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Exeter-Gov. Mifflin showdown features 2 prolific running backs

BEN HASTY — READING EAGLE

Exeter’s Eric Nangle looks for running room against Wilson earlier this season at Don Thomas Stadium. (BEN HASTY — READING EAGLE)

Gov. Mifflin’s Nick Singleton and Exeter’s Eric Nangle turned in two of the most prolific offensive games in District 3 football playoff history.

On Friday night, Berks County’s two leading rushers will go head-to-head when Exeter visits Gov. Mifflin in the District 3 Class 5A championship game.

Top-seeded and defending champion Gov. Mifflin (10-0) will face No. 7 Exeter (9-3) Friday at 7 p.m. in Shillington in just the fifth all-Berks District 3 final and the first not involving Wyomissing.

“It’s a really great matchup,” said Gov. Mifflin coach Jeff Lang. “We’ll see what defense is able to slow the other team down.”

The historic matchup comes after two of the most impressive individual performances since the District 3 playoffs began in 1982.

In the quarterfinals two weeks ago, Singleton rushed for 330 yards and seven touchdowns in Gov. Mifflin’s 63-35 rout of Warwick.

In the semifinals last week, Nangle ran for 332 yards and five scores and added a reception for 83 yards and a touchdown to give him 415 yards from scrimmage in a 42-35 win at Cedar Cliff.

Singleton, Berks County’s all-time leader in rushing yards (6.286) and touchdowns (114), has run for 2,019 yards this season and scored 42 touchdowns. Nangle is second in the county with 1,539 rushing yards and has scored 21 touchdowns.

“He deserves all these accolades,” Exeter coach Matt Bauer said about Nangle. “He’s such a special kid.”

It will be the second meeting of the season between the Berks Football League Division I rivals. Gov. Mifflin defeated Exeter 54-21 on Oct. 8 in Reiffton. Tyler Minick returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and the Mustangs led 21-0 after one quarter.

“The first matchup I like how we played,” Lang said. “I thought we played a pretty good game but Exeter hung in there. They showed they’re resilient, they’re a tough team.”

Since that loss, Exeter has won five straight, including back-to-back playoff road wins over Manheim Central and Cedar Cliff. It will be Exeter’s first appearance in a District 3 championship game.

“This is such a special group,” Bauer said. “I knew it was a special group coming into the season.”

Singleton and Nangle are special players. Although they attract most of the headlines, neither Gov. Mifflin nor Exeter are one-dimensional teams.

In last week’s win over Big Spring, Singleton rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns. He was complemented by Aiden Gallen, who ran for 165 yards and a touchdown.

Nangle’s monster performance last week came during a game in which Exeter racked up 639 yards of offense. Quarterback Colin Payne was 11-of-16 for 265 yards, completing passes to five receivers.

“They’ve got a whole plethora of weapons on offense,” Lang said. “They’re playing some good football right now, executing well on offense and defense.”

The showdown will be the highest classification for an all-Berks District 3 championship game. Wyomissing and Berks Catholic split back-to-back 2A title games in 2014 and ’15. Wyomissing defeated Holy Name in two straight 1A championship games in 1990 and ’91.

“It’s going to be a huge test for us,’ Bauer said. “Hopefully we’re ready for it.”

BEN HASTY – READING EAGLE,

Gov. Mifflin’s Nick Singleton tries to break free against Berks Catholic last season.


Source: Berkshire mont

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