Moon senior RB Blake carries Tigers past Montour
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After rushing for 343 yards and five touchdowns in last week's record-breaking performance, Moon's Cole Blake didn't disappoint in his encore.
The senior rushed for 202 yards on 24 carries and threes scores on Senior Night as the Tigers defeated Montour, 35-21.
“He's been the catalyst,” Moon coach Mark Washington said. “He keeps dialing it up.”
“I think it's a big confidence-builder,” Blake said. “I think we're going to take this win and keep rolling with it.”
On its first eight offensive plays, Moon (6-3, 5-3) took a 14-0 lead. Blake scored from 9 and 64 yards out and had more than 100 yards on six carries.
Cole has rushed for 12 touchdowns the past three weeks and remains the driving force behind Moon's ground game heading into the team's first playoff appearance since 2005.
“Growing up, we watched Moon go to the playoffs every year,” Blake said. “I feel like we're bringing tradition back into the community.'”
Montour (5-4, 4-4) couldn't gain any early momentum as the Spartans had a 47-yard touchdown run called back on a penalty in the first quarter.
Montour threatened just once more in the first half, but Blake blocked Adam Check's 29-yard field-goal attempt. Ian Kelly added an interception of Montour quarterback Tynen Greer minutes before the break to keep the Spartans off the board.
Unlike the first two quarters, David Haseleu's 82-yard return on the second half's opening kickoff gave the Spartans life, but Moon quarterback Aleksei Yaramus tossed two touchdown passes — one to Kelly for 33 yards and another to Kyle Bondi for 24 yards — to keep Montour at bay.
“The guys just give it their all,” Washington said. “It's something special here. It's a new step.”
Both teams already clinched playoff berths heading into Friday night's Parkway Conference regular-season finale, but the win gives Moon sole possession of fourth place in the standings, which will help in playoff seeding.
“Now we just go in to the second phase, the second part of the season,” Washington said.
The Spartans have reached the playoffs for seven consecutive years.
“We're not going to change anything we've been doing,” Montour coach Lou Cerro said. “We have a nice young team here, and we're hopefully getting better each and every week.”
Playoff matchups and sites will be announced Monday night.
Justin Criado is a freelance writer
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