Victory eludes Mount Union

MOUNT UNION — The Mount Union football team had victory in the palm of its hands but one of the hard lessons a young team has to go through is learning how to win.

The Trojans, trailing by one in the fourth quarter, failed to capitalize on a 10-play drive that stalled on two dropped passes at the West Branch 40. The Warriors took control with 3:38 left and ran out the clock for the 21-20 Inter- County Conference win on Friday night.

“We’re an 0-4 football team and you have to learn to win. Part of our discussion with them is you have to do that at practice,” Mount Union coach Jamie Brumbaugh said. “What you saw there with those two passes is what you saw in practice. We’re trying to coach it into them and the kids have to make a decision that you have to put the work in on the practice field if you’re going to get it done out here on Friday nights.”

West Branch tailback Derek Yingling was the workhorse of the offense once again, racking up 229 yards on 36 carries with two touchdowns to surpass the 1,000-yard mark halfway through the season. The junior now has 1,004 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year.

“To get over 1,000 yards in week five is crazy. My goal is to get 2,000 yards. After rushing for 1,400 last year, my goal is to get the school record of 1,500,” Yingling said.

Like Yingling, quarterback Quinton Posey was all-everything on the offensive end for Mount Union (0-5, 0-3). The Trojan senior threw for 174 yards and a score, while rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns to account for 257 of Mount Union’s 295 total yards of offense.

The Trojans opened the scoring taking advantage of a West Branch fumble on its own 14. A 36-yard pass from Posey to Klayton Willoughby for 35 yards put the ball on the Warrior 1. Posey took it in on the quarterback keeper for the 7-0 lead with 2:49 to go in the first.

West Branch (4-1, 3-1) answered with a 10-play, 49 yard drive capped by a 24-yard run by Yingling off left tackle to even thing up with 6:01 to go in the second quarter.

Mount Union answered with 8-play, 75-yard drive when Posey hit Max Baker on a 14-yard strike on a post route. Trevor Skopic’s PAT made it 14-7 in favor of the Trojans at the half.

The Warriors evened things up at 14-all when Yingling finished off a 9-play, 82-yard drive with a 15-yard scamper around the right side for the score.

West Branch took its first lead of the game at 21-14 after Will Herring intercepted a Posey pass at the Trojan 34. Yingling took it to the 1 with a 33-yard dash and three plays later, QB Ayden Gutierrez, snuck it in for the one-yard TD.

Mount Union struck back early in the fourth quarter when Posey ran the read option to perfection — faking to Willoughby and keeping it, going up the middle for a 57-yard touchdown. The PAT went wide left making the score 21-20 in favor of the visitors.

“The kids know we could and should have won this game. That’s what we talk about. It’s a learning process. The kids are young and they are learning. Hopefully, we’ll get one here and turn the corner,” Brumbaugh said. “The positives are we are getting the young kids experience, they’re getting reps and they’re improving. We are going to keep improving.”

Mount Union stopped West Branch on its next drive and took over with 8:18 left in regulation. Posey ran it three times for 16 yards and connected on throws to Vincent Lear (10 yards), Ethan Carbaugh (11 yards) to get it to the Warrior 40 before the drive stalled.

Mount Union hosts Claysburg-Kimmel on Sept. 28.

West Branch 21, Mount Union 20

SCORE BY QUARTERS

West Branch 0 7 14 0–21

Mount Union 7 7 0 6–20

First Quarter

MU–Posey 1 run (Skopic kick), 2:49.

Second Quarter

WB–Yingling 24 run (Godin kick), 6:01.

MU–Baker 15 pass from Poseyt (Skopic kick), 2:14.

Third Quarter

WB–Yingling 15 run (Godin kick), 5:12.

WB–Gutierrez 1 run (Godin kick), 2:52.

Fourth Quarter

MU–Posey 57 run (kick failed), 11:40.

TEAM STATISTICS

WB MU

First downs 17 14

Total yards 325 295

Rushes-yards 45–260 24-121

Yards passing 65 174

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 5-6-0 16-23-1

Punts-avg. 2-41.5 4-38.0

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 3-15 6-30

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: WB–Yingling 36-229 2TD, Herring 3-34, Gutierrez 6-(-3); MU–Posey 15-83 2TD, Willoughby 6-25, Skopic 1-9, Carbauigh 2-4.

PASSING: WB–Gutierrez 5-6-65-0; MU–.Posey 16-23-174-1

RECEIVING: WB–Hoffner 2-16, Herring 1-26, Yingling 1-13, Dale 1-10; MU–Carbaugh 5-67, Lear 4-37, Baker 3-33, Willoughby 3-24, Bl. Woodward 1-13..

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