Midd-West takes season opener
Beaver Springs – It was déjà vu for the Midd-West football team Friday night in Beaver Springs, as the team opened its second year with a football program in the same fashion it opened its first season, with a win over Marian Catholic.
In last season’s opener, Midd-West earned its first career victory as a football program by earning a road victory over the Colts to open the season. Much was the same Friday night, though there was never much doubt that the Mustangs would be able to take care of business.
Things did start out slow for the host team. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Mustangs promptly went three-and-out and then eventually punted on their second offensive drive of the game.
Meanwhile the team’s defense looked outstanding. The Mustangs owned the trenches throughout the game, completely shutting down any hope Marian Catholic had of establishing the run game.
In the Colts’ first two possessions of the game, the team posted -19 total yards of offense as the Mustangs stopped Marian Catholic in the backfield on five of its first six plays.
Midd-West was able to flip the field following Marian Catholic’s second possession of the game. Both Thane Treaster and Brayden Swineford were able to get penetration to block a Marian Catholic punt, recovering the ball at the Marian Catholic 11-yard line.
Midd-West put points on the board, though probably not in the way Coach Hatter had hoped. The team had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Carter Sauer to take a 3-0 lead.
On the following Marian Catholic possession, Midd-West continued to dominate defensively. After a holding penalty on the kickoff caused the Colts to begin from their own eight-yard line, back-to-back negative plays and a pair of false start penalties pinned the Colts back at their own one-yard line. On third-and-17, a host of Midd-West defenders swarmed the ball. They earned a safety by tackling the Marian Catholic ball carrier in the backfield for a 5-0 lead early in the second quarter.
On the night, Midd-West stuffed the Colts’ running game as the Colts ran the ball 40 times for -13 yards.
Midd-West scored its first touchdown of the season later in the quarter, as Hunter Wolfley scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night. This one coming on a 69-yard punt return for a score. Wolfley had found himself in the endzone twice before on the night, though both scores were called back due to a Midd-West penalty. Wolfley ended the night with a punt return touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Wolfley’s punt return touchdown seemingly sparked the Midd-West offense. The team rallied to score two more touchdowns, one on a 17-yard Wolfley reception and another on a 36-yard Gabe Register reception, in the final two minutes of the quarter to take a 25-6 halftime lead.
During the strong offensive outburst by the Mustangs, Marian Catholic was able to produce its lone score of the game. With 6:24 remaining in the second quarter, the Colts struck on back to back big plays to set themselves up in scoring position. On a third and ten from their own 22-yard line, Colts’ quarterback Matt Rehrig fired a ball to wide receiver Luis Terion, who made a defender miss and took the ball down the far sideline for a 42-yard gain. The very next play, halfback Nick Falls took a handoff for a 23-yard gain to put the Colts at the Midd-West 13-yard line.
Three plays later it was Terion again who hauled in a fade pass from Rehrig for a 15-yard score.
Midd-West didn’t slow down in the second half, as Wolfley scored yet again, tacking on a pair of rushing touchdowns to safely put the game away.
“We cleaned things up a bit in the second half,” said Hatter. “We didn’t hurt ourselves like we did in the first half. We left 14 points on the board in the first half that had to come off because of penalties.
“We worked well together as a team tonight,” Wolfley said. “There were some penalties here and there but it’s our first game. We had a good week of practice and that makes Fridays easier.”
Midd-West allowed just 24 yards of total offense in the entire second half and only 63 yards of offense in the entire game.
“In the first game, there is a lot of unknowns,” Hatter added. “We came out and challenged them and they answered the bell for us. It was a good win tonight.”
Midd-West improved to 1-0 to begin the season and will take on Blue Mountain (1-0) on the road next Friday. Blue Mountain shut out the Mustangs in Beaver Springs last season.
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