By Bill Engelhardt
Last Friday evening, September 1, the Mustangs of South Western hosted the Warriors of Gettysburg and lost 20-13 in a thriller that had plenty of excitement for both sides, despite the persistent rain from tropical storm Ernesto. This one boiled down to the Evan Lewis and Storm Woerner show. Lewis, a junior, completed 7 of 11 passes for 165-yards and his favorite receiver was Woerner, who caught 4 passes for 136-yards, including touchdowns of 62 and 49-yards. Just to add a little variety, R. J. VanBrakle scored on a 37-yard run for the Warriors.
The Mustangs actually got off to a very good start and completely dominated the first half, holding the Warriors to 14 yards of offense and racking up 114 yards themselves as they went into halftime with a 10-0 lead. It all started when Tim Smith intercepted a pass by the Warriors at the Mustangs 35-yard line. After a seven play drive, featuring runs of 5-yards by Aaron Repman and 9-yards by Eric Updegrove, senior kicking sensation Drew Snyder calmly booted a 50-yard field goal to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead with 5:02 left in the first quarter. Snyder had already set a school career distance record for a field goal with a 47-yarder last year and already held the school record for number of field goals in a career with 12.
A Warriors punt gave the Mustangs the ball on their 39-yard line. An 11 play 61-yard drive, featuring a 3-yard pass from Laughlin to Eric Updegrove, runs of 12, 7, 3, 4 and 1-yards by Tim Smith and runs of 9, 10, 0 and 7-yards by Updegrove and a 5-yard run by Laughlin, ended in Smith’s one yard touchdown plunge. The accurate foot of Drew Snyder kicked the extra point and the Mustangs led 10-0 with 7:09 to go in the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Warriors as they figured out a way to hold off the blitzing Mustangs just long enough to let Evan Lewis crank up his passing game. Most of their 165-yards passing came in that quarter. The Mustangs opened the second half with a drive from their 39-yard line to the 36-yard line of the Warriors and it looked like they were off to the races again. Brian Irwin then intercepted a Mustangs pass and 2 plays later Evan Lewis connected with Storm Woerner on a 62-yard bomb for a touchdown. Lewis kicked the extra point and the score was 10-7 in favor of the Mustangs.
The Mustangs next drive stalled and they punted to the Warriors. On a 5 play 71-yard drive Lewis again connected with Woerner, this time on a 49-yard touchdown strike. The extra point attempt failed and the Warriors took the lead 13-10. Although R. J. VanBrakle was held to 59-yards rushing on 13 carries, he ripped off a 37-yard touchdown run near the end of the third quarter and the extra point kick by Lewis put the Warriors up 20-10.
The never say die Mustangs fought on and began a drive on their 40-yard line after Chad LaGore partially blocked a punt by the Warriors. Ten plays, featuring a 22-yard pass from J. C. Laughlin to Kory Yelton, a 3-yard pass to Aaron Repman, and runs of 9 and 3-yards by Laughlin, runs of 0, 4, 1 and 0-yards by Repman, and runs of 9 and 3-yards by Laughlin, put the ball on the 11-yard line of the Warriors. Drew Snyder then booted a 28-yard field goal, upping his school record of field goals in a career to 14, with 6:33 left in the game to close out the scoring.
Aaron Repman returned 2 kickoffs for 36-yards, with the longest going for 22-yards, and Eric Updegrove returned one for 12-yards for the Mustangs. Repman also returned 2 punts for 23-yards, with the longest going for 16-yards, and Jason Gigous returned a punt for 6-yards. Drew Snyder kicked off 4 times for 214-yards, including two touchbacks. He punted 5 times for 192-yards, for a 38.4-yard average, with the longest going for 48-yards.
Jesse Smith, who had 11 tackles and 2 sacks for the night, led the Mustangs defense, followed by Chris Wilson with 10 tackles and a sack, Jason Gigous with 8 tackles, Eric Updegrove with 6 and Corwyn Gordon with 5. Aaron Repman and Chad LaGore each had 4 tackles and Dan Dukes also contributed a sack for the Mustangs.
Bryan Bosley, Dan Dukes, Jason Gigous, Corwyn Gordon, Chad La Gore, Dale Mills, Cody Shue, Jesse Smith, Jason Sneeringer, Drew Snyder, Eric Updegrove and Chris Wilson manned the offensive and defensive line and linebacker positions. Seth Barnes, J. C. Laughlin, Aaron Repman, Duane Rowlette, Tim Smith and Mike Stremmel patrolled the secondary.
The Mustangs gained 206-yards rushing and 42-yards passing for a total of 248 yards of offense. J. C. Laughlin completed 5 passes for the 42-yards. Aaron Repman (3-yards), Tim Smith (7-yards), Drew Snyder (7-yards), Eric Updegrove (3-yards) and Kory Yelton (22-yards) each caught a pass. Tim Smith led the rushing attack with 16 carries for 98-yards (including a 1-yard touchdown), followed by Eric Updegrove with 10 for 63-yards, Aaron Repman with 10 for 31-yards, J. C. Laughlin with 8 for 13-yards and Jason Gigous with 5 for a yard.
The Gettysburg Warriors rang up 57-yards rushing and 165 yards passing for a total of 222 yards gained. Evan Lewis completed 7 passes for the 165-yards. Besides the 136-yards to Woerner, Justin Jones (17-yards), Sean Manahan (6-yards) and Zach Michael (6-yards) each hauled in a pass. R. J. VanBrakle led the Warriors rushing attack with 13 carries for 59-yards (including a 37-yard touchdown), followed by, Cody Trail with 4 for 6-yards, Justin Jones with 1 for 2-yards, and Evan Lewis with 8 for minus 10-yards.
Gettysburg hopes to be a contender in the Capital Division of the Mid Penn Conference. The Mustangs are still hoping to do the same in Division I of the YAIAA this year.
The South Western Mustangs and Gettysburg Warriors Marching Bands were not able to march due to the weather, but both appeared and energetically played for their teams during the game. The 20-member Mustangs Cheer Leading squad was very impressive as they roused the faithful.
The Mustangs of South Western are 0-1-0 overall and 0-0-0 in York Area Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division I league play.
Don Seidenstricker has a 154-63-1 (.710) record as coach of the Mustangs, who have a career record of 295-181-8. The results of the 484 games played in the history of the South Western Mustangs are a career .620 winning percentage and a .626 non-losing percentage.
Next week the Mustangs host the Warriors of Susquehannock at the Mustang Corral. Susquehannock opened the season with a 47-12 win over the Rockets of Spring Grove. The Mustangs played good offense and great defense in the first half and gave up three big plays in the second half of their season opener. They are looking to resume their winning tradition. GO MUSTANGS GO.