By: Matt Beltz | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | November 5, 2011
MONTGOMERY - At the end of a football season, when two teams have little or nothing to play for in terms of the postseason, it's usually a toss-up as to how either team will play. Friday's South Williamsport-Montgomery season finale featured two teams that appeared out of contention for a game next week.
But that didn't stop the Mounties from playing with a purpose as Brandon Stonge ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns to lead South to a 35-16 win over the Red Raiders to finish head coach Chris Eiswerth's first year leading the program at 4-6. Montgomery finishes 1-9.
"There may be a shot for Eastern Conference but the biggest thing is we wanted to come in and finish what we started this year," said Eiswerth. "The kids worked extremely hard in the weight room and with speed training and really came together learning what we had to learn and it was a lot of fun."
"We told our kids that we were here for the seniors and we wanted to try to go out on a winning note for them," said Montgomery coach Randy Boone. "We fell behind early and that really hurt us. We had a difficult time stopping them and offensively, couldn't really get a good rhythm going. A couple of times we had a decent drive going that got stopped but getting behind early really hurt and it changed our game plan."
After South turned the ball over on its first possession, the Mounties scored on their next two in the first quarter, one capped by a Stonge three-yard run and the other by a Matt Bartholomew five-yard run. The Red Raiders then put together their longest drive of the night and the only one that got into South territory aside from their two scoring drives. But it stalled at the South 14 and on a fourth-and-two play as the Raiders were stuffed for a 14-yard loss.
The Mounties then put together a 13-play drive that ended with Cameron McHenry picking off Tyler House deep in Montgomery territory but the drive took up nearly seven minutes and flipped field position. That would prove important as Montgomery drove down to the South 27 and looked to be in position to cut the lead in half but the Raiders fumbled at the South 35 and a personal foul penalty, one of nine penalties for 106 yards in the game for Montgomery, set up South at midfield with just over a minute left. South took advantage and six plays later, aided by another Montgomery personal foul penalty, House found Bartholomew in the end zone from five yards out and South also went for two and converted to take a 21-0 lead into halftime.
Montgomery was forced to punt on its first two possessions of the second half, and South turned both of its ensuing possessions following the punts into touchdowns as Stonge ran for his second and third scores of the night, one from 20 yards out and the other from 17.
The Red Raiders got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter as Bobby Vanwhy, one of six seniors playing in their final game for Montgomery, punched it in from a yard out. That capped a five-play, 55-yard drive that was also aided by a South personal foul, one of six penalties for 65 yards in the game for the Mounties. South then drove all the way down to the Montgomery three-yard line on its next possession but Eiswerth elected to have House take four knees instead of putting it in for another score.
"We're really proud of the kids to go 4-6 here in the first year," said Eiswerth. "We've got a lot of guys coming back. We're really going to miss our seniors but there's a lot of the nucleus that is coming back (next year) so we're excited for the future."