Muncy Rolls to 54-6 Playoff Win Over Northwest Area
MUNCY – Winning isn’t easy. And Muncy head coach Sean Tetreault is going to make sure this year’s team and future editions of the Indians realize that.
But one might be able to forgive Muncy fans for the thought that it is crossing their mind. With a 54-6 win over Northwest on Saturday in the District 4 Class A semifinals, the Indians advanced to the District 4 championship game for the fifth consecutive season, and for the sixth time in the last seven years. And, for the first time, Muncy will host the championship game, as the Indians will host the defending district champion Canton next week.
“We talk about it all the time – winning isn’t easy,” said Tetreault. “We’re lucky in that we’ve had some great wins and we have a great group of kids that put a lot of hard work in and make it look pretty for me, but these guys put a lot of work in that no one sees and it’s great to see the whole team get rewarded.”
Muncy, which won district titles in 2016 as well as three straight from 2018-20, will be looking to add a fifth title to its haul from recent years, and they’ll take on Canton in the title game for the five consecutive years. The Indians beat the Warriors in three straight years in the District 4 Class A championship games from 2018-20, before the Warriors exacted some revenge last year en route to the state semifinals.
The Indians made quick work of Northwest, which for its part, was making its first appearance in the PIAA district playoffs since 2016 when they played in the District 2 playoffs. The Rangers were able to get a firsthand look at what it will take to stick around a bit longer in the playoffs in future years, as Muncy ran out to an early lead, almost immediately answered Northwest’s only score of the game, and put together five scoring drives the lasted under a minute in the game.
“It’s the first time Northwest made it to a district playoff game in six years and I told them, get used to it, because we’re back and we’re going to rebuild and reload for next year, and this is going to be a normal thing for us,” said Northwest coach Carl Majer. “I’m very proud of our seniors. They worked hard through a lot of ups and downs and they fought. We had our opportunities tonight, but Muncy is a great football team and there’s a reason they’re undefeated. I was proud of our guys fighting and not giving up.”
The Indians rushed for 287 yards on just 27 carries, over 10 yards per rush, and despite running just 30 plays, or 17 fewer than Northwest, Muncy still outgained Northwest 349-268. Austin Johnson led the way with 189 yards on just eight carries and three touchdowns, including two in the first quarter. Northwest actually ended up with more first downs in the game than Muncy, 20-15, but the main reason for that was Muncy’s quick strikes.
“Austin is a big back but he’s got the speed, too, for being a big back,” said Tetreault. “We utilize him in many ways and it’s great to see him hitting the holes hard. He’s peaking at the right time. Last year, he started fast and then sort of fizzled at the end of the season, so we knew we had to get him peaking at the right time, so we’re excited about the district final here at Muncy. We’re happy that it’s at home, and we’re excited to see the type of team we have.”
If Saturday’s performance is any indication, it’s a pretty good one. Northwest’s first drive of the game was a bad omen for the Rangers, as after picking up a couple of first downs and 30 yards, Carter Hontz was picked off by Branson Eyer, who returned it 69 yards for a touchdown.
Hontz was picked off again on Northwest’s ensuing possession, this time giving Muncy the ball at the Northwest 43. From there, Johnson needed just one play and ripped off a 43-yard run for a touchdown to put Muncy up 14-0 less than halfway through the first quarter. Johnson also capped Muncy’s next drive after a three-and-out by Northwest with a four-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 with 3:42 left in the quarter.
The Rangers were able to force a Muncy punt on the Indians’ next possession, and then put together a long drive that took 7:12 and 17 plays, capped by Hontz’ one-yard run to cut the lead to 21-6 at the 4:39 mark of the second quarter. Hontz wrapped up his career by leading the Rangers with 72 rushing yards on the ground, while also throwing for 87 against some tight coverage by Muncy.
“Not being pressed off the line – that takes some time and work – but I think this was Carter’s best game running the ball, he lowered his shoulder hard and realized that he is a big kid and he can run as well as he can throw,” said Majer. “I saw a lot of good things tonight and that’s what we’re going to build on next season.”
But that momentum was short-lived as Muncy put together its second single-play drive of the game, and once again it was Johnson who burst loose through a hole and then broke two tackles toward the end of a 70-yard touchdown run to put the Indians back up three scores, 27-6.
Muncy tacked on one more touchdown just before the half, as a short Northwest punt gave the Indians the ball at their own 41, and three plays later, Eyer found his cousin, Ross Eyer on a crossing route for a 30-yard touchdown to put Muncy up 34-6 at the half.
The Indians scored on their first three possessions of the second half as well, the second of which put the game into the mercy rule. Two plays into the second half, Johnson again hit a hole hard and burst loose for a 41-yard touchdown run, which followed a 23-yard pickup by Elijah Weikle, who would later find a gaping hole of his own for a 32-yard touchdown just over a minute later, which pushed the game into the mercy rule.
Muncy 54, Northwest 6
Northwest (5-6) 0 6 0 0 – 6
Muncy (10-0) 21 13 20 0 – 54
9:02 – (M) Branson Eyer 69-yard interception return (Revata kick)
7:29 – (M) Austin Johnson 43-yard run (Revata kick), 1-43, :09
3:42 – (M) Austin Johnson 4-yard run (Revata kick), 6-57, 2:47
4:39 – (N) Carter Hontz 1-yard run (kick failed), 17-80, 7:12
4:18 – (M) Austin Johnson 70-yard run (kick failed), 1-70, :21
:52 – (M) Ross Eyer 30-yard pass from Branson Eyer (Revata kick), 3-59, :36
11:20 – (M) Austin Johnson 41-yard run (kick failed), 2-64, :40
10:08 – (M) Elijah Weikle 32-yard run (Revata kick), 2-48, :16
3:43 – (M) Stiles Eyer 1-yard run (Revata kick), 5-23, 3:52
First downs 20 15
Rushes-net yards 34-166 27-287
Passing yardage 102 62
Passing 13-35-0-3 3-3-1-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-35 6-40
RUSHING — Northwest: Carter Hontz (18-72-1), Jacob Bobersky (7-33), Trevor Dietz (6-51), Cole Hudack (6-51); Muncy: Austin Johnson (8-189-3), Elijah Weikle (5-60-1), Landyn Wommer (3-22), Dominic Guardini (3-13), Branson Eyer (2-1), Wesley Somits (1-3), Jacob Fowler (1-2), Brady Ryder (1-1), Stiles Eyer (1-1-1), TEAM (1-(-1)), Paxton Derr (1-(-4))
PASSING — Northwest: Carter Hontz (10-27-87-0-2), Jace McCoy (3-8-15-0-1); Muncy: Branson Eyer (3-3-62-1-0)
RECEIVING — Northwest: Adam Chonko (6-52), Derek Dietz (3-25), Andrew Bonczewski (2-22), Thomas Bierly (1-4), Brent Parnell (1-3); Muncy: Austin Johnson (1-31), Ross Eyer (1-30-1), Benjamin Robinson (1-1)
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