Tigers Maul Montoursville
MONTOURSVILLE, PA: For the second week in a row, the Southern Columbia Tigers got off to a bit of a slow start in the first quarter of play. The difference this time was that the defense completely shut the Warriors down (unlike the 20 point deficit they allowed against Line Mountain in the season opener).
Southern’s offense started to find some rhythm on their second series when Jake Townsend connected on throws to Tim Benner and Cody Rosenberger, for 15 & 9 yards respectively, only to have it sputter away on a fumble and penalty for a loss of yards. Their next drive looked even more promising as they took the ball deep into Warrior territory on a 56 yard pass from Townsend to Rosenberger to the 15 yard-line. A touchdown run was called back on a holding penalty, and a sack for a loss stalled the drive, but the momentum and field position were all Southern’s at that point.
Montoursville was pinned deep in their red-zone after a fumbled pitch-back. They opted for a quick-kick on third and 22 at their own nine. It seemed to be the right choice when Christian Clark’s punt was downed at the Tiger 35 yard line. Southern was then forced to punt after they only netted five yards on three plays. The punt was dropped, however, by the receiver and recovered by Southern’s Kieth Day at the Montoursville 23.
Five plays later, Jake Morton (13 carries,55yds,1TD/ 2 rec.42yds,1TD) rumbled in from the six for the opening score. Colton Yeick, who went six for six on PAT’s for the night, extended the lead to 7-0 at 2:56 in the second quarter.
Montoursville had a terrible time fielding kicks and punts in this game and it proved costly yet again on the kick-after-touchdown. D.J. Yeagle bobbled and recovered the kick, but was leveled at his own 13 yard-line. Then, after a Cameron Flore tackle at the line-of-scrimmage, Matt Moore broke into the backfield and dropped Jacob Jones for a sack and loss of seven. The Warriors were forced to punt from their own six yard-line, which resulted in Southern getting the ball at the Montoursville 42 with under two minutes left in the half.
Wasting no time, Townsend connected with Morton at the goal-line for the score with 1:33 left on the clock. If that wasn’t enough, the defense then drove Montoursville backward as Moore, Flore, and Alex Fiddler all had tackles for losses.
A hurried punt on fourth and 15 went out-of-bounds at the Warrior 41 with only 0:17 left on the clock. Townsend’s next pass sailed long with 11 seconds remaining. Then he hooked up with Aaron Zigarski for a 41 yard TD strike with only three seconds remaining in the first half of play. The teams went in the locker rooms with Southern in command 21-0.
Montoursville received the ball to open the third quarter, but could do little with it. An 11 yard reception from Travis Singer to Matt Krezmer was negated when Tyler Levan, David Jeremiah, and Moore combined for yet another sack, and loss of nine.
Southern’s quarterback, Townsend, had a solid night throwing the ball, going 10/15 for 219 yards and three touchdowns. To open the second half he hit Rosenberger for 19, Day for 15, and Tyrell Thomas for the 11 yard score. The Tiger linebackers were having a field-day on defense as they were in the Warrior backfield just as much as Montoursville’s running backs. Levan compiled three sacks with and assist from Ethan Snyder.
Then Thomas(11 carries,47yds.,1TD/1 rec.11yds,1TD) found his groove, and pounded his way down-field on runs of 17 and 12 yards. Along with six and nine yard bursts from Zigarski, this set up the four yard score by Thomas to go up 35-0 at the end of the third period. As Coach Roth sent in the substitutes, the momentum continued to roll for the Tigers.
Dylan Stymer picked off a pass as Jones scrambled to avoid another sack. Next, Levan got to test his skills on the offensive side of the ball. He marched off runs of 9, 11, and 29 yards before punching it in from the four. With substitutions taking place, Montoursville was able to get on the board on a 53 yard break-away run by Cameron Ott with 2:41 left in the contest. A failed two-point conversion left the score 42-6 as this game wound down.
Montoursville(1-1) will need to regroup in a hurry as they host a tough Bloomsburg(2-0) squad next week. If there was a bright spot for the Warriors in this contest it was the passing game. Between three quarterbacks, they managed seven receptions for 64 yards on 14 attempts, with one interception. They do have some decent size on the front line, but will need to learn to make and sustain blocks if they hope to have a .500 season or better. The running game netted a paltry five yards, and would have been well into the negative numbers if not for the 53 TD yard run by the second team near the end of the game.
Southern(2-0) controlled the ball well on the ground against Montoursville with 45 carries for 153 yards and three TD’s, out-gaining them by 148 yards. The aerial attack was even more impressive, amassing 219 yards and three TD’s while utilizing six different receivers for a net advantage of 155 yards over their opponent. The Tigers can have no let-up as they host neighboring Shamokin(2-0) in their home-opener for 2010. So far this season, the Tigers are averaging twice the points against tougher opponents than the Indians, but that means little in a rivalry match-up like this. Appropriately, the alumni association will be honoring the 1983 Eastern Conference Champion team (coached by Andy Ulicny) during half-time at this game.
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