Flick leads Mounties in win over Muncy

NICK FIORINI/For The Sun-Gazette Quarterback A.J. Flick of South Williamsport runs a keeper Friday night vs. Muncy.

A.J. Flick spent his childhood as an aspiring quarterback playing running back. So when South Williamsport football coaches asked him about moving to quarterback last year he pounced on the opportunity.

He has done the same thing as a first-time starting quarterback. Flick might never put up video-game numbers in a run-heavy offense, but he sure embraces the chances when they come. The sophomore quarterback did so again Friday night against Muncy and gave defenses something else to think about moving forward.

Flick completed four passes for 84 yards and threw for two key touchdown passes as South thrived without injured District 4 leading rusher Gideon Green and defeated determined Muncy, 31-7 at Rodney K. Morgans Stadium. The Mounties (8-1) won their seventh straight and clinched a Class AA quarterfinal home game in two weeks.

“This is only my second year of being quarterback and it’s becoming easier now,” Flick said. “I’m understanding the game more. Knowing my reads has been the toughest part, but I feel like I’m getting better with that each week.”

Flick is a tireless worker and it’s not how often he completes passes, but when he completes them that can make South especially dangerous.

South still ran well and Ashton Martin gained a season-high 133 yards and scored a touchdown. But Flick’s passing added an extra dimension. He threw two perfect deep balls on Aaron Guerrisky touchdown catches and also made a beautiful 25-yard throw to Guerrisky on a 3rd-and-7 that kept a third-quarter scoring drive going.

Muncy (4-5) put a scare into South and tied the game 7-7 on a Mike Kustanbauter 1-yard touchdown with 1:28 remaining in the half, but Hunter Finn made one of the game’s key plays when he returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to the Indians 29-yard line. Two plays later, Flick gave South a huge lift before halftime, hitting Guerrisky with a 27-yard touchdown in stride that made it 14-7.

It was Flick’s 25-yard laser to Guerrisky on South’s first third-quarter drive that kept that series going. Flick then added a 17-yard run that set up Jacob Yoas for a 1-yard touchdown that made it 21-7. Flick totaled 42 of the 60 yards on that drive. After Kyle Betz intercepted Muncy’s next play, Flick provided the dagger, unleashing a text-book 25-yard touchdown pass to Guerrisky who has six touchdowns on nine catches this year.

“He’s a young kid, but he has a lot of confidence,” Guerrisky said. “You can see it in practice. He’s working on his mechanics. He’s always working. He never takes a play off.”

“He’s really progressing. He’s working hard at practice doing the things he needs to do and he’s getting the ball out there and throwing a great deep ball,” South coach Chris Eiswerth said. “We don’t throw the ball a lot, but we’re getting in the end zone with it. When you get these (defenders) walking up to stop the run and you can hit that big pass play that’s big.”

South needed those plays on a night when Muncy stuffed the box and did a nice job slowing the run game after South’s scoring drive on its opening possession that Martin capped with a 17-yard touchdown. The Indians played physical, made some outstanding plays behind and near the line of scrimmage and stopped South on three consecutive drives before tying the game.

Muncy showed why it can be a serious District 4 Class A title contender, holding an outstanding team to its fewest yards during its winning streak. Defensive end Hunter Poust and Mike Kustanbauter were forces, Adam Dietrick had eight tackles and in interception and Muncy never backed down against a team that so frequently imposes its will on opponents. Muncy is not after moral victories, but Friday’s performance could help it produce some big wins in the coming weeks.

“There were a lot of positives we take from this game. We were in it from the start,” Muncy coach Sean Tetreault said. “That’s what we focused on all week, bring the intensity, bring the aggressiveness. We were hoping to get that physicality back with our team and this was a good step in that direction.”

South took a similar step, taking control of the game in the second half despite playing without Green who has run for 1,422 yards and 15 touchdowns. The offensive line again performed well and gave Flick the time to make those big plays to Guerrisky. And as South’s offense opened up, the defense constricted. Guerrisky, Kyle Betz and emerging outside linebacker Chris Klem intercepted passes and South eliminated Muncy’s running game.

The Mounties made a big stand in the second quarter, stopping Muncy at the South 24 for no gain on a 4th-and-inches. Freshman linebacker Luke Winner replaced Green and played an outstanding game, making a team-high nine tackles. Connor Rutan, Pat West and Reilly Barnes were tough up front and all had five or more tackles with West adding a sack.

“For the guys to play without Gideon and to take everything and do what they did and win 31-7, that’s a good game,” Eiswerth said. “You need that. You need guys to keep growing and pick up and improve and they showed tonight they did that.”

Muncy sophomore quarterback Coleman Good threw for 111 yards and made an outstanding play on a 4th-and-6 from South’s from South’s 37 late in the first half. Good threw a terrific deep ball down the right sideline that fellow sophomore Dylan Wilt caught for a 31-yard gain. Kustanbauter, who had three tackles for loss, capped the 10-play scoring drive on fourth down, taking a toss to the right, following a good block and scoring from a yard out.

“Our game plan was keep them guessing. We didn’t want to get too predictable with what we were doing. We tried some different looks and it worked pretty well,” Tetreault said. “Coleman made some good throws, we got some good runs from our running backs, Jeff  (Fry) made some good catches and there are great things to pull from this game.”