Mustangs falter in second half; fall to ER-Gananda 20-16

Gary Pinneo
Penn Yan Junior No. 14 Anthony Luppino catches a pass for Penn Yan’s two point conversion, making the score Penn Yan 8 to East Rochester 0.

 If you were designing the perfect setting for a real, traditional high school football afternoon, last Saturday would be it. 

The Penn Yan Mustang football team was returning home after three straight games on the road for their traditional homecoming game on a beautiful, sunny, early fall afternoon. 

The contest against East Rochester-Gananda had all  the elements of an exciting afternoon of high school football.  The two teams had identical records going into the game and appeared to be evenly matched. 

All the pageantry of homecoming weekend with its parade, colorful floats and added excitement was quite evident.  A big crowd was on hand, including many returning PYA alumni. It was Penn Yan Academy’s latest edition of the time-honored homecoming tradition. 

And for one half of the football game, the throngs of Mustang faithful thought the final score would top off a perfect afternoon.  But it was not to be. The Mustangs scored on their first possession after an ER turnover and extended their lead to 16-6 at the half.  Unfortunately for the Orange and Blue gridiron forces, the game consists of two halves. 

The Monroe County Bombers pushed across two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to spoil the Penn Yan hopes. ER-Gananda shut down Penn Yan totally in the second half en route to a 20 to 16 victory.

The Mustang passing attack, led by their talented senior quarterback Scott Miller, was quite effective in the first half.  Miller teamed up with Anthony Luppino in the first quarter on a 17-yard scoring pass for the Mustang’s first score. The duo reprised this successful combination on the P.A.T. attempt and Penn Yan led 8-0 early. 

The Bombers scored early in the second quarter to cut the Mustang lead to 8-6. 

But Penn Yan countered with another touchdown, this time on a 8-yard pass from Miller to Adam Trombley. 

The Mustangs once again converted the 2 point P.A.T. with Scott Miller once again teaming up with Anthony Luppino on a short pass.  Time ran out in the first half with the hometown Mustangs leading 16-6.

The extended halftime ceremonies perhaps affected the football Mustangs or maybe the visiting Bombers made some midpoint adjustments. 

Penn Yan never got back into rhythm  offensively in the second half.  They could not overcome the two East Rochester touchdowns in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was a defensive stalemate with neither team denting the goal line.

With the loss, Penn Yan falls to 1-4 in the tough Finger Lakes East League with just two weeks left in the regular season. 

The Mustangs will face a very tough Pal/Mac team this coming Friday at Mustang Field.  The Red Raiders are 5-0 coming into this contest. 

The Mustangs hope to put two solid halves together offensively. They  have the potential to do that with their potent passing attack led by Miller.  He finished with 134 yards passing against East Rochester including two touchdowns. 

Miller also rushed for 73 additionals yards.  The Mustangs will need another big game from him to upset the talented Red Raiders on Friday.

Defensively, the Mustangs will have to step up also. 

They played quite well in the East Rochester-Gananda on Saturday making a couple of key stops in the fourth quarter to keep the Mustang hopes alive. 

Adam Stork and Chris Allison had several key stops.  Stork continues to play very well defensively for Penn Yan. 

He was named the Ontario Honda Section V Class B Defensive Player for Week Number 4.  Stork received this honor because of his stellar defensive play against Newark last week.  He had eight tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble, had an interception and blocked an extra point attempt in that game.

A staunch Mustang defensive will be needed against Pal-Mac.

Penn Yan’s No. 1 Adam Trombley stretches out to catch a pass.