Millersburg vs. Muncy
Millersburg Road to States: In District 3, beat No. 1 Fairfield, 56-28.
Millersburg PPG–19.3, YPG–263.5; PPA–36.3
Millersburg facts: Not only is Millersburg playing for a spot in the state quarterfinals Saturday, but it also is playing for its program’s survival. This is the final year of Millersburg football and it will co-op with Upper Dauphin starting next fall. The Indians are attempting to write a Cinderella story in this final season and have come roaring back after last year’s winless campaign. They also have stormed back after having to forfeit their final home game in Week 9 because they were down to 14 players. A team with a 23-player roster, Millersburg has bounced back strong, features a strong offense and routed Fairfield in the district final two weeks ago. The Indians were balanced and explosive in that game with quarterback Aiden Harman throwing for 287 yards and five touchdowns, while running for two more scores. Harman has thrown for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns this season while being intercepted 12 times. Kyle Casner ravaged the Fairfield secondary, catching six passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Caden Feaster added seven catches, 101 yards and two touchdowns. Those two have combined for 64 catches and nine touchdowns this season. Chance Crawford sparks the running game and he has topped 100 yards in all three wins. Crawford ran for 125 yards against Fairfield and has a team-high 736 yards, along with 17 catches for 237 yards. Feaster, Crawford and Harman all are having solid defensive seasons as well. Feaster averages 11.6 tackles per game, Crawford 9.4 and Harman has 11 tackles for loss. Feaster also has four interceptions and Lukas Zimmerman has 10 tackles for loss. Zimmerman and Zach Verworren each have three sacks and Verworren has seven tackles for loss. Millersburg opened its season with a 24-6 win against Pottsville Nativity, a team that later defeated District 4’s Midd-West. It also defeated 2018 District 3 Class A champion Halifax in Week 4.
Millersburg player to watch–Jonathon Snyder: The senior linebacker is a quality two-way starter who is tied for the team lead with four interceptions. Snyder also is a valuable receiver who has caught 21 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
Muncy Road to States: In District 4, beat No. 2 Sayre, 26-20, and No. 1 Canton, 23-19.
Muncy PPG–27.1, YPG–332.2; PPA–22.2, YPA–278.3
Muncy facts: One could consider Muncy a Cinderella story this season. The Indians lost the majority of their starters from last year’s district champion and opened the season as one of District 4’s youngest teams. Muncy kept improving, though, and repeated as district champion last Friday. Muncy avenged regular-season losses against Sayre and Canton for a second straight season and has won five of its last six games. It also has rallied from second-half deficits in both playoff games and used a 17-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to rally past Canton. Muncy has won three district titles in the last four years and is seeking its first state tournament win. An opportunistic defense has helped Muncy reach this point. The Indians forced seven turnovers during districts and linebacker Nate Palmatier had a fumble recovery, interception and fourth-down stop against Canton. Branson Eyer intercepted two passes against Sayre and Chase Crawley has interceptions in both playoff contests. Two-way lineman Dakota Haueisen had 12 tackles against Sayre and linebackers Bailey Hadzinikolov and Ethan Gush have both gone over 100 tackles. Gush has given the offense a jolt as well, going over 1,000 yards in his first full season starting in the backfield. Gush ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns against Canton. Eyer is a versatile threat who made some huge third and fourth-down plays against Canton and who has totaled 1,441 yards and 13 touchdowns. Christian Good adds more diversity to the offense and has produced 100-yard passing and rushing games, while catching a team-high 26 passes. Ross Eyer has caught nine touchdowns and his 13-yard, fourth-down pass to his cousin Branson extended the game-winning drive against Canton. Muncy’s offensive line has surged througout the season’s second half and Muncy has run for 423 yards in the playoffs. Muncy dropped a one-point heartbreaker in last year’s state tournament opener against Halifax.
Muncy player to watch–Gavin Hillman: The sophomore lineman is one of many young players who has come up big in his first season starting. Hillman entered the starting lineup following an injury and has helped the offense perform well. The 6-foot, 275-pounder has a bright future, but also is a big reason Muncy has turned this into a memorable 2019 campaign.
Winner plays: District 11 champion Williams Valley or District 2 champion Lackawanna Trail
Outlook: Forget the record because Millersburg is a dangerous opponent. Still, if Muncy plays with the focus it has since early this season it has a shot to make a fairly remarkable season even better.