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High School Football -Week 9 Summary
Wingard shines in Tribe comback

Millersburg's Austin Lehman eludes several UDA defenders for extra yardage Oct. 24. (Sentinel photo by Christina Zeiders)

Williams Valley and Juniata square off this Friday night in Williamstown for no less than a share of the Tri-Valley Athletic Association title. 

The winner of that contest will finish 7-1 in the league. If Tri-Valley knocks off Newport the same evening, the Williams Valley-Juniata winner will hold the 2014 title outright (Newport is currently 6-1 in the league). If Newport beats the ’Dawgs, the Williams Valley-Juniata winner will finish in a two-way tie with the Buffaloes.


Millersburg 28, Upper Dauphin 27, Oct. 24.  Millersburg fought back from a 21-0 deficit to steal victory away from the Trojans on Senior Night in Elizabethville. 

The Indians had some help from the Trojans, who made a few choices that may have cost them the game.

Leading 21-7, UDA had the ball on the Millersburg five-yard line with six seconds remaining in the first half and no timeouts.  Instead of attempting a 22-yard field goal, the Trojans called a run play off right tackle and were stuffed for no gain as time expired.

Later in the game, the Trojans scored a go-ahead touchdown and opted to go for two instead of kicking the extra point. The two-point attempt was snuffed out by the Indian defense, giving the Trojans only a 27-21 lead with 10:44 left in the game.

Millersburg scored its final touchdown a few minutes later, and connected on the extra point to take what eventually would become the game-winning lead 28-27.

Referencing Upper Dauphin’s  failed late-game two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter, Millersburg Head Coach Brad Hatter said, “We always talk about how important extra points and special teams are. Tonight we were four-for-four, and that’s what won us the game.”

Early on, it looked like it was going to be a long night for Hatter and his squad.  Millersburg won the opening coin toss, but that was the only good thing to happen to them for the next 22.5 minutes.

After punting on its opening possession, UDA’s  offense got going the second time around.

Quarterback Aaron Cleveland connected with speedy flanker Tanner Miller for a 32-yard passing play on the first play of the Trojans’ second drive. Six running plays, and 34 yards later, Cleveland capped the drive with a one-yard keeper that put UDA up 6-0 with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter.

In addition to his rushing touchdown, Cleveland finished eight-for-13 for 122 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions through the air.

The Trojans’ defense forced a punt on Millersburg’s next possession before UDA took over on its own 42-yard line for its third offensive possession of the night.

This time, running back Cameron Fornwald took the reins for the Trojan offense.  Fornwald, who finished with a game-high 226 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 29 attempts, broke through the Indian defense for a 32 run on the fourth play of the drive, setting up first-and-goal for the Trojans on the Millersburg three-yard line.  Two plays later Fornwald took the Cleveland handoff five yards for a score.

A Tanner Miller two-point conversion gave UD a 14-0 lead with 10:42 left in the first half.

The Trojans struck again on their next drive, after pouncing on an Indian fumble on Millersburg’s 38-yard line.

Eight plays into the drive, Cleveland connected with Peyton Barge on fourth-and-nine from the Millersburg 20 for the Trojans’ third score of the half.  The extra point made it 21-0, UDA, with 5:28 left in the half.

Millersburg got a jolt of life on its last drive of the first half.

Starting at their own 35, quarterback Christian Wingard led the Indians on a 55-yard scoring drive capped by his own 12-yard scoring scramble on fourth-and-three from the Trojans’ 12 yard line.

Wingard connected on the extra point to make it 21-7 UDA at the half.

The Indians’ sophomore quarterback didn’t have his usual performance through the air against the Trojans, finishing four-for-10 for 84 yards, but he made up for in the ground game, where he finished 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Wingard’s Indians got the ball to start the second half and wasted no time getting within one score of the leading Trojans. The eight-play drive started at the Indian 23 and was capped by Matthew Koppenhaver’s 30-yard touchdown run.  Another Wingard extra point made it 21-14, UDA, but the tide was changing and everyone in the stadium could feel it.

‘‘We kind of let Upper Dauphin do whatever they wanted in the first half, but our kids came out and fought in the second half,’’ said Hatter.

Fight they did.

Millersburg forced a UDA turnover on the Trojans first drive of the second half. Austin Lehman stepped in front of an errant Cleveland pass for an interception. The mistake was compounded when a player was flagged for a personal foul at the end of the play, setting the Indians’ offense up at the UD 40-yard line.

After a 15-yard penalty of their own and two plays that netted minus eight yards, it looked as if the Indians weren’t going to capitalize on the Trojans mistake. Then on fourth-and-33, Wingard dropped back, scrambled to avoid a sack, and heaved the ball 45 yards to Ethan Troutman, who caught the ball for a first down despite being tripled covered by the Trojans’ defensive backfield.

The first down kept the Millersburg drive alive, and seven plays later Connor Keim ran the ball across the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the Trojan one.

Wingard’s third extra point of the game evened the score at 21-all with 0:33 left in the third quarter.

The Trojans responded on their next possession.

Starting at their own 20 yard line, Cleveland led Upper Dauphin 80 yards for the go-ahead score.  Fornwald started the drive with a 48-yard run off left tackle. He finished it four plays later with an 18-yard touchdown run that gave UD a 27-21 lead.

Then came the failed two-point attempt, which gave the Indians the opportunity to take the lead if they scored.

As it turns out, they did on their very next possession.

Starting at their own 30 yard line, Millersburg drove 70 yards to paydirt, which came on a 38-yard Wingard touchdown run. He connected on his fourth and final extra point to give Millersburg a 28-27 lead that ultimately held up through the game’s final buzzer.

Cleveland threw his second interception of the game on UDA’s next drive, but the Trojan defense forced a Millersburg punt on their next possession to give the home team a glimmer of hope.

After gaining 22 yards and one first down, the Trojan offense sputtered and turned the ball over on downs.  Millersburg ran out the clock and escaped Elizabethville with a one-point victory.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” said Hatter.  “We challenged them at halftime, and they responded.  They played incredibly hard in the second half, especially the defense, and they definitely deserved this win.”

Millersburg – who could possibly earn an Eastern Conference playoff berth – ends its season Friday, Oct. 31 in a non-league contest at York County’s Kennard-Dale.  UDA  crosses the river to 0-9 Susquenita for its final regular season game, also Oct. 30. Kickoff for both games is 7 p.m.

Tri-Valley 45, East Juniata 16, Oct. 24. The host Bulldogs scored the game’s first 45 points before conceding two late touchdowns to the Tigers. A balanced offensive attack that totaled 348 yards led by quarterback Hunter Harner helped the Dawgs extinguish any fleeting upset bid by East Juniata. Tri-Valley finished the game with 178 passing yards and 170 rushing yards.

Harner was a perfect four-for-four through the air for 90 yards and two touchdowns. He also chipped in two rushing attempts for 15 yards and a score.

Harner connected with Jaden Buchanan three times for 70 yards and a score.  Buchanan had one rushing attempt for one yard and a touchdown.  He also threw the ball four times, connecting on three for 88 passing yards.

Chase Schaeffer, the Bulldogs’ versatile wideout, had 32 yards receiving and one touchdown on just two receptions.  Schaeffer also ran the ball six times for 22 yards and a score.

Anthony Snyder led all Bulldog runners with 78 yards on five carries. He scored one touchdown.

Tyler Lucas scored the ’Dawgs’ final touchdown on a two-yard run in the third quarter.  Lucas finished the game with 19 rushing yards on seven carries.

Tri-Valley will attempt to play spoiler when its travels to Newport Oct. 31 for a 7 p.m. contest. A Bulldog win will end Newport’s chances for a share of the league title.  Game time is 7:00.

Newport 68, Halifax 27, Oct. 24. The Wildcats were no match for Newport’s high-octane offensive attack. The Buffaloes racked up 548 yards of total offense en route to a dominating road victory.

There were a few bright spots for the ’Cats.  Quarterback Mason Erdman was seven-for-15 through the air for 208 yards and three touchdowns.  His favorite target was Jake Paul, who caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns.  Paul also had a 75-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Jarrett Hoy caught two Erdman passes for 58 yards and a score.

Halifax ends its season this Friday night in Pine Grove.  Game time is 7 p.m.

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