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Indians let one get away

October 04, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Somehow, Waynesboro's first two losses by a combined scored of 75-12 were easier to handle than what took place Friday night at Indian Stadium.

Probably because those games against Middletown (Pa.) and Mechanicsburg weren't games Waynesboro was supposed to win.

Friday's game against visiting West Perry was one that the No. 5 Indians certainly could have won. Even worse, it was one that they probably should have won.

Only they didn't.

Waynesboro surrendered a 12-play, 89-yard drive late in the fourth quarter and blew a 13-point second-half lead in falling 21-20 to the Mustangs -- the third straight loss after a 3-0 start for the Indians.

"What can you say?" asked Waynesboro coach Darwin Seiler. "We just have to get focused and ready for next week."

Waynesboro is already looking ahead, but this loss won't be an easy one to forget.

The Indians (3-3) botched two extra-point attempts and allowed West Perry quarterback Tony Miller to complete 6 of 7 passes for 74 yards during two second-half scoring drives. That was after they had held him to just 2-of-8 passing for 16 yards.

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Miller hooked up with Ian Bond four times for 55 yards, including a 4-yard strike on fourth down that pulled the Mustangs to within 20-14 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.

Miller was 3-for-4 for 44 yards on the winning drive, which the Mustangs capped with a Chaz Sheaffer run with less than three minutes left.

"They made the throws when they needed to," Seiler said. "I thought we had good schemes and people where they needed to be, but we just didn't make the plays."

The Indians committed a pair of 15-yard penalties in the fourth quarter -- one on offense and one on defense -- to help the Mustangs' cause. They also jumped offsides to shorten a West Perry third-down attempt to 5 yards with less than five minutes remaining.

Miller hit Brandon Varner for 9 yards on the ensuing play to keep the winning drive alive and the Mustangs were 3-for-3 on third downs during their two scoring drives.

"You convert on third downs and you win games," Seiler said.

Waynesboro got the ball back at its own 25-yard line with 2:47 left but lost 3 yards before turning the ball over on downs, allowing West Perry to run out the clock.

That was a Waynesboro drive unlike others earlier in the game: 10 plays, 65 yards; six plays, 37 yards; eight plays, 71 yards. Those three drives resulted in touchdown runs by Greg Wade and Jesse Mowen and a 48-yard screen for a touchdown by Ian Smith.

But when the Indians most needed a drive, they were nowhere to be found.

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