SHIPPENSBURG >> Despite downplaying it throughout the week, the Shippensburg football team had extra motivation on Friday.
And the Hounds showed it from the very first play.
Facing the only team that beat them in the regular season last year, the Greyhounds scored on their first offensive play of the game and never looked back, thrashing Mifflin County 45-14 in a Mid Penn Colonial Division game.
“Yea, I’ve been looking forward to this game all year,” said Ship running back Jacob Loy. “They were the only team to beat us in the regular season last year, and that wasn’t going to happen again.”
On the first play of the game, Ship (5-0, 2-0 MPC) ran a pitch to Loy along the left side, but he stopped and chucked a pass deep to Isaiah Houser, who came back to the ball and made the catch for a 61-yard touchdown.
Said Loy, “We talked about it all week, so I knew it was coming right from the start. I threw a duck, but Isaiah made a great play and got us off to a fast start.”
The Huskies (0-5, 0-2 MPC) couldn’t match Ship’s intensity and never made the game close, mustering just 17 yards in the first half.
“We came out and played our best game tonight,” Ship coach Eric Foust said. “We have a group of guys that have played together so much, and it shows on the field. We aren’t always the most talented team, but we just have such great chemistry on both sides of the ball.”
The Greyhound onslaught didn’t end quickly.
After a Mifflin County three-and-out on its first possession, Alex Sharrow started the following Shippensburg drive with a 24-yard run, then capped it off with a 25-yard touchdown run. He finished with 107 yards on a season-high 14 carries.
On the next Husky drive, Christian Melendez intercepted a Chris Sheetz pass, and Zack Manning hit Nick Gustafson for a 24-yard touchdown pass to give Ship a 21-0 in the first quarter.
Ship’s next drive resulted in a punt, but Mifflin County fumbled the ball on the first play of the next possession, and the Hounds drove down the field, and Loy capped off the drive with a four-yard plunge.
On the ensuing kickoff, Zach Bickhart scored the Huskies first points with a 93-yard kickoff return, but Ship answered right back wit ha 53-yard touchdown run by Loy. Zack Manning put Ship ahead 42-7 with a quarterback sneak right before halftime, which was set up by Anthony Smith, who caught a 29-yard jump ball on fourth down to put Ship on the one-yard line.
“Our offensive line is just so good,” Loy said. “They really make it easy as running back. They just push guys back and create holes, and I just do my job and hit them hard.”
Said Foust, “Our offensive line is just another example of a group that’s been together forever. We have four seniors and a junior on that line, and they’re just mean down there.”
Loy finished the game with 157 yards on 17 carries along with the 61-yard touchdown pass.
For Mifflin County, Brycen Hassinger finished with eight carries for 58 yards. The Huskies managed just 110 yards of total offense, while Shippensburg racked up 446.
SHIPPENSBURG 45, MIFFLIN COUNTY 14
Mifflin County 0 7 0 7 – 14
Shippensburg 21 21 3 0 – 45
S — Isaiah Houser 61 pass from Jacob Loy (Rob West kick), 11:39
S — Alex Sharrow 25 run (West Kick), 8:49
S — Nick Gustafson 24 pass from Zack Manning (West kick), 4:23
S — Loy 4 run (West kick), 8:02
MC — Zachary Bickhart 93 kick return (Reese Carter kick), 7:43
S — Loy 53 run (kick failed), 6:34
S — Manning 1 run (Loy pass from Manning), 0:08
S — West 25 field goal, 0:19
MC — Brycen Hassinger 15 run (Carter kick), 7:52
First Downs: MC 3; S 18. Rushes-yards: MC 22-76; S 47-315. Passing: MC 1-9-1; S.4-10 Passing Yards: MC 34; S 131. Penalties-yards: MC 3-20; S 2-15. Punts-yards: MC 4-29.5; S 1-29. Fumbles-lost: MC 1-1; S 0-0.
Rushing: Mifflin County, Hassinger 8-58, Gage Schaeffer 10-12, Rodney Henry 1-3, Brooks Burdick 2-2, Drake Schaeffer 1-1; Shippensburg, Loy 17-157, Sharrow 14-107, Christian Melendez 3-8, Delonte Wilson 2-4, Manning 4-13, Jacob Kissinger 2-15, Abimael Albelo 2-6, Brett Jones 1 (-10).
Passing: Mifflin County, Chris Sheetz 0-7-1, 0 yards, Drake Schaeffer 1-1-0, 34 yards, Hassinger 0-1-0, 0 yards; Shippensburg, Jacob Loy 1-1-0, 61 yards, Manning 1-8-0, 53 yards, Jones 1-1-0, 17 yards.
Receiving: Mifflin County, Tyler Jasper 1-34 Shippensburg, Isaiah Houser 1-61, Anthony Smith 1-29, Nick Gustafson 1-24, Carter Funk 1-17.