By Harold Raker
For The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE — Despite being way overmatched last week against Montoursville in a Heartland Athletic Conference crossover game, Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows was pleased with how his young team performed.
Despite losing the game 42-6, the team has plenty of reason to get excited for Friday night’s contest.
The Defenders host rival Milton in another HAC crossover game.
“It’s Milton and Warrior Run. No matter when we play...It’s been a rivalry for a long time and we hope that the kids will bounce back,” he said.
“Our goal right now is to prepare week by week and try to at least get better. We want to be competitive and we’re going to have to work real hard because we’ve got young kids and sometimes people forget these are freshmen and sophomores,” Burrows said.
That makes this game a daunting task as Milton is senior-laden.
The Black Panthers (0-1) fell to Danville 41-0 last week, and will also be looking to bounce back.
Burrows says he believes they will.
The Defenders coach, whose team scrimmaged Danville in the preseason, said, “I do not think that Danville is 41 points better than Milton. After watching that game on film, to me it was sort of a weird game in a way. I think if those teams play again it’s not 41-0.”
He said Milton has a number of quality players who are physical and also has team speed, with an experienced quarterback in senior Brady Chappell.
“He can zing it, and they have a lot of weapons. I believe that they are a very good football team and as the year progresses you are going to see them win some football games.”
Milton coach George Goodwin hopes he is right.
He said he knew how good Danville was going in but added, “We had our chances.”
He said a bad snap near the end of the first half gave the Ironmen a short field and after they scored, “it kind of took the life right out of us.”
Added Goodwin, “We have to regroup.
“We tell our kids it’s like us playing Lewisburg or Mifflinburg, it’s a backyard rivalry. We see each other all the time, on the streets, they go to church together. It’s an easy one to get up for.”
Goodwin said his players remain upbeat, knowing the caliber of team they faced in week one and that they made a lot of mistakes.
“We only have two feet, but we probably shot ourselves in the foot 20 times.
Of Warrior Run he said the Defenders spread you out and they do some nice things.
“They are big up front,” Goodwin said, “and their linebackers are quick and they fly to the ball.”
He added, “From what I see they like to get the ball to their playmakers — (halfback Derek) Keiser and (tailback Zach) Burrows — in space in one-on-one situations and they can beat you, so we have to be prepared for that.”