Montoursville football rolls to win over Warrior Run
MONTOURSVILLE – After Montoursville defeated Warrior Run 28-7 back in Week 4 in what was a one possession game in the fourth quarter, Montoursville spent the week of practice after that game treating it like it was a loss.
“We didn’t play well, didn’t block well, didn’t run or throw well or do that great on special teams,” said Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer. “So, we really went back to the grind after that game and that’s how we treated it this week, like we owe them one.”
Whatever the case may have been, Montoursville got the result it wanted as the Warriors held Warrior Run to just two first downs in the first half and scored on their first five possessions en route to a 54-12 win over the Defenders in the District 4 Class 3A semifinal. The loss marks the end to the most successful season in Warrior Run’s history as the Defenders finish 7-5 while Montoursville (11-1) advances to play Loyalsock in next week’s district championship game. The Lancers topped Central Columbia 21-13 in the other District 4 Class 3A semifinal.
“They’re a quality football team. Their (defensive) line definitely played better tonight than the first time we played them and that was part of the difference,” said Warrior Run coach Chris Long. “We got behind and couldn’t get much going in the run game at all.”
“Our front four have been doing that all year long and that’s been the story of our success,” said Keefer. “They had a little chip on their shoulder because the last time we played these guys, we didn’t execute as well, so they came out with some energy out front and we got after it on both sides of the ball.”
Warrior Run had just 83 rushing yards for the game, including only 27 in the first half. For the game, Montoursville outgained the Defenders 451-217.
Warrior Run received the opening kickoff and went three-and-out on its first two drives, while Montoursville answered with a pair of touchdowns, going a combined 101 yards on just eight total plays on its first two drives to take a 14-0 lead. The drives were capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Shearer to Jaxon Dalena and a 29-yard touchdown run by Logan Ott.
The Defenders were able to get a pair of first downs on their next drive when Remington Corderman hit Riley Daubert for a pair of long receptions of 28 and 35 yards, respectively, which brought the Defenders inside the 10 as the first quarter expired. But an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal stalled the drive, and Montoursville answered with a 98-yard drive capped by Ott’s second touchdown run to take a 20-0 lead.
Warrior Run went three-and-out again on its next drive and the Warriors scored on their ensuing possession again on Dalena’s 31-yard run to go up 27-0. The Defenders then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return, setting up Montoursville on the Warrior Run 17. Three plays later, Shearer hit Ott in the end zone from 13 yards out for Ott’s third touchdown of the game and a 34-0 Montoursville lead heading into halftime.
“They had a lot more playmakers that made big plays tonight,” said Long. “We had some stuff that we thought might work in the run game that just didn’t. We did some stuff to try to shift and we thought we’d gain an advantage trying to run away from (Cameron) Wood but they ended up moving him to tackle, which is more disruptive so we couldn’t get some of our gap schemes with the guards pulling going because he was blowing things up in the backfield. There was also no time for Remington to pass early on and that was big. They played it well up front, so hats off to them.”
The Defenders got on the scoreboard on their first possession of the second half. They took over at their own 20 after the second of only two punts on the night for Montoursville and went 80 yards in seven plays, capped by a Corderman 20-yard touchdown run when he scrambled out of the pocket on a fourth-and-seven play. David Gearhart also had a 42-yard run for the big gainer on that drive.
With second-string quarterback Maddix Dalena in, having replaced Shearer late in the first half after the Warriors had taken the 34-0 lead, Montoursville scored on its next two drives. Ian Plankenhorn kicked a 28-yard field goal late in the third quarter and then the Warriors finally put the game into the mercy rule when Rocco Pulizzi found the end zone from eight yards out early in the fourth quarter. Pulizzi led Montoursville with 148 rushing yards on the night.
“I wanted to get Maddix and Jaxon a connection because he’s never thrown a touchdown pass to Jaxon and Jaxon is a senior so they probably won’t have another opportunity to do that,” said Keefer. “But I’ve been putting Maddix in all year in the first half. He’s a talented kid, just a sophomore so he doesn’t have the whole offense grasped yet but he’s going to be a super stud at the quarterback position so we’ve been getting him some experience in a lot of games because we really think he can be something special for us down the road.”
Warrior Run got one more score when Corderman found Ahmahd Keyes on its next possession with a nice throw and an even nicer catch by Keyes for a 27-yard touchdown reception.
From there, Plankenhorn kicked another field goal, this one from 26 yards, with under a minute to play and then Dylan Moll returned an interception 36 yards to cap the scoring.
Following the interception, on the game’s final play, Daubert hauled in another pass, his fifth of the night, to go over 1,000 receiving yards on the season and 101 on the night on the final play of his high school career.
The loss caps a breakthrough season for the Defenders, who won their first district playoff game in school history last week, which was also their first ever home playoff game.
“I told the team there’s nothing to be ashamed of, don’t hang their heads and they should be proud of the season they had,” said Long. “We did things that no other team at this school has and the seniors have left a legacy and we’ve got things to build off in the future.”
For Montoursville, they get to meet their next door neighbor in Loyalsock for the district title next week. The Warriors throttled the Lacers 41-6 back in Week 5. This rivalry game was previously played in Week 10 for several years before being moved to Week 5 recently for the very reason that these teams could meet in the postseason and have done so in the past. The teams most recently met in the 2014 District 4 Class 2A championship game, a two-point win for Montoursville, which came just three weeks after the Warriors defeated the Lancers in the final game of the regular season.
“It would be difficult for both sides if we played Week 10 and then played again in Week 13 so that’s why we moved the game and now it’s playing out that way,” said Keefer. “It’s going to be a grind but lots of fun. It’s going to be a drag out, tough-up-front type of battles and we’re looking forward to it.”
Montoursville 54, Warrior Run 12
Warrior Run (7-5) 0 0 6 6 – 12
Montoursville (11-1) 14 20 3 17 – 54
7:22 – (M) Jaxon Dalena 7-yard pass from Hunter Shearer (Plankenhorn kick), 5-63, 2:17
5:35 – (M) Logan Ott 29-yard run (Plankenhorn kick), 3-38, :45
8:37 – (M) Logan Ott 6-yard run (run failed), 6-98, 3:18
4:26 – (M) Jaxon Dalena 31-yard run (Plankenhorn kick), 6-53, 2:02
2:43 – (M) Logan Ott 13-yard pass from Hunter Shearer (Gorini kick), 3-17, 1:33
7:54 – (WR) Remington Corderman 20-yard run (kick blocked), 7-80, 3:09
1:59 – (M) Ian Plankenhorn 28-yard field goal, 11-38, 5:55
9:12 – (M) Rocco Pulizzi 8-yard run (Gorini kick), 6-47, 2:26
8:07 – (WR) Ahmahd Keyes 27-yard pass from Remington Corderman (run failed), 2-58, 1:05
:52 – (M) Ian Plankenhorn 26-yard field goal, 10-54, 7:15
:27 – (M) Dylan Moll 36-yard interception return (Gorini kick)
First downs 8 19
Rushes-net yards 25-83 33-300
Passing yardage 134 151
Passing 7-16-1-1 12-21-2-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-12 9-80
RUSHING: Warrior Run: Hoyt Bower (7-20), Denver Beachel (7-12), Remington Corderman (6-(-4)-1), David Gearhart (3-51), Riley Daubert (2-4); Montoursville: Rocco Pulizzi (17-148-1), Logan Ott (11-101-2), Jacob Reeder (2-14), Jaxon Dalena (1-31-1), Cologero Signor (1-4), Dylan Moll (1-2)
PASSING: Warrior Run: Remington Corderman (7-15-134-1-1), Denver Beachel (0-1-0-0-0); Montoursville: Maddix Dalena (8-16-107-0-0), Hunter Shearer (4-5-44-2-0)
RECEIVING: Warrior Run: Riley Daubert (5-101), Ahmahd Keyes (2-33-1); Montoursville: Jaxon Dalena (5-72-1), Dylan Moll (3-29), Logan Ott (2-46-1), Cameron Wood (1-20), Rocco Pulizzi (1-7)
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