In a must-win football game on Friday night, the Waynesboro Indians' defense came to play, defeating Mifflin County, 35-5, in Mid Penn Colonial Division action, pushing the Indians' win streak to six in a row.
The win gives 'Boro (7-3, 6-1 MPC) a share of the Mid Penn Colonial Division championship, and more important, it could give Waynesboro its first-ever bid to the District 3 playoffs.
The Indian defense held the Huskies (3-7, 3-4 MPC) to just 24 yards of offense, earning multiple sacks and forcing nine punts.
“The defense played lights out," Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said. "They are tough as nails, and they’re physical and get the job done. They play their assignments very well."
Mifflin County’s only points came on a safety midway through the fourth quarter and a field goal with less than a minute remaining in the game.
On the opposite side of the ball, Waynesboro's offense wasn't well-balanced, as it completed only one pass. But the Indians ran the ball very well.
Led by senior running back Brady Beckner, the Indians rushed for 369 yards, 249 of those by Beckner.
Waynesboro opened the game with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a Forrest Rhyne 1-yard touchdown rush. Beckner ripped off a 39-yard scoring run to open the second quarter, and the Indians never looked back, keeping the ball on the ground and controlling the time of possession.
"Offensively we got a little banged up; Riddell got a little banged up, but we got through it," Myers said. "Beckner runs hard. He doesn't slow down when he makes a cut, and he's a very consistent player."
Entering Friday's game, Waynesboro was in 10th in the District 3 Class 5A rankings, with the top eight making the playoffs. With a loss by Garden Spot and a narrow victory by Palmyra, plus the extra points gained by playing the 6A Huskies, the Indians' chances look good, sitting unofficially in eighth.
"We've really played well all year," Myers said. "If a couple of games early in the year go differently, we could be sitting here ready to host next week. Who knows? The state of the program is good. Being able to sit here the last two years and waiting to see if we get in, that part is a positive. Hopefully, we can get a game next week. If we do, we do, and if we don't, we'll get ready for next year."
Waynesboro 35, Mifflin County 5
Mifflin County _ 0 _ 0 _ 0 _ 5 _ — _ 5
Waynesboro _ 7 _ 14 _ 7 _ 7 _ — _ 35
W — Forrest Rhyne 1 run (George Souders kick), 7:09
W — Brady Beckner 39 run, (Souders kick), 11:50
W — Rhyne 3 run (Souders kick), 1:48
W — Beckner 35 run (Souders kick), 4:58
MC — Safety, 8:20
W — Hunter Clever 1 run (Souders kick)
MC — Reese Carter 25 field goal, 0:55
_ MC _ Ship
First downs _ 3 _ 16
Rushes-yards _ 15-24 _ 60-369
Passing _ 1-14-0 _ 1-10-0
Passing yards _ 0 _ 3
Total yards _ 24 _ 372
Punts _ 9-38 _ 1-29
Fumbles-lost _ 4-3 _ 3-2
Penalties-yards _ 2-10 _ 7-55
Rushing – Way, Beckner 26-249, Rhyne 10-57, Brady Riddell 6-20, Mason Frampton 10-25, Dylan Cummins 5-16, Hunter Clever 3-3. MC, Smith 12-24, Williams 3-0.
Passing — Way, Riddell 1-10-0-3. MC, 1-14-0-0.
Receiving — Way, Rhyne 1-3. MC, Phillips 1-0.