Gov. Mifflin earned its first Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 win of the season as the Mustangs downed Muhlenberg 42-8 at Laureldale Friday in high school football.
Quarterback Delsin McNeil ran for three first-half touchdowns and threw for one in the second half to help lead the Mustangs (1-1, 2-3) over the Muhls (1-1, 2-3). McNeil finished with 58 rushing yards on 19 carries and was 2-of-2 passing for 45 yards.
Mifflin held a 35-0 halftime lead and limited Muhlenberg to only two first downs in the opening half.
“I’m feeling great,” McNeil said. “It’s a big confidence booster. Everyone put work in and everyone tried their best. It was really exciting.
“It was an all around (effort) to be honest. Everyone making their blocks and doing the correct thing helped a lot. It was everything.”
Muhlenberg’s Giovanni Cavanna came into the game ranked second in Berks in rushing with 544 yards and was averaging 10.5 yards per carry. Mifflin limited the senior to 29 yards on six carries in the first half.
Cavanna finished with 94 yards and Muhlenberg’s lone touchdown, a 25-yard run with 3:11 left in the third quarter.
“No. 5 (Cavanna) is a great running back,” Mustangs coach Jeff Lang said. “They’ve played well, this Muhlenberg team, and I was very impressed watching their film. I think they got this program moving in the right direction.
“Coming into it I was concerned. I told our kids, ‘We got to play a very good football game,’ and they did.”
The Mustangs opened the scoring on their second possession after a mishandled punt by Cavanna deep in Muhlenberg territory gave Mifflin the ball at the Muhls’ 15.
McNeil ran in for a 15-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive with 5:27 remaining in the first.
Shortly after a three-and-out by the Muhls, the Mustangs found themselves with the ball on Muhlenberg’s 45. This time it took Mifflin two plays to score as Brandon Jones ran in from 43 yards to make it 14-0 with 3:13 to go in the first.
Jones had a team-high 84 rushing yards on three carries.
In the second quarter, a five-play, 50-yard drive by the Mustangs was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by McNeil. A missed extra point by Jackson Schools made it 20-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Schools executed a pooch kick that Mifflin recovered at the Muhls’ 30.
Brayden Reis scored for the Mustangs on a 5-yard touchdown run before Tynan Hunter ran in the two-point conversion attempt to end the six-play scoring drive and make it 28-0.
“The one thing that we have to do is we have to stop putting ourselves in bad situations,” Muhls coach John Lorchak said. “We started out with some penalties and everything else like that. But I want to just commend all of our guys for battling through to the end. We got some life offensively in the second half, and we were able to move the ball and sustain some drives. First half, we weren’t able to pick up any kind of momentum.”
A 1-yard touchdown run by McNeil with 5:01 remaining in the first half gave Mifflin a 35-0 lead.
The Mustangs got the ball first in the second half and recorded another six-play scoring drive that started at their 20 that ended when McNeil found Aidyn Cannon for a 16-yard touchdown pass. A five-yard penalty and a 29-yard pass from McNeil to Cannon put Mifflin in Muhls’ territory, before strong runs by Reis got the Mustangs in the red zone.
“He (Delsin McNeil) played very well,” Lang said. “He made great reads tonight on offense; he made many audibles out there. So he did a really good job doing what we’ve coached him to do tonight, and he believed in himself and made great reads running the ball and throwing the ball.”
Cavanna’s 25-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and an ensuing two-point conversion by Isiah Dodson made it 42-8. Cavanna rushed four times for 42 yards on the drive.
For the Muhls, who have not finished with a winning record since 2017, the game served as a call for improvement as Muhlenberg begins a tough stretch of games in Section 2. The Muhls will go on to face 2021 District 3 Class 5A playoff teams for three consecutive weeks when they travel to take on Manheim Central and Exeter before facing Warwick at home.
“This four-game stretch for us is going to be facing teams that have long pedigrees of district championships and deep runs in the state playoffs,” Lorchak said. “So for us, we’re just going to have to try to get better. We are facing stiffer competition, and we got to get better at being able to face that competition, and from week to week, become more competitive ourselves.”
For Mifflin, the win gives the Mustangs confidence as they head into a non-league showdown with Wilson before facing four straight Section 2 opponents in Conestoga Valley, Lebanon, Manheim Central and Warwick to end the season.
“I think it just keeps our heads straight,” McNeil said. “(We have to) stay focused, everyone (will) play hard, keep working and just keep rolling.”
Source: Berkshire mont