Newport running back Ethan Rode. (File photo/Christina Hoy-4th Down)
Susquehanna Township 42, Hershey 0:
Susquehanna Township coach Joe Headen on achieving his 100th career victory as a head coach Friday:
“I honestly believe that it is a testament to the program and everyone that has been in the program with us now for 16-17 years. After the game the other day, most of my staff has been around for a lot of it. … My defensive coordinator and one of my assistant coaches were on the first team I ever had. And the funny story behind that was we were sitting in the coach’s office on Friday and Brock Ward goes, ‘Well coach, I could say that I was a part of the first two victories. Then we lost the next eight.’ The first two weeks, they thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. Then after that, oh my gosh, it was a long season. I’m lucky to be at a place here for a long time. … I try not to keep track of these things, but this group of seniors, they kept reminding me. And I think it was important for them. They really wanted that under their time. … I always tell the kids, ‘It’s about the process, not the prize. If you respect the process, the prize will come.’ In the moment, we just want to get better. At the end of the night, it was super exciting and the kids were just as excited if not more than me.”
On the state of the Indians at the halfway point of the season:
“Starting out with Manheim Central, who I think is the best 5A team, and then having to go play a very good Milton Hershey team who I honestly tell the kids we were one play away from only having one loss. We were one play away from being 4-1. We fumbled the ball in that game; it was 8-7 and it was tough conditions. Milton is a good team. When they got off the bus, I could see them on tape — but I was like, ‘Whoa, they have size, speed. They are legit.’ That was a hard-fought game. All we had to do was punt the ball, and we fumbled and they get the short field and score. It was huge. We go to Huntingdon who is Top 10 in 3A — a two-hour bus ride. I’m concerned, but since then, they honed in. We’ve been practicing well and we’re going to be good.”
We have to stay focused and do what we do. It’s about us.
On breakout players Shawn Washington, Taemon McKoy and Troy Ambush:
Shawn Washington: “At outside linebacker has been a pleasant surprise in that he’s worked hard to get where he’s at from where he was last year. … He understands the game better and has become a student of the film. He’s gotten stronger and is probably one of the smartest football players in the X’s and O’s, and that’s improved his play.”
Jequest Garced: “He’s trying to lead. He’s doing the little things to help us be successful.”
Troy Ambush: “He goes from safety to defensive line to running back and he has adjusted to everything we’ve given him.”
Halifax 41, Newport 19:
Setting the stage: Newport running back Ethan Rode broke the 2,000 career rushing yards mark with 108 yards on 17 carries in the Buffaloes 41-19 loss to Halifax on Friday night. The junior is within striking distance of the school record of 3,292 career rushing yards set by Dalton Klinger in 2015.
Newport coach Todd Rothermel on junior running back Ethan Rode breaking 2,000 career rushing yards:
“I view Ethan as a tough, hard-nosed kid that is able to get the tough yards between the tackles. He is not a kid that has blazing speed but is tough, has good vision and understands the schemes helping him understand where he has to run. He is very coachable and is a team player. I’m sure he just wants to do his part to win. He was voted a team captain and is trying to be the best leader he can be. He works hard and is pretty quiet leading more by example.”
Ethan Rode on the accomplishment:
“I didn’t really know until the night before. Luke Roman [the team statistician] told us. I was within 102 yards. I just wanted to get it this game and keep on the grind the rest of this season and next and see if I can set a school record maybe. … I knew I was within 10 yards. Coach gave me the ball and I got 9. And I got it again and I heard over the loudspeaker that I crossed it. … It was a full-back dive. … I was pushing a couple people to get the yards that I needed. I think it’s an amazing accomplishment, but not one that I could ever do without the help of my linemen last year and this year.”
On what he improved on in the offseason:
“I knew I needed to work on my speed and agility. I’m not the quickest guy. But I’m the type of kid that wants to hit someone, so I worked on my speed and cutting abilities. … I feel like I’ve gotten faster and stronger.”
Mifflin Country 26, Shippensburg 22:
Setting the stage: Mifflin County entered Friday night’s contest winless on the season while Shippensburg had not lost after four games.
Huskies coach Scott Sechler on getting the win and knocking off the Greyhounds:
“We’ve been real close these last few games to getting wins, and you get tired of hearing about the proverbial moral victories and the moving-in-the-right-direction talk. It’s time to get the real W’s. We thought we had a good game plan coming in. They are a good team and well-coached — very disciplined. The plan was to shut down the run game and force them to throw the ball and offensively to ground and pound — get first downs and control the clock. It was great for the kids to win, but to beat a team as good as Shippensburg, it was the cherry on top.”
On the Huskies’ strategy to shut down Adam Houser:
“We knew he was elusive. One thing we were focused on was trying to keep him inside. We wanted to force him inside where we had a lot of help. I think we had great contain on the edge, forcing him back in. We had tremendous play from our safety [Shane Herbertson] — he came up and made some nice open-field tackles that saved some big runs. [Houser] could easily have broken quite a few runs. When you break them down statistically, they are about 85-percent run. We figured if they are going to beat us, it will be through the air. It was a great team win.”
Key moments in the final quarter including a roughing the kicker call late in the fourth on Shippensburg that allowed the Huskies to keep possession of the ball and run out the clock:
“We were able to control the clock and run the ball. We gave up a few big plays — we knew they had that potential. But we had a short memory. We got a lucky break with a roughing the kicker call late in the game. I watched it on film and he did run into him. It wasn’t a bogus call. It was a good break for us and gave us some good field position. We were able to get a couple first downs and run the clock out.”
By Adam Kulikowski:
4th Down Magazine
Brent Hartman will not coach the final three games of the Mifflin County Huskies football season, Athletic Director Natisha Maclay confirmed today. Andrew Bern, from the Lewistown Sentinel first reported Hartman's resignation. He will be replace by running backs coach Scot Sechler. Under Hartman, the Huskies struggled to a 3-24 record and were 0-7 this season. Hartman piloted the Huskies from 2015-2017 after a one-year stint as the head man at East Juniata (2-8).