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Mifflin County rallied from 20 down to take home win over Spartans

Editors note: This is story 1-of-2 from tonight’s game. Dom Reed story to come later.

By Kenny Varner

HERSHEY -Thursday night It was a tale of two halves for the MIfflin County Huskies football team

On a rare Thursday night contest, the Huskies traveled to Milton Hershey High School looking to pick up a win, making them a little closer to qualifying for the post season.

“We could feel we were starting to get some momentum in our run game and in our pass plays too. We told them if you get a stop coming out of the second half and we score it’s a new ball game,” said MIfflin County coach Shane Breon talking about what he told his players coming into the second half of play. That’s what we did and it got crazy after that. But I’m so proud of these kids. They are young up front but they sucked it up. “

After an early 20-0 scoring spree by Milton Hershey in the first half,  the Huskies rallied and came back to beat the Spartans 42-35 in a rollercoaster of back-and-forth rallies by both teams.

In the second half, the Huskies trailed 20-7 but it quickly became a track meet as the points would start to light up the scoreboard like a pinball machine.

Mifflin County’s defense came out to dictate the second half and did right away, forcing a punt on the Spartan’s first possession.

With a balanced attack, MIfflin County went on a six-play drive.

Highlighting the drive was a Landen Eichhorn hook up to Jaylen Bowersox completion that would put the Huskies on the two. It took just one play after that for Schaeffer to break through his line and into the endzone, cutting the lead to 20-14.

The defense came up huge again for MIfflin County when Travis Renninger scooped up a fumble from Milton Hershey, giving his squad the ball back and the keeping the momentum for his team.

With the ball on the Spartan 30, the offensive line and Schaeffer did the rest scoring two plays later, tying the game at 20. An Issac Parks-Gill PAT gave the Huskies their first lead of the game. But the excitement was just beginning.

Milton Hershey battled right back as quarterback Jason Burney hit teammate Paris Blackston for their second hook up of the day, giving the home team the lead once again at 27-20 with 5.52 left in the third.

But with the Air-Raid offense working on all cylinders, it wouldn’t be long before the Huskies would Woy mark their way down the field once again and take another lead.

Schaeffer, who had 97 yards rushing the half, scored once again. This time he took it in fro. 4-yards out with still 2:16 left in the third.

When the buzzer sounded, ending the third quarter, MIfflin County outscored Milton Hershey 21-7.

In the final stanza, the game would come down to which defense would make the plays needed to hold off the other team.

The Spartans picked up a quick touchdown in the period when Burney hooked up on a 14-yard pass to Mohamed Koroma, a 2-point conversion put the Spartans up 35-28 with 10:29 left.

But the Huskies would not be denied on this night when the got their turn, they went right back to work. It took the Purple and Black attack six plays  and 60 yards to cash in their tying touchdown. Schaeffer broke his way through for a 9-yard run. With the Gill kick the game was tied at 8:25.

Defensively, MIfflin County ferocious and was able to pick up crucial stop number one on the Spartans next possession. The Huskies forced a 3-and out, giving the ball to MIfflin County on the Spartans 31, thanks to a spectacular punt return by Landon Haigh.

Haigh took the ball at his own 40 and blazed his way down to Milton Hershey’s 31.

From there, the offense rolled down the field on hand offs to Schaeffer, trying to take crucial time off the clock.

Facing a 4th and 3 at the Spartans 27, Eichhorn found Parker Kearns on a comeback route that was good enough for 4-yards and a first.

With a whole new set of downs, the ball was constantly fed to Schaeffer until he finally ran it in from 11 yards out with just 2:38 left, giving MIfflin County a 42-35 advantage.

One last call for the defense and the Huskies were primed and ready. With time running out, the Spartans faced a fourth and long. Mifflin County put pressure on Burney in the back field causing him to throw it incomplete and with that, the celebration for the Huskies began.

In the first half, Things did not start out so good for MIfflin County as Milton Hershey took its first possession and rolled down field on its first play from scrimmage.

Quarterback Jason Burney launched a 44-yard pass to Mike Blidi. The Gage Thomas kick was successful at the 9:35 mark.

Mifflin County struggled in its second possession and was forced punt.

Milton Hershey used its early momentum and on the legs of Elijah Johnson got their second touchdown

Johnson found a hole and took the 47-yard run for the TD. However, the Huskies stopped the Spartans on the 2-point conversion failed, keeping it a 13-0 advantage with 4:35 left in the first.

Despite not putting the ball in the end zone in the first, it was able to move the ball between the 20’s.

Unfortunately they would not find the endzone until the second quarter.

It’s defense made a very crucial stance in the period, stopping the Spartans on a 4th and short deep in MIfflin County territory, keeping the quarter just a 13-0 deficit as the two teams went into the second quarter.

Offensively, the Huskies were driving themselves late in the period but the drive was stopped by Milton Hershey’s defense forcing a turnover.

From there, Burney went back the air and threw a 65-yard pass to Paris Blackston, giving them a 20-0 advantage at 7:29.

Mifflin County was not deterred as they stuck with the game plan and continued to push things down field. Quarterback Landen Eichhorn put the Huskies on the board finding Schaeffer on a 9-yard TD pass. Isaac Parker-Gill kick put MIfflin County down by only 13 with 6:18 left.

Schaeffer was the workhorse in the first rushing for 97 yards on 22 carries.

Mifflin County started a drive with just under a minute left in the half but ran out of time as they stood on Milton Hershey’s side of the field.

The Spartans came into the contest dropping three of four with a 3-3 overall record. Leading the offense for Milton Hershey was Jeremiah Johnson who came into the night posting a 94-yard per game rushing average.

Mifflin County came in with the same 3-3 record and countered things at running back as Deakon Schaeffer averaged 114.0 yards of rushing per contest.

When the dust settled, Schaeffer took the edge in the running department posting 215 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving.

Eichhorn was just as successful posting a 11-15 for 201 yards through the air.

Now, with a record of 4-3, MIfflin County moves one more step closer to vying for a post season bid.

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