Week number seven, the final regular season game for the Penn Yan Mustang gridiron team, was a game that featured a chance for a Finger Lakes East League championship. The Orange and Blue rolled into East Rochester Oct. 13 to take on the Bombers of East Rochester/Gananda.
Both teams were sporting identical 5-1 records with the winning team of this contest taking at least a share of the Finger Lakes East League title. Geneva, the other team in this mix with a 5-1 record, hosted Midlakes Saturday night. The lines were drawn and the confrontation between two of the top teams in the league was set to play out. It was set to be a winner take all contest. But the hometown Bombers seized the moment. Using a strong running game and a stout defense, ER/Gananda jumped out to a 19-0 first half lead and glided to a 34-14 victory and at least a share of the League trophy.
The Mustangs entered the contest a bit undermanned due to injuries, and things didn’t improve when one of their offensive stars and threats went down with an injury early in the 2nd quarter. Dylan Stape, a top scoring threat on offense and a huge part of the Mustang defense, suffered a leg injury in the second quarter and did not return. The underdog Mustang’s task instantly became tougher. But the Penn Yan boy’s played all out. They narrowed the Bomber lead to 19-8 early in the third quarter and were on the move to make the game even closer. But a couple of turnovers and untimely penalties short-circuited their comeback attempt. East Rochester/Gananda outscored Penn Yan 15-6 in the final quarter to pull away with the win.
After falling behind 19-0 at the half, Penn Yan finally lit up their side of thescoreboard with a scoring play 2 minutes into the second half. Penn Yan quarterback Will Rogers connected with sophomore Brennan Prather on a 28-yard touchdown pass. The 2 point conversion propelled the Mustangs back into the game at 19-8. Penn Yan almost recovered an onside kick to keep their momentum going. But it was ruled the ball didn’t go the required 10 yards. It certainly can be a game of inches and an inch short can dictate momentum. ER/G retained their 19-8 lead after three quarters and were never really threatened again.
The Mustangs scored their final TD of the evening in the fourth quarter. Will Rogers tossed a 34-yard scoring strike to sophomore Dominc Ferlito, his first touchdown of the year. That made the score 27-14 with 4 minutes remaining. The hometown Bombers put the final icing on the cake with 41 seconds remaining. The final score read 34-14 in favor of the home team.
The loss dropped Penn Yan’s record to 5-2. In spite of the tough loss, the Mustang 11 enjoyed an outstanding season. The injury-plagued Mustangs played a very good East Rochester team tough. Defensively Penn Yan made some key stops. Jack Peterson, Conner Fingar, Jakob Lass, Brennan Prather, and a host of Mustang defenders played well. But the numbers game finally wore the Mustang “D” down. With the regular schedule over, the second season begins. Penn Yan will move on to the Section V Class C tournament this weekend. Their opponent, game day, and site will be announced. Hopefully, the Orange and Blue will enter the tournament a little healthier and rested. They have the tools and the talent to make a tournament run. They could be a very surprising and exciting team to watch.
Marcus Whitman 34 Dundee 8
The Marcus Whitman Wildcats defeated Dundee 34-8 in a Finger Lakes West contest played in Gorham on Friday night. The game was the regular season finale for both squads.
The Whitman Wildcats piled up 419 yards on offense to roll to the win. Dylan Howell rushed for 187 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. Teammate Jake Hill added 110 yards and accounted for 1 touchdown. Austin Smith also scored a touchdown and ran for 56 yards. Riley McLoud grabbed a pass for 18 yards. But it was the overwhelming ground game that sparked the Wildcats to the win.
Dundee senior running back Sam Richards scored the lone Scotsmen touchdown on a 9-yard run in the 3rd quarter. Quarterback Kyle Cratsley ran in the 2-point conversion. Marcus Whitman finishes their regular season schedule with a 5-2 record. Dundee falls to 0-7 with the loss.