Promising season for Mechanicsburg football

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Promising season for Mechanicsburg football

Drew Kostelac, Guest Reporter

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Who would have thought that a team that has been 0-10 and gone through three coaching changes  in the last four years would be able to clinch a playoff berth? Not many it turned out, because Mechanicsburg was on very few radars at the begin of the season. After a hot 4-1 start the Wildcats struggled against more tough competition such as Cedar Cliff and Bishop McDevitt. They were 5-5 with one game left and they needed one win to make the playoffs. The triumphant Wildcats took their first District Playoff berth since 2012 and would enter the playoffs as a 12 seed matched up against Warwick High School.

The fifth seeded Warriors had the Mechanicsburg’s number straight from the get-go. The warrior’s Colton Miller would rush for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Two of these touchdowns would come in the first eight minutes. While the Warriors thrived, the Wildcats struggled. They would have three drives for -3 yards and they would end in two punts and an interception. To make matters even worse for Mechanicsburg, their quarterback, Micah Brubaker, would suffer a neck injury in the first quarter which knocked him out for the game. It was said by the team to be an injury that kept him from moving his head side to side. Later in the half, kicker Nick Morrison barely missed a 52 yard field goal. This would have broken his personal record of 51 yards which he set the previous week.  James Anderson filled in for the Cats and went 11 for 19 for 78 yards and lead them on their only scoring drive of the evening was capped off by a four yard slant caught by Nick Morrison.

The Mechanicsburg defense would go on to have an impressive evening despite the first quarter hiccups. They would force four turnovers, desperate to help a sputtering offense. Junior standout defensive end, Tyree Morris, would also add two sacks. Despite the amazing night from Miller, Warwick quarterback, Joey McCraken, had a quiet night going 13 for 20 for 150 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Desperate to get something going Caleb Brubaker, brother of Micah, would come in as the Wildcat quarterback and get a couple throws in. They would even get two halfback passes from Keegan Neill. The Wildcats would end up having four different quarterbacks all game which combined for 87 yards and  go 12-25 with a touchdown and an interception. In the end it was a lack of experience and being over matched that led to them receiving a 34-6 thumping at the hands of the Warriors. When asked if he was proud of his team Senior, Brando Aristy, responded “ Hey, can’t take nothing back, of course you got to be proud.”

 

It was a sloppy game penalty wise for both teams with 20 flags thrown on both teams combined: Warwick would be penalized 12 times for 142 yards and Mechanicsburg would be penalized 8 times for 80 yards. Warwick would build a 20-0 lead by halftime and the Wildcats didn’t have the firepower to come back.Warwick is exactly what Mechanicsburg hopes to be in the next few years. Big, fast and physical, with play makers all over the field. Warwick, despite being only a five seed are a very good football team. In the first six games of the season they would score an average of 48 points while holding opponents to just seven points. This six game stretch included a 61-0 blowout of Ephrata. Warwick is also ranked 26th in the state of Pennsylvania. However, there is a lot of optimism surrounding Mechanicsburg’s football program.

 

After the game Mechanicsburg head coach, Anthony Rose, stated “Now that you’re here and it’s over, you just gotta take some time — you gotta realize what it took to get here. You gotta make sure you continue to progress and move forward. This is just another step in where we wanna go as a program.” They have a minimal number of graduating seniors with several sophomores starting on Varsity already this year. The Mechanicsburg 9th grade team also went undefeated this season so there is hope for the future of MASH football. It appears that after years being the laughingstock of the division they are a program on the rise.