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Montgomery handles Bucktail in Week 1 of football

KEVIN RAUCH/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail quarterback Dillon Cross slinks past a Red Raider defender, but Montgomery put up a dominant 36-0 first half playing spoiler in the Bucks home opener. The Bucktail players donned military jerseys in honor of Veterans Appreciation Night in Farwell.

It was a tough opening game of the season in every aspect for Bucktail on Friday night as Montgomery rolled in Farwell and seemingly had a three score lead before the Bucks even settled into the contest.

Four first half turnovers, a pick-six and starting field positions that including setting up in the Bucks 21, 31 and 19 yard lines allowed the Red Raiders to go up by 19 in the first quarter before leading by 36 points at the half. It set the tone early as Montgomery won, 43-16.

It definitely wasn’t the way Bucktail coach Jared Hurlbert had seen things going.

“The biggest issue that we had was we told the kids different things that needed to be done, certain goals that we had to have to be successful and we just didn’t come through” said Hurlbert.. “We had receivers open, unable to come down with the football, we know teams are gunning for Gage (Sutliff) and we started to run well, the line was blocking, but once we couldn’t connect on passes they started loading the box”.

Hurlbert also noted that the team’s passing game struggled to materialize.

“Dillon Cross had a tough start but starting throwing the ball well, but then the receivers couldn’t come through. It doesn’t matter what world you live in, if you can’t be balanced the teams are going to take away what your good at,” Hurlbert said.

Montgomery started the scoring early in the first quarter when Cameron Bryson hauled in a Cross interception and sprinted 44 yards into the end zone. On the next Red Raiders offensive possession Kade Drick came up with his own quick strike as the running back scored from 42 yards out.

The Bucks mishandled the ensuing kickoff, which would lead to Bucktail punting on third down from their own 1, setting Montgomery up on Bucktail’s 31. Two plays later, Montgomery quarterback Logan Almeida hooked up with Ben Marino for a 31 yard touchdown strike and the Red Raiders suddenly were up 19-0 in the first quarter.

“We have three freshmen and a kid that didn’t play last year starting and when you get them under the lights, people are here, it’s a longer game … I’m hoping after this that they come around and start making plays like they do at practice,” Hurlbert said.

The second half did show signs of life for the Bucks, who easily could have folded. Eighteen players suited up and, between setbacks on both side of the ball, it would have been easy to pack it but the home team came out for the third quarter trailing 36-0 and started to put some plays together.

Gage Sutliff tipped an Almeida pass from his linebacker position and then grabbed the bobbled ball before returning the interception 63 yards to the Bucktail 2. Cross would call his own number and sneak it in for a Bucks touchdown.

The Bucks trailed 36-8 when Sutliff put on one of his patented runs where he carried about six Red Raiders on his back before going down, causing his sideline of teammates to erupt in cheers of appreciation.

On the final possession of the game Zack Pick was called to run the ball on just about every play as he covered 62 yards on the ground in the series, setting up a Tanner Pettingil touchdown. The toughness up until the final buzzer was not lost on the coach.

“We found out Pick is certainly capable of running the ball on that last series” Hurlbert said of the junior. “We had some good blocking schemes, some good runs and Dillon really settled into the game, we’ll work on things and try to carry some things into Muncy next week” Hurlbert said.

In total, 228 people were at the game Friday night of which 250 was the maximum that would have been allowed into Dwyer Memorial Field.

MONTGOMERY 43, BUCKTAIL 16

Montgomery 19 17 0 7 — 43

Bucktail 0 0 8 8 — 16

First quarter

M — Cameron Bryson 44 interception return (kick failed), 8:39.

M — Kade Drick 22 run (kick failed), 4:08.

M — Logan Almeida 31 pass to Ben Marino (kick failed), 1:29.

Second quarter

M — McNair 13 field goal, 11:09.

M — Drick 2 run (McNair kick), 5:42.

M — Almeida 50 pass to Colton Hans (McNair kicK), 0:32.

Third quarter

B — Cross 2 run (Sutliff run), 8:38.

Fourth quarter

M — Drick 4 run (McNair kick), 4:07.

B — Pettingil 1 run (Pick run), 0:12.

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