Football preview: Cowanesque Valley at Muncy

CV facts: The Indians gave themselves multiple chances to get something going against Montgomery last Friday, intercepting three passes, but were unable to finish drives that could have changed the game’s complexion. The offense really struggled once versatile Matt Barber exited the game late in the third quarter after leading the team in rushing and receiving. Sophomore quarterback Seth Huyler has made big strides in his second year starting and threw for a career-high 121 yards last week. Huyler already is closing in on last year’s passing yardage total and is making the offense less predictable as he grows into that role. Huyler also is a good runner and can make things happen when he scrambles. The defense gave up a lot of yards last week, but also forced some big turnovers. Three-year starter Caleb Hurd is tough to move up front and made 10 tackles as did linebacker Alex Cox. Barber, Ben Cooper and Kole Hurler all intercepted passes and all are underclassmen starting for this young team that could get a lot better as the season continues. CV is seeking its first win over Muncy since the program was reinstated in 2004. The Indians led Muncy early last year and played good defense, but lost 14-6.

CV player to watch–Magnus Swimley: The sophomore defensive tackle is off to a great start in his first season starting. Swimley was all over the field against Montgomery, making 13 tackles, including eight solos. Swimley has 20 tackles in his first two games and is one of many promising underclassmen making a positive impact.

Muncy facts: The defending District 4 Class A champions have come out strong after last year’s breakthrough, dominating the second halves against Warrior Run and Troy. The defense has not allowed a second-half offensive touchdown in either game and Muncy scored 24 straight points against Troy last week in a 31-21 win, breaking open a game it once trailed by seven. The defense was outstanding during districts last season and a good core of starters is back from that team. Larry Bilyeu did not play last year but has given the defense another outstanding contributor. Bilyeu was a force against Warrior Run in the opener, making six tackles for loss and adding three sacks. All-state defensive end Hunter Poust had two sacks in that game and linebacker Mike Kustanbauter made a game-clinching play a year after bursting onto the scene. Junior defensive back Dylan Wilt is another emerging playmaker and intercepted a pass against Troy while also catching four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Muncy has shown quality balance on offense and a surging offensive line has paved the way for strong performances in both games. That physical line has helped Muncy wear down teams and running back Colby Alpaugh is having an excellent start behind that line, running for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Coleman Good threw for 167 yards and a touchdown last week and is a three-year starter who flourished during last year’s postseason. Kustanbauter, who had 10 tackles against Warrior Run, is a hard-nosed fullback who provides good blocking and who ran for 53 yards against Warrior Run.

Muncy player to watch–Donovan Diehl: The junior lineman/linebacker was key to Muncy’s playoff push last season and is excelling on both sides of the ball thus far. Diehl, Poust, James Yordy, Dakota Haueisen, Jacob Whittaker and Kolby Moyer have been critical to the team’s offensive success and help provide the foundation that this two-year success has been built upon.

Outlook: Muncy has put together two straight strong performances and if it keeps building tonight that should become a three-game streak.

–by CHRIS MASSE

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