It seemed like Mount Union was on offense forever.
After the Mount Union exchanged opening possessions with Penns Valley, junior quarterback Trevon Walker found his squad staring at a long field from their own 10-yard line.
The Trojans’ gunslinger orchestrated a 15-play 90-yard drive that ate up a majority of the first quarter and capped it off with a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver BJ Loner.
The Trojans had the Rams on their toes for most of the drive and after going up by a touchdown, they didn’t waste much timeto find the end zone again.
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Less than a minute later, senior Dylan Smith found paydirt with a 5-yard touchdown scamper and added another touchdown run minutes later to blow things wide open for the Trojans, who improved to 9-1 on the season with a 46-36 win over Penns Valley.
Mount Uinion raced to a 34-7 halftime lead.
“We started out slow out of the gates,” Penns Valley coach Martin Tobias said. “A couple things went against us. We bounced back in the second half. I’m very proud of the way that the kids played. It was a really difficult thing at halftime to go in (the locker room) and look at the point differential that we had to overcome, but they came out and they did the best they could and they hung right in there until the end (and) kept swinging, I was proud of that.”
Up 27 points at the break, the Trojans felt like they pretty much had the game under control and it showed in the second half as the squad appeared lackluster at times after starting the third quarter with another score.
What at one time was a 33-point blowout for the Trojans quickly became a bad dream come to life for Dayton Shugarts’ squad.
Three scores in just under six minutes by the Rams’ offense in the fourth quarter made things seem a bit too uncomfortable for the Trojans, but they managed to wind down the clock and escape with the 10-point win.
“It was scary, we fell apart I don’t know that happened,” Shugarts said. “When you get a lead like that and you know it’s out of hand, we wanted to get subs in, but we just started doing things out of character. We ended up fine, ended up winning that game.”
In his last game under center for the Rams, quarterback Cameron Tobias shook off a sluggish first-half performance to finish the night with more than 300 passing yards and made it uncomfortably close for a Trojans squad that thought they were going to run the Rams right off the field.
Tobias went 15 for 28 for 302 yards and three touchdowns against the Trojans. He fired a 70-yard strike to Taylor Collison in the third quarter and added a 12-yard toss to Luke Bitsko and a 30-yarder to Collison as Penns Valley rallied late.
The Trojans countered with 405 total yards of offense of their own lead by the arm of Walker, who accounted for 231 yards of offense. Smith lea the charge on the ground with 101 yards rushing and three scores, while Walkers’ favorite target BJ Loner finished the contest with 118 all purpose yards and a touchdown reception.
Tobias’ big passing night proved to Shugarts again that his secondary is going to have to improve and quickly if the Trojans want to make a deep run in the District 6 Ckass AA playoffs. They’ll enter as the No. 2 seed
“Tobias threw the ball real well and he has some nice receivers,” Shugarts said. “Our secondary all year has been our Achillies heel I think. Northern Bedford threw the ball against us, Bellwood threw the ball well against us. I thought at the beginning of the year that our secondary was going to be good because we had some good kids back there, but we ran into some good quarterbacks and some good receivers.
“Our defensive line, our defense against the run I think played real well, played well again tonight. I don’t know who we’re going to get in districts, but I’m sure they’ll watch this film and I’m sure they’ll throw the ball and enjoy that.”
Wyatt Sharp rushed for 44 yards, including a 20-yard scoring run in the first half for the Rams. Liam Benfer added a one-yard plunge in the final quarter. Collison caught three passes for 105 yards.