Spring-Ford scores opening win over Gov. Mifflin, 21-10

SHILLINGTON >> Spring-Ford started its season with a win on Friday night.

The Rams were stout on defense and relied on the arm of sophomore quarterback Matt Zollers to earn a 21-10 win over Gov. Mifflin in a non-league game.

“Overall, we’ll take the W,” Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker said. “We have to finish drives and we’ve got to cut out the penalties on offense. We had way too many penalties offensively.”

Aside from the penalties, the Rams’ offensive success was facilitated by Zollers. With a big arm and strong pocket presence, Zollers completed 13-of-24 pass attempts for 240 yards and three touchdowns.

“I expect Matt to complete every pass,” Brubaker said. “That’s what he can do. When we call a pass play, I expect Matt to complete it.”

Zollers made a splash early on, connecting with older brother and senior wide receiver Zach Zollers on a 66-yard touchdown during the Rams’ first offensive series of the game to give them a 7-0 lead. Zach Zollers finished with seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs responded late in the second quarter, stringing together a lengthy drive before Delsin McNeil plunged in the end zone on a 2-yard quarterback sneak to tie it 7-7. McNeil finished with seven carries for 39 yards and the rushing touchdown and completed 2-of-5 pass attempts for 16 yards.

Gov. Mifflin took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter thanks to kicker Jackson Schools, who nailed a 22-yard field goal. Schools finished the game 2-for-2 in field goals and PATs.

“We were a little flustered early on,” Mustangs coach Jeff Lang said. “We recovered. We hung with them for most of the game.”

Spring-Ford responded on its next drive, as the Zollers brothers connected for another touchdown. The Rams led 14-10 at the half.

Spring-Ford scored the lone points of the second half midway through the third quarter, as Matt Zollers found wide receiver Gage Swanger for a 33-yard touchdown. The touchdown was Swanger’s lone catch of the game.

The Rams consumed the clock in the second half, relying on productive inside runs from running back Will Fish. The senior finished with 19 carries and 118 yards.

“He was punishing people,” Brubaker said. “He was running real well, so we just kept it going.”

The Mustangs struggled on offense in the second half, as Spring-Ford crowded the box and stuffed the running game. Fullback Brayden Reis was the lone bright spot for Gov. Mifflin, as the senior ran for 113 yards on just 10 carries.

“They wore us down,” Lang said. “In the end, it showed.”

The Mustangs were shutout in the second half and scored just 10 points, their lowest output since October 2018. In its first regular season loss since September 2019, Gov. Mifflin mustered 221 yards of total offense, 205 of which came on the ground.

“Defensively, I thought we did pretty well,” Brubaker said. “You have to be very disciplined against their offense.”

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