Mustangs defeat Waterloo in quarterfinal; face Batavia Saturday in semi-final

Gary Pinneo
Penn Yan's Austin Finger leaps high for a pass completion.

The Penn Yan Mustangs won their sixth game in a row and this victory was their sweetest to date. The Orange and Blue 11 shut out a stubborn Waterloo Indian team 24-0 in a Section V quarterfinal game played at Mustang Field on Friday evening. The win also avenged an earlier 26-22 homecoming day loss to the Tribe in week two of the season.

Friday's game was the first sectional game Penn Yan has played in nine years. The 2005 Mustangs defeated Wayland-Cohocton 15-7 at home that year. Nine years later, with a big opening round win, the Mustangs are back in the hunt for a Section V Class title.

The game started out with both teams sporting stout defenses. Neither squad could sustain drives in the first quarter and the first 12 minutes ended with the game scoreless. The second quarter resembled the first stanza with the defenses in control. But the Mustangs finally dented the goal line with just 2:30 left in the half. Penn Yan mounted a 6-play, 42-yard drive concluded by an acrobatic catch by Jacob Covert from quarterback Tanner Irwin. The 45-yard pass play gave the Mustangs a 6-0 lead. The first half ended that way.

Penn Yan increased their lead to 12-0 early in the third quarter. Once again, Tanner Irwin connected with Jacob Covert on a 12-yard touchdown pass. The try for the 2-point P.A.T. was stopped by Waterloo. The Mustangs put together another drive late in the third quarter, but it stalled out on the Waterloo 23 yard line. As the clock ran out in the third quarter, the scoreboard read Penn Yan 12, Waterloo 0.

Waterloo put together their best offensive drive of the game as the final quarter began. They drove down to the Penn Yan 20 yard line, and threatened to squeeze back into the game. But a couple of key Penn Yan stops and a holding penalty short circuited the Indian drive and the Mustangs took over on downs. On the very next Penn Yan play, Casey Marsh broke through the Waterloo line and sprinted down the sideline 65 yards for another Mustang touchdown. This pay dirt gallop by the talented Mustang back gave the hometown 11 an 18-0 lead.

Penn Yan put an exclamation point on this big win with their final tally of the successful evening. Austin Fingar, on the halfback option, tossed a scoring strike to Jacob Covert. This was the third touchdown of the evening for the sure-handed Mr. Covert. The extra point kick was blocked, but it did not matter. Penn Yan boosted their lead to 24-0 and punched their ticket to the Section V Class B semi-finals next Saturday.

The win improved Penn Yan's record to 6-2. They will play Batavia at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Eastridge High in Rochester. Batavia (8-1), the No. 2 seed, defeated Pal-Mac 47-14 in the quarterfinal round.