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Sunday, May 26, 2024

High School Football: Sunday Morning QB-West Perry on a tear; Big Spring reclaims the Little Brown Jug; Mcd and CD score statement road victories

You have to enjoy the roller-coaster ride as a rural public school program, where the influx of talent is going to be up and down. West Perry has been on a tear like this one other time in the last half century, when a guy named Musa Smith was the running back in the late 1990s.

Those Mustang teams were much more than Smith, though, during a magical two-year ride of high-level winning football. Smith was the superstar on a team that had several standouts and depth on both sides of the ball.

This West Perry team has that same flavor to it. The Mustangs have won 13 of their last 15 games dating back to last  year. This isn’t a proverbial winning program, either. Prior to last season when coach Bob Boden’s lads went 11-2, the Mustangs had a losing record two of the previous three years.

You could see this coming and a big reason, as was the case in the late 1990s, is the kelly-green-and-white clad Mustangs have a bona-fide superstar in QB Marcus Quaker.

They also have several standouts, including wide receiver Ian Goodling. And in Friday night’s romp over fellow Perry County resident, Newport, Goodling became the all-time receiving yards leader in school history. The Quaker-to-Goodling combination is simply lethal.

On a night where Quaker accounted for 350-plus total yards of offense (303 passing and 51 rushing, Goodling hauled in 10 passes for 164 yards to eclipse the previous mark of 2,168 career receiving yards set by Chase May a decade ago.

Goodling still has eight regular season games and the postseason to pad his career mark. It’s hard to imagine him not eclipsing 3,000 career receiving  yards and perhaps even crushing the previous mark by 1,000 or more yards. It’s not a crazy thought. West Perry has big plans and big dreams this season.

Congrats to Goodling.

Big road wins for two Mid-Penn powers

Two of the top teams in the Mid-Penn Conference went on the road and came away with clutch victories that matter. Harrisburg went to Delaware Valley and cruised to a 33-0 victory. That sounds like a routine week for the Cougars. But it wasn’t the fact Harrisburg improved to 2-0, it was how they took care of business that stood out. This team made a jump from Week 1 to Week 2 — it just wasn’t as obvious to most. I see it, though.

It’s not surprising that McDevitt’s trip to New Jersey required every ounce in the tank to win. DePaul Catholic is on equal footing with McD and has a couple clear-cut advantages. The fact that McDevitt came from behind and then once it grabbed the lead with just under nine minutes to go didn’t surrender another point is impressive. That’s how you close out a game when the opponent is an equal. After surrendering 42 points in the better part of three quarters, McD’s defense slammed the door shut. Second come-from-behind win in as many weeks. That reveals the character of a team.

Gamblin’ Rams get big payoff

On the road at Wilson is a tough road win under normal circumstances. Despite Central Dauphin clearly being better than a year ago, the Rams were facing an 0-2 start squad in the chops.

In a back-and-forth game throughout regulation, Wilson scored in the final four minutes to force overtime and then scored first in the extra session to take a 35-28 lead.

Rams QB Key’Ron Plummer hooked up with Jett Franz on a 4-yard touchdown pass in the extra session to put the Rams a PAT away from double OT. Except CD coach Glen McNamee, who isn’t a big gambler, opted to step outside the box and go for the win–his 150th!. In my book, on the road and having the luxury of having the ball second, you dictate the terms. He went for the two-point conversion, a great call either way in my book. Plummer and Franz hooked up again and now CD is 1-1, picking up steam after a 36-35 victory.

Big Spring’s big win

Lastly, congratulations to Big Spring for subduing Shippensburg 21-7 to claim the Little Brown Jug. I love rivalry games with a prize and a great name — they are just special. The Bulldogs last celebrated with the LBJ in 2010. That’s nearly a generation of losing to your arch rival erased. That’s more than a dozen straight losses. I’m sure there’s still some celebrating going on in and around Newville. Well done, Bulldogs!

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