The Penn Yan Mustang football team kicked off their 2018 campaign Friday night (Aug. 31) hosting the Waterloo Indians at Mustang Field. The game was not only the first of the new season for the Orange and Blue, but also the first for new Mustang Head Coach Tim McBride. And as premieres go, it was a solid success for both the team and their new mentor. In an exciting, see-saw contest played before a big opening night crowd, the hometown Mustangs registered a come-from-behind 34-28 victory over the visiting Indians.
Both teams scored on their opening drives of the game. Waterloo took the opening kick off and marched 54 yards for the season’s first score and a quick 8-0 lead. The Mustangs countered with TD on their first drive. Penn Yan Quarterback Will Rogers connected with Conner Fingar on a 24-yard touchdown strike. Brennan Prather kicked the extra point. The new season was 7 minutes old and Waterloo led 8 to 7.
The Seneca County 11 tallied their second touchdown with 4 minutes left in the quarter to take a 16-7 lead. Not to be outdone, the Mustangs answered on a 24-yard touchdown gallop by senior Will Rogers. Prather once again split the uprights to cut Waterloo’s lead to 16-14. The clock ran out on the first quarter.
Waterloo tallied the only touchdown of the second quarter on a 5 yard run at the 4 minute mark. The half ended with the visiting Indians from Waterloo holding a 22-14 lead.
The second half was more of a defensive battle between the two Finger Lakes foes. Brennan Prather had a key interception in the stanza and the determined Mustang defense corps of Jack Peterson, Conner Fingar, Riley Brittingham, and Damien Snyder kept the Waterloo offense in check. Penn Yan tied the game on a 10-yard scoring pass from Will Rogers to sophomore Mekhi Mahan. The 2-point conversion knotted the score at 22 with three quarters of the game gone.
The deciding 4th quarter was a wild one. Penn Yan’s Kyle Berna scored on a 22-yard scamper half way through the period. The scoring drive was set up by a determined 32-yard run by Conner Fingar. The extra point attempt failed, but the Mustangs enjoyed their first lead of the game 28-22. Waterloo once again answered with a 14-yard touchdown pass of their own. They went for the 2-point conversion but also failed. The game was once again tied 28-28 with 4 minutes to play.
The final, tense 240 seconds featured a little of everything. The hometown Mustangs mounted their final scoring drive. Kyle Berna ran for 35 yards to start the action. And then senior stalwart Conner Fingar took over to seal the Mustang win. He scored on a 31-yard run to pay dirt to give the Orange and Blue a 34-28 lead with just 2 minutes left in the game. Waterloo, aided by a huge personal foul penalty by Penn Yan, marched down to the Penn Yan 10 yard line with 10 seconds remaining. The outcome of the game hinged on one final play. But once again, the ever-present Conner Fingar stepped in to end the discussion and the game. He picked off the Waterloo pass in the back of the end zone. Game over, Penn Yan wins!
The Mustangs needed a total team effort to win the opening night game against Waterloo. On offense, Conner Fingar rushed for 66 yards with a touchdown. He also registered 134 yards on pass receptions, including a touchdown. Quarterback Will Rogers threw for two touchdown and also scored one rushing. Kyle Berna ran for some impressive yards and also scored a touchdown. The Orange and Blue defense also stepped up when it was important. Jack Peterson and Riley Brittingham had a couple of huge sacks. Brennan Prather, Bryan Duran, and Conner Fingar had key interceptions. Fingar also led the team with 25 tackles. This all added up to a satisfying Mustang win. The 1-0 Mustangs will travel to Geneva Friday night to take on the tough Panthers.
Dansville 18 Dundee 14
The Scotsmen dropped their season opener to Dansville 18-14 on the road in Dansville Friday night. Dundee’ offense was lead by senior quarterback Preston Cratsley. He threw for 96 yards including a touchdown pass. Cratsley also rushed for 38 yards and scored the other Dundee touchdown. Austin Brace had a solid evening, running the ball for the Scots. He rushed for 125 yards.
Defensively, Dundee played well for the first game of the season. Richardson Brady and Brian Keidley had interceptions. The Scotsmen (0-1) will host Clyde-Savannah Saturday in Dundee.