The Penn Yan football team began its season with a 10-6 win over Bath Sept. 6.
Quarterback Kyle Berna, who has switched positions this season from running back, connected on 22 of 36 passes for 144 yards and one interception. Berna was looking forward to the challenge before the game.
“I’m definitely going to like it,” he said of playing quarterback and directing the offense. “The offense has changed a little bit based on the change of position. There’s more possession of the ball. It’s a more demanding spot. I have to focus more and rely on my other guys more.”
Penn Yan leaned on Berna through the air in part because the ground game wasn’t working. Berna led the Mustangs in rushing with just 5 yards on 9 carries. Mekhi Mahan gathered in 13 receptions for 53 yards, Kyler Lloyd had 5 catches for 28 yards, and Brennan Prather caught 4 balls of his own for 51 yards.
The lone Penn Yan touchdown was scored on defense as Lloyd snagged an interception and returned it for the score. Lloyd added 8 tackles. Mahan led the defense with 18 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery, and Berna had 10 tackles and 2 sacks of his own.
Mahan, who has a goal of gaining 800 yards this season as a running back, thinks the team can have a successful season. He believes the team has what it takes to win sectionals.
“I think we can do it this year,” he said. “We practice every day working hard on and off the field.”
A victory is a good start to the season but more challenges await. The team faces county rival Marcus Whitman, a team coming off a 38-0 loss to Attica, this Friday at 7 p.m. on the turf in Penn Yan.
Attica 38 Marcus Whitman 0
It was a rough start of the season for the Marcus Whitman football team as they welcomed Attica Central to Rushville last Saturday, losing 38-0.
Attica scored twice in the first quarter on a 39-yard pass play and a 24-yard run to take a 13-0 lead. The team put together three touchdown runs, a safety, and a field goal to score all 38 of their points before halftime.
Quarterback Seth Benedict completed two passes for 14 yards for the Wildcats. Ethan DeCarlo and Jacob Penn had the receptions. A bright spot on offense for Marcus Whitman was running back Justin Smith who had 100 yards rushing on the day on 25 carries.
Smith led the way defensively as well, registering 9 tackles on the day. The Wildcats face Penn Yan on the road Friday night at 7 p.m.