Persing produces points as Danville rolls
DANVILLE – The Danville offense was rolling Friday night as the team produced a 52-26 victory over visiting Montoursville. That big offensive performance could be traced back to one solo performer.
Peyton Persing was a force on the ground and through the air Friday night, racking up six touchdowns – three rushing and three receiving – as the Ironmen picked up a big win to improve to 6-1 overall on the season.
Montoursville fell to 5-2 with the loss.
Persing was all over the place on offense, leading the team with 128 receiving yards while also leading in rushing yards with 77.
“They would stack a side and we just ran to the opposite side of them,” Danville’s sophomore quarterback Kayden Riley said after the game. “Having (guys like Persing) on the team make my job a lot easier.”
A slow start for each team offensively turned into a heavyweight battle as both teams exchanged haymakers before Danville pulled away in the third quarter.
The game began with five consecutive three-and-outs – three by the Montoursville offense and two by the Ironmen. Finally, with under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Riley found Persing for a 17-yard gain for the opening first down of the game.
“When you’ve got weapons like the Rileys and the Persings it makes it easy to be confident.” Danville coach Jim Keiser said. “Montoursville had a great game plan for us, they really came out and gave us some things that we had to adjust on.”
Persing’s conversion set up his first touchdown of the game, as seven plays later the senior converted on a 27-yard catch and run for the game’s opening score.
After taking the lead Danville got aggressive on special teams, recovering an onside kick attempt and scoring yet again to take a 14-0 lead just three plays into the second quarter.
Montoursville attempted to answer with the ensuing kickoff. After catching the ball at his own 10-yard line, Dylan Moll followed his blockers and nearly took the kick back to the house, getting knocked out of bounds at the Danville five-yard line.
Unfortunately, the Warriors couldn’t do anything with the opportunity, losing two yards on three plays before setting up for a 24-yard field goal. On the attempt, the snap skipped to the holder who fired an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal to give Danville possession back.
“We came out flat tonight so getting on the board first was big,” Keiser said. “When Persing hustled down and made that play at the goal line on the kickoff return, that was huge. Then we came out and were able to get the stop too.”
Montoursville ended up cutting the Danville lead in half on its next drive. Jaxon Dalena recovered a fumble in the endzone to put the Warriors on the board and cut the Danville lead to 14-7 with 7:42 remaining in the first half.
Danville answered with a 30-yard field goal by Peyton Riley on a long drive that consumed a lot of clock before the half. Danville went on a 13-play, 66-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. The field goal pushed the Danville lead to 17-7.
Each team scored once again before the half as Montoursville stayed within striking distance of the home team.
Montoursville got within five points of the Ironmen on its opening drive of the second half. Montoursville covered 56 yards on just six plays as quarterback Hunter Shearer connected with tight end Zac Caseman for a 29-yard catch and run score.
That would be the closest the Warriors would find themselves for the remainder of the game as the Danville offense took control from there.
Danville answered the Montoursville score with a score of its own to give the home team a 31-19 lead. From there, Danville yet again attempted an onside kick and recovered to maintain momentum. Danville went down and scored again to go up 38-19 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“The motto for these guys this year is ‘finish’,” Keiser said. “The last couple years we’ve been in the district finals and haven’t been able to finish. We still have a lot of work to do. This was just another chapter in the book to get us where we want to be.
Danville closed out the game with two more scores before Montoursville’s leading rusher on the night Rocco Pulizzi tacked on a score late in the fourth quarter.
Danville improved to 6-1 overall with the win and will take on Shamokin (4-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in Shamokin. The Indians will be coming off a 44-8 upset road victory over Selinsgrove.
Montoursville dropped to 5-2 overall with the loss and will take on Mifflinburg (2-5) at 7 p.m. Friday in Montoursville.
Danville 52, Montoursville 26
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Montoursville 0 13 6 7 — 26
Danville 7 17 14 14 — 52
D—Peyton Persing 27-yard reception from Kayden Riley (Peyton Riley PAT Good), 1:58.
D—Persing 16-yard run (P. Riley PAT Good), 11:27.
M—Jaxon Dalena 9-yard run (Colin Gorini PAT Good), 7:42
D—P. Riley 30-yard field goal, 2:54
M—Dalena 54-yard reception from Hunter Shearer (PAT No Good), 2:05
D—Persing 39-yard reception from K. Riley (P. Riley PAT Good), 1:02
M—Zac Caseman 29-yard reception from Shearer (2-pt conversion No Good), 7:08.
D—Persing 9-yard run (P. Riley PAT Good), 3:38.
D—Persing 3-yard run (P. Riley PAT Good), 2:09.
D—Persing 27-yard reception from K. Riley (P. Riley PAT Good), 8:49.
D—Joey Harris 9-yard run (P. Riley PAT Good), 3:17.
M—Rocco Pulizzi 12-yard run (Gorini PAT Good), 1:35.
RUSHING—Montoursville: Pulizzi 6-81 TD, Cologero Signor 1-10, Shearer 3-6, Dalena 1-6 TD, Cole Ranck 1-4, Jacob Reeder 2-2, Logan Ott 4-1, TEAM 3-(-19). Danville: Persing 14-77 3TD, Harris 11-66 TD, K. Riley 5-40, Ian Persing 2-31, Eric Sees 8-28, Austin Millar 6-23, Shane Kozick 2-10, Jaydon Diven 3-4.
PASSING—Montoursville: Shearer 8-18, 114 yds, TD; Maddix Dalena 0-2. Danville: K. Riley 13-22, 192 yds, 3TD.
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