'Cats have nothing to lose

Danville’s Tyler Simas celebrates a defensive stop during Friday’s game against Midd-West.

SELINSGROVE — Mifflinburg coach Jason Dressler spoke several times this early season about not being worried if his Wildcats had enough talent to compete, it was whether they believed they could compete in a tough Heartland Athletic Conference-Division II.

Those thoughts played into his decision making in Mifflinburg’s 17-14 win over Lewisburg on Friday night.

The Wildcats went for it on fourth down six times, converting four against the Green Dragons.

“We were making plays, and we want them have that confidence,” Dressler said. “When your line comes over and looks at you and says ‘Coach run quarterback sneak. ‘We got this; we got this!’’

Mifflinburg quarterback Jacob Reitz was outstanding on third and four down all evening. The Wildcats converted three quarterback sneaks for a first down, including a six-yard bull rush into the end zone.

On third down, Reitz was finished 8-of-11 for 55 yards. He converted five third downs on passes, four to Colin Miller. One of the balls that didn’t convert a first down led to a fourth-and-one conversion.

—Todd Hummel

Toe-tap

Danville turned in a candidate for “play of the year” late in the third quarter of Friday’s 55-22 win over Midd-West.

The Ironmen faced third-and-12 from the Mustangs’ 28-yard line. From the pistol formation, K.J. Riley took the snap and faked a handoff to tailback Ty Stauffer. Riley rolled to his left as Stauffer scrambled to slow a Midd-West linebacker who blitzed free off the right side of the line. The rush got to Riley just as he released the ball — throwing across his body and off one foot — to Carson Persing, who had run a corner route from the slot. Persing managed to catch the ball over a defender and get his left foot down in the back of the end zone for a stunning 28-yard touchdown.

“It’s a work in progress, but when you have guys that have the ability to make those plays that’s good,” said Danville coach Mike Brennan. “We’re going to have to make those plays as we move forward with the schedule we play.”

— Scott Dudinskie

Record-setting night

Riley finished Friday night with at least a share of all the major passing records at Danville Area High School

Riley now has 5,449 career yards, breaking Andrew Shoop’s record of 5,391 yards. Riley has 56 touchdown passes, breaking Andrew Andreychik’s record of 53. He now has 12 200-yard passing games in his career, tying Shoop’s record.

“I happy for him and proud of him. He’s the all-time leading passer in Danville history, and there’s a lot of good ones that came before him,” Danville coach Mike Brennan said. “I don’t think he worries about that stuff. I think he worries about making our team better and our program better.”

Late rally

Midd-West, which trailed 35-0 early in the third quarter Friday, outscored Danville 22-20 over the final 23-plus minutes of running game clock.

The Mustangs, who were limited to 46 yards rushing on 19 first-half carries, rolled up 221 yards on the ground after halftime. Hunter Wolfley accounted for 176 of those yards, including touchdown runs of 71 and 36 yards. Fellow senior Trey Lauver added a 44-yard gain that set up his own 1-yard score.

“We definitely did not think they were that much better than us,” Wolfley said of the five-touchdown deficit. “It comes down to heart, giving you’re all every play and not quitting.”

— Scott Dudinskie

Strange play

Lewisburg probably should have figured it wasn’t its night against Mifflinburg on the first punt of the game.

The punt hit a Mifflinburg player at the Lewisburg 40, but the official nearest the play whose job was to be watching the middle of the field. The ball and player were to his right, just out of his field of vision. Lewisburg started its drive on the 26, losing 14 yards of field position.

— Todd Hummel

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