Halifax's Broc Grosser and his Wildcat teammates will square off against Muncy Friday night at West Perry High School. (Christina Hoy/4th Down)
By Michael Bullock:
1. And then there were … two
Since both adversaries in last weekend’s District 11 Class A championship game reside in the Tri-Valley League, that meant either Tri-Valley or Williams Valley was going to be moving on with the other turning in its helmets and shoulder pads. Well, Tri-Valley claimed its first 11-A title since 2009 by defeating its backyard rivals 28-21, the Bulldogs (9-3) earned themselves a shot at District 2-A victor Lackawanna Trail (11-1) Saturday evening (7p.m.) at Scranton Memorial Stadium at Scranton High School. TVL champ Halifax (10-1), which had last weekend off after popping Fairfield 37-6 in the District 3-A final, will meet District 4-A winner Muncy (9-3) in a state opener Friday night at West Perry. What’s intriguing is should Tri-Valley and Halifax prevail, those sides will meet the following weekend in the state quarterfinals. Stay tuned.
2. Tri-Valley collars return engagement
Behind a remarkably productive performance from senior quarterback Daulton Leedy, Tri-Valley parlayed its 28-21 triumph over Williams Valley into its first state playoff appearance since the Bulldogs reached the state semifinals in 2009. Jeff Sampson’s club also stretched its winning streak to six games. Leedy threw for 199 yards (9-19-0) and two touchdowns — Nick Ziegmont and Chase Herb hauled in first-half TD receptions as Tri-Valley constructed a 20-7 lead at the break — yet also ran for 118 yards and a pair of scores. While Ike Lucas added 55 rushing yards, Herb (12), Ashton Snyder (14) and Kolt Schaeffer (13) shared 39 tackles defensively. Schaeffer added one quarterback sack, while Tyler McGrath pocketed his ninth pick of the season. Leedy has amassed just short of 2,000 yards from scrimmage (1,549 passing/335 rushing) while accounting for 19 scores. Trail hammered Bristol 45-7 in the District 1-2 subregional, bouncing to a 38-0 halftime lead behind two rushing touchdowns from Cody Moyle. Nico Berrios also scored twice before the break, once on a 19-yard reception from Jordan Edwards and once on a 19-yard fumble return. Steve Jervis’ Lions prefer to run the ball, as Ray Melnikoff (116-951/10 TDs), Moyle (76-651/14 TDs), Jeffrey Resto (82-543/5 TDs) and Nathan Rolka (89-460/8 TDs) have combined for more than 2,600 rushing yards and 37 scores. Rolka, the QB, has thrown for 755 yards (41-84-5) and eight touchdowns. Trail has won its last five outings since dropping a 28-21 regular-season decision to Old Forge. The Lions avenged that setback in the District 2-A final, winning 29-12.
3. Halifax spends one week catching its breath
Although Halifax had last weekend off after capturing its first District 3-A championship, Muncy (9-3) avenged an earlier loss to Canton by pocketing a 9-7 success highlighted by Kolby Moyer’s 1-yard run and a safety set up by Coleman Good’s first-half blocked punt. A staunch defensive effort — Sean Tetreault’s Indians yielded just 101 total yards — also played a huge role in Muncy’s success. Balanced offensively, Tetreault’s club went into last weekend’s showdown having thrown for 1,819 (15 touchdowns) and rushed for 1,748 more (20 TDs). Dylan Wilt has hauled in 43 passes for 946 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he’s also swiped seven passes while averaging nearly seven tackles per. He’s also a threat on special teams. Despite its one-week respite, Earl Mosley’s Wildcats have gotten more than 600 yards rushing from Jay Zerby (699/14 TDs) and Evan Billow (626/7 TDs) yet may need QB London Johnson (94-168-1) to loosen things up with his right arm. Johnson has passed for nearly 1,600 yards, with 40 throws going to West Virginia preferred walk-on invite Broc Grosser for 766 yards and nine TDs. Grosser also is demonic defensively, as he’s recorded 111 tackles while picking off 12 passes. Inside backers Dalton Marshall (102) and Billow (93) have stopped plenty of ballcarriers, too.
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