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HS football preview: Montgomery at Bucktail

With only four teams in the District 4 Class A field this season, this could be a potential playoff preview. This rivalry game has been played in Week 10 the past three seasons before being moved up in this year’s revised schedule. Both teams return the bulk of their starters after making nice strides a year ago.

Montgomery (4-7) looks like a serious title contender and could feature one of the area’s more entertaining offenses. Quarterback Logan Almeida topped 1,000 yards in his first year of high school football and running back Kaide Drick ran for 966 yards. The Raiders are running a more wide-open attack and players like Maurice Walters, Coltin Hans and Colby Springman are among candidates for big seasons.

Brothers Logan and Weston Pick are players to watch on a defense ignited by linebackers Devon Deem and Evan Strausbaugh. Montgomery also has a lot of talent, experience and muscle up front as it seeks its first opening-night win since 2014.

Bucktail (2-7) features one of the area’s best running backs in senior Gage Sutliff who topped 1,300 yards in just nine games last fall. Zach Pick earned all-state honors at linebacker and quarterback Dylan Cross could be a difference-maker after starting for the first time last year. The line is experienced and Paul Risley was one of the NTL’s top two-way linemen a year ago. The Bucks perennially are small on numbers, but large on fight so this could be a fun game.

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