After three straight losses, Loyalsock rebounds with a win in football

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Loyalsock's Rian Glunk practices before the start of Friday's game against Hughesville.

HUGHESVILLE — Loyalsock football, looking to recalibrate after dropping its past three games, utilized a no huddle offense to quickly douse any flames Hughesville could potentially ignite.

The Lancers scored on five of their six first-half possessions en route to a 35-0 halftime by getting in quick snaps and distributing the ball amongst the entire offense.

In his first game back last week from injury, first-year starting quarterback Tyler Gee commanded a similar approach.

“It worked against Mount Carmel and we just wanted to keep our offense going to get ready for playoffs,” Gee said.

It worked at Schaffer Stadium as well. Loyalsock routed the Spartans, 41-14.

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Loyalsock players come onto the field during Friday night's game against Hughesville.

Gee reached the 1,000 passing yard milestone early in the first quarter with a strike to Rian Glunk over midfield. The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore signal caller finished with nine of his 14 passes completed for 227 yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s just been fun to get it to my guys. We have really good receivers, our coaches have made a lot of good plays and they’ve adjusted the offense to the type of quarterback I am,” Gee said. “I’ve just been loving playing on this team.”

Glunk caught a 21-yard floater from Gee in the corner of the end zone for the first score of the night. He added another 16-yard touchdown reception to bookend Loyalsock’s explosive first half.

There wasn’t just one milestone achieved in the contest. Glunk played quarterback in junior high, and eventually made the switch to wideout. After posting a 600-yard season the year prior, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior reached 1,000 career receiving yards on his second score.

“It’s great because I think switching to quarterback from wide receiver ended up helping me a lot,” Glunk said on his position switch. “I’m not sure what I was going to do at quarterback, but as a receiver, I can obviously help a lot.”

Glunk finished with three catches for 52 yards. A small workload for such a strong piece of Loyalsock’s offense, the Lancers (4-4) looked to get everyone involved with their rescheduled game against Lewisburg this Monday.

“I just knew I had to do whatever I had to do to help my team win,” Glunk said. “Whatever was going to help us win, I was going to do.”

Despite the even load among the receiving corps. — in which there were six unique targets — Davion Hill still carried a vast bulk of Loyalsock’s production in the backfield, chopping up 112 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns.

Following a quick four-play drive ending in a 48-yard touchdown reception for JerVal Weeks-Shuler, the Lancers recovered their kick to set up shop on the Hughesville (1-8) 33-yard line. From there, Loyalsock marched up to the Spartans’ front door, where Hill came in on a 1-yard run.

Hill found the end zone once more from four yards out on the following possession, walking in to pad the lead for Loyalsock.

Although Hill was a workhorse for the Lancers, there was still an emphasis to not only get several players involved heading into a short week, but to go out and execute the way they know how to.

Don’t overthink things, and keep it simple.

“It took a leveled approach coming into the week and recognizing as well that we’re playing on Monday,” Loyalsock coach Justin Van Fleet said. “We wanted to make sure we were distributing the ball throughout the team, not laying a heavy hand on any one player and finding a way to 35 by half.”

With the mercy rule kicked in to keep the clock running in the second half, Hill broke out on a 57-yard run to the house on the first play of the third quarter.

Hughesville responded with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from freshman running back Luke Stutzman to cap off a seven-play, 90-yard drive.

Aiden Barlett added a rushing touchdown from six yards out to end the Spartans’ final drive of the game. Brenden Knight took the vast majority of touches for Hughesville with 26 carries for 93 yards.

With the win, Loyalsock snapped a three-game losing skid and reached .500 again on the year with one week left of the regular season.

“We went back to the drawing board and said we were at the drawing board too much the past few weeks,” Van Fleet said. “We said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to play our base and let the kids run and do their jobs.’ That was really the game plan and that’s what we went with … We were trying to rediscover our identity from the beginning of the season.”


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