Troy at Muncy

Troy facts: The Trojans handed Muncy won of its worst losses a year ago, defeating it, 48-14. Troy totaled 529 yards in that game and ran for 432. Quarterback Clark Jackson is back after gouging Muncy for 218 yards and four touchdowns on the ground last year. He also threw for 97 yards and a score in that win. Troy finished 4-6 last season and has a solid core back from that team. Last season was the first time Troy experienced a losing season since 2004. The Trojans battled back from a 13-point halftime deficit against Bald Eagle Area last week and tied the game but the Eagles scored the game’s final 20 points. Jackson remains a dual threat and ran for 51 yards and a touchdown. He actually led the team in passing, rushing and receiving, catching a 25-yard pass from Seldon Rogers. Tyler Williams and Nate Martin also are dangerous and both averaged five yards per carry. Troy’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage against Muncy in last year’s game, but finished the season allowing 349 yards per game.

Troy player to watch–Ja Wallace: He was contained last week, but Wallace is a big-play threat any time he touches the ball. Wallace provides a huge lift in the passing game and caught 38 passes for 471 yards and three touchdowns last season. He also turned just three touches as a receiver and runner into 106 yards and a touchdown in last year’s win.

Muncy facts: The defending District 4 Class A champions exacted some revenge last week and are hoping to do the same in their home opener tonight. After losing to Warrior Run by 25 in last year’s season opener, Muncy defeated it 21-14 last week. The Indians used the same formula that carried them to a district championship, winning the battle up front, running the ball well and playing stingy defense. The offensive line took control, paving the way for running back Colby Alpaugh who ran for an area and career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns. Alpaugh also caught a 31-yard touchdown in the second quarter that ended up being the game-winner. Quarterback Coleman Good threw for 100 yards and Muncy used a higher tempo offense than a year ago. Good came on strong last season and is a three-year starter who topped 1,000 yards passing as a sophomore while also leading the team in rushing. The defense was outstanding against Warrior Run, allowing just one offensive touchdown and blanking it during the second half. Muncy came on strong defensively late last season and allowed just 18 points in two playoff wins. Linebacker Michael Kustanbauter enjoyed a breakout season in 2016 and was all over the field against Warrior Run, making a critical late-game sack to help end Warrior Run’s last scoring chance.

Muncy player to watch–Hunter Poust: The all-state defensive end is one of the team’s most valuable players. Poust is tough to block up front and was among the area leaders in sack and tackles for loss last season. Poust led Muncy in both categories, making 20 tackles for loss. He also is a key member of a physical offensive line that will be eager to bounce back from last year’s showing against Troy.

Outlook: These teams look pretty evenly matched and tonight’s game will be a lot more entertaining and competitive than last year. Expect this one to be close throughout and decided late.

–by CHRIS MASSE

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