Line Mountain at South Williamsport football preview

Line Mountain facts: The Eagles clinched a District 4 Class AA playoff spot and will play at South again next week in the quarterfinals if they win tonight. If South wins, Line Mountain likely will go to the loser of tonight’s North Penn-Mansfield-Wellsboro game. Line Mountain has made a three-win improvement this season, won six of its last eight games and is coming off an impressive 28-17 win over Juniata. Quarterback Kenny Boyer is closing in on a 1,000-yard rushing/passing season. He is fourth among area rushers with 1,226 yards and 14 touchdowns and ran for 187 yards last week. He also threw a touchdown pass and has accounted for 22 touchdowns three different ways. Brent Osman is another running threat and ran for a team-high 775 yards last year. While the Eagles are a run-first offense they can do damage through the air and Brenden Cregger averages 18.9 yards per catch.

Line Mountain player to watch–Cole Hauck: The senior two-way starter does a bit of everything and has a team-high four interceptions, including one last week and one that he has returned for a touchdown. He also is third on the team in rushing, has caught a touchdown and has broken up 14 passes.

South facts: The Mounties already have secured a quarterfinal home game next week and will finish seeded now lower than No. 3 with a win tonight. A win and a Wellsboro loss likely would vault South to No. 2. South has won seven straight and defeated determined Muncy, 31-7 last week despite two-way starter Gideon Green missing the game with an ankle injury. Green could play tonight and has run for 1,422 yards and 15 touchdowns. Ashton Martin moved from fullback to tailback last week and ran for 133 yards and a touchdown. South’s offensive line is among the area’s best and has paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher for a fifth straight season. The Mounties have run the ball at will sometimes, but can also take advantage of teams loading the box. They proved it last week as A.J. Flick threw two touchdowns to Aaron Guerrisky. Flick is setting in as a sophomore starter and Guerrisky is an excellent playmaker who has taken six of his nine catches for touchdowns. The defense has been outstanding, allowing 14 points or fewer seven times. South is third among area defenses in points allowed and has been especially strong against the run, allowing just 90.8 yards per game. Connor Rutan, Pat West, Chevy Bolay, Ben Johnson and Reilly Barnes have had strong years up front along the line and the secondary also has been strong with Guerrisky, Hunter Finn and Kyle Betz intercepting five passes.

South player to watch–Chris Klem: The first-time starting linebacker is one of several first-time starters boosting this stout defense. Klem is among the team’s leading tacklers and had a game-clinching interception against Muncy.

Outlook: Is this a playoff preview? The bottom line is both teams are strong and similar in many spots. This should be a good one.