Mustangs drop regular season finale to Geneva 33-24
The past was revisited Friday night at Mustang Field in Penn Yan.
For many years, the Penn Yan Mustangs and Geneva Panthers squared off in the final game of the regular Wayne/Finger Lakes League football season.
These two longtime gridiron rivals annually played the Veteran’s Day Trophy game sponsored by the Penn Yan Johnson-Costello American Legion Post #355.
The winner of this special game could keep the trophy for a year. No matter what the records were going into the game, it was generally the game of the year for both teams. Much anticipated.
The competition was intense. But because of schedule changes, realignment of the Finger Lakes conferences, and the New York State tournament format, this annual trophy game was discontinued.
For several years, these two natural rivals have not faced each other on the gridiron. That is, until this past Friday evening. In the latest renewal of this football series, Geneva defeated the hometown Mustangs 33-24.
The game, no longer played on Veteran’s Day weekend and no longer featuring a trophy for the winner, was still a throwback to the past in some degree.
Geneva wasted little time getting on the board in this contest. They scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and extended their margin to 18-0 in the second period.
The Mustangs had trouble getting untracked offensively for most of the first half. Penn Yan quarterback Scott Miller finally got the Orange and Blue on the board with a nine yard scoring run. Silvano Roman rumbled in with the two point conversion and Penn Yan trailed 18-8. But Geneva answered this tally with a touchdown just before the half. The initial 24 minutes of football ended with Geneva controlling the game 26-8.
The Mustangs came out with renewed energy in the second half. The re-energized Horses looked much better offensively and with the help of some Geneva turnovers looked to get right back into the game.
Penn Yan scored in the third quarter on an electrifying 93-yard touchdown run by senior Adam Trombley. This touchdown gallop established a new school record and also served to ramp up the local fans. Nate Nichols put the two point icing on this Mustang scoring play on a pass from Scott Miller. Penn Yan trailed by just 24-16 after three quarters.
The Panthers scored their final touchdown of the evening in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 33-16. But the Mustangs answered quickly with another score on an option pass from Adam Trombley to Nate Nichols that covered 64 yards into the end zone.
J.J. Voigt caught a pass from Miller for the two point conversion and Penn Yan trailed by just nine points, 33-24.
The Mustangs continued to keep the pressure on but could not dent the goal line again. The Panthers held on for the 33-24 victory and bring down the curtain on the 2009 regular season for both teams.
Penn Yan finished the regular schedule with a disappointing 1-6 record.
But sometimes the numbers are a bit deceiving. The Mustangs continued to improve with each game and were in every one of their games.
They never gave up. In this season finale against Geneva, the Penn Yan defense was especially good in the second half, forcing several Panther turnovers.
Silvano Roman and Chris Allison were especially effective up front. Scott Miller, Adam Stork, and Joe Titus also had solid games.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the 5-2 Panthers prevailed on the scoreboard. Geneva will
advance to the Class B Section V tournament this coming weekend.
Penn Yan will finish out the 2009 season in the Connor & Ferris Consolation Bowl.