Warriors see some positives
For a team that got a fresh look this year due to graduation of some good talent, the Montoursville Warriors might be a dangerous team in the coming weeks despite their 0-3 record after Friday night’s 7-0 loss to the visiting Danville Ironmen. Danville came to Montoursville as the heavy favorites to spoil the Warrior’s home opener, but many did not think it would have been a low-scoring affair.
“We’re getting there,” Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer said. “We’re better today than we were yesterday.”
Montoursville was prepared for the physicality of the Ironmen by cranking up the tempo in practice last week. That showed on both sides of the ball, but Danville’s physicality was a little more than Montoursville could take. The Ironmen’s first drive went 17 plays 71 yards. The drive would have resulted in a touchdown, but was called back due to an ineligible receiver down field.
Montoursville’s offense led by sophomore quarterback Hunter Shearer and Oleg Bohner at running back, countered that drive with a 22 yard drive of their own gaining big chunks of yard against Danville’s defense, but a lost fumble in the beginning of the second quarter and again on their next drive.
“They’re a team that cannot make many mistakes, and that was the difference.” Keefer said.
Despite two early fumbles, Montoursville’s defense kept Danville out of the endzone even with Danville’s Gannon Feldmann rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown two minutes before the half.
Both Montoursville and Danville continued a hard-nosed style into a scorless third and fourth quarter, giving and taking big plays and harder hits in six consecutive series to start the second half. Neither team was within striking distance until Danville had good field position starting at the 50 yard line 10 minutes into the fourth. The Ironmen benefitted from a 31 yard passs from Peyton Riley to Peyton Persing to get to near Montoursville’s red zone. The Warrior’s defense tightened up after the big play and forced Danville to line up for a 30 yard field goal when the kick was blocked and returned to Danville’s own 26 yard line.
Montoursville had hope with 5 minutes left.
“Before they went out I told them to go punch one in” Keefer said. “We were moving the ball well on that drive, unfortunatley we got down to the goal line and came away empty.”
Shearer hit Brian Shaffer for a 10 yard pass to set the Warrior’s up with a first and goal at the three. They chipped away with a couple of one yard runs up the middle, but Danville’s defensive line barreled through for a 4 yard loss on fourth down to seal the victory.
“We are not satisfied, not happy with a 7-0 loss, we have a lot of positives coming out of this game, we are definitely improving.” Keefer said.