MECHANICSBURG - The Mifflin County Huskies had the right idea - don't let Cumberland Valley win the game because of Jeremy Salmon's running ability.
Salmon, the Cumberland Valley running back, came into the game with 645 yards on the ground, but was limited to only 64 yards rushing by the Huskies.
"A lot of teams scheme to stop Jeremy Salmon," Cumberland Valley head coach Tim Rimpfel said. "But we just have to figure out ways to get him the ball, and I thought we executed pretty well."
The senior still got his touches, though, and he made the most of them with two rushing touchdowns along with five catches for 64 yards and a receiving touchdown in Cumberland Valley's 35-7 Commonwealth Division victory over Mifflin County Friday.
The Huskies (3-4, 1-4 Mid-Penn Commonwealth) had their chances to stay in the game, but could not manage to put many points on the board on a cold night at Chapman Field in Mechanicsburg.
Cumberland Valley got on the board first with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ben Fernback, but Mifflin County did not allow the Eagles to put up any more points in the first quarter before striking early in the second.
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* Mifflin County hosts Central Dauphin East on Oct. 19
The Huskies put together a solid drive that culminated in a 19-yard touchdown catch by Heath Hidlay from Luke Bender, who was filling in for injured quarterback Shane Whalen.
The Eagles responded a little over four minutes later as Fernback hit Salmon for a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 Cumberland Valley.
The ensuing drive by Mifflin County stalled but the Huskies' punt from deep in their own territory traveled only six yards. Cumberland Valley made easy work as Salmon caught a pass to set up his own one-yard touchdown run to make it a two-score game with 3:56 left in the first half.
"(Jeremy) arguably has the best hands on the team," Rimpfel said, "You have to get him the ball one way or another. He understands that and he's been running the Wing-T for several years so I thought he executed pretty well."
Tim Beck of Mifflin County took the next Cumberland Valley kickoff back a long way to the Eagles' 25-yard line and the next play it looked like the Huskies were in business as Hidlay took a handoff all the way down to the 2-yard line, but the play was called back for holding and Mifflin could not score.
With the score still 21-7 in the third quarter, Mifflin County again was in the red zone after a wonderful interception and return by Dylan Kauffman. The Huskies picked up a first down, but as fullback Kyle Kahley tried to fight for yardage on the next play he fumbled and the Eagles recovered on their own 7-yard line.
The Huskies never got close to scoring again.
"We had the ball inside the 5 it should have been first and goal," Mifflin County coach George Miskinis said of the Huskies' first missed oppurtunity. "That was the first (mistake) - it would've been 21-14 and we were still coming up on halftime.
"The second key possession: We get the pick and then we have a guy fighting for extra yards and he fumbles. From that point on it just snowballed."
Salmon's third touchdown came on a nine-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. He finished with 128 total yards and three touchdowns, still a pretty good day for someone that was slowed down a little.
"Teams always key on the big guy," said Salmon, who stands 6-3 and weighs in at 248 pounds. "They definitely watch film and see us giving the ball to me. Ben always loves throwing to me; we've been doing it since we were little kids. It's just like backyard football."