MILLERSBURG — If defenders do not locate the football quickly when Upper Dauphin puts a play in motion, the Trojans have a stable of backs ready to go the distance at any time.
They don’t even have to put the ball in the air to score quickly.
With quarterback Macklin Ayers rushing just six times for 169 yards and three touchdowns — he also returned an interception 15 yards for another score — Upper Dauphin wheeled to a 78-20 victory over Millersburg in a one-sided Tri-Valley League matchup Friday.
Jake Ramberger added 119 yards and two rushing TDs on just five attempts; Christian Snyder scored twice via the run; Dalton Boyer accrued 97 yards and one touchdown on just three touches; and Hunter Lentz bagged the first score for Upper Dauphin (3-0, 2-0).
The Trojans piled up 545 yards of total offense — including 487 on the ground. They recorded 18 plays of 10 or more yards, including eight that gained 20 or more.
“We have our standards that we’re trying to meet,” Upper Dauphin coach Kent Smeltz said. “No matter who we’re playing each week, we have a standard that we want to meet. Kids came out and they played hard. There’s lots of room for improvement.”
Not one of the Trojans’ scoring drives lasted more than six plays.
“They run that offense and they run it well,” Millersburg coach Aaron Wright said of the Trojans’ Wing-T attack that appears to have people moving in multiple directions simultaneously. “I knew they were keying on something, but I just couldn’t figure it out.
“They run it really well.”
Aiden Harman threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jonathon Snyder — scores that covered 45 and 27 yards — while Caden Feaster broke off an 82-yard TD run in the final quarter and finished with 107 yards for Wright’s Indians (1-2, 0-2).
While these programs will merge in time for next season under the Upper Dauphin umbrella as part of the neighboring districts’ comprehensive cooperative arrangement, the timing might be right since UD is averaging just over 61 points per contest.
Millersburg, meanwhile, has yielded 139 points the past two weeks.
It didn’t take long for the Trojans to assume control once Lentz barrelled over from the 7 and Ramberger unleashed a 36-yard scoring run on their first two possessions.
Ayers returned a tipped pass 15 yards for yet another score, and Smeltz’s group owned a 22-0 lead with 5:42 left in the first quarter. Kade Matter’s 15-yard TD run was answered by Harman’s 45-yard strike to Snyder before the Trojans closed out the opening stanza when Ayers broke contain and motored 55 yards.
By then, Millersburg was down 38-7. The margin grew to 64-7 at halftime as the Trojans scored four second-quarter touchdowns, two by Ayers.
UPPER DAUPHIN 78, MILLERSBURG 20
Upper Dauphin`38`26`0`14 — 78
Millersburg`7`0`7`6 — 20
UD-Hunter Lentz 7 run (run failed), 9:32
UD-Jake Ramberger 36 run (Macklin Ayers run), 5:58
UD-Ayers 15 interception return (Ramberger run), 5:42
UD-Kade Matter 15 run (Sam Kerwin pass from Ayers), 4:13
M-Jonathon Snyder 45 pass from Aiden Harman (Nate Leaman kick), 3:07
UD-Ayers 55 run (Ayers run), 1:43
UD-Ramberger 1 run (run failed), 8:03
UD-Ayers 45 run (run failed), 5:42
UD-Ayers 19 run (Aiden Wiest run), 4:41
UD-Christian Snyder 2 run (kick failed), 2:03
M-J.Snyder 27 pass from Harman (Leaman kick), 9:15
UD-Dalton Boyer 90 run (Tyler Cleveland run), 9:57
M-Caden Feaster 82 run (kick failed), 7:39
UD-C.Snyder 27 run (no attempt), 4:07
RUSHING — Upper Dauphin: Macklin Ayers 6-169, 3 TDs; Jake Ramberger 5-119, 2 TDs; Dalton Boyer 3-97, TD; Christian Snyder 5-53, 2 TDs; Aiden Wiest 2-24; Hunter Lentz 2-20, TD; Brady Morgan 1-8; Kade Matter 2-5, TD; Tyler Cleveland 2-5; Sage Deibert 1-1; Team 3-(-14). Millersburg: Caden Feaster 5-107, TD; Jonathon Snyder 7-47; Zach Verworren 1-(-4); Chance Crawford 7-(-5); Aiden Harman 6-(-35).
PASSING — Upper Dauphin: Ayers 5-6-0, 58 yds. Millersburg: Harman 7-21-2, 140 yds.; J.Snyder 4-7-0, 19, yds.; Feaster 1-1-0, 19 yds.
RECEIVING — Upper Dauphin: Ramberger 2-30; Hayden Harner 1-11; Boyer 1-10; Wiest 1-7. Millersburg: J.Snyder 4-90, 2 TDs; Crawford 3-65; Feaster 3-17; Eli Farence 1-7; Keaton Wilbert 1-(-1).