Despite a poor start to the second half, and the fact that Mifflinburg had two long touchdown runs (by Oakley Whitesel and Kyle Failor) called back by penalties, there was no quit in the Wildcats on Friday.
They mounted a nice drive on the ground, marching 65 yards on 18 plays with Failor sneaking for a 1-yard TD. A mishandled snap by Failor on the PAT try worked out in the Wildcats’ favor as Failor kept his composure and hit tight end Toby Boyer for a two-point conversion pass to make it 26-15 with 2:44 left in the third.
The euphoria was short-lived, however, as Bloomsburg took barely a minute to cover 80 yards for another score and a 32-15 advantage.
Mifflinburg scored on what would be its final play. Devin Hendrix, who shared time with Failor at quarterback, hit Failor in stride down the right sideline for a 77-yard score.
Wildcats coach Jason Dressler said he was proud of how well his players hung in after having two TDs nullified and playing the Panthers after losing starting cornerbacks Dustin Mertz and Daniel Danowsky last week.
“They are taught to go get the next one, and that’s what they did.”
THE RUN STOPS HERE: The main factor in Danville’s first shutout of the season was the job the Ironmen did against Shikellamy’s rushing attack. They held the Braves to 25 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Without a 23-yard loss on an errant shotgun snap, the Braves still would have averaged fewer than 2 yards per carry.
Danville’s defense did a good job at the point of attack, forcing the Braves toward the sideline where the Ironmen linebackers could pursue to tackles. The one time Shik broke through with a chance for a big gainer, Danville linebacker Eric Haney got the back of Dwayne Pepper’s ankle for a TD-saving tackle.
“We’re pretty quick to the ball, so that was part of the game plan: Let’s make them go east-west and not north-south,” said Danville coach Jim Keiser. “I thought we came off the ball a little bit better, and that’s something we’ve been working on. Our line coaches have realy been working on getting low and getting off the ball. I thought they did a really good job.”