SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2006-15
By Bill Engelhardt
Last Friday evening, December 1, the number 8 seeded Patriots of Red Land edged the number 2 seeded Mustangs of South Western 21-12 in a hard fought battle for the District 3 Championship. Thus ended the best season in the history of the Mustangs, who won 12 games for the first time and played through a 14-game season, just 2 games shy of a State championship.
As was the case last week against the Colonials of New Oxford, Brian Danner was the heart of the Patriots offense. His 32-carries for 130-yards rushing was the back breaker. He proved once again to be a very capable replacement for the injured Matt Cox, who has rushed for 1,186-yards for the season.
After the Mustangs were unable to gain a first down on their opening drive, the Patriots launched an 8-play touchdown drive. A 9-yard pass from quarterback Skyler Hunt to Dan Klein and 6 runs for 46-yards, culminating in his 21-yard touchdown run, by Brian Danner, were the featured plays of this drive. Chad Christen’s extra point kick gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead at the 6:48 point of the first quarter.
After a series of punts, the Patriots started a 64-yard touchdown dive spanning part of the first quarter and 2 minutes and 1 second of the second. A 22-yard pass to Ostot on a third and 9 play and a 17-yard pass to Ostot at the Mustangs 20-yard line preceded the Junior Rodriguez touchdown jaunt that, coupled with Christen’s extra point kick, gave the Patriots a 14-0 lead.
After another series of punts, the Mustangs began a drive on their 45-yard line and 7 plays later turned the ball over on downs at the Patriots 8-yard line. That drive featured runs of 5, 14 and 7-yards by Tim Smith and a 21-yard pass from J. C. Laughlin to Tim Smith. Drew Snyder then recovered a Patriots fumble by Danner at the 9-yard line for the Mustangs. Tim Smith ran for 4-yards, Eric Updegrove ran for 4-yards, Jason Gigous ran for a yard and Tim Smith scored on a 1-yard plunge. The extra point was blocked and the Patriots led 14-6 with 2:14 to go in the half.
The Patriots took the opening kickoff in the second half and launched a 13-play 65-yard touchdown drive. Danner carried 6 times for 20-yards, including his 3-yard touchdown run, and Hunt threw a 23-yard pass to Detwan Robinson on this drive. Christen’s extra point kick upped the Patriots lead to 21-6 at 5:44 in the third quarter.
The never say die Mustangs countered with a 12-play 68-yard touchdown drive. Shawn Rider, who had been out with an injury the whole season, electrified the Mustangs faithful with his return to action with runs of 8 and 10-yards. Donnie Brady added a 12-yard run to the 1-yard line, and Tim Smith added 31-yards on 6 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown plunge. A 2-pont-conversion pass attempt failed and the score was 21-12 with 1:19 to go in the third quarter.
Chris Wilson recovered a Patriots fumble at the Patriots 46-yard line for the Mustangs and nine plays later they turned the ball over on downs at the 14-yard line after an incomplete pass. The Patriots were not able to do anything on that possession, which featured a sack by Jason Gigous for the Mustangs, and punted. The Mustangs had the ball at the Patriots 49-yard line but Dan Strayer recovered a Mustangs fumble on the next play and the Patriots were able to run out the clock.
The South Western Mustangs gained 139-yards rushing and 34-yards passing for a total of 173 yards of offense for the game. Tim Smith led the Mustangs rushing attack with 23 carries for 105-yards and 2 touchdowns (He led the team with 1,076-yards and 20 touchdowns on 170 carries for the season, and scored 23 touchdowns altogether), followed by Donnie Brady with 3 carries for 20-yards, Shawn Rider with 2 carries for 18-yards, and Eric Updegrove with 4 carries for 4-yards. Jason Gigous and J. C. Laughlin carried for minus yardage. Quarterback Laughlin completed 3 of 13 passes for 34-yards; 21-yards to Tim Smith, 7-yards to Jason Gigous, and 6-yards to Eric Updegrove for the Mustangs.
Tim Smith returned a punt for 17-yards and 2 kickoffs for 19-yards, with the longest going for 11-yards. Drew Snyder kicked off 2 times for 118-yards, with the longest going for 60-yards, and he punted 4 times for 138-yards, for a 34.5-yard average, with the longest going for 49-yards, for the Mustangs.
Jason Gigous led the Mustangs defense with 16 tackles, followed by Chad LaGore and Tim Smith with 12 each, Drew Snyder with 11, Jesse Smith with 9, Chris Wilson with 7, Corwyn Gordon with 6, Dan Dukes with 5, Jason Sneeringer with 4, Donnie Brady and Cody Shue with 3 tackles each, Eric Updegrove with 2 and Seth Barnes and Dale Mills with 1 tackle each. The fumble recoveries by Snyder and Wilson and sacks by Gigous and Dukes were highlights in the Mustangs defensive effort. Gigous led the Mustangs with 154 tackles for the season, setting a new school record, surpassing Justin Mummert’s 145 in that great 2000 season. Jesse Smith, with 111 tackles, and Drew Snyder and Chris Wilson with 104 tackles each, join Gigous in the 100 plus club for the Mustangs, qualifying them all for the “Keystone Club” at the Pennsylvania Football News. Tim Smith, with 98 and Chad LaGore with 92 tackles followed closely on their heels.
Bryan Bosley, Donnie Brady, Dan Dukes, Jason Gigous, Corwyn Gordon, Chad LaGore, 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, Duane Rowlette, Tim Smith, Mike Stremmel and Kory Yelton patrolled the secondary.
The Red Land Patriots gained 163-yards rushing and 88-yards passing for a total of 251- yards of offense for the game. Brian Danner led the Patriots rushing attack with his 32 carries for 130-yards and 2 touchdowns, followed by Junior Rodriquez with 6 carries for 20-yards and a touchdown, and Skyler Hunt with 9 carries for 13-yards. Quarterback Hunt completed 5 of 6 passes for the 88-yards; 3 for 57-yards to Kyle Ostot, 1 for 23-yards to Detwan Robinson, and 1 for 8-yards to Dan Klein for the Patriots.
Ryan Dill returned a kickoff 26-yards and Kyle Ostot returned one for 17-yards for the Patriots. Chris Young punted 4 times for 118-yards, for a 29.5-yard average, with the longest going for 38-yards.
The Patriots will move on to play the Crimson Tide of Pottsville in the semifinal round of the State class AAA playoffs.
Quarterback J. C. Laughlin has added to his new school records with 20 touchdown passes for the season and 28 for his career. His 1,259-yards passing in 2006 put him in 1st place for season passing yardage, surpassing the record of 1,188-yards set by Doug Seidenstricker in 1990. His 900-yards passing in 2005 and 1,259 -yards in 2006 put him in 2nd place on the school career passing yardage list with 2,159-yards.
Tim Smith had 1 interception return, 20 rushing, and 2 receiving touchdowns for the season. His 23 touchdowns put him in first place in the school record book, breaking the record of 21 set by Andrew Kern (2000) and Joe Myers (1991). His 142 points scored for the season broke the record of Andrew Kern’s 132 points in 2000.
Drew Snyder set a new school record for touchdown receptions in a season with 10, surpassing the record of 7 set by Tim Rill in 1989 and Zach Krise in 2003. His 4 touchdown receptions in 2005 and 10 in 2006 set a new career school record of 14, breaking Tim Rill’s record of 13. His 990 career pass reception yards (487 in 2005 and 503 in 2006) put him in 2nd place on the school record list, behind Tim Rill’s 992-yards. Snyder also set a new school record for field goals in a career with 19. He kicked 7 this year and his field goal of 50-yards set a new school record for distance, breaking his own record of 47-yards. With 11 touchdowns, 34 extra points and 7 field goals, Snyder has accounted for 121 points this year, putting him in 3rd place on the school season scoring record list. His 503 yards on 18 receptions led the team for the season. His 137 career punts for 5,118-yards put him in 2nd place on the school career punting average list with an average of 37.4-yards.
The 18-member Mustangs Cheer Leading squad and the Mustang Mascot were very impressive as they roused the many faithful Mustangs fans among the spirited crowd. They are due a vote of thanks for a great job all season long. The Patriots Cheer Leaders countered with a crowd rousing performance for their faithful fans.
The 110 member strong South Western Mustang Marching Band, 9-time Cavalcade of Bands Champion, a 2000 Tournament of Bands Champion and US Scholastic Band Champion provided spirited musical encouragement from the stands throughout the game. The championship game proceedings did not permit them to perform the 2006 musical program entitled “Colourful Rythms,” which featured musical themes from the Millennium Celebration at Epcot Center, including “Time Prologue,” “Chaos,” “Life” and “Celebration;” followed by the main theme from the Cirque du Soleil production, “Journey of Man” and “Tribal Mustang;” and the closing number being a “lilting” Irish melody leading to the majestic strains of “We Go On.” Here too a large vote of thanks is due for a yeoman job all season long in all kinds of weather.
The Mustangs of South Western closed out their great 2006 season with a 12-2-0 overall record and a 7-0-0 record in York Area Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division I league play.
Don Seidenstricker has a 166-64-1 (.722) record as coach of the Mustangs, who have a career record of 307-182-8. The results of the 497 games played in the history of the South Western Mustangs are a career .628 winning percentage and a .634 non-losing percentage.
I certainly cannot end the season without saying a very special thank you to Richard Lupro for faithfully providing the official Offensive, Special Teams and Scoring statistics for the Mustangs to me, and for inputting them, and the Defensive statistics, at the Max Preps web site each week. And a very special thank you also goes to longtime Mustangs line coach Chuck Seidenstricker for providing vital Defensive statistics to me, and to Dick Lupro, for input to the web site, after reviewing game films on very short notice.
The 2006 edition of the Mustangs of South Western gave their fans a host of excitement and thrills. They set new school records galore, as outlined above. They had players meet the criteria for the Pennsylvania Football News annual “Keystone Club” for 1,000-yards or more rushing (Tim Smith with 1,076), 1,000-yards or more passing (J. C. Laughlin with 1,259), 20 or more touchdowns scored (Tim Smith with 23), 20 or more touchdown passes (J. C. Laughlin with 20), 500 or more receiving yards (Drew Snyder with 503), scoring 100 or more points (Tim Smith with 142 and Drew Snyder with 121), 6 or more field goals (Drew Snyder with 7), field goals of 40-yards or more (Drew Snyder with 1 for 50-yards and 1 for 42-yards), 15 or more touchbacks on kickoffs (Drew Snyder with 16), 100 or more tackles (Jason Gigous with 154, Jesse Smith with 111, Drew Snyder with 104 and Chris Wilson with 104), 300 or more kickoff return yards (Aaron Repman with 365), 500 or more kickoff and punt return yards combined (Aaron Repman with 530), and for a punting average of 35 or more yards with at least 30 punts (Drew Snyder with 51 punts for 1,913 yards, for a 37.5-yard average). If I missed any records, I’m sorry. I tried very hard to include as many as possible.
The 2006 Mustangs represented their school and league very well, played hard all season, never gave up, and certainly upheld the Mustangs tradition of pride and accomplishment throughout the season. They have a great nucleus of returning players from the junior varsity and solid players coming up within the ranks. I can’t wait for next season to begin. Until then, GO MUSTANGS GO.