The Nick Singleton show flies over Episcopal Academy 49-26
Every time Nick Singleton carries the ball, it’s like he’s the engine of a great wave. A mass of players moves along with the gifted Penn State-bound Governor Mifflin 6-foot, 210-pound senior running back, and he always seems to emerge on the other side of the surge—usually untouched.
Singleton introduced himself rather abruptly to Southeastern Pennsylvania on Friday night by running through Episcopal Academy for a season-best 306 yards rushing and a career-high 6 touchdowns—all in the first half—in the Mustangs’ 49-26 victory.
The Mustangs remained undefeated at 4-0, while Episcopal lost for the first time this season, falling to 3-1.
This is a Governor Mifflin team that isn’t built to play in September, October or November. This Mustangs team is aiming for December—in Hershey. Friday’s victory was another step in that process, but things need to be cleaned up before this team continues making those steps. If Mifflin had a crack in its invincibility, it was penalties. The Mustangs were flagged 12 times for 120 yards, including four personal foul calls.
“This helps a lot, but I’m not going to lie, this wasn’t the best,” Singleton said. “I don’t think I ever scored six TDs in a game before, so this is new for me. I think as a team we need to back some things up, and back up the penalties, because teams will see that that they get inside of our heads. We can’t get caught up in that. We need to back up from that and move on.”
The game was over by the first quarter. For those that didn’t know who Singleton was, they found out fast.
Singleton took the opening kickoff 83 yards in 11 seconds for a 7-0 Mustangs’ lead. Singleton scored on Mifflin’s second possession on a 6-yard run with 9:16 left in the first quarter, then closed the Mustangs’ third drive with a 19-yard run for a 21-0 lead with 5:10 left in the quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Singleton sped 63 yards for a 28-0 Mifflin lead with 11:51 left in the half, then ripped through Episcopal’s defense for a 55-yard score with 6:41 left.
By then, Singleton had 5 touchdowns on 9 touches, averaging an amazing 21.3 yards a carry. Singleton smashed through the 200-yard barrier on a 66-yard TD with 1:27 left in the half.
He finished the half with 281 yards rushing on 12 carries and 364 all-purpose yards. He had six touchdowns on 13 touches, averaging almost a touchdown on every other touch.
“I’m not happy about the penalties at all, but our kids came on from the get-go and in the second half we came out and let a couple of things happened that shouldn’t have happened,” Mifflin coach Jeff Lang said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time in the second half to move the ball and we were having trouble stopping them.
“But I like where we are right now, but there is still room for growth for this team.”
Episcopal got some great sparks, especially from junior tailback TJ Cadden, whose 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown opened the second half. The Churchmen dominated the second half time of possession and drove the ball inside the red zone twice, only to blow those chances with turnovers.
“(Singleton) is a very good player and we knew what to expect,” Cadden said. “We didn’t back down. It really wasn’t so much football stuff, we had been using a defense to stop the triple option, and we had a good game plan going into this game, (Singleton) is just a very good player who’s going to be tough to stop.”
Tough stop in September, October, November and possibly December.
Governor Mifflin (4-0) 21 21 0 7-49
Episcopal Academy (3-1) 0 6 7 13-26
GM – Nick Singleton 83 kickoff return (Jackson Schools kick), 11:49
GM – Singleton 6 run (Schools kick), 9:16
GM – Singleton 19 run (Schools kick), 5:10
GM – Singleton 19 run (Schools kick), 11:51
GM – Singleton 55 run (Schools kick), 6:41
EA – Jake Jasczcz 8 pass from Jake Fant (Kick failed), 2:52
GM – Singleton 60 run (Schools kick), 1:27
EA – TJ Cadden 85 kickoff return (Christian Bush kick), 11:44
EA – Bryce Cooper 36 pass from Fant (Bush kick), 7:12
GM – Trey Rock 30 run (Schools kick), 4:27
EA – Fant 1 run (Kick failed), 0:00
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been covering high school football since 1992 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on Twitter @JSantoliquito. Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
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