Mifflin High School football coach Gregg Miller knows people might do a double-take when they see that his team threw for three touchdowns Oct. 3 against visiting Beechcroft.
The Punchers stuck to a power running game throughout most of their 21-20 win over the three-time defending league champion Cougars but got big plays through the air when they needed them.
Quarterback Marsaan Banks hit Stanley Jackson for two touchdowns and Jakob Green for one and Mifflin held off a late rally to improve to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Beechcroft fell to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the City-North.
“You wouldn’t think my team would be throwing on people,” Miller said. “It’s the first time (we’ve beaten Beechcroft) since long before I got here.”
Mifflin, which snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Cougars, took a 7-0 lead with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first quarter when Banks hit Jackson for a 12-yard touchdown.
Beechcroft’s Adonis Davis ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 7:26 but the Cougars’ two-point conversion run failed. Beechcroft kicker Babacar Ba was not in uniform because he’s also on the school’s boys soccer team which had a game simultaneously.
Mifflin took a 14-6 lead on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Banks to Jackson on the final play of the first half. After Banks ran for 6 yards on the previous play, he called timeout with what officials eventually ruled to be one second remaining.
The Punchers scored their final touchdown with 5:52 left in the third period when Banks hit Green for a 20-yard pass. That completed a 14-play, 85-yard drive that included 13 running plays.
“This is a big step for us,” Banks said. “I think our offensive line just wanted it real bad.”
Beechcroft cut it to 21-14 with 9:27 remaining when quarterback Mike Powers ran for a 9-yard touchdown and then hit Darius Ford for the two-point conversion.
Three plays later, the Cougars’ Yohannes Berhane recovered a fumble at the Mifflin 8. Powers hit Ford for a 7-yard touchdown pass two plays after that with 7:12 left to make it 21-20, but Davis was stopped short of the end zone on the two-point conversion run.
“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot all night,” Beechcroft coach Bruce Ward said. “We had a lot of opportunities to score.”
M--Jackson 12 pass from Banks (Peprah kick)
B--Davis 3 run (run failed)
M--Jackson 22 pass from Banks (Peprah kick)
M--Green 20 pass from Banks (Peprah kick)
B--Powers 9 run (Ford pass from Powers)
B--Ford 7 pass from Powers (run failed)