By Frank Dimon
For The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE — Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows saw his young football team take some baby steps as the Defenders celebrated homecoming Friday night.
The problem for Burrows’ winless squad was that the tiny signs of improvement weren’t enough against unbeaten Muncy. The Indians rode a pair of rushing touchdowns from Hughesville transfer Dakota Nixon and quarterback Anthony Barberio threw for 165 yards as the Indians rolled to a 26-7 win at Defender Stadium.
The victory pushed the Indians to 4-0 and 2-0 in the Heartland Athletic Conference-III while Warrior Run dropped to 0-4 and 0-2.
“The best way to describe (our progress) is baby steps,” Burrows said. “We have to get something going offensively because we are not moving the football. We didn’t do a bad job defensively, but we have to stop that big play when it is third down and long and we have them behind the chains. And the offense put the defense in some bad spots.”
One of those situations led to Muncy’s first score when an 18-yard punt set the Indians at the Defenders 28. Nixon, who ran for 63 yards in the game, scored from there to give the Indians a 7-0 lead.
Warrior Run tied the game just over three minutes into the second quarter when tailback Sean Morehart (49 yards rushing in the game) powered an 11-play drive that covered 50 yards and ended when Hunter Raup connected with Wyatt Kirkendall for an 10-yard touchdown on a fourth down-and-5 play.
But Muncy followed with a 34-yard kickoff return to the Defenders’ 41 and after Barberio (10-of-15 passing for 165 yards) hit Maurice Brown for a 23-yard gain, Nixon bolted in from 13 yards to put the Indians up 13-7.
Barberio hooked up with Brown (4 catches for 77 yards) for a 21-yard touchdown one play after Ken Koch intercepted Raup with 3:33 remaining in the first half.
Warrior Run drove to the Indians’ 10-yard line late in the third period, but Raup was sacked for a loss on a fourth-and-4 play and the Indians marched 80 yards in 12 plays with Barberio scoring on a sneak from the one.
Raup managed to throw for 165 yards but was intercepted three times. Kirdendall caught eight passes for 94 yards.