHING: MC– Schaeffer 16-1573 TD, Todaro 6-52 TD, Cole Baker 12-29, Zach Bickhart 2-8, Gabriel Winkels 1-1; BS– Ryan Adams 18-111, Lee 9-39, Hasko 2-13 TD, Tim Siwy 7-(-2).
PASSING: MC– Jacob Krepps 3-7-29-0, Wright 1-1-48-0, Baker 0-1-0-1; BS– Lee 5-7-65-2, Siwy 8-15-60-0.
RECEIVING: MC– Todaro 2-66 TD, Cade Shoemaker 1-5, Wright 1-3; BS– Yaukey 7-75 TD, Gavin Pritchard 1-14, Hasko 2-23, Adams 1-12, Peyton Bechtold 2-14.
INTERCEPTIONS: MC– Aaron Wagner (2); BS– Wayne Hooper.