Governor Mifflin and Wilson, Hamburg and Lancaster Catholic face off in sixth week of high school football
Week 6 of the high school football season will feature high-profile matchups, as Governor Mifflin hosts Wilson on Saturday, and Hamburg travel to Lancaster Catholic on Friday night for a clash of undefeated Division 5 Lancaster League teams. -Lebanon.
The Mustangs (1-1, 2-3) are coming off a 42-8 victory over Muhlenberg in which quarterback Delsin McNeil rushed for three touchdowns and threw for one. On the other side, the Bulldogs (2-0, 4-1) beat Cedar Crest 36-13 in Week 5.
The two teams will square off at 1 p.m. Saturday in Shillington, with the game serving as the centerpiece of Governor Mifflin’s annual homecoming celebration. Wilson has held an 11-7 series record with the Mustangs since 2006.
With each side picking up a league win and plenty of history between the two teams, the non-league game for the coveted Gurski-Linn Trophy will be a major test for both teams, according to Wilson coach Doug Dahms and coach of Governor Mifflin. Jeff Lang.
“It’s going to be a big game,” Dahms said. “It’s Mifflin week, you’re trying to get the kids motivated. They (the Mustangs) have a big offensive and defensive line. You have a battle in there over who is going to get up and take the punch and give it back. They have skilled fullbacks (and a quarterback) (and a quarterback). Delsin McNeil is pretty good with the ball, so they’re going to be a threat. They’re going to give us a contest.
The Bulldogs come into the game having beaten their first five opponents 153-75 and have racked up 1,329 total rushing yards (811 yards rushing, 518 passing).
Wilson’s eldest Cameron Jones leads the Bulldogs with 14 touchdowns, three of which he scored on punt returns. He rushed for 327 yards on 37 carries and caught nine passes for 102 yards.
“He worked really hard in the offseason to get stronger and faster, and he’s in great shape,” Dahms said of Jones. “He’s a great team leader, but when it comes to the pitch, he just has a really high football IQ. He understands what’s going on, understands how blocking patterns are set up, understands patterns offensive and defensive and gives them an edge over most kids.
Lang said his team is well aware of the firepower Jones and the Bulldogs bring to the table. However, Mustangs are more focused on limiting their own mistakes.
“Wilson is playing good football right now,” Lang said. “They have very good athletes and very mobile linemen. Cameron Jones has stepped up even more than years past. So we know our opponents, but we are worried about ourselves. That’s the most important thing and that’s it – taking care of ourselves and taking care of the ball. Taking care of penalties and executing our attack and defense is the main objective.
McNeil leads the Mustangs in scoring with six rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown, and fullback Brayden Reis leads Governor Mifflin with 318 yards. Reis also has two touchdowns.
Buoyed by his win over Muhlenberg, Lang said he believes a win over Wilson would give his team even greater momentum heading into the four championship games remaining on the Mustangs’ schedule.
“Right now we’re just focusing on Wilson and trying to find a way to beat Wilson,” Lang said. “Everyone knows that if we can achieve that, we’ll have pretty good confidence for the rest of the section.”
Elsewhere in the league, the Hawks (2-0, 5-0) face the Crusaders (2-0, 5-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. in what could prove decisive in determining the Division 5 champion. Hamburg Coming off of a 42-7 win over Kutztown, but lost running back Pierce Mason to a leg injury in the fourth quarter.
Mason leads the Hawks with 18 touchdowns and has 841 rushing yards on 61 carries.
Hamburg coach Matt Hoffert said he believed Mason’s status would be a decision on playing time on Friday night after the senior trained on Thursday.
“Pierce was a little banged up on Friday,” Hoffert said. “I call it a game time decision because I want to make sure he’s ready to go before we actually play him.”
Quarterback Xander Menapace threw for 705 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for four scores. He helped the Hawks offense to 258 points in five games.
Heading into a key game against an equal division opponent, Hoffert said the Hawk’s success was the result of an all-out team effort. He added that, despite the unbeaten records, his team is focused on one game at a time.
“It was a total team effort and all the guys did a great job,” Hoffert said. “The offensive line has improved, which is why Pierce can run like he does every week. Xander Menapace has done a great job as a quarterback. He does a great job of managing the pitch and that’s why we’re running play options – he gets the ball to Pierce and puts him in good situations.
“Clearly Lancaster Catholic are having a great year. We expected them to be where they are right now and we’re showing up week in and week out. We think we need to be 1-0 at the end of this week. That’s how we take every week. I tell the guys every week, ‘We’re 0-0 to start and we’re going to be 1-0 to finish.’ So we have to keep moving forward and improving this week.
In other Friday night games across Berks, Exeter will host Warwick in a Section 2 contest. The Eagles (2-0, 5-0) are coming off a 69-22 win over Lebanon (0-2, 0 -5).
Solanco will travel to Twin Valley for a Division 3 game. The Raiders (1-1, 3-2) lost just five points against Elizabethtown last week, despite a three-touchdown performance from quarterback Evan Myers.
Berks Catholic will host Conrad Weiser in a Division 4 match at Forino Sports Complex. Saints (1-1, 1-4) beat Donegal 21-9 in Week 5 for their first win of the season, while Scouts (2-0, 3-2) edged Octorara 45-7.
Schedule for week 6
Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m.
Lancaster-Lebanon Section 1
Read High at Cedar Crest
Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2
Warwick to Exeter
Muhlenberg to Mannheim Central
Lancaster-Lebanon Section 3
Daniel Boone in Elizabeth Town
Solanco in Twin Valley
Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4
Conrad Weiser at Berks Catholic
Wyoming to Donegal
Lancaster-Lebanon Section 5
Hamburg to Lancaster Catholic
Annville-Cleona to Kutztown
Schuylkill Valley in North Lebanon
Saturday October 1
Boyertown at Norristown, 1 p.m.
Wilson to Governor Mifflin, 1 p.m.
Kennard-Dale at Fleetwood, 7 p.m.