By Kenny Varner
LEWISTOWN – Despite falling behind early on the MIfflin County football team refused to give up!
Early in the first quarter, the Huskies found themselves trailing 13-0 in just a matter of minutes into the game.
However, MIfflin County would battle back and take over with two consecutive touchdowns,14-13.
But it wasn’t to be on this night as the Spartans running back Elijah Johnson found the holes he needed en route to an 185-yard rushing night to help lead his team a 42-27 victory over MIfflin County.
“We took the lead and then we gave up a kick off return. We have to better getting down there and getting off those guys,” said MIfflin County coach Shane Breon. “They (Milton Hershey) have some very athletic kids over there. They threw some balls up and their 6’ 2” guy went up and got it and that was the difference in the game in my opinion. I think it was four of those that got us.”
After holding the Huskies on their first offensive possession, the Spartans struck first.
Starting at their own 39, quarterback Kenny Emile took his team on a 4-play drive ending in a 36-yard TD Pass to Malachi Thomas, with Ofere Lomodong Kick), Milton Hershey led 7-0 at 9:03.
On the following kickoff, Mifflin County lost the ball and it went right back into the hands of the Spartan offense.
Five plays later, Emile called his own number and ran in for the 9-yard TD pass to Thomas. With the failed PAT, Milton Hershey led 13-0.
But the Huskies went phased by the early deficit.
Going right back to work, MIfflin County drove the ball down the field.
Quarterback Landen Eichhorn got his team back in the game as he hooked up with teammate Josiah Sechler on a 52-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Milton Hershey lead to 14-7.
On the next Spartan drive, the MIfflin County defense got into the act as Isaac Wilson intercepted Emile and took the ball to midfield.
The Huskies moved back down the field this time on the legs of running back Deakon Schaeffer. Schaeffer, who finished with 166 yards on the ground, tied the game at 13 when he muscled his way through the middle for the touchdown. With the successful PAT by Isaac Parks-Gill, the Huskies took the momentum.
However, it was just temporary as Milton Hershey stole their thunder on the following kick off.
With 2:45 still left in the opening stanza, Mohamed Koroma used his speed and blazed his way to an 80-yard kick return. With Lomodong kick, the Spartans jumped back ahead 20-14.
Milton Hershey continues to carry the momentum as Johnson seemed unstoppable at times. He would finish the first half with 167 yards on the ground.
He would score twice in the period.
His first of the period was a 30-yard TD run, upping their lead to 27-14 with 6:59 left in the half.
Minutes later, Johnson and company would score again. This time Johnson scored from 7-yard run. With a successful 2-point conversion the Spartans led 35-14 with 4:57 still to go until the intermission.
That would be enough time for the Huskies offense to try to get themselves back into the game.
They did just that as they mounted a 12-play drive using Schaeffer nine times. The ninth Schaeffer broke the plain on a crucial 4th and goal, cutting the lead to a 35-21 contest at the half.
Coming out of the half, the Huskies defense clamped down in Johnson and company, forcing the Spartans to punt for the first time in the ball game.
Using the momentum they had going into the halftime period, MIfflin County battled back to get the game to with eight at 35-27.
Schaeffer again would pushes his through the line and score from one-yard out.
But the comeback attempt was stopped there as the Spartans would score one last time, putting the final score at 42-27.
Mifflin County travels to Hershey next Friday.
Milton Hershey 20 15 7 0 – 42
Mifflin County 14 7 6 0 – 27
MH – Kenny Emile 36-yard TD Pass to Malachi Thomas (Ofere Lomodong Kick), 9:03.
MH – Emile 9-yard TD pass to Thomas (Kick failed),
MC – Landen Eichhorn 52-yard TD pass to Josiah Sechler (Isaac Parker Gill PAT), 6:07.
MC – Schaeffer 1-yard run (Parker-Gill), 3:01.
MH- Mohamed Koroma 80-yard kick return (Lomodong kick), 2:45.
MH – Elijah Johnson 30-yard TD run (Lomodong kick), 6:59.
MH – Johnson 7-yard run (2-point conversion),4:57.
MC – Schaeffer 2-yard run (Parker-Gill kick), 47.5.
Schaeffer 1-yard run (kick blocked), 6:04.
MH – Johnson 5-yard run (Lomodong) 3:29.
TEAM STATISTICS MH MC
First downs 18 16
Total Yards 371 318
Rushes-yards. 246 177
Yards passing 127 141
Passing (comp.-att.-int.), 12-21 1, 11-22-2
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 13-97 2-25
RUSHING: Milton -Elijah Johnson 29-185, Nijeer Catrell 8-25, Kenny Emile 5-26. Mifflin County – Deakon Schaeffer 26-166, Josh Cruz 4-8, Landen Eichhorn 4-(-4), Isaac Wilson 1-7.
PASSING: MIfflin County – Eichhorn 11-22-141. Milton – Emile 12-21-127.
RECEIVING: Milton – Johnson 2-10, Malachi Thomas 6-69, Mohamed Koroma 2-17, Angel Roberts 2-41. Mifflin County – Schaeffer 3-16, Josiah Sechler 2-54, Parker Kearns 2-47, Dupree Reed 1-6, Wilson 3-18.