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Mifflin County football makes historic run, defeating West Perry to capture Mid-Penn title


LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County football coach Scot Sechler thought Friday nights game with West Perry would be one for the ages. He was right.

The Mustangs scored with 58 seconds to go on a Kenyon Johnson dive into the end zone for the 15-yard touchdown. West Perry coach Robert Boden decided to play for the win and go for two. Husky defensive back Shane Herbertson deflected a Johnson pass intended for Cade Sutch in the back of the end zone to give Mifflin County the thrilling 28-27 victory.

“I wasn’t nervous. I knew we were going to stop it,” Sechler said. “That two-point conversion play. I was fairly calm on that one. I felt pretty good about what I saw out of their set. That was the kind of play coach (Bryan) Yeager suspected they were going to come with, so we got hands on the receivers and Herbertson made a nice play.”

Mifflin County ends the regular season on a program record six-game winning streak and captured the Mid-Penn Colonial championship – the Huskies first conference championship in eight years of football. Mifflin County is now 6-4 and guaranteed only the second winning season in program history. The first came in its inaugural season in 2011.

“It’s exciting to accomplish our goals for the season. I guess we have to go back to the drawing board. We achieved the three goals we set out to do,” Sechler said. “We’ll set down Monday and talk about what our next goal is going to be. I assume it will be a district championship. We we knock State College off we’ll make a goal after that.”

Mifflin County rallied from a 21-7 deficit to out-score West Perry 21-6 in the second half, forcing three turnovers from the Mustangs (7-3, 3-3).

The Huskies, a second-half team all season, began the comeback with a 9-play, 86-yard drive capped by a Gage Schaeffer 21-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-14 at 5:21 left in the third quarter. Mifflin County tied it at 21-all capitalizing on a Taytdum Fortson fumble recovery. The Huskies went on another 9-play drive, this time for 54 yards, ending on a Nathan Poche 4-yard TD run.

Mifflin County (5-1 in the Colonial) grabbed its first lead of the game with 2:48 to go in regulation when Schaeffer scored touchdown number two in the game with a 33-yard run to daylight. The Husky sophomore cut around the right end and a West Perry defender tried to push him out of bounds but Schaeffer tiptoed down the sidelines and turned on the jets for the score.

“We have been doing that all season and quite frankly, it’s not good on my heart,” Sechler joked. “It all comes down to heart. We’re starting a little bit slow in games. Maybe we are a little bit conservative, trying to feel things out and see how the game is going to go. We try different personnel grouping to see what will make the best fit and then we make some halftime adjustments and come out with some pep in our step. I thought we did that again tonight. It’s pretty exciting to be a part of six wins in a row and a conference championship. Just to be a part of that is a great feeling.”

West Perry jumped out to a 14-0 lead with Johnson involved with both scores – tossing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jake Shaffer and running another in from the four. The Huskies got on the board with a Nathan Poche run from two-yards out to make it 14-7 at the 3:56 mark of the first half. Johnson, who accounted for all the Mustang scores, ran it in from the nine for the 21-7 halftime advantage.

The Husky version of Thunder and Lightning struck again with Schaeffer rushing for 150 yards and Poche going for 90. Johnson led West Perry with 90 yards rushing and 167 yards passing.

Next up is State College in the District 6-8-10 playoffs at a date and site to be determined.

“We’re going to do what we’ve been doing, taking it one game at a time. We have some film work to do on State College and we’ll look into that over the weekend and see what we can come up with,” Sechler said. “We have an amazing staff and a great group of kids who work very hard and at the end of the day that’s a winning combination.”

Mifflin County honored 28 players before the game on senior night.

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