Mountain League Preview

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Mountain League Preview

Postby DragonsDoExist » August 14th, 2018, 5:42 pm

Clearfield (6-5 overall last year, 3-4 league) Opener @ DuBois

   The Bison are coming off their worst season in 10+ years but return more than most in the league this season including arguably the best QB in the area in senior Isaac Rumery. Last year the soon to be 3 year starter threw for 2600+ yards and 33 TDs and also ran for 359 yards and another 8 TDs. Rumery currently holds offers from SFU, RMU and Howard. Gone is leading WR Micah Heichel but the WR cupboard is far from bare with Taye Lynch (30-601-7), Spencer Graham (26-377-6) and soph Jake Lezzer (29-460-4) all returning. Lezzer, following in line with his big brothers, already holds an offer from RMU after just his freshman season. Leading rusher Ty Bender (773-8) also returns.
   An offense that averaged 400+ ypg and 32 ppg was clearly not the issue for Clearfield last season. The question will be can the defense stop the run and get the offense on the field.  Last year the Bison allowed 42 ppg in 4 of their 5 losses including 62 to Bellefonte in the district playoffs. Opponents had a field day on the ground last year...Central 201 rush yards 5 TDs (Muthler 4), Huntingdon 383 rush 4 TDs (Border 4), Bellefonte 409 rush 7 TDs (Deitrich 6) and Bellefonte another 416 rush 6 TDs in the playoff rematch. If Clearfield can shore up the defense this year they should be a favorite in the league.

Bellefonte (10-3, 6-1) Opener vs Jersey Shore

   The Red Raiders splashed on to the scene last year with one of their best seasons in school history which culminated with a D6 championship win over Johnstown. Bellefonte will however have to replace leading passer & rusher Dylan Deitrich (1600+ rush, 1200+ pass, 36 total TDs), receiver Cade Fortney (600-8), RB Dexter Gallishaw (750-9) and tackler Stephen Kutches. Easing the loss of do everything QB Deitrich is transfer Kyle Myers whose experience and running ability will fit the Red Raiders offense well. Last year at West Branch, Myers ran for 840/8 TDs and threw for another 800/7 TDs. The offense will also lean on RB C.J. Funk and the stout defense will return DL Caleb Rockey (10 sacks).

Huntingdon (10-2, 6-1) Opener @ Mount Union

   The Bearcats are coming off their best season in 10+ years and wrapped up their impressive run with a loss to Forest Hills in the D6 championship game. Like Bellefonte, Huntingdon will be looking to replace a lot of offense but do have some experience returning especially on the defensive side. Gone to Lock Haven is workhorse RB/LB Ian Border (1500+ rush, 30 TDs) and off to Washington & Jefferson is playmaking WR Jonathan Price (55-992-14). Fortunately for Huntingdon they do return experience under center with QB Andrew Hudy (1600 passing, 18 TDs) who is also their leading returning rusher. So the question will be who takes the load off Hudy from a RB & WR position. Jacob Wagner should be one of the key contributors on offense this season. The defense should again be solid with leading tackler Ryan Querry, safety Andrew Finkle, Hudy, Wagner, and DL Isaiah Reed all returning. The Bearcats special teams should be solid with PK Giovan Scaccia back in the fold.

Central (8-4, 6-1) Opener @ Northern Bedford

   When the 2017 class who made back to back state semifinal appearances graduated many expected the Dragons to fall off the map. That was not the case however and Central gave Huntingdon their lone regular season loss and came 2 minutes short of going on the road and knocking off eventual D6 champ Forest Hills in the district semifinals. Gone is speedy RB Trysten Detwiler (1480 rush, 22 total TDs) and defensive stalwarts Jared Smith (100+ tackles) & Austin Garner (8.5 sacks), both of whom are suiting up for Shippensburg this fall. Look for the offense to be led by QB Noah Muthler, who was off to a great start in 2017 with 4 rushing TDs vs Clearfield before a shoulder injury set him back. Zach Parks should also play a key role both running and catching the ball for the Dragons this season. Defensively Central will be led by LB Ben Kurtz (18 TFL) and a solid returning secondary. The question surrounding the Dragons this year will be who steps up in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Tyrone (3-8, 3-4) Opener vs Bellwood-Antis

   2017 was not your typical Golden Eagle football season as the 3 wins were their fewest in 20+ seasons. Offensively the team struggled to put points on the board (18 ppg), scoring 14 or less in 7 of their 8 losses. An early season injury to QB Denver Light really shuffled the deck for the team which was forced to put playmaker Parker Mitchell at QB just to find a way to get the ball in his hands. Mitchell and his 1100+ total yards and leading rusher Brandon Loose (900+ rush, 13 TDs) are both gone from last year's squad which will look for a new source of offense. Light, also a standout LB who has committed to Fordham, should be back under center for the Golden Eagles. Sophomore RB Tommy Hicks has the makings of really good runner and got some action as a freshman last year. He and the other backs will have the privilege of running behind an OL that returns 4 experienced starters. Defensively Tyrone returns some nice pieces led by Light, Braeden Nevling-Ray & Aric Reader.

Bald Eagle Area (4-7, 3-4) Opener vs Troy

   The Eagles 2017 season opened with a 3-0 start and ended with losses in 7 of their last 8. The hot start fortunately was enough to secure a playoff bid which resulted in a 41-19 loss at Juniata. BEA is right up there with Clearfield in having the most returning talent. Back are JR QB Jaden Jones who threw for 1200+ as a sophomore, RB Gage McClenahan (1000+ all purpose yards, 4 INTS) and 4 players with 20+ receptions. LB and leading tackler Kael Gardner returns to lead the defense along with McClenahan. The key to notching more W's this year may be focusing on reducing turnovers which the Eagles did 31 times in 2017. Look for the Eagles to again push for a playoff spot in 2018.

Penns Valley (3-7, 1-6) Opener @ Fairfield

   Offensively the Rams put some points on the board in 2017 and return some nice parts. Back are QB Aaron Tobias (1400+ passing, 11 TDs), RB Ryan Ripka (800+ rush, 27 rec, 200+ receiving, 11 total TDs) and WR Cole Breon (44 rec). Defensively however Penns Valley must get better than the 34 ppg they allowed last season.

Philipsburg-Osceola (1-9, 0-7) Opener vs West Branch

   The Mounties have gone 3-57 the last 6 years combined and last year scored 13 ppg while giving up 46 ppg. QB will be one of the few spots where experience returns with QB Bubba Slogosky back under center. Slogosky is the only returning Mountie to have scored a TD last season. Leading the defense will be leading tackler LB Landon McDonald. Good news for the P-O program is the numbers are up, JH team has had some recent success and the new turf field is ready to roll.

Bishop Carroll (2-9, 1-9 LHAC) Opener @ East Hardy, WV

   The Huskies return QB Jake Zazvrskey and RB Trevor Hogue (600+ rush, 6 TDs) to an offense that will look to improve on their 11 ppg from last season as they transition to a new conference. Hogue and his 100+ tackles will be back to lead the defense. Will be interesting to see how the Huskies fair in the league but I wouldn't expect more than 1 or 2 conference wins in their first year. BC will open the season traveling to WV to face East Hardy who was a state semifinalist in WV last year. East Hardy was a last minute fill in to replace St. Joe's who dropped football for this season.

Best of luck to all the local student athletes. Really excited for the 2018 season!


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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby Crimson's Ghost » August 14th, 2018, 9:03 pm

Good work.

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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby DragonsDoExist » August 14th, 2018, 9:11 pm

Crimson's Ghost wrote:Good work.


Thanks!


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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby Goldeneagles12 » August 15th, 2018, 8:33 am

Very good work. So P-O will play home games at the turf field this year instead of the swamp?

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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby DragonsDoExist » August 15th, 2018, 12:25 pm

Goldeneagles12 wrote:Very good work. So P-O will play home games at the turf field this year instead of the swamp?


Yes they actually played their last game last year on the new field. Thanks for the compliment.


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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby DragonsDoExist » August 19th, 2018, 10:41 pm

Bellefonte's field however will not be ready. Central at Bellefonte will be played at Lock Haven University.
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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby Goldeneagles12 » August 19th, 2018, 11:07 pm

Yea. Tyrone plays them at Bald Eagle Area.

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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby SoftWalkinBigStick » August 24th, 2018, 10:44 am

Great Preview of the area teams. Does anyone have any further insight for their team that 3D didn't have or just more to input? I love reading about all the local teams. Best of luck to all and so glad its a Football Friday!!!

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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby DragonsDoExist » August 29th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Huntingdon grad Ian Border is actually at Juniata and not Lock Haven as stated in the preview.


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Re: Mountain League Preview

Postby SoftWalkinBigStick » August 30th, 2018, 8:04 am

Heard he was only at Lock Haven for a couple days before returning home.


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