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Montoursville wins title over Loyalsock

Written by: on Saturday, November 16th, 2019

 

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Montoursville’s Jaxon Dalena reaches for a bobbled pass after Loyalsock’s Eli Gair broke up the pass in the end zone in the second quarter Friday at Montoursville during the District 4 Class AAA championship game.

As the final seconds ticked away, Montoursville lineman Travis Johnson sprinted toward midfield. It appeared he would jump high into the air or embrace a happy teammate as Montoursville secured another major victory.

But as soon as Johnson reached the 50-yard line, he promptly turned right, walked toward the opponent and started shaking hands. His teammates followed that lead. There was no jumping, no screaming, no Gatorade baths. It almost was like this winning district championship thing is becoming the norm. And, honestly, it is.

Hunter Shearer threw for 241 yards and four touchdowns, Jaxon Dalena and Dillon Young both went over 100 yards receiving and the defense dominated as Montoursville routed rival Loyalsock, 42-14, Friday at Memorial Stadium and captured a second straight District 4 Class AAA championship. The Warriors (12-1) built a 28-point halftime lead against a team that had won six straight games and left no doubt that they are the district’s best Class AAA team. Again.

Still, Montoursville acted like it was just another game because it is hoping this latest championship is not an end point, but rather a launching pad.

“Playing here and knowing it was the last game I was ever going to play here, I really wanted this one, but we’ve been focused all year on this next game,” Johnson said after helping Montoursville gain 375 yards. “That’s what we want to do and our goal all year was to get to this point and then try and win a state playoff game after that.”

“This was the first step. It’s been a long process since we stood on that field in Dunmore last year (following a state quarterfinal loss). It feels good, but it feels different,” Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer said. “We’ve had a little different mentality this year all season about that and about what our goals actually are. We had more of a business-like attitude tonight. The other district championships we’ve won since I’ve here have been awesome and we were partying and we were so happy. We’re still happy, but it’s a little different atmosphere here and we’re going back to work (Saturday) morning.”

Montoursville has done impressive work all year and ran roughshod through District 4 Class AAA. The Warriors outscored three district playoff opponents, 148-26, mercy-ruling each one. That dominant run earned it a state quarterfinal showdown against District 2 champion Wyoming Area next weekend at a District 4 site.

What looked like could be a potential classic entering last night became more of a coronation. Montoursville had beaten Loyalsock, 41-6, in Week 5, but the Lancers entered the final riding a six-game winning streak. Much was written and said about how improved Loyalsock was since that game eight weeks ago. That simply fueled Montoursville’s collective fire and the Warriors basically put the game away by halftime, building a 35-7 advantage.

“This was our first step toward our main goal and it’s always good to beat your rival,” Shearer said after reaching 50 career touchdown passes. “Everyone was saying they got better since Week 5 and we certainly got better, too, and it showed. We came out and took it to them.”

“All week we’ve heard about how much better Loyalsock has gotten and no one ever said anything about us and look what happened,” Johnson said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to come out, step on their throats and keep grinding.”

Logan Ott scored twice and intercepted two passes and set the game’s tone……….REST OF ARTICLE HERE

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