By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
MONTOURSVILLE — Milton coach George Goodwin knew going into this week’s game that while running back Cameron Ott was out with an injury, Montoursville was far from being short on talent to fill in that void.
Goodwin knew what he was talking about, as Alec Rothrock stepped up big for Montoursville, filling in for the void left by Ott.
“Ott’s a great athlete. They have kids that they can plug in if somebody goes down,” Goodwin said. “Short of saying they’re a juggernaut (but) they’re a good team.”
Montoursville may not be quite a juggernaut, but you could argue on Friday night that the Warrior’s offense was close to it.
Rothrock single-handedly stepped up for the Warriors, replacing Ott, and ran his way for a team-high 235 yards and twice finding the end zone en route to a 28-7 Montoursville win over the Black Panthers on Friday night at Montoursville.
The Warriors (8-0) wasted little time putting points up against Milton (5-3).
Montoursville took its first three possessions and found the end zone each time, driving 64, 83 and 63 yards, respectively, to build up a 21-0 lead heading into halftime.
Milton’s offense struggled from the get-go against Montoursville. The Black Panthers went into the half with just three possessions ending in a turnover on downs, a punt, and an interception.
The Black Panthers found the red zone three times in the loss, but it was only on their second-to-last possession that they finally found the end zone when Josh Brown (15 rushes, 135 yards) ran it up the middle from four yards out and stretched with the ball to score to make it a 21-7 game with 7:40 to play.
“They hit a couple big plays on us there. They caught us out of position (a few times),” Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer said. “I was proud of (our) guys. When they got into our territory, we buckled down. Bend but don’t break, get the football back and our offense was starting to play well.”
Milton looked like it was going to finally drive for a score to start the third quarter when Brady Chappell threw a 12-yard pass to Greg Schultz to convert a huge fourth down to get Milton to the Montoursville 36.
The very next play though was a costly interception by Montoursville’s Griffin Dunne down on the 10. In total, the Black Panthers threw three interceptions, including one down near the goal line in the fourth quarter.
“They’re good both offensively (and) defensively. There’s really no holes in their team; credit to them,” Goodwin said of Montoursville. “We had our chances. We were in the red zone three times and weren’t able to convert.
“We win ball games (when) we don’t turn the ball over. We can’t give Montoursville more shots.”
Milton did have success on the ground in the loss, however, rushing for 205 yards on the ground, majority of which came from Brown.
Chappell ended the night with 102 passing yards.