Monday, November 17, 2014

District Six AA Championship Outlook: Tyrone vs. Mt. Union

Tyrone 11-1 vs. Mt. Union 12-0
Saturday 7:00 Mansion Park Stadium 

Speed vs. Power.....Tradition vs. Newcomers.....ICC vs. Mountain League. These are just some of the story lines heading into the highly anticipated District Six AA championship Saturday night. The top two seeds survived the first two rounds and give us the championship game many wanted to see from the onset of the playoffs. 

So much was talked about if Mt. Union could stack up against the defending district champions, Central. I would say by the result of the game, not only did they stack up, they were far and away the better team. The speed and athleticism of Mt. Union just overwhelmed what many believed was a good Central team, and it led to a 61-13 rout.  Like many times this year, BJ Loner had a dazzling performance. The senior athlete rushed 11 times for 163 yards for three touchdowns, while also catching a touchdown.  This offense goes as he does, and he looks locked in right now. Trevon Walker has thrown for over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, but it was his rushing performance that raised eyebrows last week. The senior play-caller went for 211 rushing yards and 4 scores on the ground and helped lead his team to victory. If both of those players are clicking like that, they will be tough to beat.  Throw is Robbie Steel, DJ Bookwalter, Kole Hole, and Keiton Pillock and you have an offense filled with guys capable of making plays.

The Mt. Union defense does not always get the credit it deserves, but they locked down a good Central passing attack. The defensive line led by Brody Suter got after the quarterback and forced them into bad throws. The talented and athletic secondary took advantage of those mistakes, and hauled in four interceptions. Kole House and BJ Loner have been intercepting everything in sight this season, and they continue to play well as the competition gets better.

Tyrone easily dispatched rival Huntingdon 43-15 in the semifinals, and they return to their home away from home for another district title appearance. The Golden Eagles have a balanced offense, a strong defense, and the size and speed to make a run. Tyrone's offense starts with Garrett Hunter at quarterback. The senior went 10-17 for 115 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions last week. It was another strong, mistake-free game from Hunter. Garrett Hunter may be the one that steadies the offense, but Aleic Hunter is the one that makes it run. The senior back rushed for 157 yards and two score to raise his totals to 1,741 and 19 touchdowns. Nicholas Getz led the team in receiving last week, and has been doing it all year long.  Silas Crawford and Duane Boone also provide reliable targets for Hunter. 

The Tyrone defense has been stiffing this season, and has held their two playoff opponents to just 22 points thus far. They are led by one of the area's top defensive ends, Duane Boone.  He went for 4 tackles for loss against Huntingdon last week, and can cause problems in the Mt. Union backfield. Richard Reader and Elijah Sleeth are also big players for this defense. Tyrone is stout against the run, and have been impressive against the pass as well, but chances are they have not seen this kind of speed all season and it will present a new challenge for them. 


-- The winner of this game will play the District 10 Champion next week. Greenville (11-1) and Hickory (9-2) play Saturday afternoon for their championship.

-- Tyrone is going for ninth District Six AA championship. They are currently tied with Forest Hills for the most all-time with 8.

-- Mt. Union is going for their first championship ever. They were the runners-up in 1992 and 1993. 

(Helmets courtesy of Pa Helmet Project)

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