Following a slow start, the Mifflin High School football team used a high-powered running attack and quarterback Jacques Dorsey-Merrion's three touchdowns to defeat visiting Central Crossing 42-14 in Friday's opener.

Following a slow start, the Mifflin High School football team used a high-powered running attack and quarterback Jacques Dorsey-Merrion's three touchdowns to defeat visiting Central Crossing 42-14 in Friday's opener.

Central Crossing took an early lead, as quarterback Tory Clark opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run to cap a 57-yard drive. Clark had connected with receiver Michael Huffman for 27 yards on the previous play to set up the touchdown.

The Comets extended the lead to 14-0 on a 27-yard touchdown pass by Clark and it looked as if the Comets were on the first opening-week victory in school history.

With the Mifflin offense struggling, however, running back Derrick Pope provided a spark off the bench in the second quarter as he rushed for 58 yards on five carries in his first action, which led to the Punchers' first scoring drive. Pope and running back Rodney Cupe combined for more than 300 yards rushing. Pope said their performance wasn't a surprise, especially with new coach Gregg Miller roaming the sidelines.

"We expect that (performance) every game," Pope said. "Everything is different now and we're more disciplined."

Louis Baker capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jacques Dorsey-Merrion and the two-point conversion run by Pope cut the Central Crossing lead to 14-8.

"We got down 14-0 early and the big thing was the kids didn't get down," said Mifflin coach Miller. "We talked about all summer that you're going to get a turnover, a bad call and a sudden change of possession and you can't let that bother you."

Dorsey-Merrion added a 62-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kamaron Green to even the score at 14.

The Mifflin offense continued to be effective to start the second half, as the Punchers covered 70 yards in two plays. Running back Rodney Cupe ran 60 yards on the first play, and Pope capped the drive on the ensuing play with a 10-yard touchdown run to give Mifflin its first lead at 22-14. The Punchers pounded the ball between the tackles for the rest of the game as they pulled away.

"At halftime, my (offensive) line told me what play they wanted to run and we ran that play the rest of the second half," Miller said.

CENTRAL CROSSING 14 0 0 0 -- 14

MIFFLIN 0 14 20 8 - 42

CC -- Clark 2 run (Jones kick)

CC -- Huffman 27 pass from Clark (Jones kick)

M - Baker 5 pass from Dorsey-Merrion (Pope run)

M - Green 62 pass from Dorsey-Merrion (kick failed)

M - Pope 10 run (Cupe run)

M - Dorsey-Merrion 5 run (run failed)

M - Cupe 14 run (run failed)

M - - Cupe 7 run (Pope run)