Football preview: Wyalusing at Muncy

District 4 Class A Semifinals

No. 4 Wyalusing (3-7) at No. 1 Muncy (7-3)

Wyalusing PPG-14.3, YPG-212.6; PPA-25.2, YPA-270.5

Wyalusing facts: The Rams are a better team than their record indicates and showed how dangerous they can be by nearly upsetting Towanda in a 15-6 loss last week. Wyalusing trailed the Knights just 2-0 in the fourth quarter and three of their losses are to Towanda, Wellsboro and Athens teams who are a combined 26-4. The Rams are tenacious on defense and forced three key turnovers in a 36-35 Week 6 double overtime win against Montgomery in which it overcame a 14-point deficit. The offense is more open than in past years and quarterbacks Calvin Burke and Shane Fuhrey have combined to top 1,000 yards. Burke started the year at quarterback, but can play other positions as can Fuhrey, a sophomore who has started throughout the season’s second half. Both are threats as runners as well. Running back Creighton Edsell missed the first five weeks, but leads the team with six touchdowns and ran for 118 yards and three scores against Troy. Edsell, Carl Gowin and Domanick Otis all have produced 100 yard games. Fuhrey and Burke combined to throw 193 yards and three touchdows in a 25-21 win at Canton in which the Rams rallied from 13 down and then made a dramatic last-second stop from the 5-yard line to clinch the win. Wyalusing is playing Muncy for a second straight year in the semifinals. Wyalusing led by four at halftime in last year’s semifinal at home before Muncy rallied for a hard-fought 27-18 win.

Wyalusing player to watch-Jon Morrison: The senior two-way starter is one of the team’s most valuable players on both sides of the ball. The tight end has caught 34 passes for 360 yards and four touchdowns and caught a touchdown late last week that he set up with a diving 30-yard catch. Morrison also helps anchor the defense from his end position and leads the team in sacks.

Muncy PPG-35.9, YPG-352.8; PPA-21.6, YPA-282.8

Muncy facts: A year ago, the Indians entered districts as the No. 3 seed and won two consecutive road games to win their first championship in three decades. Muncy is the top seed this time and is hoping to build on last year’s success. The Indians dropped a 35-29 heartbreaker to rival Hughesville last week but every goal they had before the season still is there for the taking. Muncy has produced a 1,000-yard quarterback and running back for the first time since 2012 and its balance was evident against Hughesville last week. Quarterback Coleman Good (1,235 yards) threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns while Colby Alpaugh (1,117 yards) ran for 100 and caught two touchdowns. Alpaugh has totaled 21 touchdowns and fullback Mike Kustanbauter has provided solid blocking and quality running as well. Dylan Wilt is a dangerous receiver, Alpaugh has caught 13 passes and tight end Kolby Moyer had a big game last week, catching a career-high seven passes for 96 yards. The offensive line has blocked well and its collective performance was instrumental to Muncy winning districts last year. Defensive end Hunter Poust anchors the defense and has an area-best 10 1/2 sacks. He was all over the field last week, making 14 tackles, including four for loss. Fellow lineman Larry Bilyeu has cooled following an excellent start, but still has six sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Alpaugh and Wilt each have three interceptions and Mateo Meza intercepted a pass last week. Kicker Nate Paisley has provided Muncy a weapon, kicking four field goals and going 45 of 46 on extra-point tries.

Muncy player to watch-Mike Kustanbauter: The junior linebacker averages seven tackles per game and came up huge in last year’s district championship when he made 11 tackles, including 10 solos, and three tackles for loss. He also is one of the team’s more valuable offensive players, producing 625 total yards and six touchdowns.

Outlook: These are two hard-nosed games and this game could be similar to last year’s that was intense and hard-fought. This one could be quite entertaining.

Winner plays: No. 3 Bucktail or No. 2 Montgomery

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