By The Daily Item
In the preseason, Mifflinburg coach Jason Dressler, asked about the importance of returning starter Tanner Bingaman to his backfield, noted that, while a key player, he was one of several running backs who could open some eyes this season.
After an opening-night loss at Selinsgrove, the Wildcats proved their coach correct in their 28-13 Heartland-I win over Shikellamy.
Sure, Bingaman was a big factor, with 21 carries for 104 yards, but the Wildcats' backfield, behind promising junior quarterback Jordan Wagner, are certainly no one-trick pony.
Two-time state wrestling medalist Cole Walter was tough at fullback, picking up 107 yards on only 10 carries and freshman Logan Pierce added 30 on five carries. Senior Chris Temple ran for 29 on five totes, and wide receiver/kicker Brett Luhrman carried twice for 10 yards in the Wildcats' wildcat formation, with Wagner lined up as a wideout.
Dressler said, "Tanner ran hard, I was real pleased with his running style. The freshman, Brayden Pierce, showed some toughness out there and the fullbacks, Cole Walter and Chris Temple did a good job, blocking as well as running the ball.
"They all do what we expect, when you're going down you're going down forward and I was real pleased with how they ran the ball tonight."
And there is more, he said. "We didn't get Tyler Stoltzfus in there tonight. He's another one, who played on the defensive side of the ball, but in the future, you're probably going to see a lot more out of him on the offensive side of the ball."
HAVING FUN: Of his venture to the wide receiver spot, Wagner said, "That was something new. When coach Dressler said we were going to put that in, I was kind of excited."
PAVING THE WAY: Wagner credited the job of his linemen, led by 6-foot-1, 280-pound Nazar Mironenko, with protecting him and opening holes.