MONTOURSVILLE — Just when Montoursville thought it could run out the clock and walk off the field with a win, Danville’s K.J. Riley struck.
The Ironmen’s senior quarterback connected with Jagger Dressler for a 57-yard touchdown with 2:22 left to play in Friday’s game. It wasn’t enough to overtake the unbeaten Warriors, but it did put pressure on them late.
Montoursville, despite the late push, was able to claim a 42-28 win Friday, moving to 4-0 and clinching a league championship with three games to play.
Danville (3-1) had chances as the Warriors scored only three offensive touchdowns. They were able to take advantage of an interception return, fumble return and kick return to help set the final score.
“Their system and their program are ahead of where we are,” Danville coach Mike Brennan said. “They are extremely disciplined and play really hard. We’re still finding ourselves. I’m still learning about the kids and they are learning about me. We are building who we are.”
Danville was a team filled with resiliency Friday. Despite a 21-7 deficit in the opening quarter, the Ironmen dug their way out with plays from Riley, who threw for nearly 300 yards and three scores.
Riley connected with Carson Persing for his first touchdown, hitting the sophomore in stride with a 27-yard strike. A 90-yard kickoff return and a fumble return for a TD gave Montoursville a 21-7 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter.
Riley continued to spark the Ironmen, throwing an 18-yard touchdown to Dressler. The score pulled Danville within 21-14 at halftime.
“We got behind, but we didn’t quit,” Brennan said. “We kept battling. We kept fighting. We both scored three offensive touchdowns, but we can’t let some of things happen that happened.”
In the second half, an interception was returned 45 yards by Dillon Young for a 21-point lead. Riley attempted to hit a receiver as he broke to the sideline. Young jumped the route and gave Montoursville a 42-21 advantage with 2:22 to play.
“I got to give that to all the other players on the field,” Young said. “Plays like those are just about team effort. After the pick I had guys blocking for me. The defensive line made him rush the throw. It was just a good team play.”
Dressler, who had seven receptions for 182 yards and two TDs, also returned an interception 16 yards for a third-quarter score.
MONTOURSVILLE 42, DANVILLE 28
Danville (3-1)`7`7`7`7 — 28
Montoursville (4-0)`21`0`6`14 — 42
M-Dylan Bennett 1 run (Dillon Young kick), 7:33
D-Carson Persing 27 pass from K.J. Riley (Riley kick), 4:27
M-Rocco Pulizzi 90 kick return (Young kick), 4:16
M-Young 52 fumble return (Young kick), 2:35
D-Jagger Dressler 18 pass from Riley (Riley kick), 7:27
M-Dylan Moll 54 pass from Maddix Dalena (kick failed), 9:33
D-Dressler 16 interception return (Riley kick), 5:29
M-Heath Jones 19 pass from Dalena (Moll pass from Dalena), 10:26
M-Young 44 interception return (Young kick), 2:22
D-Dressler 57 pass from Riley (Riley kick), 1:29
RUSHING — Danville: K.J. Riley 15-28; Zach Gordon 6-19; Mason Raup 3-16. Montoursville: Rocco Pulizzi 30-205; Dylan Moll 7-17; Dylan Bennett 3-5, TD; Heath Jones 2-5; Team 2-(-2).
PASSING — Danville: K.J. Riley, 14-27-2, 283 yds., 3 TDs. Montoursville: Maddix Dalena, 4-10-1, 104 yds., 2 TDs; Team 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — Danville: Jagger Dressler 7-182, 2 TDs; Ian Persing 3-27; Carson Persing 2-61, TD; Hayden Winn 2-13. Montoursville: Dillon Young 2-31; Dylan Moll 1-54, TD; Heath Jones 1-19, TD.