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Newspaper article on the Pottsville game

Posted Tuesday, October 02, 2007 by Republican Herald

Mifflin rolls past Pottsville


Before Pottsville head coach Kevin Keating was even asked a question following his team's Inter-County League Section 1 clash with Governor Mifflin, he uttered an answer that summarized the night.

"Too many weapons."

Keating echoed those three words more than once Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium, as the Mustangs bombed the Crimson Tide from every direction in a 47-6 romp.

The lopsided defeat was just the Tide's second loss at home in 20 games.

"Watching this team on film I really believed that they were good enough to embarrass us if we didn't play impeccable football," Keating said.

Already holding a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter, Governor Mifflin came up with the game's most pivotal play in the final seconds of the first half.

After an offensive holding call pushed the Mustangs back 14 yards and into their own territory, time was awarded back on the clock.

With 39 seconds remaining, Governor Mifflin quarterback Sam Eagleson completed three passes in the time left.

The last completion stunned the Tide.

On the Tide 34-yard line with less than 20 seconds left, Eagleson found Casey Casantini, who eluded two colliding Pottsville defenders and found the end zone.

The result was a 20-6 lead and traumatic seconds that Pottsville never recovered from.

"We were 39 seconds away from halftime and all of sudden it is 20-6. That was pretty neat," Governor Mifflin coach Mick Vecchio said. "It was such a big touchdown against a team that was a state runner-up two years in a row which knows how to comeback and win."

The touchdown was huge for a Mustangs' squad that never forgot their second-half collapse in their only other trip to Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Two seasons ago, Governor Mifflin (4-1, 2-0 I-C) held a 14-2 halftime lead before watching the Tide rip off four unanswered touchdowns in the second half on their way to a 30-14 win.

"They were reminded of that game pretty much all week," Vecchio said.

The late first-half touchdown was a crushing blow to a Pottsville team that completed a grueling 19-play touchdown drive two minutes earlier to cut the deficit to 14-6.

Pottsville's 65-yard touchdown drive was highlighted by four fourth-down conversions, including Nick Schafer's 13-yard TD pass to Jared Cicero.

"If we come into the locker room down 14-6 you don't know what is going to happen, but I was really disappointed with the score and our kids went into halftime with their heads down," Keating said.

The ill effects were evident in the game's final 24 minutes in which the Crimson Tide (3-2, 2-1 I-C) had two turnovers, a blocked punt and watched Schafer get knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Governor Mifflin scored 27 second-half points without throwing a single pass.

Even more odd was that Mustangs ran only three offensive plays in the third quarter.

George Schmidt, who rushed for two touchdowns, was the beneficiary of another TD when Kervens Mesamours blocked Josh Poda's punt deep in Tide territory.

The snowball effect continued in the fourth quarter when Eagleson capped off a huge night with a 95-yard touchdown run just one play after the Tide stalled on the Mustangs' 5-yard line.

Eagleson finished the night with 154 yards on six carries, and some rave reviews from his coach.

"He is one of our leaders and he is doing a great job for us," Vecchio said.

Aside of two offensive drives, the Crimson Tide offense never threatened.

Governor Mifflin's upfield pursuit was led by linebacker Chris Carabello, who seemed to make play after play in the second half.

The Mustangs' defensive effort was so solid that it held Tide sophomore standout Jeremy Hoke to just 55 yards on 18 carries. Hoke had rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his previous four games.

"Our game plan was to pound the rock and the keep the ball away from them," Keating said. "We are used to making plays and right now we are not making a lot of plays. It's frustrating."

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