HS Football roundup: Jones steps in at tailback, helps Warriors keep Bridge
Montoursville’s Heath Jones played his first varsity time at tailback, rushing for 98 yards after injuries knocked Rocco Pulizzi and Dylan Moll from the game, and the Warriors kept control of the Bridge Trophy with a 23-12 win over Loyalsock on Saturday night.
Pulizzi, the state’s leading rusher, was lost after his first carry, a 35-yard gain, when he broke his collarbone. Moll, who gained 55 yards on eight carries after replacing Pulizzi, injured his thumb midway through the second quarter. Jones, who was moved to fullback when some injuries along the offensive line in Week 3 put C.J. Signor at center, became the team’s primary ball-carrier after the two injuries.
Jones carried 22 times for his game-high 98 rushing yards. The Warriors remained undefeated with the win and secured the No. 1 seed for the District 4 Class AAA playoffs, which begin Halloween weekend.
“When I said, ‘Heath can you do this for us?’ he looked me in the eyes and said, cCoach, I’ve been waiting for this,'” Montoursville coach J.C. Keefer said. “That told me this is the kid we’re going to give the ball to.”
Montoursville broke out to a 7-0 lead, but Loyalsock’s JerVal Weeks-Shuler made a leaping 21-yard touchdown catch to get the Lancers within 7-6.
But Montoursville rattled off the next three scores. First, Dillon Young hauled in a 45-yard pass from Maddix Dalena for a touchdown. Then he added a 23-yard field goal. And he caught his second touchdown pass from 10 yards for a 23-6 lead.
CANTON 19, MUNCY 0
Canton’s defense dominated the matchup of state-ranked Class A teams, holding Muncy to 123 yards of offense in a 19-0 win. For the third consecutive season the Warriors won the regular-season meeting between the two.
Muncy played without nine players because of a COVID-19 concerns, including quarterback Branson Eyer.
Canton broke through with the game’s first score when Riley Parker scored on a 6-yard run with just under 10 minutes to go in the third quarter. Hayden Ward spearheaded a Canton rushing attack which saw the Warriors run for 290 yards as a team. Ward ran for 137 yards to lead Canton and Parker added 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“We took a couple shots (passing), but it’s tough because everyone tries to take (all-state tight end Ben) Knapp away,” said Canton coach Tyler Sechrist. “A couple of times he was double and triple covered, so we just decided we had to run the ball, so we adjusted to their defense and where they were, and used our two good backs.”
Canton’s defense held Muncy’s two-headed rushing attack of Ty Nixon and Ethan Gush to just 81 total yards, averaging just over 3 yards per carry. The Indians ran for 90 yards as a team on 40 carries as it suffered its first loss of the season.
“We’ll be happy to get all of these guys back this next week, but our guys came out and played hard. They could have used all the excuses in