STATE COLLEGE - It was only three years ago that Indian Valley and Lewistown merged to form Mifflin County High School.
Fast forward to today, and the school is about to make history.
Heath Hidlay had 135 yards on the ground on 21 rushes with three touchdowns as the third-seeded Huskies clinched their first ever birth in the District 6-9 Class AAAA championship game, upsetting defending champion State College, 27-26, in a back and forth affair at a raucous Memorial Field.
"Hats off to our kids," Mifflin County coach George Miskins said. "They played with a tremendous amount of heart. They played physical, and we just refused to lose today."
The defenses were on display early and often in the first quarter as both teams forced fourth stops. Scoring was limited until Pat Irwin scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put the home team ahead 6-0 with 1:19 to play in the opening stanza.
The Huskies went right down the field on the following drive as Hidlay racked up 29 yards on his way to scoring his first touchdown of the night for a 7-6 lead.
"[Hidlay] runs with a great deal of desire," Miskins said. "He's a very determined young man."
State College eventually tied the game later in the quarter on a 42-yard pass from Irwin to John Weakland to tie the game at 14.
Weakland had six catches for 95 yards for the Little Lions.
"That's the kind of kids they are," State College coach Al Wolski said of both teams' resiliency. "You can't go to sleep for a minute."
Both teams traded punts at the start of the second half, but around the halfway point of the third quarter, Hidlay intercepted Irwin's second pass of the night, returning it to the Little Lion 36. He later scored for the third time to put the Huskies ahead 20-14.
State College recaptured momentum early in the fourth quarter when Anthony Paffie-Misher took a 13-yard scamper to paydirt to tie the game.
The Little Lions didn't stop there as Pat Irwin took a 54-yard sweep down the sideline to the Husky 11. Jordan Misher capped off the drive to put State High ahead, 26-20, with 5:26 to play.
Mifflin County managed to finish off the second-seed as Hindlay's 46 yard run set up his game-tying score, with Andrew Traxler booting the PAT for the deciding margin.
"They just run it down your throat," Wolski said. "You can't miss tackles like that at the end."
Next week the Huskies will meet DuBois in the championship game.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mifflin County0 14 6 7 27
State College6 8 0 12 26
SC Irwin 1 run (run failed), 1:19
MC Hidlay 1 run (Traxler kick), 10:31
MC Hidlay 5 run (Traxler kick), 7:35
SC Weakland 42 pass from Irwin (Weakland pass from Irwin), 4:25
MC Hidlay 14 run (kick failed), 5:26
SC Paffie-Misher 13 run (kick failed), 11:46
SC Misher 1 run (pass failed), 5:26
MC Hidlay 1 run (Traxler kick), 1:20
RUSHING: Mifflin County Boyer 5-14, Hidlay 21-135, Kahley 6-13, Walker 5-18, Team 1-(-1). State College Van Horn 4-21, Knouse 7-52, Irwin 12-91, Misher 13-50, Paffie-Misher 2-35.
RECEIVING: Mifflin County Strohecker 5-31, Maclay 1-4. State College Weakland 6-95, Paffie-Misher 1-6, Misher 1-8, Knouse 1-2.
PASSING: Mifflin County Walker 6-11-0-35. State College Irwin 7-14-2-111.
INTERCEPTIONS: Mifflin County Maclay, Hidlay. State College None.