For the first two weeks of the 2018 season, the Penn Yan Mustang gridiron gang had been the “Cardiac Kids” of the Finger Lakes East League. The Orange and Blue 11 fell behind early in their contests against Waterloo and Geneva but rallied to pull out victories in the second half. But Friday night at Mustang Field, Penn Yan ran into a talented team from East Rochester/Gananda that refused to yield the lead in the second half.
ER/G Bombers scored 34 points in the first half and rolled to a 49-36 win over the Mustangs from Penn Yan. The Mustangs fall to 2-1 with the loss and the Bombers improve to 2-1 in the tough Finger Lakes East League.
Friday night’s game started much the same as the first two for the Mustang gridiron crew. After exchanging fumbles, East Rochester/Gananda scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass to take a 6-0 lead. Penn Yan quickly answered with a 43-yard scoring strike from Will Rogers to Conner Fingar. Rogers ran in the 2-point conversion and the Mustangs led 8-6 halfway through the opening stanza. ER/G immediately regained the lead with a rushing touchdown. The first quarter ended with ER/G leading 14-8.
The Bombers upped their lead to 20-8 with another 43-yard TD run. Penn Yan capitalized on an ER fumble recovered by Spencer Christensen to score again. Senior Conner Finger rumbled in from 4 yards out with 6 minutes left in the half. Quarterback Rogers once again ran in the 2 point conversion. Penn Yan cut the Bomber lead to 20-16 and looked poised to reprise their “come from behind” game plan. But the East Rochester/Gananda offensive wouldn’t cooperate. The high-powered Bomber offense quickly tallied 2 touchdowns in the final 5 minutes of the half to take a commanding 34-16 lead into the locker room.
ER/G scored again just 48 seconds into the second half to take a 42-16 advantage. Penn Yan’s Brennan Prather recovered a Bomber fumble to set up another Mustang touchdown. Will Rogers ran in from 3 yards out to cut the ER lead to 42-22. The Bombers once again quickly answered on a 7 yard TD run. The third quarter ended with the scoreboard reading ER/G 49, Penn Yan 22.
Penn Yan scored two more touchdowns in the final quarter and the Mustang defense finally stymied the Bomber attack. Conner Fingar galloped 19 yards for a score at the 10-minute mark and Will Rogers connected with Brennan Prather on a 32-yard touchdown pass later in the period. But there would be no more second-half magic this time for the hometown Mustangs. The clock ran out with ER/G winning 49-36.
The Mustang defense was hampered on Friday night by the illness absence of All-League defender Jack Peterson. Will Rogers completed 22 of 27 passes and connected for three touchdown passes. But ER/G also picked off 4 passes. Rogers also rushed for 94 yards on 15 carries. Conner Fingar scored two more touchdowns. He also recorded 19 tackles. Brennan Prather had 74 receiving yards and also grabbed a touchdown pass. He also recovered two fumbles. Mekhi Mahan picked up 10 tackles and also recovered a fumble.
The Mustangs will look to rebound on Friday night Sept. 21 in Palmyra when they take on the Red Raiders of Pal-Mac.
Dundee 8 Tri-Town 6
The Dundee Scotsmen picked up their first win of the 2018 season Sept. 14 in Ovid with an 8-6 win over the Tri-Town Titans. Dundee dropped their first two games of the new season to Dansville and Clyde-Savannah. With the win, Dundee improves their season record to 2-1.
Friday night’s game marked the opening of Tri-Town’ new football field located at South Seneca High School in Ovid. The inaugural contest was basically a defensive battle between the two Finger Lakes West schools. After a scoreless first quarter, Dundee lit up the scoreboard with a sparkling 70-yard touchdown run by junior Joshua Cramer. Dundee quarterback Preston Cratsley waltzed into the end zone with the two-point conversion. Dundee led 8-0 with the half winding down.
The Titans tried to answer quickly with a scoring drive of their own in the waning seconds of the half. But this drive was effectively squelched when Dundee’s Brian Kreidler picked off a Tri-Town pass inside the 10-yard line.
The second half continued to be a defensive tussle with both teams failing to dent the end zone. The hometown Titans finally scored late in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion attempt was stopped. Dundee would hold on for the 8-6 victory.
The Scotsmen will try to run their winning streak to two Friday night in Lyons against a tough Lyons Lions team. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Holley 58 Marcus Whitman 52
The 2018 Marcus Whitman Wildcat football made history Sept. 15. The Wildcats played their first game of the season against Holley. What made this a historic event is that it marked the first time Marcus Whitman played an 8 man football game. The school made the decision to play 8 man football instead of the traditional 11 man game. Declining enrollment and a shortage of potential players pushed the school to make the decision to change. The Wildcats opened their season on the road in Holley.
In a high scoring contest, Holley defeated Marcus Whitman 58-52.
Individual statistics were not available for this contest. A closer look at this first time gridiron event will be forthcoming.