By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
MUNCY — For the third time in as many weeks, and for the second time in as many seasons, unbeaten Southern Columbia will face another unbeaten team.
After disposing of then 2-0 Mount Carmel two weeks ago and rolling then 3-0 South Williamsport last week, the Tigers travel this week to face 4-0 Muncy in a Heartland Athletic Conference Division III game.
Southern coach Jim Roth and his players know that the Indians have not faced the strongest competition in the first four weeks, but that doesn’t matter.
“We don’t want to overlook (the Indians). We know who they played and we have the film of their last couple games, and it hasn’t been against real strong competition.”
But, he added, “It’s still a 4-0 team (2-0 HAC-III). We have kind of always emphasized that people only play what’s put in front of them. At this point, it’s not their fault that none of those other teams are doing well.”
For Roth, it is another rare opportunity to look across the field and see one of his former players wearing the head coach’s headset.
Former star running back Jay Drumheller will face his old mentor for the second and likely final time.
“I’ve seen him at meetings of the district coaches association and at a couple of functions,” Roth said of Drumheller, noting that many of his former players have gone into education and coaching at various levels, although not many as head coaches.
“It is one of the rewarding aspects of being involved for so many years, to see them go on and get involved in the same career,” said Roth, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A by Pennsylvania Football News.
Roth said that Muncy’s junior split end, Maurice Brown, looks like a real good player. He was also impressed with the Indians’ linebackers. “As a group, they were real active. They usually bring more than the front four and their outside backers (seniors Teddy Clark and T.J. Moyle) are very athletic kids.”
He added that the Indians have good size up front. Indeed, the tackles are 6-foot-4, 283-poound junior Levi Myers and 6-5, 273 senior Nick Ring and the right guard, senior Jeff White is 5-9, 256.
Although, he said the Indians are not as wide open on offense as previous years, quarterback Anthony Barberio, a senior, throws pretty well.
Drumheller knows it will be his team’s toughest challenge yet. “We are going to just go play. It is the first time since 1980 that Southern (4-0, 2-0) has been at Muncy.”
To understand how long ago that was, Roth was in his first year on the staff, as the defensive coordinator under then head coach Andy Ulicny. Drumheller was a freshman running back who would run for 4,111 yards in his career, still fourth all-time at the school.