Troy Hembury, playing in his fourth battle of the shoe between Muncy and Montgomery, understands of the importance of the yearly match-up that started in 1961.
And Muncy, which had won four consecutive in the series prior to entering Friday night's game, was led by Hembury, its dominating runner. He went over the 100-yard marker in the first half, and helped grind out Montgomery's depleted defense throughout the night.
And Hembury wasn't the only player getting it done for the Indians as Anthony Barberio tossed the team's first touchdown pass of the season as they defeated the Red Raiders, 48-8, to claim their fifth consecutive Battle of the Shoe victory.
Troy Hembury of Muncy runs as Luke Forrestal of Montgomery tries to tackle Friday night at Muncy. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
"It's been a long tradition for both schools," Scott Appleman, who finished with five tackles, two hurries and a sack, said. "Both teams just get fired up for the game and smack heads. It was a good, hard-hitting game."
The opening drive for Muncy set the tone early as it cruised down the field for a 10-play, 70-yard drive capped by the first of two Hembury first half touchdowns. On the Indians initial drive, Hembury carried the ball six times for 49 yards.
The bruising runner then added five carries for 46 yards to complete the team's third scoring drive of the first half. In both instances, Hembury broke through the line an easily trotted into the endzone. Hembury also added a two-point conversion after his second touchdown.
The senior tailback, rushed for 163 yards on 19 carries and the two touchdowns.
"It's nice and it breaks teams," Hembury said of the Indians' rushing attack, which finished with 362 yards. "It you can punch ten yards, ten yards, ten yards, touchdown, it mentally breaks teams. It's tiring on the defense and our offensive line did a great job tonight."
Barberio completed seven passes in the first half, including a 50-yard pickup when he connected with Maurice Brown in the final minute of the second quarter. After a 15-yard facemask penalty, Muncy punched in its fourth touchdown of the half.
The only problem of an otherwise flawless first half by the Indians, who deployed two different kickers with similar results, was the kicking game. The Muncy kickers went one of three on extra point opportunities in the first half. Joseph Titman banged home his final attempt of the half after Barberio found Skylar Ebner for the team's first passing touchdown of the season. Despite the team's first half struggles, the second half looked much better for both kickers.
Allyssa Hitesman, after nailing a second-half extra point, became the school's all-time leading scorer for female kickers.
The Indians defense, led by Applemans impressive night, limited the Red Raiders offense to just 26 yards on the ground and 111 through the air. Matthew Boone was under constant pressure throughout the contest, with Appleman and Jacob Colburn providing most of the pressure. The defense even forced Boone into his first interception of the season.
Boone rolled out to the right and attempted to get a quick pass to Kriner, but Theodore Clark stepped in front of the attempt. The momentum created from the turnover evaporated quickly when Barberio was intercepted by Kriner in the endzone on the ensuing possession.
"The team has really rallying around the coach and his attitude," Muncy coach Jay Drumheller said.
The leading rusher on the Red Raiders entering Friday's game was Zach Shadle, who posted seven yards in the team's first two games. In desperate need of some form of a rushing attack, at least to take some pressure off of Matthew Boone, Montgomery looked committed in the game's early goings.
Through the Red Raider's first two games Matthew Boone has been consistent, passing for 207 yards and avoiding the always costly interceptions. This despite plenty of pressure on the young quarterback.
Boone, who was under constant pressure throughout the night, and was even sent to the sidelines on two separate occasions, threw his first interception of the year when Theodore Clark stepped in front of a pass intended for Kriner. Boone shook his first interception off quickly, driving the Red Raiders down the field on the team's final drive and hitting Kriner for a five-yard touchdown. It was Montgomery's only score of the night.
"He cramped up, it wasn't any injury," Montgomery coach Randy Boone said of his quarterback. "We had a few cramps, but nothing major."
Despite the lack of production and being exhausted at the end of the game, Montgomery once again got everything it could out of a determined group of players.
"I'm very impressed," Boone said of his team. "Everybody knows we are young. We only dressed 19 kids tonight and I told them I've never been prouder to be a coach than this year."