Quick answer stymies Mustang momentum
MIDDLEBURG–Midd-West’s night didn’t start off well, but after a quarter of play, the Mustangs finally got on the board and things were starting to turn around.
Then the Mustangs’ momentum stopped almost instantly.
The Mustangs scored after falling behind by two touchdowns, but a score just two plays later from Mifflinburg sapped all life from the Midd-West sideline. The Wildcats went on a tear, building up a sizable lead through three quarters on the way to a 48-7 victory in a Heartland Athletic Conference matchup Friday night at Midd-West High School.
Mifflinburg’s Carter Breed rushed for 170 yards and a pair of scores while Leroy Simpson had two rushing TDs in a decisive victory. The Wildcats (2-1) were able to move the football on the ground and through the air as sophomore quarterback Troy Dressler completed 8-of-12 passes for 206 yards and a 65-yard TD to Zach Wertman put the Wildcats up 28-7 at the half.
“In the first half they had several big plays that hurt us and if we don’t give up some of those plays, then it’s something different,” Midd-West coach Lance Adams said. “Ultimately, that’s on me and it’s my responsibility to put us in a position to be successful. I have to do my job better and collectively, we have to do a better job and players need to step up and do a better job too.”
Midd-West (0-3) got on the board in the second quarter as the defense forced a stop and then Christian Regester connected with Corey Reinard over the middle for a 25-yard strike to shrink the deficit to 14-7 with 8:10 left in the opening half.
From there, the Mustangs attempted a squib kick that cost Midd-West dearly, as Mifflinburg scored just two plays later on a 40-yard TD run for Breed his second of the half to fall behind 21-7.
The Mustangs drove deep into Mifflinburg territory all the way to the Wildcats’ 10-yard line with 2:44 left in the first half but stalled out before Wertman’s TD grab put the Mustangs behind big heading into the locker room.
Midd-West, which had turned the ball over nine times in its previous two games did so three times on Friday night, but one turnover came in the final seconds, as a punt bounced off a Midd-West player and was recovered by Mifflinburg with less than 10 seconds left to play.
“We’ve talked about winning the turnover battle and it was closer than it’s been,” Adams said. “We didn’t finish drives and we didn’t stop them.”
A series of errors cost the Mustangs, as they dropped a sure touchdown pass with 4:55 left in the first quarter, fumbled the ball into the end zone on what should have been a 24-yard TD run and allowed a botched snap on a field goal attempt by Mifflinburg to turn into a 26-yard rushing score for the team’s holder, Jacob Bingaman, for the final nail in the coffin in the fourth.
“We have to learn to make plays,” Adams said. “We didn’t catch the ball, we didn’t do well up front blocking and we didnít tackle. Defensively, we didn’t cover people and didn’t do well on special teams. We need to be better in every facet of the game. We did not play well tonight.”
Offensively, Ethan Schlief led the way for Midd-West, carrying the ball 15 times for 108 yards, while Austin Dorman picked up 30 yards on the ground. Regester completed 7-of-20 passes for 60 yards and a TD to Reinard. Reinard led Midd-West with five catches for 59 yards.
Friday night was Senior Night for the Mustangsí program, as the team honored its nine players who are playing their final season before the game.
Overall, Adams is looking to see improvement across the board as the Mustangs welcome Bloomsburg next week.
“We need to improve on ourselves,” Adams said. “I’m not worried about any of our opponents at this point, I’m just worried about us getting better.”
Mifflinburg 48, Midd-West 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MIF 14-14-7-13 — 48
MW 0-7-0-0 — 7
MIF — Troy Dressler 1 run (Gabriel Stetler kick failed) 9:23
MIF — Carter Breed 3 run (Dressler run) 5:47
MW — Corey Reinard 25 pass from Christian Regester (Ryland Portzline kick) 8:10
MIF — Breed 40 run (Stetler kick) 7:47
MIF — Zach Wertman 65 pass from Dressler (Stetler kick) 1:20
MIF — Leroy Simpson 3 run (Stetler kick) 2:41
MIF — Simpson 4 run (Stetler kick) 8:39
MIF — Jacob Bingaman 26 run (Stetler kick failed) 6:22
First downs 16 11
Total yards 518 190
Rushes-yards 36-312 33-130
Yards passing 206 60
Passing (comp-att-int) 8-12-1 7-20-0
Punts-avg. 2-25.5 5-42
Fumbles-lost 1-0 5-3
Penalties-yards 7-95 3-30
RUSHING: MIF — Carter Breed 12-170 2 TDs, Troy Dressler 8-36, Gabriel Stetler 3-33, Leroy Simpson 7-29 2 TDs, Jacob Bingaman 1-26 TD, Jacob Rodarmel 2-11, Brian Reeder 3-7; MW — Ethan Schlief 15-108, Austin Dorman 8-30, Christian Regester 10-(-8).
PASSING: MIF — Troy Dressler 8-12-1 206, TD; MW — Christian Regester 7-20-0 60, TD.
RECEIVING: MIF — Zach Wertman 1-65, Jacob Bingaman 3-58, Cannon Griffith 1-43, Gabriel Stetler 1-25, Carter Breed 2-15. MW– Corey Reinard 5-59 TD, James Troup 1-7, Ethan Schlief 1-(-6).