This week we were treated to some rare Thursday night football action in Shillington as the Governor Mifflin Mustangs faced off against the Conestoga Valley Buckskins in the final scrimmage of the summer for both teams.
Mifflin had almost no trouble moving the ball downfield against the Buckskins defense. They ran several sweep and end around plays which seemed to pick up a first down nearly every time. The Mustangs also proved that they have a passing attack that can also stifle any defensive unit. Junior quarterback Jan Johnson aired the ball out very efficiently, hitting several of his top receivers.
On defense, the Mustangs were all but impenetrable. Senior defensive end Connor Morehart had a very strong impact on both the passing and rushing defense. It seemed that nearly any time the Buckskins decided to drop back and pass, Morehart was in the face of the quarterback. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Buckskins rushing attack fared no better. Junior linebacker Darren Schlegel made several great run stopping plays for the Mifflin squad.
Our key observations were as follows:
It was no secret coming into the game that Mifflin had a huge team, especially in the trenches. However, some were skeptical about how athletic the line would be. On several occasions I was left in shock of how quickly the guards and tackles of the Mustangs could pull off the line and get downfield. The offensive line will absolutely be a strong point for the Mustangs going forward as they hope to repeat as Section 1 champions.
At no point this summer, whether it was watching camps, live scrimmages, or film did I see any team in Berks County tackle as well as the Mustangs did on Thursday night. Outside of one long kick return, which still ended in a three-and-out for Conestoga Valley, this Mifflin team made every single defensive play.
In perfect “bend but not break” fashion, the Mustangs allowed just a single red zone trip for the visiting Buckskins, which resulted in a very impressive four play goal line stand, which yielded no points for Conestoga Valley.
Junior QB Jan Johnson has received a ton of praise from football fans all around Berks County, and rightfully so. Johnson led the Mustangs to a Section 1 title as a sophomore last year. The highly touted athlete threw for 857 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall and also ran for 934 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Going into this season, the BIC Sports team expects that Johnson will put up similar numbers to last year’s totals. In fact, I believe he can improve on them.
As far as Thursday night’s scrimmage went, I was intrigued to see what Johnson could do in his second year of commanding the Mustangs offense.
However, the Mustangs barely showed the tip of the ice burg as far as what Jan Johnson can do. I was looking forward to seeing Johnson run the ball. However, at no point in time did Johnson even run a single QB keeper play. Instead, the skilled junior showed off his cannon of an arm completing multiple passes of 35 or more yards.
Coach Mick Vecchio and his staff seemed content to run the ball behind their gargantuan offensive line. Many of the carries seemed to go to senior Jonas Fiant, who appears to be who the Mustangs will rely on heavily this fall.
Jan Johnson twice threw touchdown passes by hitting his check down target and letting his line do the blocking.