Huskies come up short

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Mifflin County’s Zachary Bickhart, left, rushes while Hollidaysburg’s Austin Weakland moves in for the tackle Friday at Mitchell Field.

LEWISTOWN — Hollidaysburg quarterback Brady Walters combined for 327 yards of total offense to lead the Golden Tigers in a 39-28 defeat over a scrappy Mifflin County squad Friday night at Mitchell Field.

Walters passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards and a score as the visitors improved to 2-0 on the season. Hollidaysburg, behind a big and powerful line, racked up 453 yards of total offense.

But it was mental mistakes that did in the Huskies (0-2) — namely four turnovers, seven penalties and receivers who dropped at least six balls that were right on the money.

Mifflin County was the epitome of shooting itself in the foot.

“I was surprised by the mental mistakes we made. I thought we had a clean week of practice, things were crisp, the passes were on point and we caught everything,” Mifflin County coach Scot Sechler said. “I think we let our emotions get the best of us during the game.”

With three linemen surpassing 300 pounds. the Golden Tigers, ranked fifth in the state in Class 5A by MaxPreps.com, rode that girth to a 26-7 halftime advantage.

Hollidaysburg marched on a 12-play, 65-yard drive and a 14-play, 95-yard drive in the half.

The Golden Tigers drew first blood when Walters scored from four yards out to make it 6-0. Walters then connected on a 25-yard strike to Ben Drass for the 13-0 advantage.

“We have a good offensive line. They do a great job, our H-Backs, running backs and tight ends block well, and we have three guys who can run the ball in Walters (Nate) Fisher, and Barr. All those guys complement each other. They work hard at it and it shows. I’m very happy with the way the offensive line played,” Hollidaysburg Homer DeLattre said.

Mifflin County (0-2) cut the deficit to 13-7 when Wyatt Henry took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to daylight with seven seconds left in the quarter.

“That kid is slick and very shifty. He reminds me of Barry Sanders out there. He goes in one direction and just like that, he’s going in another direction. He’s a special kid,” Sechler said.

Hollidaysburg started to self destruct when the penalty bug bit hard. The Golden Tigers committed 15 penalties for 120 yards that stunted their momentum early in the second half.

“The penalties are the only thing that stopped us tonight. It’s uncalled for. We had 10 penalties last week. They are just mental mistakes we have to make corrections,” Delattre said. “Overall, I’m happy with our performance. Special teams were a problem. Give Mifflin County credit. They were tough and fought back in the second half.”

The Golden Tigers made it 26-7 at the half thanks to a TD run by Nate Fisher and a nine-yard pass from Walters to Jacob Sensenig with 4:29 left in the second.

The Huskies battled back with two touchdowns in the third quarter, both coming on the feet of QB Noah Wright. The first he snuck in from the one and the second on a 15-yard gallop on the read option.

“I’m sick of moral victories, but I talked to the kids at halftime about heart and level of effort. When they came out I thought they played their guts out,” Sechler said. “The kids keep telling me we’re going to get better and that means a lot to me. If we just clear up the dumb mistakes that our easily fixable, we’re going to win a lot of football games.

“We ran routes well in the second half, we just have to catch the ball. We were pushing 10 or more dropped passes and two or three could have been touchdowns,” Sechler said. “The good thing they are mental mistakes that are easily fixable. We don’t have to go back to the drawing board and re-invent the wheel. We have to clean up the errors.”

DeLattre believes his team needs to learn how to finish games to to the next step in the evolution of the program.

“We talked about learning how to finish as a program. We had the same situation last week up by three scores and we didn’t keep our feet on the pedal. We got ourselves into trouble because of the penalties, but again, give Mifflin County credit,” DeLattre said. “The coaching staff did a good job of keeping his team in the game and playing tough. They have a good team.”

Hollidaysburg capitalized on a Husky turnover in the fourth when Wright threw an interception and five plays later, Walters scored from the one on the quarterback draw to make it 32-21 on a Hunter Barr scamper. He finished with 93 yards.

Mifflin County closed out the scoring when Wright connected with Isaiah Collins on a picture-perfect 40-yard touchdown pass.

“We played hard and fought back but we made too many mental mistakes to win this game,” Mifflin County coach Scot Sechler said. “We were in a dogfight with the No. 5 team in the state. It’s a little bit heartbreaking for me to have one that close. It was right there in our grasp and it slipped on us.”

Mifflin County hosts Northeastern in a non-league contest on Sept. 7.

Hollidaysburg 39, Mifflin County 28

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Hollidaysburg 13 13 0 13–39

Mifflin County 7 0 14 7–28

First Quarter

H–Walters 4 run (kick failed), 6:34

H–Drass 25 pass from Walters, (Pinter kick), :22.

MC–Henry 7 kickoff return, (Carter kick),

Second Quarter

H–Fisher 1 run (Pinter kick), 6:27.

H–Sensening 9 pass from Walters (pass failed), 4:29.

Third Quarter

MC–Wright 1 run (Carter kick), 3:09.

MC–Wright 15 run (Carter kick), :06.

Fourth Quarter

H–Walters 1 run (pass failed), 8:15.

H–Barr 5 run (Barrick kick), 4:08.

MC–Collins 40 pass from Wright (Carter kick), :40.

TEAM STATISTICS

H MC

First downs 26 12

Total yards 453 204

Rushes-yards 42-219 18-58

Yards passing 234 146

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 17-33-0 12-30-2

Punts-avg. 3-28.0 3-37.0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2

Penalties-yards 15-120 7-55

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: H–Walters 17-93, Fisher 10-26, Barr 10-91, Martelllacci 2-0, Weyant 2-7, Shawley 1-2; MC–Shaeffer 8-23, Poche 1-5, Wright 8-28, Henry 1-2.

PASSING: H–Walters 17-33-234-0; MC–Wrightv 12-30-146-2.

RECEIVING: H–Sensisenig 5-81, Martelllacci 1-17, Weakland 2-13, Brass 5-73, Fiasher 4-50; MC–Collins 1-40, Ju. Jackson 1-15, Miller 1-10, Henry 1-10, Bickhart 3-28, Schaeffer 4-31, Ja. Jackson 1-12.

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