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North Penn-Mansfield at Muncy preview

NICK FIORINI/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Muncy’s seniors pose with the Old Shoe Trophy after the Indians beat Montgomery last Friday night in Muncy.

N.P.-Mansfield PPG–12.0, YPG–222.8; PPA–44.5, YPA–413.3

N.P.-Mansfield notes: Despite its slow start, North Penn-Mansfield (0-4) showed a lot of promise and played its best game last week against undefeated Northwest. Karson Dominick shredded a quality defense, throwing for a District 4-high 339 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Alex Davis showed how dangerous he can, catching eight passes for 158 yards and a 90-yard touchdown. Sammy Lawrence added five catches for 88 yards and a score. Those two and Cooper Shaw all are among the area’s top 10 in receptions. North Penn-Mansfield also can run it and Kohen Lehman went over 800 yards last year. He added 80 more, along with a touchdown, against Northwest. The defense has struggled, however, and is ranked last among area teams in yards allowed. Junior linebacker Ethan Dick showed why this unit has the potential to turn it around in the opener, producing two sacks against Towanda. Dominick intercepted a pass in each of the first two games and Cody Hermansen averages si tackles per game.

N.P.-Mansfield player to watch–George Valentine: The sophomore linebacker is an exciting young player who is averaging a team-best nine tackles per game. Valentine has made 22 solo tackles and opened the season with a 10-tackle performance against Towanda. He also returned a fumble 48 yards in that game and had nine tackles each against undefeated Canton and Troy.

Muncy PPG–47.3, YPG–326.3; PPA–14.3, YPA–224.3

Muncy notes: Following a week off, Muncy (3-0) looked extra sharp a week ago, scoring 56 points in less than 20 minutes and routing Montgomery, 56-15. The starting offense produced eight touchdowns on 14 plays and the starting defense allowed minus-12 yards. The Indians have won 12 straight regular-season games and captured last year’s NTL-II championship while reaching a second straight District 4 Class A final. Muncy is showing explosive offensive balance with Austin Johnson averaging more than 10 yards per carry and Branson Eyer throwing an area-high eight touchdowns. Ross Eyer has caught five scores and his 53-yard touchdown opened the floodgates against Montgomery. A young offensive line featuring all underclassmen has meshed well and helped Muncy score at least 30 points in each game. The starting defense has held two opponents without points and linebacker Jason Shuda made 29 tackles in his first two games. Freshman defensive end Nick Delany looks like a future star and had two early tackles for loss against Montgomery. Two-way starting lineman Gabe Stark also was a force and produced two early sacks. Eli Harris added another and Muncy did not let Montgomery gain positive yards on any of its first eight plays.

Muncy player to watch–Landyn Wommer: The sophomore linebacker looks like another in Muncy’s steady line of playmakers at that position. Wommer made 11 tackles in a comeback win at Wellsboro and combines a relentless motor with good intincts. He also could see time in the backfield in the future and ran for a six-yard touchdown last week.

Outlook: The way North Penn-Mansfield played against Northwest a week ago makes this game look a whole lot more interesting than it did before. If the Panthers hang in up front, this could be one of the area’s more exciting games. If not, Muncy could break things open early again.

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