LOYSBURG - Mount Union was looking for a statement win after letting a winnable game slip away against Bellwood-Antis last week. On Friday night against unbeaten Northern Bedford, it got just that.
The Trojans outscored Northern Bedford 33-7 in the second half en route to a 51-35 win. In the process they made a believer out of their Inter-County Conference opponent.
"That was the best team we've faced all season. We knew they were good, but not this good. They have more team speed and more athletes than any team we'll face all season," Northern Bedford coach Jeff Batzel said.
Junior quarterback Trevon Walker stole the show for the Trojans doing a little bit of everything. Walker rushed for 72 yards and three touchdowns, threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns, and also added a key third-quarter interception on defense as the Panthers simply had no answer for the 6-foot 3-inch specimen.
"Trevon is an unbelievable athlete. This was one of the best games he's ever played for us. I've been told by some scouts that he has Division I potential because of his size and speed. Tonight he did it all for us," Mount Union coach Dayton Shugarts said.
Northern Bedford quarterback Blake Over put on a show of his own, especially in the first half, as he sparked the Panthers to a 10-point halftime lead. The senior consistently found receivers Jacob Dasher and Kyler Diehl for big yardage and ended the first half with three touchdown passes, including two to Dasher. Over also took a kickoff return 85 yards for a touchdown as he displayed his own set of wheels.
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Mount Union travels to Everett Oct. 11
"The first half we played really well and executed. Blake was finding open men and we moved the ball. Credit to Mount Union as they made some adjustments to take away the big plays in the second half," Batzel said.
The Trojans' second-half adjustments included pounding the ball on the ground and putting more pressure on Northern Bedford's receivers. They opened the half with a quick three-play, 63-yard touchdown drive sparked by a 61-yard Dylan Smith run to set up a Walker touchdown plunge.
Three plays later, Austin Low picked off an Over pass and raced 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Trojans their first lead - a lead they would never relinquish.
After forcing a Northern Bedford punt on the next drive the Trojans imposed their will with an 11-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that was done completely on the ground. Walker again capped off the drive, this time from 11 yards out.
"We knew we could run the ball and in the second half we did just that. Our two main goals coming out of halftime were to run the ball and to start being more physical with their receivers. Once we did that we took control of the game," Shugarts said.
Northern Bedford tried to make it interesting in the final quarter as Over connected for his third touchdown pass to freshman Dasher on the Panthers' first possession, cutting the deficit to three.
The very next Trojan possession, however, saw Walker connect with Klayton Hefner for a 54-yard touchdown to extend the lead to10 once more.
The Trojans finished the scoring when B.J. Loner returned an Over interception 51 yards to cap off a 51-point night.
Over finished the night with 285 yards passing and five total touchdowns. Dasher finished with 12 catches for 121 yards and three scores of his own, an impressive night for just a freshman.
"Dasher is so impressive for such a young kid, he really works hard and has come such a long way from camp," Batzel said.
Both teams now sit at 5-1 and have similar goals for the rest of the season.
"This is a huge win for our program and we hope to ride this out. We have a really tough matchup with Everett next week but think we can build off this momentum," Shugarts said.
Mount Union (5-1, 2-1) travels to Everett Oct. 11.