By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
MILTON -- A early fall-like night helped wrap up the second pre-season scrimmage as Lewisburg travelled to Milton on Friday night.
Milton, with 16 seniors on its 36-man roster, is employing a 5-2 defensive scheme this year, switching from a 3-5 scheme last year.
"I thought our defense played well as I wasn't really sure what we were going to get with the switches we made," head coach George Goodwin said. "At this point, I think we have guys who are in the right position that are ready to go do Danville."
Danville -- Milton's season-opening opponent -- is the defending District 4 Class AA champions. Milton lost 35-8 to the Ironmen in the opener last year.
"We had to go to the 5-2 based on the graduation of pretty much our linebacking corps from last year," Goodwin said. "We are blessed with defensives backs this year."
There was a scary moment in the early part of the scrimmage for the Black Panthers when senior starting quarterback Brady Chappel (1,226 yards passing, 12 TDs) got banged up making a tackle on defense.
"It was nothing major, but obviously, our hearts all dropped," Goodwin said.
Chappel was held out of the second half as a precautionary measure by Goodwin. Hunter Snyder, the second-string quarterback, took over at quarterback.
"He's only a sophomore, but we are expecting some big things down the road from Hunter," Goodwin said.
Cole Wirt had an interception while senior Josh Brown, who rushed for 464 yards last year, nearly had the second interception for the defense the second half. Brown is moving to fullback this year.
"We have very capable backs this year including Jovan Garrison who might be the only underclassmen in the backfield," Goodwin noted.
Other concerns for Goodwin going into the season was replacing two-time state wrestling champion Ryan Solomon and Tyler Lewis,
"Logan Mensch played solid tonight and he looked impressive against East Juniata," Goodwin noted.
The Green Dragons are looking to replace the production of Brandon Smith and three dual linemen.
"I thought offensively, we were able to run the ball really well," said Lewisburg head coach Jeremy Winn. "It (the running game) was one of the keys we wanted to work on in this final scrimmage. Defensively, we have to do a better job tackling. I thought we were there in position a lot, we just need to do a better job wrapping up."
Drew Newcomb is moving from wide receiver to running back. The junior had 13 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns last season.
"He's going to be pretty good for us at running back," Winn noted.
Last year, Smith accounted for 1,095 of the teams 2,120 rushing yards.
Nick Costagliola returns at quarterback for Lewisburg and brings a good ability roll out and throw on the run.
"I thought he tried to force some things rather than throw the ball away," Winn said. "I think he has a lot of strengths. Last year he got better every week and that's what we need to see from him moving forward."
Costagliola threw for 1,347 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Coming into camp, the questions for Winn were to replace the tight end and inexperience on the offensive line.
"The last scrimmage, we weren't really happy with our protection, but I thought it was better tonight," Winn said. "In both scrimmages we were able to run the ball and I was again pleased with the performance tonight."