On the cusp of an NTL Small School championship, South Williamsport came to play Friday night. And with a potential home playoff game on the line, the Mounties didn't disappoint.
With second-year head coach Chris Eiswerth at the helm, South Williamsport dominated all aspects of the game en route to a 42-0 shutout of Montgomery Friday night in Montgomery.
The Mounties (9-1) kept to their bread and butter all night long by pounding the ball on the ground against an undersized Red Raiders (0-10) defense.
But while Montgomery was doing it's best holding the power-running game of Brandon Stonge and Matt Bartholomew to short runs, the same couldn't be said for Dominick Bragalone, who scored twice in the second quarter, including a 24-yard touchdown run where he used his speed to explode past the front seven defenders and right past the secondary into the end zone.
"I think they really prepared for Brandon Stonge," South Williamsport head coach Chris Eiswerth said. "Brandon still had his tough yards and he's tough to handle. But Bragalone has exceptional speed and if he gets a seam he can do so much with it."
Along with the potent running game, the Mounties made big plays on special teams with Bragalone and Andrew Gipe. With Bragalone and Gipe both back for punts, Montgomery had no choice but to pick one of them to kick to.
The two made a habit of finding the sideline for big returns, as the Mounties started five of its six first-half drives in Montgomery territory.
"The last couple of weeks we have had a short field," Eiswerth said. "When you have return guys like that it makes it nice to start in that short field."
And when the Mounties weren't putting up points on the scoreboard, the South Williamsport defense stifled the Red Raiders' offense. Led by outside linebacker Heath Newcomer, the Mounties forced nine running plays for negative yards.
"He was just lights out tonight and he's getting better every week," Eiswerth said of Newcomer. "He is a guy who has done everything we have asked him to do."
Now, South Williamsport faces a possible rematch with Bloomsburg in a week 11 home game, fresh off two tune up games against Cowanesque Valley and Montgomery.
"We're really just excited to win the championship and to bring this to South Williamsport," Eiswerth said. "And to play a home game against Bloomsburg - they are an explosive team and they will be very tough in the playoffs. Whether it's Line Mountain or Bloomsburg, they are both good teams and will be tough."
The season finale for Montgomery isn't as sweet, however, as the Red Raiders dropped their 10th game of a season in which they were often overmatched.
The Red Raiders didn't look overmatched on the opening drives of the game, though, as they forced a turnover but couldn't capitalize on the fumble. Montgomery held the Mounties to just eight first-quarter points before the floodgates opened and South Williamsport ran wild.
"I couldn't say enough," said Montgomery head coach Randy Boone. "No one gave us a chance since the beginning of the year and we came out in the first quarter and we played tough."