Big first half sends Montgomery to 48-14 win
ALMEDIA – After an opening night win over Bucktail, it’s been a three-week gauntlet for the Montgomery Red Raiders as they fell to Northwest, South Williamsport and Muncy the last three weeks, despite being in all three games at one point.
On Saturday just outside Bloomsburg, the Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech Rams were the unfortunate outlet for Montgomery’s frustrations.
Montgomery scored on their first six possessions and opened up a 41-0 lead before CMVT was able to score and the Red Raiders got back into the win column with a convincing 48-14 win over the Rams.
“We hit three pretty touch teams in a row and we were putting together one good quarter here, one good half there, and my challenge to them today was get into a rhythm early and have a complete 48-minute game of football and I think we accomplished that,” said Montgomery coach Paul Bozella. “I’m hoping that mindset sticks.”
“They had to earn their scores and as a coach, I can live with that,” said CMVT coach Mark Varner. “We didn’t give up the big plays like we did last week and we kept coming back, so I’m definitely happy with that. Offensively, we got some yardage at times but we also had some negative plays but that’s going to happen. As a whole, we’re going to continue to focus on what went well, forget about what went bad, make adjustments and keep going on.”
The Rams started sophomore quarterback Chase Koncsler, who stepped in for senior Kaleb Sitler, who is out for the season after leaving last week’s game with a leg injury.
“Anytime you come in as a backup quarterback, you haven’t gotten many reps during the week. Chase got all the reps this week and I thought he did an excellent job. He made a couple of mistakes but they’re mistakes that you expect from a young quarterback, especially one in his first game mid season, so I’m thrilled with what he did today,” said Varner.
Although Varner was more pleased with his team’s effort than in last week’s loss to Bucktail, the result and score were similar. Montgomery was greatly aided, particularly in the first half, by great starting field position, as the Red Raiders average starting field position in the first half was their own 48.
The Red Raiders put together an eight-play, 55-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Logan Almeida on their first drive of the game. That was Almeida’s lone run of the game as he did most of his damage through the air, throwing for 113 on 9-of-11 passing with a touchdown.
Montgomery then went 55 yards in six plays on their next drive, capped by Kaide Drick’s 5-yard touchdown run, his first of three scores on the afternoon. His next one came from 19 yards out on Montgomery’s next drive to make it 20-0 late in the first quarter. Those runs were just the beginning of the afternoon for Drick, who finished with 162 yards on just 13 carries.
A 67-yard punt return by Maurice Walters made it 27-0 on the second play of the second quarter, and the Red Raiders then took advantage of the lone turnover of the game for either team when picked up a CMVT fumble to begin their next drive at their own 39. They then proceeded to go 61 yards in eight plays, capped by Colby Springman’s seven-yard touchdown to go up 34-0.
A rapid sequence of plays early in the third quarter saw touchdowns on three of four plays. After CMVT went three-and-out on its first possession, the Rams punted and Montgomery took over at the CMVT 35. From there, Almeida hit Coltin Hans for a 35-yard touchdown on the first play.
Seth Shoemaker then bobbled the ball while trying to pick up the ensuing kickoff, and then picked the ball up and turned it into a 95-yard kickoff return down the right sideline to put CMVT on the board.
Drick then ripped off a 68-yard run on Montgomery’s first play from scrimmage on its ensuing drive to put the Red Raiders up 48-6.
The Rams then put together a 14-play, 93-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes with the running clock and Shoemaker scored his second touchdown on a five-yard run to cap the drive. Shoemaker had a solid game as he ran for 71 yards on 11 carries as he split carries with Jake Shotwell, who ran 16 times for 91 yards.
With the victory, Montgomery remains alive for a playoff spot on District 4 Class A, but they’ll have a thin margin for error in their last two regular season games, since the District 4 playoff fields were cut in half due to the shorter season. Instead of four teams qualifying for the Class A playoffs, there will be just two this year. But Bozella isn’t terribly concerned with that.
“I tell the kids to control what they can control, and that’s who we play next week and let the chips fall where they may,” said Bozella. “I’m just thankful that were able to play this season and if we get into the playoffs, that’s icing on the cake.”
Montgomery 48, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech 14
Montgomery (2-3) 20 14 14 0 – 48
Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech (0-4) 0 0 6 8 – 14
8:59 – (M) Logan Almeida 1-yard run (kick blocked), 8-51, 3:01
6:27 – (M) Kaide Drick 5-yard run (McNear kick), 6-55, 1:27
2:10 – (M) Kaide Drick 19-yard run (McNear kick), 5-41, 2:23
10:57 – (M) Maurice Walters 67-yard punt return (McNear kick)
5:04 – (M) Colby Springman 7-yard run (McNear kick), 8-61, 4:26
9:21 – (M) Coltin Hans 35-yard pass from Logan Almeida (McNear kick), 1-35, :11
9:00 – (VT) Seth Shoemaker 95-yard kickoff return (run failed)
8:13 – (M) Kaide Drick 68-yard run (McNear kick), 1-68, :47
6:11 – (VT) Seth Shoemaker 5-yard run (Shotwell run), 14-93, 8:59
First downs 19 11
Rushes-net yards 29-231 36-145
Passing yardage 119 14
Passing 10-13-1-0 2-7-0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 6-1
Penalties-yards 5-50 6-50
RUSHING: Montgomery: Kaide Drick (13-162-3), Nevin Beachel (5-27), Colby Springman (4-25-1), Devon Deem (4-16), Logan Almeida (1-1-1), Caden Finck (1-1), TEAM (1-(-1)); CMVT: Jake Shotwell (16-91), Seth Shoemaker (11-71-1), Chase Koncsler (7-(-28)), Lucas Meadows (1-9), Dante DiAgostino (1-2)
PASSING: Montgomery: Logan Almeida (9-11-113-1-0), Caden Finck (1-2-6-0-0); CMVT: Chase Koncsler (2-6-14-0-0), Seth Shoemaker (0-1-0-0-0)
RECEIVING: Montgomery: Coltin Hans (3-52-1), Ben Marino (2-29), Devon Deem (2-19), Maurice Walters (2-15), Colby Springman (1-4); CMVT: Seth Shoemaker (2-14)
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