Penns Valley too much for Trojans
Big plays, turnovers dooms MU
MOUNT UNION–The Mount Union Trojans ended their 2020 season receiving a 54-0 thrashing by Penns Valley at Mount Union High School on Friday night. The loss ended a season that started off with promise, but was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were debating on whether to come back anyways, not having a game for a month,” coach Rob Turner said. “It took a lot of morale out of them when they found out they couldn’t make the playoffs.”
The Trojans (3-3) defense was overwhelmed by a Penns Valley passing attack, led by quarterback Aiden Brinker. The 6’3, senior had a rocket for a right arm and picked apart a secondary that could not cover all of the Rams’ weapons.
Brinker finished the night 15-of-21 passing for 231 yards while throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another.
“The score looks bad, but this week, they came out with some intensity,” Turner said. “That’s a good Penns Valley team.”
Penns Valley (5-3) started the game firing on all cylinders. After receiving the opening kick, the Rams scored on their third play from scrimmage. Two long passes from Brinker set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to Alex Hammer, getting the Rams on the board.
On the ensuing kickoff, Penns Valley caught Mount Union off-guard and successfully recovered an onside kick. Five plays later, Brinker took the ball himself, on a five-yard touchdown run.
Still reeling from allowing 13 points in the first two minutes, the Trojans offense looked off, getting called multiple times for delay of game or 12 men on the field during the course of the game.
Klayton Willoughby led the Trojans with 41 rushing yards and quarterback Dayvon Wilson completed 7-of-11 passes for 74 yards.
With the offense not able to put together any long drives, the Trojans defense was worn down by Brinker and the Rams who were just hitting their stride.
Brinker found receiver Mason Lieb for two second-quarter touchdowns, each coming in the final three minutes before halftime. The two scores gave Penns Valley a 33-0 lead after the first half.
The Rams didn’t pull any punches in the third quarter either. Brinker found Lieb for their third touchdown connection of the night and Tanner Ilgen finished off a 12-yard run to give the Rams a 47-0 lead.
“They’re a disciplined team–well coached,” Turner said. “The quarterback is really good and they had good protection most of the night. We got outplayed.”
A final touchdown came in the fourth as both teams allowed their second-stringers to get some playing time. Kollin Brungart scored the Rams’ eighth and final touchdown on the night, on a 12-yard run.
In the final minutes, Mount Union tried to put points on the board, but failed to find the end zone.
In their last two weeks, the Trojans were outscored 106-7 and did not have the same success coming out of their month-long hiatus due to a COVID-19 shutdown.
“It’s tough coming back after a month off with two tough games,” Turner said. “We played Williamsburg in their best season in 30 years and you got (Penns Valley) that’s on a roll.”
To begin the season, the Trojans came out playing impressive football, defeating West Branch, Moshannon Valley and Everett en route to a 3-1 record.
“We were on a roll before that,” Turner said about the hiatus. “I think we would have continued and been fine. We were starting to hit our stride.”
Turner attributes the early season success to a great pre-season work ethic that his team put forward.
“We had a great offseason program until COVID-19 hit and that crushed us,” Turner said. “It was led by the seniors and the captains. I think getting kids in the weight room and working during the summer… That’s what we wanted. We wanted the guys to bring back the work ethic of Mount Union football.
With the season behind them, the Trojans will now look toward the future. Their seniors set a great example for the underclassmen who will return in 2021.
“Hats off to the seniors, they stuck around. The captains, and most everybody, came to work every day,” Turner said. “We’re a young team, we have 20-something freshmen… There’s talent there. Hopefully, they work in the offseason, come back next year and get even better.”
Penns Valley 54, Mount Union 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Penns Valley 19 14 14 7–54
Mount Union 0 0 0 0–0
PV–Hammer 20 pass from Brinker (Ripka kick) 11:27.
PV–Brinker 5 run (Kick failed), 9:41.
PV–Baney 7 run (2 pt failed), 2:33.
PV– Lieb 22 pass from Brinker (Ripka kick), 2:43
PV– Lieb 20 pass from Brinker (Ripka kick), 1:15
PV– Lieb 24 pass from Brinker (Ripka kick), 8:51
PV–Ilgan 12 run (Ripka kick), 0:10.
PV–Brungart 7 run (Ripka kick), 5:46.
First downs 15 5
Total yards 351 109
Rushes-yards 24-121 26-35
Yards passing 231 74
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 15-21-1 7-13-2
Punts-avg. 2-43 5-26.4
Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 4-50 7-45
RUSHING: PV– Baney 9-41 TD, Brungart 6-37 TD, Ilgan 4-32 TD, Brinker 3-9 TD, Greene 2-15; MU– Willoughby 9-41, Wilson 8-6, Robinson 5-(-5), Skopic 2-8, Danish 2-(-15).
PASSING: PV– Brinker 15-21-1 231 4 TDs; MU– Wilson7-11-2 74, Danish 0-2-0.
RECEIVING: PV– Lieb 8-139 3 TDs, G.Ripka 3-60, Hammer 3-24 TD, S.Ripka ; MU– Robinson 4-26, Danish 2-22, Willoughby 1-21, Atherton 1-9.