Huskies head into unfamiliar territory

Sentinel file photo
Mifflin County’s Gage Scheaffer, right, stiff arms State College defender Jereme Thompson Friday at Memorial Field in State College.

LEWISTOWN — For the first time since 2011 the Mifflin County football team meets a District 6 opponent not named State College.

The Huskies were independent their first year of existence when they faced Tyrone, Huntingdon, Bellefonte, and Central Mountain. The Wildcats being the last D6 team other than State High the Huskies played.

That is until now.

Mifflin County (0-1) squares off with Hollidaysburg in the Huskies home opener Friday night at Mitchell Field, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Golden Tigers (1-0) took care of Altoona last week by a 40-27 score. The Huskies dropped a 35-12 decision to the Little Lions last Friday.

For Mifflin County coach Scot Sechler, having a team like Hollidaysburg come in is a good thing for the team and the football fans in the county.

“From my standpoint, I’m very excited to play Hollidaysburg. It’s great to play local teams. I like that local flair,” Sechler said. “I was an Indian Valley guy, so I miss playing the Bald Eagles, the Bellefonte’s and those teams. I recognize we’re a big school now and we have to play bigger teams.”

Hollidaysburg, like State College, will be a formidable matchup. The Golden Tigers return plenty of talent from last year’s 8-4 squad that made it to the PIAA Class 5A Quarterfinals before falling to state finalist Gateway 49-30.

Senior quarterback Brady Walters ran for 133 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for 80 yards on 6-of-8 passing for a score. Senior running back Nate Fisher rushed for 89 yards and three TDs against Altoona. The Golden Tigers have a run heavy offense featuring three lineman over 300 pounds.

“As I said, I’m excited to play them. They went deep in the playoffs last year and they return a lot of big guys up front. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. It’s just another step in the process of getting better,” Sechler said.

Hollidaysburg aren’t total strangers to Sechler, who coaches track and field as well. Many of the athletes on the Tiger football team participate in track as well.

“We see them all the time on the track. It’s going to be nice to see them from a different perspective. A lot of the kids on the track team are on this football team, so we know a lot of their personnel and what they’re capable of.” Sechler said.

Sechler believes playing more teams from the district would bring fans to the game who may have stayed away since the Huskies joined the Mid-Penn Conference in 2012.

“I believe Hollidaysburg will travel well, they’ll bring a fair amount of fans. I know Central Mountain would if we could get them on the schedule at some point in the future,” Sechler continued. “It may bring people out who don’t have any relations to the program right now and could come back to see renewed rivalries.”

Sechler feels having as many District 6 teams as he can on the non-conference schedule benefits the Huskies in a myriad of ways.

“It’s great having a District 6 team as the home opener. I would love to get Central Mountain on the schedule at some point,” Sechler said. “It’s another local school that we competed against for a long time. I like those kind of matchups. They are meaningful to the kids and to the parents. I can’t wait to get out there on Friday. It’s neat to have Hollidaysburg back as a rival again. I think you’ll see the rivalry last a long time now. It’s a great thing for Mifflin County.”