Update: Mustangs win fourth straight; defeat Newark 19-6

Gary Pinneo

For the first time since 2005, a Penn Yan Mustang football team has won four straight games. The Mustangs traveled to Newark Friday evening to take on the Reds in a Finger Lakes East game. The Orange and Blue gridiron squad, recently enjoying a successful, winning run the past three games, was looking to extend their winning streak to four, while the struggling Reds were looking to nail down their first win of the season. After a sluggish start which featured a shower of yellow penalty flags on both teams, the Mustangs took control of the game and scored three touchdowns en route to a 19-6 victory. Their winning streak remains intact.

After a nearly scoreless first half, Penn Yan scored with just 45 seconds remaining before halftime. An extended late drive resulted in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Casey Marsh. He had set up his own touchdown with a 25-yard scamper on the play before. Austin Fingar converted the point after and Penn Yan enjoyed a 7-0 lead at the half.

The Mustangs increased their lead to 13-0 midway through the third quarter. The Orange and Blue mounted a 13-play, 80-yard drive to produce this score. The drive was initially stopped by Newark, but on fourth down, Penn Yan's punter Austin Fingar parlayed a bad snap on the punt attempt into a 20-yard gain and a first down. The Mustangs scored shortly afterward on a 22-yard passing play from Austin Fingar to Josh Brewster. The point after attempt was blocked. Penn Yan's lead stood at 13-0 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.

Penn Yan scored their final touchdown of the evening with just 20 seconds left in the third quarter. Casey Marsh scored his second touchdown of the game, catching a 13-yard scoring strike from quarterback Tanner Irwin. This scoring pass capped off another long 80-yard drive by Penn Yan. The 2-point P.A.T attempt was stopped by Newark. The third quarter ended with Penn Yan enjoying a comfortable 19-0 lead.

Newark tried to make a game of it in the final 12 minutes. They finally scored at the 9:36 mark to cut the Penn Yan lead to 19-6. This would prove to be as close as they would get on this chilly evening. The Mustangs ran out the clock and win number four was in the books. The Orange and Blue will host Wayne Oct. 17 in the regular season finale. With the Section V tournament straight ahead on the horizon, this key Finger Lakes East match-up could be very interesting. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Penn Yan quarterback Tanner Irwin once again had a productive evening offensively. He rushed for 88 yards and passed for another 52 yards.

Hard running Casey Marsh picked up 54 yards rushing and of course scored two of Penn Yan's touchdowns.

The Mustang offensive line did a stellar job controlling the line of scrimmage, allowing Penn Yan to run the ball effectively. But it was the defense that has perhaps become Penn Yan's biggest weapon. They completely shutdown the Newark offense. The Red did score their sole touchdown in the second half. But for all intents and purposes, the game was already decided by then.

Casey Marsh recorded 15 tackles and 2 sacks to lead the Orange and Blue "D". Tyler Bray and Austin Fingar , among many others, also had solid games defensively for Penn Yan.

The Mustangs have held their opponents to just 91 points this season. This is the best in the Finger Lakes East League. But if there is one area that the Mustangs need to shore up in a hurry, they must cut down on their penalties. Numerous times in Friday's game, the dreaded yellow flag thwarted successful offensive efforts. The few remaining games starting with Wayne on Saturday are all crucial. Mistakes can quickly take out of a game.

The injury bug has hit Penn Yan also. Key players such as Ben Covert and Isaah Prosser were out of the lineup Friday. Riley Marsh, called up from the J.V. team, did have a couple of nice runs in the second half for Penn Yan. Hopefully with the Section V tournament rapidly approaching, the Mustangs will be at full strength and ready to take on all comers.

The season finale against Wayne is scheduled for Saturday evening, October 18th at Mustang Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The original schedule had this game scheduled for riday night Oct. 17.