Montgomery at Wellsboro

Game at Mansfield University

Montgomery facts: The Red Raiders have made some big strides this season, being much more competitive and snapping a 19-game losing streak three weeks ago when it routed CMVT, 54-30. Montgomery cut a 20-point first-half deficit to five entering the fourth quarter before losing to Canton, 33-15. Montgomery also competed well against current District 4 Class A top seed Wyalusing and held a first-quarter lead. The Raiders scored more points than any other Montgomery team in the 2000s when it won at CMVT. The offensive and defensive lines dominated the game and the starting defense allowed only one touchdown. Quarterback Brayden Strouse has made huge strides as a sophomore and has an outside shot at becoming the program’s first 1,000-yard passer since 2012. Fellow sophomore Hunter Budman leads the team in receiving and is second in rushing. Eithan Marino leads the team in rushing and had 73 yards with three touchdowns against CMVT. Jensen Drick became the team’s first 100-yard receiver since 2012 in that game and Trevor Kennedy is emerging as a player who helps in all three areas.

Montgomery player to watch-Gage Yohn: A talented defensive back, Yohn played the pass well against CMVT and also returned an interception for a touchdown in a heart-breaking 21-20 loss to Class No. 2 seed Sayre.

Wellsboro facts: The Green Hornets are playing defense about as well it can be played and have shutout two straight opponents. Wellsboro has five shutouts in seven games and the starting defense has allowed just three touchdowns. Wellsboro is 7-0 for the second time in four seasons and is second in the District 4 Class AA standings, trailing only defending state champion Southern Columbia. The Hornets have not allowed a first-half point this season and held Cowanesque Valley to 109 yards in last week’s 64-0 win. All-state defensive end Parker Jones is having another all-state caliber season, averaging a team-high nine tackles per game and adding five sacks. Sophomore linebacker Robert Brown is one of the area’s best and averages 8.6 tackles per game. Kaleb Smith returned a fumble for a touchdown last week and Alex Kozuhowski returned a punt for a touchdown while breaking off a 56-yard scoring run. Quarterback Quinn Henry continues hurting opponents with his arm and legs and threw three touchdowns last week while running for another. Henry is seeking a second straight 1,000-yard rushing and passing season. A year after playing through a torn ACL, Brandon Lamphier is having a strong season starting both ways. He caught three touchdown passes against CV. Junior running back Chase Moser has run for 343 yards this season and is closing in on 1,000 for his career.

Wellsboro player to watch-Hunter Brown: The sophomore defensive tackle has been key to the defense’s success, averaging four tackles per game and adding three sacks. He has a nose for the ball and has three fumble recoveries.

Outlook: Montgomery is getting better but Wellsboro is too strong in all areas and should win convincingly again.

-by CHRIS MASSE