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Written by: Ed Weaver on Saturday, November 6th, 2021
Photo courtesy Lance Larcom / ntwsportsreport.com.
It may have been the first time the Cowanesque Valley Indians have qualified for the District IV playoffs, but the Loyalsock Lancers didn’t make it easy on them as they rolled to a 47-7 quarterfinal win on Friday, November 5.
“The kids came out to play tonight and CV is a great team in terms of what they’ve done in program history,” Lancer head coach Justin Van Fleet said. “We’re very excited to get a convincing win in that fashion.”
Loyalsock struck early as the Indians tried to surprise the Lancers with an onsides kick. Loyalsock recovered near midfield and went right to work. QB Tyler Gee found WR Rian Glunk to move the ball into CV territory. From there the Lancers scored just a handful of plays later as Gee called his own number from 11 yards out with 8:38 remaining in the first quarter.
The Indians, however, had their chances early on. After Loyalsock’s opening score they marched downfield but the drive stalled as Glunk intercepted a Jacob Schmitt pass in the end zone to give the ball back to the Lancers. Loyalsock used that momentum and hit the Indian defense with a screen pass from Gee to Davion Hill down to the CV 16. Gee would scramble down to the 1 then Hill would score a play later, putting the Lancers up 14-0 with just over four minutes left to play in the opening quarter.
On their second drive Cowanesque again moved inside Loyalsock territory. Loyalsock’s defense forced the Indians to punt, however CV rolled the dice and perfectly executed a fake punt pass to Fletcher Good, down to the 43. CV would get all the way down to the Lancer 7 but would be stopped on downs.
Once the second quarter started it only took the Lancers wasted little time as Gee and Glunk connected again all the way down to the one that setup another Hill touchdown, making it 21-0 with 10:13 left before halftime. CV’s ensuing drive would again end in a turnover as Glunk intercepted Schmitt for the second time on the night. The turnover would lead to more Lancer points as Gee hit Glunk in stride on a 44-yard TD pass to put Sock up 28-0.
Loyalsock would score twice more before the half. Again, Glunk intercepted his third pass of the evening to give the Lancers back possession and on the very first play from scrimmage Hill outran CV’s defense for a 44-yard score to make it 34-0 before leading 41-0 at halftime.
The Indians would avoid the shutout as they scored on a 9-yard pass from Schmitt to Fletcher Good with 8:13 left in the third quarter to make it 41-7 before the Lancers added another score in the third to push the lead to 47-7.
“We have five seniors and one junior and the rest of the kids are sophomores and freshman,” said Indian head coach Mike Schmitt. “Loyalsock has a lot of good players and it was a tough night for us, but I thought we moved the ball well. It was tough doing what we had to do to get to this point but it was good for us. Now it’s expected that we’re going to play hard. We’ve won six games and won some close ones by playing hard until the end. I think our guys expect to win now. They’re upset, but its because they expect to win no matter who we play.”
Loyalsock (7-4) will take on Danville next week at a date, time, and location to be determined while the Indians (6-4) end their season with their best record since the 1973 (7-1) and 1975 (6-3) seasons.
“For us it’s numbers. We dressed out 22 guys tonight. Hopefully having some success will get some more kids out next year,” concluded Schmitt. “We’re a 1A school. We have one kid from Northern Potter and one from Williamson that plays so it’s tough. If we can get our numbers up and get kids excited about it and change the mentality, we can get better. That’s where our program is trying to head. We’ve made strides in playing better defense this year. It didn’t show tonight but we’ve played good defense and the kids are starting to get the scheme of the offense. We’re getting better but it’s a slow process.”
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