The Penn Yan Mustang football team continues to be red hot. The Orange and Blue gridiron boys continued their winning way in 2017 with a hard fought 37-8 victory over Finger Lakes East foe Midlakes at Mustang Field Saturday afternoon. The final score of this contest was not really indicative of how tough a win this was for the high-flying Mustangs. It would take a concerted effort in the second half by the Penn Yan offense to shake the gritty Screaming Eagles. But the win was equally an important one for Penn Yan. They run their record to 4-0 with three tough games coming in the next three weeks.
Merchants sometimes like to run a sales promotion in the summer called “Christmas in July.” Well this Saturday in Penn Yan, local fans were treated to “Homecoming in July.” With temperatures resembling mid-July instead of the second day of autumn, the Penn Yan Mustangs faced off against the Midlakes Screaming Eagles on the gridiron. The event was also special because it was the annual PYA Mustang homecoming game with all of its festivities. And the hometown crowd included the members of the newest class of the Penn Yan Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. They were honored at halftime. A lot of people and PYA alumni were in town for this game including members of the 1967 Mustang championship team who were inducted into the Hall of Fame the night before. The stage was set for some exciting football.
Penn Yan scored on the opening kickoff on a bit of a razzle dazzle deception play. Desmond Battin received the ball in the middle of a huddle of Orange clad players and emerged from the bunch to ramble 78 yards for a touchdown. Will Rogers ran in the 2 point conversion and the Mustangs led 8-0 before the crowd ordered their first cold drink. But the first half would prove to be much more problematical for the Mustang offense. A stubborn Midlakes defense would squelch the Penn Yan offense on the few series. The Mustangs were forced to punt 3 straight series. The first quarter ended with Penn Yan holding a 8-0 lead.
Midlakes scored early in the second quarter to knot the game at 8. Both teams struggled to move the ball as the first half ‘s time was quickly evaporating. But after a key Mustang fumble recovery by Jack Peterson, sophomore Brennan Prather caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Will Rogers with just 13 seconds remaining in the half. The 2-point conversion was good, and Penn Yan marched off the field at the half with a 16-8 lead.
For most of the second half, Penn Yan’s Dylan Stape took control of the offense. He ran the ball 4 straight times, capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes gone in the period. Penn Yan entered the 4th quarter with a 22-8 lead. Half way through the final stanza it was Dylan Stape once again who would dazzle the homecoming crowd. He literally bulled his way 35 yards to pay dirt with a host of Eagles trying to haul him down to no avail. Rogers again converted the 2 after touchdown points to give the Orange and Blue a comfortable 30-8 lead. Three minutes later, junior Conner Fingar took center stage. He bolted 52 yards for a final Mustang touchdown. Kyle Berna kicked the extra point. And the final score would read 37-8. Like the week before, Penn Yan dominated in the second half both offensively and defensively ensuring their 4th straight win of the 2017 season.
Dylan Stape ran the ball 10 times for 93 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Conner Fingar rushed for 66 yards and scored 1 TD. The Penn Yan defense was once again key in this victory, keeping the game even until the Mustang offense kicked into gear. It was a total team effort for the Orange and Blue. Jack Peterson, Dylan Stape, and Conner Fingar once again were stellar on defense for the Mustang. Kyle Berna, Jacob Lass, Kyle Ingerick, Keith Fuller, and a host of others provided some excellent Mustang defense on a very difficult, hot day. The win pushes Penn Yan record to 4-0 in the Finger Lakes East. They will have another critical FL East contest Friday night when they travel to Waterloo to take on the Indians.