Wildcats hold off Wolfley
MIDDLEBURG – Midd-West’s Hunter Wolfley ran wild Friday night on his home turf in Middleburg, but it wasn’t quite enough to hold off the visiting Mifflinburg Wildcats who held tight to a 35-33 victory.
Wolfley finished the night with 30 total touches that included 452 rushing yards, 44 receiving yards and five total touchdowns.
Wolfley recorded touchdown runs of 67, 80, 40, 58 and 57 yards on the night.
“We ran a lot of the same plays all game,” said Wolfley following the game. “The the beginning they played a 3-5 (defense) so we were able to take it to the outside and get up field. Then in the second half they brought their outside linebackers up so we tried to squeeze it in under them and it worked all night.”
Mifflinburg used a fast start to get the Wildcats out early, though Wolfley and the Mustangs would fight their way back and eventually take the lead in the game’s third quarter.
Mifflinburg started with the ball and used a strong running attack led early by Andrew Diehl. Diehl carried the ball on five plays in the opening drive, including the first four plays of the game. Diehl got the ball all the way down to the Mustangs’ two-yard line, where fullback Quintin Doane finished off the drive on a fullback dive up the middle for the game’s first score.
Diehl, Doane and Colin Miller would all record rushing touchdowns in the first quarter of the game. Diehl and Miller led the team in rushing yards, each recording 108 yards on the ground in the Wildcats win.
Following the opening touchdown, the ensuing kick return was fumbled by the Mustangs, giving Mifflinburg possession again before the Mustangs offense could even see the field. On the first play from scrimmage following the fumble, it was Diehl finding paydirt to put the visitors up 14-0.
“It was big coming out strong like that,” said Mifflinburg coach Jason Dressler. “We told the team we were going to challenge the run game. We saw a lot of positive things last week from it, so we built on that. That’s what we looked to and it obviously benefited us tonight.”
Midd-West finally got an opportunity with the ball, and it didn’t take long for Wolfley to get his night started. His first carry of the game went for a 67-yard touchdown.
Mifflinburg got the ball right back and drive down again for their third touchdown in as many drives. This 10-play drive culminated in a Miller touchdown run from just eight yards away. The score gave Mifflinburg a 21-7 lead with 2:22 remaining in the opening quarter, and Midd-West having only ran one offensive play in the entire game to that point.
When the Mustangs got the ball back, their ensuing drive took twice as long as their first. On the second play of the drive. Wolfley broke free down the right sideline again, taking the ball to the endzone on an 80-yard run.
Early in the second quarter the Midd-West defense finally stepped up with a stop and gave the offense a chance to tie the game. Once again Wolfley broke off a long touchdown run of 40 yards to bring the game even at 21-all.
When the halftime horn sounded, Wolfley had recorded nine carries for 250 yards and three scores.
“That’s just him,” said Midd-West coach Brad Hatter of his running back’s phenomenal performance. “That’s the stuff we see every day in practice. He’s just a special player and he probably deserves a little better than what the results have been the last two weeks.”
On Midd-West’s second drive of the second half, Wolfley struck from 58 yards away to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game at 27-21 following a missed extra point.
Throughout the second and third quarters the Mifflinburg offense went silent, but when push came to shove, the team finally stepped up and started making things hard on the Mustangs. With 8:23 remaining in the game the Wildcats took the lead back. On a third-and-nine from their own 29-yard line, quarterback Jacob Reitz dropped back and delivered a long pass down field intended for Colin Miller. Miller and a Midd-West defender battled each other to high point the ball, but it was eventually Miller who came down with the ball in hand on what culminated in 71-yard catch and run score. The Wildcats converted the extra point for a 28-27 lead.
Following a defensive stop, Mifflinburg took over possession at the Midd-West 25-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Miller scored again on a 25-yard rush to put the Wildcats up 35-27.
In still a one-score game, Midd-West forced a turnover to regain possession with 4:03 remaining. Wolfley then promptly broke off his final touchdown run of the night from 57-yards away. A two-point conversion attempt was no-good, allowing Mifflinburg to cling to a slim 35-33 lead.
Following a failed onside kick attempt, the Midd-West defense forced yet another turnover deep in their own territory, giving the team one final chance with 2:41 remaining.
Wolfley helped the Mustangs drive down the field again, hauling in a 45-yard reception from quarterback Christian Regester in the final minute of the game to put the team in field goal range.
The Mustangs inevitably ran out of time and downs inside the opponent’s red zone and lined up for a 27-yard field goal with 27 seconds remaining to take a 36-35 lead.
The kick was no good as it was seemingly tipped at the line, and the Wildcats help on for a 35-33 win to improve to 2-3 on the season. The loss dropped Midd-West to 0-5 despite close losses to Mifflinburg and Lewisburg in the last two games.
“The thing I’m proud of the most is we kept our heads up and we stuck together through the game and we fought to the very end.” said Dressler. “That says a lot about their character and who they are as young men. That is what I’m proud of.”
“We put ourselves in a position to win the game at the end there, that’s all we can ask for.” said Hatter. “The guys fought hard again. The last couple weeks we learned to compete and learned to fight, we’re just falling short.”
Wolfley finished the night accounting for 496 of Midd-West’s 536 yards of offense. Collin Miller accounted for the most offensive yards for the Wildcats, recording 206 of Mifflinburg’s 406 offensive yards.
“Our line did an amazing job, they did great tonight.” Said Miller. “And Quintin Doane is a big guy. He did a great job making huge holes for us.”
Mifflinburg (2-3) hosts Warrior Run (1-3) next week, while Midd-West (0-5) plays host to Hughesville (1-4).
Mifflinburg 35, Midd-West 33
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mifflinburg 21 0 0 14 — 35
Midd-West 14 7 6 6 — 33
M—Quintin Doane 2-yard run (Gabe Stetler PAT Good), 8:33.
M—Andrew Diehl 5-yard run (Stetler PAT Good), 8:06.
MW—Hunter Wolfley 67-yard run (Ryland Portzland PAT Good), 7:48.
M—Colin Miller 8-yard run (Stetler PAT Good), 2:22.
MW—Wolfley 80-yard run (Portzland PAT Good), 1:30.
MW—Wolfley 40-yard run (Portzland PAT Good), 6:38.
MW—Wolfley 58-yard run (PAT No Good), 7:32.
M—Miller 71-yard reception from Jacob Reitz (Stetler PAT Good), 8:23.
M—Miller 25-yard run (Stetler PAT Good), 7:19
MW—Wolfley 57-yard run (2pt. conversion No Good), 3:50
TEAM STATISTICS M MW
First downs 14 11
Total yards 406 536
Rushes-yards 48-265 39-482
Yards passing 141 54
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 7-11-0 3-11-0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 2-2
Penalties-yards 5-35 5-45
RUSHING—Mifflinburg: Diehl 17-108 TD, Miller 14-108 2TD, Reitz 4-29, Doane 4-9 TD, John Darrup 4-8, Tyler Foltz 1-3, TEAM 4-0. Midd-West: Wolfley 28-452 5TD, Trey Lauver 9-25, Christian Regester 1-5, TEAM 1-(-4).
PASSING—Mifflinburg: Reitz 7-11 141 yards, TD. Midd-West: Regester 3-11 54 yards.
RECEIVING—Mifflinburg: Miller 4-98 TD, Jarrett Miller 1-26, Lucas Whittaker 1-11, Diehl 1-6. Midd-West: Wolfley 2-44, Eli Swan 1-10.
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