Breed leads Wildcats to 2-0
MIFFLINBURG – Things weren’t looking good for the home Wildcats through the first two drives of the game Friday night.
Bloomsburg seemed to have the Mifflinburg rushing attack figured out, stuffing the Wildcats for just four rushing yards on five attempts in the Wildcats first five offensive plays of the game. The first drive ended with a three-and-out with one yard of offense. The second drive ended in a Mifflinburg fumble, which Bloomsburg turned into a score. The Black Panthers took the lead with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
From that point a switch flipped, and the Wildcats came to life. The team racked up 234 rushing yards, with 179 coming from Mason Breed. From that point forward, the Wildcats rebounded to pick up a 39-13 win over Bloomsburg to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
“I just told these guys, I can’t remember the last (game) where the opponent scored first and we ended up on top,” Mifflinburg coach Jason Dressler stated following the game. “We showed so much heart and so much toughness. We made a lot of mistakes in that game, but they just kept battling.”
The Mifflinburg fumble that set up an early Bloomsburg score certainly set Bloomsburg up with the early momentum, but that didn’t last long.
Mifflinburg’s Andrew Diehl fielded the ensuing kickoff at the Mifflinburg 11-yard line and scampered up the near sideline. The 89-yard kickoff return evened the score at seven apiece, just 13 seconds after Bloomsburg had taken the initial lead.
“That was huge by Andrew to show his athleticism there,” stated Dressler. “We did a great job blocking. He saw the seam and took it. It was awesome. Great momentum for us.”
Following the game-tying score a series of events happened. It didn’t seem as though either team wanted to obtain possession of the ball.
Mifflinburg’s defense was able to force a three-and-out on Bloomsburg’s ensuing possession and took over in Bloomsburg territory. An interception on the second play of the drive gave the Panthers the ball right back.
Unfortunately for Bloomsburg, their possession was short-lived. A fumble on the first play of the drive gave the ball right back to Mifflinburg, who ended the first quarter with an offensive three-and-out.
Bloomsburg struck early in the second quarter to take the lead back. On first-and-15 from their own 14-yard line, Bloomsburg quarterback Jack Howell dropped back in the pocket and delivered a beautiful deep ball to Daniel Guzevich. Guzevich turned to locate the ball, and despite near-perfect coverage from DeGroat in the secondary, was able to make the catch and stroll into the end zone for an 86-yard catch and run score.
Mifflinburg again struck back immediately, though not quite as quickly as it had the first time. Mifflinburg’s ensuing drive lasted 11 plays and took over four minutes off the clock in the second quarter. Halfback Mason Breed rumbled into the endzone from 11-yards out, his first of four scores on the night. Gabe Stetler knocked the extra point through the uprights to give Mifflinburg its first lead of the game at 14-13 with 6:26 remaining in the first half.
In the second half, things really took off for Mifflinburg on both sides of the ball. Offensively the Wildcats more than doubled their score as the Wildcats outscored the Panthers 25-0 in the final two quarters.
Breed scored his second and third touchdowns of the night.all four of his scores came on the ground – on the Wildcats’ first two possessions coming out of the half, as a stout Bloomsburg run defense early on looked as if it was wearing down.
“We went in (to the locker room) and talked about things that we saw in the first half. We were anxious and we weren’t executing properly. We weren’t finishing things.” Dressler said. “We figured out a couple things and just made some minor adjustments and they came out here and did it.”
Defensively in the second half, Mifflinburg forced a pair of turnovers and also blocked a punt which was scooped up and taken to the endzone by Michael Antonyuk on the final play of the game.
“In the second half our defense really stepped up,” Dressler said, “There were a couple things we saw going on. We had to fix our tackling, but still they came out the second half and played phenomenal.”
Breed finished the game with 24 rushes for 179 yards (7.5 yards per carry) and four touchdowns.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Mason Breed, “Last year I wasn’t able to play because of an injury and we lost big-time. It was a great feeling to get some redemption this year and be able to pound them and run the ball which we haven’t been able to do in a while.”
The win improves the Wildcats’ record to 2-0 to begin the season. This is the first time Mifflinburg has started a season 2-0 since 2011.
“It feels great,” said Dressler, “I’m very proud of this team… It was a battle and we knew it was going to be.”
The Wildcats will look to improve to 3-0 Friday when the team plays host to Milton (0-2).
Notes: The Wildcats lost to the Panthers in Bloomsburg last season 39-0… The Wildcats did not attempt a single pass play in the second half… Mifflinburg ran more running plays (45) than Bloomsburg ran total offensive plays (41) in the game.
Mifflinburg 39, Bloomsburg 13
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bloomsburg 7 6 0 0 — 13
Mifflinburg 7 7 12 13 — 39
B—Gage Klinger 3-yard run (Torsten Hartmann PAT Good), 4:03.
M—Andrew Diehl 89-yard Kickoff return (Gabe Stetler PAT Good), 3:50.
B—Daniel Guzevich 86-yard reception from Jack Howell (PAT No Good), 10:59.
M—Mason Breed 11-yard run (Stetler PAT Good), 6:26.
M—Breed 8-yard run (PAT No Good), 9:24.
M—Breed 3-yard run (2 pt. Conversion No Good), 3:13
M—Breed 1-yard run (PAT No Good), 5:54.
M—Michael Antonyuk 26-yard blocked punt return (Brandon Linn PAT Good), 4:10
First downs 7-15
Total yards 191=291
Rushes-yards 26-56 : 45-234
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 6-15-17-13-1
Penalties-yards 6-31 4-20
RUSHING—Mifflinburg: Breed 24-179 4TD, Diehl 10-33, Rylee Shahl 4-9, Ethan Hoy 1-7, Gary DeGroat 5-6, TEAM 1-(-3). Bloomsburg: Cade Klinger 8-44, Dylan Smith 4-15, Xzayivher Russel-King 2-9, G. Klinger 3-4, Spencer Yodock 2-(-1), Howell 6-(-7), TEAM 1-(-8).
PASSING—Mifflinburg: DeGroat 6-9 42 yds, INT, Jacob Reitz 1-3 15 yds, Stahl 0-1. Bloomsburg: Howell 6-15 135 yds, TD, INT.
RECEIVING—Mifflinburg: Stahl 4-37, Diehl 1-15, Colin Miller 2-5. Bloomsburg: Guzevich 2-91 TD, C. Klinger 2-30, G. Klinger 1-8, Madden Locke 1-6.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: