Governor Mifflin Knocks Out Harrisburg 26-14
At the beginning of the football season, the Gov Mifflin coaches sat down and talked about the two games they lost last year, Wilson and Harrisburg. The coaches felt that the reason the Mustangs lost those games was an inability to break their opponent mentally. So to symbolize this “breaking an opponent mentally” strategy the team used “The Russians cut, and it’s a bad one” line from the Rocky movie series as the message for the season.
The line is a metaphor for gaining the mental confidence to defeat an opponent. The team also used the signing of boxing gloves too as a symbol. The Mustangs signed the first glove after the season opener win over Wilson. The second glove was signed today as the Governor Mifflin Mustangs avenged last year’s loss and sent tremors across the state. Governor Mifflin upset the previously unbeaten, star studded, #1 ranked, Harrisburg Cougars 26-14 in Harrisburg on Saturday.
The one-two combination of fullback Isaac Ruoss and Quarterback Kam Wolfe propelled the Mustangs to victory. Ruoss battered the Harrisburg defensive center all game long. Wolfe flawlessly directed the offense and provided a key interception to keep the Mustangs in control of the contest.
Longtime Governor Mifflin Head Coach Mick Vecchio was understandably emotional following the game. “It’s an indescribable feeling,” Vecchio said. “It’s why you do this for 26 years.” Gov Mifflin’s confidence coming into the game was summed up by Mifflin QB Kam Wolfe. ” They (Harrisburg) have a lot of great players, but we have great players too.”
Just like in the Rocky movies, Harrisburg, like Apollo Creed, came out swinging. Mifflin stood in their toe to toe for most of quarter one. Finally Harrisburg’s “Mr. All Everything”, Micah Parsons, took a swing pass, broke several tackles, reversed his field and broke free for a dazzling TD making the score 7-0 Cougars at the 5:17 mark of quarter one. Mifflin continued to hold their own and quarter one ended 7-0.
Harrisburg landed another big blow early in quarter two. Ronald Kent fielded a punt and sped down the sidelines 60 yards for a score. It was 14 -0 Harrisburg with 9:45 until half. Just like Rocky, Mifflin got off the mat and just got mad. The next Mustangs’ drive pounded it right up the gut, right down the field. Mifflin’s Isaac Ruoss scored to make it 14-7 Cougars, 7:30 till half. Mifflin then pulled a fast one and recovered an on-side kick. The stadium came unglued! Mifflin again slugged it out right up the gut with Ruoss and QB Kam Wolfe. When Wolfe dove across to tie the score with 3:03 till half, it was nutso time on the Mifflin side of the field. The emotional pendulum had swung way over to Mifflin. The Mustangs traded blows with Harrisburg until half, and at the break we were tied at 14.
Harrisburg received the second half kick and the first play, or non play, was the turning point of the game. Micah Parsons ran 67 yards for what looked to be a TD. However, a penalty nullified the score and pinned the Cougars back deep in their end. The Mustangs then forced a Harrisburg punt. A short kick affected by the miserable weather conditions set Mifflin up on a short field. Ruoss pounded it again and again up the middle. Harrisburg knew what was coming and could not stop it.
When Kam Wolfe dove across to give Mifflin a 21-14 lead it was pandemonium on the Mifflin side of the field. The Mustangs really grabbed ahold of the game by partially blocking an ensuing Harrisburg punt. The Cougars then dug deep to halt the Mifflin drive. When Ben Myers confidently sailed a 28 yard field goal through the uprights, it was clear that Mifflin had the upper hand in the game. We went to the fourth quarter 24-14 Mifflin.
Between the horrible weather and hard hitting Mustangs, Harrisburg had no offensive rhythm going into the fourth quarter. Starting the fourth quarter it got no better. Kam Wolfe stepped in front of a Yamir Wilkerson pass to end another Cougar drive. Mifflin kept slugging it right up the gut. Then the unthinkable happened. Mifflin lost a fumble at the Harrisburg one. There was 5:29 left, plenty of time for the fast strike Cougars. But, on the first play, the ball slipped out of QB Wilkerson’s hands, out of the end zone for a Mifflin safety. The Mustangs were going to get the ball back now up 26-14.
After the free kick, Mifflin did what they had done all day Blast it up the middle with Fullback Isaac Ruoss. The Mustangs pounded the last five minutes away to preserve one of the most shocking upsets in District Three playoff history.
What a great run it was for the Harrisburg Cougars. But the saga still continues for Governor Mifflin. The Mustangs face undefeated Manheim Central in the District Three 5A title game next Friday night.
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