Wildcats win Little Brown Jug game
MIFFLINBURG – Every season at halftime of the week 10 meeting between Mifflinburg and Lewisburg, the “Little Brown Jug” gets awarded to the school that earned the most head-to-head victories across all sports in the previous year.
Every time the Wildcats or Green Dragons earn a victory over their rivals, a point is earned for a chance to win the prestigious jug that is coveted between the two schools.
Lewisburg earned possession of the Jug at halftime Friday night in Mifflinburg by a margin of 12-8 in the previous school year.
As for the teams on the gridiron, it was Mifflinburg that got the last laugh, as the football team earned a Brown Jug point for this season in a 17-14 victory over their Union County Rivals.
“It means the world to us to beat these guys. I’m so excited to get this win,” said Mifflinburg freshman Andrew Diehl following the game. Even the freshman knows how important it is to beat the team from just 10 miles down the road.
Though Lewisburg led in many major stat categories at the end of the game, it was a strong performance by the Mifflinburg defense that earned a big regular season finale victory Friday night.
On the first Lewisburg drive of the night, senior quarterback Nick Shedleski dropped back and found an open Gavin Sheriff for a 59-yard gain down to the Mifflinburg 3-yard line.
With the Green Dragons in prime scoring position, the Mifflinburg defense stopped back-to-back quarterback sneak attempts by Shedleski, the latter resulting in a lost fumble which ended the scoring threat.
Lewisburg’s next drive also got deep into Wildcat territory, when a nine-play drive stalled out at the Mifflinburg 12-yard line. The Green Dragons sent out the field goal unit, but a low snap caused the kicker to not get enough leg on a 29-yard field goal attempt that ended up short and wide right.
Lewisburg couldn’t quite get into the Mifflinburg red zone on its third straight attempt to begin the game, though the Green Dragons were stopped on a fourth-and-five attempt at the Mifflinburg 27-yard line.
The three consecutive stops to begin the game really got the Wildcats believing a victory was within grasp.
“That was huge,” said Mifflinburg coach Jason Dressler. “To have our defense do that, especially when the offense if of to a slow start. Our defense battled hard and kept us in the game.”
After the fourth down stop, the Wildcats put together their first strong offensive drive of the game. The Wildcats executed a 12-play drive to put the game’s first points on the board.
This drive didn’t come without its fair share of struggles. With the ball at the Lewisburg 40-yard line, Mifflinburg faced a third-and-27 to keep the drive alive. That is when quarterback Gary DeGroat dropped back and hit tight end Michael Antonyuk for a 35-yard gain and a first down. On the following play, Mason Breed plowed in for the score.
Mifflinburg took a shutout into the halftime break, but that didn’t last long as it looked like Lewisburg may have figured out the Wildcat defense on the opening drive of the second half.
The Green Dragons marched right down the field on a six-play drive that resulted in a 12-yard touchdown run by Shedleski. Lewisburg missed the extra point, keeping the Wildcats out front by a score of 7-6.
With the third quarter winding down and the Wildcat defense holding strong, the Green Dragons began forcing a few passes down the field. This helped Andrew Diehl earn a pair of interceptions, and nearly grabbing a third in the process.
“They couldn’t run on us and I knew I had to help our seniors out,” said Diehl. “We practice (defense) and practice it. It’s the most important thing we do. We had some good practices this week and capitalized.”
After the first interception by Diehl, the Wildcats scored immediately as Mason Breed powered through the line of scrimmage and broke free for a 19-yard run, his second score of the night.
Following the second Diehl interception, the Wildcats tacked on some more points. After driving down the field, Mifflinburg’s Gabe Stetler came out to attempt a 25-yard field goal which he knocked through for a 17-6 Wildcat lead with 11:55 remaining in the game.
From here the Wildcats began to slow down their pace, running the ball on offense and continuing to play bend-but-don’t-break defense.
However, just when it looked as if Lewisburg had run out of chances, the Green Dragons scored on a desperation play. Facing third-and-nine at its own 19, Lewisburg dropped back and delivered a deep ball down the field.
The pass was tipped into the air by wide receiver Dante Sims and directly into the arms of fellow wideout Cam Michaels. Michaels – who was behind the entire Mifflinburg defense – sprinted down the field for an 81-yard score that put Lewisburg within a score with 1:57 remaining.
Lewisburg was out of timeouts and had no choice but to attempt an onside kick. The attempt rolled out of bounds and Mifflinburg lined up in victory formation to seal the game.
“A rivalry game brings out the best of both teams,” said Dressler. “our guys came out hungry and we knew that was how we had to play. We had to play hungry every play and every down. It certainly paid off.”
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Wildcats who started the season at 4-1.
“It’s a very emotion win for many reasons,” said Dressler. “It’s been a tough second half of the season for this team with all of the injuries and everything. To come back and battle like we did, I’m so proud of these guys.”
Lewisburg’s Shedleski completed a milestone of his own in the game, as his 81-yard touchdown pass broke a school record for most career touchdown passes. The senior QB now has 41 career touchdown passes.
Shedleski threw for 301 yards in the game but threw multiple interceptions in a game for the first time this season.
Mifflinburg wrapped up the regular season with a 5-5 overall record. It is the first time the Wildcats have had a .500 season since 2013, when the team also finished the regular season with a 5-5 record.
Lewisburg also finished the regular season at 5-5 but have lost three consecutive games heading into the postseason.
Mifflinburg 17, Lewisburg 14
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lewisburg 0 0 6 8 — 14
Midd-West 0 7 7 3 — 17
M—Mason Breed 5-yard run (Gabe Stetler PAT), 1:51.
L—Nick Shedleski 12-yard run (PAT No good), 9:54.
M—Breed 19-yard run (Stetler PAT), 4:28
M—Stetler 25-yard field goal, 11:55.
L—Cam Michaels 81-yard reception from Shedleski (2 pt. conversion, Simeon Beiler reception from Shedleski), 1:57
TEAM STATISTICS L M
First downs 12 8
Total yards 326 210
Rushes-yards 26-25 41-133
Yards passing 301 77
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 16-28-2 7-10-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 5-41 3-25
RUSHING—Mifflinburg: Rylee Stahl 16-91, Breed 14-47 2TD, Andrew Diehl 1-1, Gary DeGroat 8-(-4), TEAM 2-(-2). Lewisburg: Ethan Dominick 11-45, Michaels 1-4, Ethan Spaulding 1-2, Shedleski 13-(-26) TD.
PASSING—Mifflinburg: DeGroat 7-10 77 yds. Lewisburg: Shedleski 16-27 301 yds, TD, 2INT; Spaulding 0-1.
RECEIVING—Mifflinburg: Michael Antonyuk 2-44, Breed 3-16, Diehl 2-7. Lewisburg: Michaels 2-85 TD, Gavin Sheriff 2-83, Simeon Beiler 4-67, Jack Landis 4-52, Spaulding 3-22, Dante Sims 1-9.
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