State College running back Jordan Misher turned and motioned toward the scoreboard to make his point.
The Little Lions had suffered four straight losses, and they felt they’d beaten themselves during that stretch with a combination of penalties and missed opportunities.
But Friday night, everything went the State College’s way in a 47-12 rout of Mifflin County at Memorial Field.
“As you can see, it spoke on the board,” Misher said.
Misher starred in the dominant performance, rushing for 180 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and throwing for a score — all in the first half. The Little Lions led 28-0 after the first quarter and 47-6 at halftime as they capitalized on a handful of Huskies miscues. State College turned the game into a blowout after scoring four touchdowns in less than three minutes late in the first quarter. The Little Lions then added three scores in less than two minutes in the second quarter to put the mercy rule in effect for the second half in a battle for the Seven Mountains Bucket.
State College (4-6) will take on DuBois in the District 6-9 playoffs at a site and time to be determined.
“Finally the ball bounced our way in a lot of ways,” State College coach Matt Lintal said. “Our kids really prepared well for this game physically, mentally, emotionally. I’m proud of our kids. You go through a little bit of a slump and they never gave up. They just kept battling and showing up to practice every day doing their job and continued to believe in what we’re doing.”
The Little Lions piled up 239 yards rushing before the break and finished with 279 yards on the ground. State College’s Charlie Riley chipped in with 47 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Misher led the way one week after sitting out State College’s 13-0 loss to Cumberland Valley with a sprained ankle.
The running back took a pitch to the left and made a sharp cut to his right and into the end zone to cap the Little Lions’ second drive. Misher’s 6-yard touchdown run gave State College a 7-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first quarter.
Fifteen seconds later, the Little Lions had the ball 29 yards from the end zone, thanks to a fumble by Mifflin County running back Jadon Boyer.
Seven seconds later, State College led 14-0.
Misher took a toss to the right and floated a pass toward the end zone. Wide receiver Drew Flanagan was wide open, backpedaling into the end zone and waiting under the ball to make the catch.
“It was perfect,” Lintal said.
State College continued to build on its lead as Mifflin County fell apart.
The Huskies (1-9) went three-and-out on their ensuing drive. Andrew Traxler recorded a 37-yard punt, but Mifflin County chose to punt the ball again after State College was whistled for running into the kicker.
The snap sailed over Traxler’s head and he was tackled at the 8-yard line.
On State College’s first play, quarterback John Weakland ran in the score to push the Little Lions’ lead to 21-0 with 2:16 left in the first quarter.
The Little Lions then recovered an onside kick as they looked to land the decisive blow in the first 12 minutes.
“Once we got the momentum, we felt like we wanted to keep it going and we were comfortable making those play calls,” Lintal said. “When our defense can go out and make some key stops, we felt like we could take some additional chances.”
Less than a minute after Weakland’s score, the quarterback connected with wide receiver Tristan Daman for a 40-yard touchdown strike.
Weakland’s pass was underthrown, deflected off the shoulder of Mifflin County defensive back Derrick Kepner and into Daman’s hands.
The lucky bounce pushed the lead to 28-0.
After Mifflin County got on the board, the running back ran through tackles and juked his way down the sideline for a 38-yard gain to start another State College drive. He ended it with an 18-yard dash for his second rushing touchdown.
Misher said it was tough missing last week’s game.
“I was down because I didn’t want to let my teammates down when I was gone,” Misher said. “I didn’t want to let my teammates down and it was just a hard time for me and they just brought me back up and helped me through my injury.”
His final carry went for a 4-yard touchdown with 7:09 left in the first half.
The score was set up by a 44-yard run that saw Misher shake off a facemask and burst upfield.
“He makes plays even when there’s not plays to be made and makes guys miss,” Lintal said. “But I’m really proud of our offensive line for the work that they did, for John Weakland running the show back there. And everybody on both sides of the ball really played hard tonight.”