Trojans stumble in playoffs
JOHNSTOWN–Heading into this season, the expectations were high for Mount Union. The Trojans were looking to improve off their 5-6 record from a year ago with nearly a fifth of their roster complied with senior leadership.
It seemed like Mt. Union could very well make a run at a District 6 title, stringing together six-straight wins this season. But then Mt. Union was hit with a plague of injuries, which factored into the Trojans dropping their last four games of the season, capped off with a 42-0 loss to Bishop McCort at Point Stadium Saturday evening.
“Well we didn’t (overcome injuries),” Mt. Union coach David Smith said. “That’s what really hurts this group of seniors. We had a great team, and then the injury bug hit, and they weren’t convenience injuries; they were serious injuries. We weren’t able to overcome that; that’s what hurts the most.”
Outside of several offensive linemen sidelined for Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup in Class 2A, Mt. Union had standout running back Daunte Martin, who was healthy as someone could be after being battered and bruised 11 games into the season. Martin did all he could against a stifling Bishop McCort defense that has not allowed a score in 12 quarters, outside of a touchdown on the final play of the regular season finale in garbage time.
“We had a lot of leaders out the past couple of weeks and it definitely would have made a difference if they were here,” said Martin, who was limited to 54 yards off 17 carries. “We all expected to be competitive. We had a lot of skill players that could do something. We expected to go farther than this but coming down the stretch we fell apart a little bit. But I’m proud of the way the team stuck together coming down the stretch; just not the way we wanted to end the season.”
Despite frustration and lack of offense, Martin continued to battle on both sides of the ball until the final whistle. In his last game in his high school career, the senior wouldn’t have done it any other way.
“It was my last game so of course I wanted to go out fighting,” Martin said. “I just didn’t want to go out quitting; I’m glad of the way I went out.”
Martin’s effort didn’t go unnoticed. The stat lines and touchdown runs will surely stick around, but so will the way Martin led the Trojans. And that will most likely be the lasting factor on the Mt. Union program.
“The obvious is the numbers — the carries, the touchdowns, yards and everything like that,” Smith said. “But the way that he carries himself; quiet leader, humble guy. It was great for younger players to see that because that’s the kind of star you need.”
As Martin closes one chapter of his athletic career, he’s looking forward to the next one, as he continues to weigh his options when it comes to playing at the collegiate level.
“The process will take itself,” Martin said. “I’m going to sit back a little and get my legs under me; it was a tough season and did a lot to my body. I had a lot of great teammates that supported me the whole way and I think accomplished this year alone and with the team, and looking back on it I’m proud of the way the season went.”
Bishop McCort 42, Mount Union 0
Mount Union 0 0 0 0–0
Bishop McCort 14 21 7 0–42
Order of scoring
BM — Miller 52 run (Miller kick), 10:30
BM — Miller 4 run (Gephart kick), 5:56
BM — Miller 20 run (kick missed), 10:44
BM — Phillips 30 fumble recovery (Walters pass from C. Andrews), 5:34
BM — Miller 22 run (Gephart kick), 1:07
BM — Phillips 39 run (Gephart kick), 8:21
First downs 4 12
Rushes-yards 25-57 34-296
Comp-Att-Int 4-17-1 4-8-0
Passing 46 39
Total yards 103 335
Punts-Avg. 5-27.6 1-22.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 1-5 3-15
RUSHING: Mount Union– Martin, 17-54; Posey, 5-6; McMickens, 2-4; Carbaugh, 1-(-3). Bishop McCort– Miller, 5-82; Walters, 2-2; Phillips, 3-61; C. Andrews, 28-111; Meier, 3-21; A. Andrews, 2-10; Vamos, 1-2; Gress, 3-0; Malcom, 2-9; Allison, 1-(-2).
PASSING: Mount Union– Posey, 4-16-1, 46 yds.; Carbaugh, 0-1-0, 0 yds. Bishop McCort– Miller, 37-0, 39 yds.; Allison, 1-1-0, 21 yds.
RECEIVING: Mount Union–Carbaugh, 2-14; Brenneman, 2-32 . Bishop McCort– Jeanjaquet, 1-7; C. Andrews, 2-24; Lichtenfels, 1-21.
INTERCEPTIONS: Mount Union–None. Bishop McCort– C. Andrews.