MONTOURSVILLE — After playing Montoursville relatively closely in Week 4, Warrior Run felt if it could sustain its drives better, it would have a good chance against the Warriors in Friday’s District 4 Class 3A semifinal.
Montoursville’s defense had other ideas.
Warrior Run was held to just two first downs in the first half, and the Warriors scored on their first five possessions en route to a 54-12 win over the Defenders. The loss marks the end to the most successful season in Warrior Run’s history as the Defenders finish 7-5, and with their first district playoff win in school history. Montoursville advances to play Loyalsock in next week’s district championship game.
“They’re a quality football team. Their (defensive) line definitely played better tonight than the first time we played them, and that was part of the difference,” said Warrior Run coach Chris Long. “We got behind and couldn’t get much going in the run game at all.”
Warrior Run had 83 rushing yards for the game, including only 27 in the first half. For the game, Montoursville outgained the Defenders 451-217.
“Our front four have been doing that all year long and that’s been the story of our success,” said Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer. “They had a little chip on their shoulder because the last time we played these guys, we didn’t execute as well. So they came out with some energy out front, and we got after it on both sides of the ball.”
Warrior Run received the opening kickoff and went three-and-out on its first two drives, while Montoursville answered with a pair of touchdowns, going a combined 101 yards on eight total plays to take a 14-0 lead.
The Defenders got a pair of first downs on their next drive when Remington Corderman hit Riley Daubert for a pair of long receptions — 28 and 35 yards — which brought the Defenders inside the 10 as the first quarter expired. An incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal stalled the drive, and Montoursville answered with a 98-yard drive capped by Logan Ott’s second touchdown run to take a 20-0 lead.
Warrior Run went three-and-out again on its next drive and the Warriors scored on their ensuing possession again on Jaxon Dalena’s 31-yard run to go up 27-0. The Defenders then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return, setting up Montoursville on the Warrior Run 17. Three plays later, Hunter Shearer hit Ott in the end zone from 13 yards out for Ott’s third touchdown of the game, and a 34-0 Montoursville lead heading into halftime.
“They had a lot more playmakers that made big plays tonight,” said Long. “We had some stuff that we thought might work in the run game that just didn’t. We did some stuff to try to shift. We thought we’d gain an advantage trying to run away from (Cameron) Wood, but they ended up moving him to tackle, which is more disruptive.
"We couldn’t get some of our gap scheme with the guards pulling going because he was blowing things up in the backfield. There was also no time for Remington to pass early on and that was big. They played it well up front, so hats off to them.”
The Defenders scored twice in the second half. On their first drive of the half, they took over at their own 20 and went 80 yards in seven plays, capped by a Remington Corderman 20-yard touchdown run when he scrambled out of the pocket on a fourth-and-7. David Gearhart had a 42-yard run for the big gainer on that drive.
Corderman found Ahmahd Keyes early in the fourth quarter on a nice throw and an even nicer catch by Keyes for a 27-yard touchdown reception. Late in the game, Daubert hauled in a pass to go over 1,000 receiving yards on the season on the final play of the game.
“I told the team there’s nothing to be ashamed of, don't hang their heads and they should be proud of the season they had,” said Long. “We did things that no other team at this school has and the seniors have left a legacy and we’ve got things to build off in the future.”
DISTRICT 4 CLASS 3A SEMIFINAL
MONTOURSVILLE 54, WARRIOR RUN 12
Warrior Run (7-5)`0`0`6`6 — 12
Montoursville (11-1)`14`20`3`17 — 54
M-Jaxon Dalena 7 pass from Hunter Shearer (Ian Plankenhorn kick)
M-Logan Ott 29 run (Plankenhorn kick)
M-Ott 6run (run failed)
M-Dalena 31 run (Plankenhorn kick)
M-Ott 13 pass from Shearer (Colin Gorini kick)
WR-Remington Corderman 20 run (kick blocked)
M-FG, Plankenhorn 28
M-Rocco Pulizzi 8 run (Gorini kick)
WR-Ahmahd Keyes 27 pass from Corderman (run failed)
M-FG, Plankenhorn 26
M-Dylan Moll 36 interception return (Gorini kick)
RUSHING — Warrior Run: Hoyt Bower 7-20; Denver Beachel 7-12; Remington Corderman 6-(-4), TD; David Gearhart 3-51; Riley Daubert 2-4. Montoursville: Rocco Pulizzi 17-148, TD; Logan Ott 11-101, 2 TDs; Jacob Reeder 2-14; Jaxon Dalena 1-31, TD; CJ Signor 1-4; Dylan Moll 1-2.
PASSING — Warrior Run: Remington Corderman 7-15-1, for 134 yards, TD; Denver Beachel 0-1-0. Montoursville: Maddix Dalena 8-16-0, for 107 yards; Hunter Shearer 4-5-0, for 44 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING — Warrior Run: Daubert 5-101; Ahmahd Keyes 2-33, TD. Montoursville: J. Dalena 5-72, TD; Moll 3-29; Ott 2-46, TD; Cameron Wood 1-20; Pulizzi 1-7.