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Defenders open season with home win

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Warrior Run’s David Gearhart Jr. tries to pull down Muncy’s Branson Eyer on Friday at Warrior Run.

TURBOTVILLE — All that Warrior Run coach Chris Long could do was smile from ear to ear after his team broke the post-game huddle. The offense was unstoppable racking up 383 total yards, and the defense held Muncy to 77 yards and an interception in a 35-6 win against the visiting Indians on Friday night at Defender Stadium to start the 2019 season.

It was an unusual feeling for the Warrior Run side as it has been five years–the 2014 season finale against Danville (49-14)–since the Defenders were on the good side of a mercy rule with 11 minutes to play Friday.

The Indians’ high point came in the final seconds of the game when Ross Eyer high pointed a Christian Good pass in the back of the end zone to break up the shutout.

Long wanted his team to control the line of scrimmage, control the clock and get the ground-and-pound going early. That game plan worked and senior running back Hoyt Bower was the key. The 5-foot-11, 239-pound back plowed through a seemingly smaller Muncy line totaling 239 yards, two rushing and a receiving touchdown before being pulled in the fourth quarter while quarterback Remington Corderman completed 5 of 12 passes for 107 yards and two more scores which put the Defenders in control.

“The line gets a lot of credit for tonight,” Bower said, “They put in a lot of work in the offseason and made it easy to see the holes and hit them hard. My line and my blockers really did a good job tonight and made it easy.” Bower’s rushing attacks came in large chunks that ate away at the Indian defense. With seven of his 26 carries going less than 5 yards including a 71-yard touchdown run that looked like he would be stuffed at the line.

Muncy just could not get into a good offensive rhythm, running just 34 plays and only gaining three first downs, all in the first half.

“We knew we were going to have our hands full tonight, Warrior Run was bringing a lot of guys back from last year and we are young,” Muncy head coach Sean Tetreault said. “We got a lot of freshman and sophomore starters who never quit tonight. They will keep growing through the year and they will gain experience as they get the reps.”

Warrior Run controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, a large part on defense was from the work of Bower and Ahmahd Keyes. Both continuously had their numbers called in the backfield getting after freshman quarterback Branson Eyer and running backs Paul Pepper (9 carries 21 yards) and Ethan Gush (7-25). Keyes made it a bad night for Eyer’s first varsity start getting to the quarterback on back-to-back sacks in the middle of the first quarter for a loss of eight and nine yards which rattled the QB’s confidence and internal clock.

Just when Muncy started to slow down Bower, Corderman used his big arm to offset the rushing attack to find his outside receivers. Corderman connected with Bower for a deep out route and a 47-yard score with 3:06 to go in the second quarter. Then Corderman hit Riley Daubert (4-80) for a 32-yard touchdown at the end of the first half after a David Gearhart interception.

“It felt really good tonight, we were up 14-0 at half then got the opening drive touchdown in the second half to keep the momentum going, and we got it done tonight.” Long said. “We wanted to emphasize the run and focus on blocking to wear them down tonight and it showed.”

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