Allen East faces tough test in Coldwater


By Jose Nogueras - [email protected]



Allen East’s Jacob Hershberger has produced on both sides of the ball for the Mustangs. He rushed for four touchdowns and made two interceptions to help Allen East to a win over Anna in the Division VI regional semifinal last week.

Allen East’s Jacob Hershberger has produced on both sides of the ball for the Mustangs. He rushed for four touchdowns and made two interceptions to help Allen East to a win over Anna in the Division VI regional semifinal last week.


HARROD – Allen East reached new heights in its program when the Mustangs beat Anna, a Midwest Athletic Conference team, in the regional semifinals 45-30 last week, but if they want to continue the historic journey they will have to overcome another MAC team in Coldwater.

Allen East (10-3) faces Coldwater (12-2) in the Division VI regional final at Sidney Memorial Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We lost to Minster last year in a game where the talent was evenly matched and we got outplayed and out-coached and Saturday we kind of got over that hump,” Allen East head coach Joel Billings said. “I felt it was evenly matched again and

In that pivotal third quarter, Anna had taken the 24-23 lead and it could have been worse if not for two big defensive stands inside the 5-yard line by the Mustangs. And then the defense came through in the fourth quarter to regain momentum by collecting three interceptions to lead to scores and eventually the victory.

Billings said the defense has been a bend but don’t break and in the playoffs have instrumental in getting turnovers to help get the victories. Prior to the Anna game, the Mustang defense had given up 22 points in three games. Against Anna, the Rockets scored one touchdown on special teams and added a late touchdown with a minute left to play.

Billings admitted the Mustangs came into the season with a mixture of youth and experience but the team has slowly come together as the season has progressed and he has seen improvement each week.

“We are kind of bend but don’t break if you look at us statistically it is not overly impressive.,” Billings said. “Teams do drive the ball on us but I think we do a good job of eliminating the big plays and kind of force some turnovers.”

Offensively, Mustang quarterback Jacob Hershberger is the main spark. Against Anna, he rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries and passed for 156 yards. Backfield mate Jack Hoel grounded out 97 yards on 17 carries.

“Running game-wise you have Jacob who is dynamic and having a running quarterback is hard to stop,” Billings said. Jack is like the hammer. He is physical and he is a guy that finishes games for us. He is at his best in the fourth quarter especially in the second half of the season. He is just carrying people.”

Billings added that another component to the running game is Carter Young who adds another dimension to the running attack by providing some speed and exploiting holes.

“We are pretty balanced and we can still throw it and that helps too,” Billings said. “I think the balance is the key thing where we have thrown the ball our best the past couple of weeks and it makes us more difficult to stop.”

Allen East’s big win over Anna has to quickly put back in the Mustangs’ rear-view mirror as Coldwater awaits them.

Even Coldwater comes in with two losses, the Cavs are as strong offensively and defensively. The only two losses this year came to No. 1 ranked Marion Local and St. Henry who is still alive in the playoffs.

In the postseason, the Cavaliers have outscored the opposition, 140-48 and its last two games held teams to single digits.

The Cavs come in averaging 35.6 points a game and yielding 13.3 points a contest.

Individually, Quarterback Reece Dellinger has passed for 2,432 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and his top receiver is Tyler Schwieterman who had caught 40 balls for 933 yards and 9 touchdowns.

On the ground, Isaac Fullenkamp had rushed for 684 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“The kids understand what they are going up against but by the same token the kids know what we are up against and I think we have a good football team,” Billings said. “Coldwater is really talented especially in those skilled spots. They have a couple of guys with exceptional size and speed and overall it is a MAC school. They fly to the ball. They block until the whistle.

Allen East’s Jacob Hershberger has produced on both sides of the ball for the Mustangs. He rushed for four touchdowns and made two interceptions to help Allen East to a win over Anna in the Division VI regional semifinal last week.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Allen-East-FB-vs-Anna-DS3-2.jpgAllen East’s Jacob Hershberger has produced on both sides of the ball for the Mustangs. He rushed for four touchdowns and made two interceptions to help Allen East to a win over Anna in the Division VI regional semifinal last week.

By Jose Nogueras

[email protected]

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