Last Friday evening, November 6, the Mustangs of South Western visited the Rockets of Spring Grove at Papermaker Stadium and were edged 28-21 in a thriller. The Mustangs tied the game at 21 on a 10-yard touchdown run with 1:51 to go in the game and the Rockets stormed back with a 54-yard touchdown pass with 1:34 left in the game.

As the number 12 seed in the District 3 Class AAAA Playoff picture the Mustangs will visit the number 5 seed Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 Black Knights of Hempfield (8-3 overall, 5-2 league) Friday, November 13 at 7PM in the first round. As the number 14 seed in the District 3 Class AAA Playoff picture the Rockets will visit the number 3 seed Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 Barons of Manheim Central (8-2 overall, 6-1 league) Friday, November 13 at 7PM in the first round.

The Rockets opened the game with a four play drive that ended by turning the ball over on downs on a gutsy fourth and one play that lost a yard. The Mustangs took over on the Rockets 35-yard line and got down to the 11-yard line with a 9-yard run by Zach Hughes and a 15-yard run by Mike Johnson, but a penalty pushed them back to the 16-yard line. Brock Geiman threw a 9-yard pass to Noah Staub but then was sacked for a loss of 5-yards by Owen Jacobs of the Rockets. A 28-yard field goal attempt failed.

The Rockets and the Mustangs exchanged punts and then the Rockets drove 23-yards in seven plays to the Mustangs 25-yard line. An incomplete pass on a fake field goal attempt on 4th down ended the drive.

The Mustangs then drove 75-yards in seven plays, featuring two 13-yard runs by Mike Johnson, ending with Brock Geiman’s 16-yard touchdown run. Wes Sneeringer kicked the extra point and the Mustangs led 7-0 at the 6:36 mark of the second quarter.

The Rockets then drove 66-yards in seven plays, featuring a 15-yard run by Nick Erickson, a 30-yard pass from Jake Messersmith to Adam Warehime, and an 18-yard pass to Anthony Beddia, and ending with Erickson’s 12-yard touchdown run. Andrew Luckenbaugh’s extra point kick tied the score at 7 with 3:09 left in the first half.

The Mustangs then had a five-play drive, including an 11-yard pass from Geiman to Staub but thwarted by a sack by the Rockets’ Connor Hildebrand for an 8-yard loss, end with a punt. The Rockets then drove 71-yards in eight plays, featuring a 16-yard pass from Messersmith to LJ Chisolm, a 12-yard pass to Beddia, and 27-yards in penalties against the Mustangs, and ending with Erickson’s 1-yard touchdown run. Luckenbaugh’s extra point kick put the Rockets up 14-7 with 42 seconds left in the first half.

The Mustangs opened the second half with a four play drive thwarted by a penalty and punted. The Rockets then drove 52-yards in seven plays, featuring passes of 13 and 31-yards from Messersmith to Beddia, and ending with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Messersmith to Warehime. Luckenbaugh’s extra point kick put the Rockets up 21-7 at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter.

The Mustangs then drove 80-yards in ten plays, featuring runs of 27 and 10-yards by Johnson, and ending with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Geiman to Jeff Green. Sneeringer’s extra point kick left the Rockets up 21-14 at the 1:54 mark of the third quarter.

The Rockets ended up punting and the Mustangs drove 70-yards, from their 29-yard line to the Rockets 1-yard line, in ten plays. The drive featured runs of 16 and 10-yards by Green and a 10-yard pass from Geiman to Staub. A penalty pushed them back to the 6-yard line and then Rockets’ Ryan Daugherty intercepted a pass in the end zone for the Rockets to end the drive.

The Rockets ended up punting again and the Mustangs then drove 61-yards in five plays, featuring passes of 11 and 23-yards from Geiman to Staub, and ending with Geiman’s 10-yard touchdown scamper. Sneeringer’s extra point kick tied the score at 21 with 1:51 left in the game.

The Rockets then drove 65-yards in two plays, an 11-yard pass from Messersmith to Brady Stein and a 54-yard touchdown pass to Stein. Luckenbaugh’s extra point kick closed out the scoring at 28-21 in favor of the Rockets with 1:34 left in the game.

The never say die Mustangs fought on but Adam Warehime intercepted a pass to seal the deal for the Rockets.

Wes Sneeringer kicked off 3 times for 128-yards, for an average of 42.7-yards, with the longest going for 53-yards. Brock Geiman punted 3 times for 108-yards for an average of 36-yards, with the longest going for 42-yards.

Matt Smolko, with 12 tackles, led the Mustang defense, followed by Tyler Fulmore with 7 tackles and a sack for a loss of 11-yards, Nate VanCampen with 7 tackles and 1 pass defended, Mike Farace and Zack Hughes with 6 tackles each, Quan Marshall with 4 tackles and a sack for a loss of 3-yards, Corbin Byers with 4 tackles and 3 pass hurries, Skylar Bowman with 4 tackles and 2 pass hurries, Miles Francis with 4 tackles, Noah Staub and Josh Zeroth with 3 tackles each, Brandon Zumbrum with 2 tackles and 1 pass defended, Bubba Carbaugh, Scotty Dickmyer, Kaiden Gaylord, Brock Geiman, Sharef Jakes, and Carson Perry with 1 tackle each, and Nate VanCampen with 1 pass defended.

Skylar Bowman, Corbin Byers, Bubba Carbaugh, Scotty Dickmyer, Mike Farace, Zach Hughes, Quan Marshall, Carson Perry, Austin Reusing, Matt Smolko, Chris Steckel, Logan Toms, and Josh Zeroth manned the offensive and defensive line and linebacker positions.

Miles Francis, Brock Geiman, Jeff Green, Noah Langenfeld, Noah Staub, and Nate VanCampen patrolled the secondary for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs gained 249-yards rushing and 115-yards passing for a total of 364-yards of offense. Senior quarterback Brock Geiman completed 10 of 15 passes for the 115-yards and 1 touchdown, 6 for 67-yards to Noah Staub, 1 for 21-yards to Miles Francis, 2 for 20-yards to Jeff Green (including a 14-yard touchdown), and 1 for 7-yards to Corbin Byers, for the Mustangs. Geiman has completed 89 of 170 passes for 1,352-yards and 18 touchdowns for the season. Mike Johnson led the Mustangs rushing attack with 17 carries for 121-yards, followed by Geiman with 5 for 29-yards (including touchdowns of 16 and 10-yards), Zach Hughes with 5 for 26-yards, Green with 3 for 25-yards, Tyler Fulmore with 3 for 21-yards, Robby Harbison with 5 for 18-yards, Francis with 3 carries for 10-yards, and a team loss of 1-yard. Wes Sneeringer kicked 3 extra points, Fulmore recorded a sack for an 11-yard loss, Quan Marshall recorded a sack for a 3-yard loss, Byers recorded 3 pass hurries, Skylar Bowman recorded 2 pass hurries, and Nate VanCampen and Brandon Zumbrum each defended a pass, for the Mustangs.

The Rockets gained 21yards rushing and 259 yards passing for a total of 280 yards gained. Quarterback Jake Messersmith completed 19 of 24 passes for the 259-yards and 2 touchdowns, 5 for 102-yards to Brady Stein (including a 54-yard touchdown), 6 for 76-yards to Anthony Beddia, 3 for 51-yards to Adam Warehime (including a 16-yard touchdown), 2 for 16-yards to L.J. Chisolm, 2 for 10-yards to Nick Erickson, and 1 for 4-yards to Connor Reed, for the Rockets. Nick Erickson led the Rockets rushing attack with 21 carries for 37-yards (including touchdowns of 12 and 1-yards), followed by L.J. Chisolm with 3 carries for 8-yards, Ryan Daugherty with 3 carries for minus 3-yards, Anthony Beddia with 1 carry for minus 7-yards, and Messersmith with 1 carry for minus 14-yards. Sensational senior kicker Andrew Luckenbaugh kicked 4 extra points, had touchbacks on all 5 kickoffs, and averaged 42.3-yards per punt for 3-punts, Daugherty intercepted a pass in the end zone, which he returned the length of the field for a supposed touchdown but an inadvertent whistle turned the play into a touchback, Warehime intercepted a pass, Connor Hildebrand recorded a sack for a loss of 8-yards, and Owen Jacobs recorded a sack for a loss of 5-yards, for the Rockets.

The 74 member 10-time Cavalcade of Bands, Tournament of Bands Group IV Champion and US Scholastic Band Champion South Western Mustangs Marching Band put on a stirring post game performance, presenting their 2015 field show “What If,” a musical and visual depiction of the process of implementing a change and making a difference. The music is based on Michael Kamen’s “The New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms.” The show began with the inception of the idea or change, represented with the theme played by trumpet soloist Veronica Hurst. Further numbers reflected the encountering of obstacles and challenges standing in the way of goals and a moment of reflection on the purpose and nature of change. The closer continued to build upon the hope of this change and reached a climax where the change was successful. The show ended with the fleeting sounds of the musical theme played by trumpet soloist John Dyson.

The 44-member New Oxford Colonials Marching Band gave a crowd-pleasing half time performance of its show “For the Glory,” with the songs “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “The Battle Cry of Freedom,” and “The Glory.”

The 24 member strong Mustangs Cheer Leading squad and the Rockets’ 18-member squad were very impressive as they roused the faithful.

The Mustangs of South Western are 7-3-0 overall and 5-2-0 in York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division I league play.

The Mustangs have a career record of 353-217-8. The results of the 578 games played in the history of the South Western Mustangs are a career .619 winning percentage and a .625 non-losing percentage.

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