Manheim Township Moves Past Governor Mifflin 34-19
A week three win over Governor Mifflin had Manheim Twp. brimming with confidence entering Friday night’s first round District Three playoff matchup with their former league rivals. But the fourth seeded Blue Streaks found themselves trailing for much of the first half to the upset minded Governor Mifflin Mustangs.
Led by a solid performance by Senior QB Eric Benjamin, Manheim Twp came back from the early deficit to beat Governor Mifflin 34-19 and advance in the PIAA District 3 playoffs.
Benjamin led the Blue streaks through the air and on the ground. He led the multi faceted Manheim offense with two passing TD’s and two rushing scores. Head Coach Mark Evans said, “We have different offensive tempos. We have a multiple pronged attack. If we need to run the ball or throw the ball, we still want to stay in balance.” Having that offensive balance was a major key in Manheim’s victory Friday night.
Governor Mifflin jumped out on top early in the contest. On Manheim’s opening drive, Drew Snyder stepped in front of a Benjamin pass. Forty yards later, the Mustangs led 7-0 early in quarter one.
Township received the kick and methodically moved down the field. Eric Benjamin scored his first TD from the six and we were tied at seven with 5:14 left in the opening stanza. It was big play time again for Governor Mifflin. On the Mustangs’ first offensive play, Lucas Garner blasted through the Blue Streaks defense for a 56-yard TD. A failed PAT made it 13-7 Mifflin just :16 seconds later. The first quarter ended with Mifflin holding a 13-7 advantage.
The turning point of the game came midway through the second quarter. Mifflin mounted a long sustained drive from deep in their own end. A key lost fumble by the Mustangs gave the ball back to the Blue Streaks at their own 20. The turnover energized the Manheim offense.
The Blue Streaks moved quickly down the field. A five-yard Benjamin to Kade Kubicki scoring pass put Township in front for the first time 14-13 with 6:42 till half. Another long Mifflin drive ended on downs deep in Blue steak territory and at the half, Manheim maintained the 14-13 advantage.
The second half began with Governor Mifflin unable to move the ball. The Blue Streaks took possession and shifted gears to a ground based attack with the 20-25 MPH wind in their face . Matt Vangordon capped the drive with a 28 yard run. It gave Township a 21-13 advantage with 8:25 left in the 3rd.
The Mustangs came back with a drive of their own. Utilizing the wind to their advantage, a drive based on the the pass netted a TD run from Shavon Prince. A two point attempt failed so Manheim still held the advantage 21-19 going into the fourth quarter.
Manheim Township owned the fourth quarter. The Blue Streak Defense never allowed Mifflin beyond mid field. Each of Manheim Township’s ball controlling drives culminated in TD’s. One was Kade Kubicki’s second TD catch of the night. It was a great one handed grab in the back corner of the end zone. The dagger was an Eric Benjamin sneak with a minute to go in the contest. The Blue Streaks had finally defeated the Mustangs for the first time in the District 3 playoffs. Mifflin had won the two previous contests.
Manheim Township will host Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Hempfield next week. Hempfield bested South Western 23-21 to earn the matchup with the Blue Streaks.
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