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With size, strength up front, Montour in no hurry this season

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:58 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Montour lineman Tyler Haddock. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Montour receiver Devin Wilson. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Montour receiver Devin Wilson. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Montour receiver Devin Wilson. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Montour lineman Matt Barone. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Montour lineman Matt Barone. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Used little by Montour in recent years, the Spartans have added a familiar formation to the playbook: It's called a huddle.

No longer does Montour have the record-setting passer or 4,000-yard rusher ideal for running a hurry-up offense, but it does have an oversized offensive line with two Division I recruits.

So, why hurry?

“Last year we just went,” said right tackle Ty Haddock, a 300-pound Temple recruit. “This year we're going to grind people, huddle up every play and run it down their throats. Every play. It's going to be a great year.”

That's not your typical Montour football. A year ago, quarterback Dillon Buechel and tailback Julian Durden led the high-scoring Spartans to a WPIAL title. They return senior Devin Wilson, the league's receptions leader in 2011, but inexperience in the backfield will change Montour's approach.

“We're going to be a different type of team,” coach Lou Cerro said, “a mashing-type of team that runs up the middle.”

Montour's strength is its strength. Haddock and center Matt Barone (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) anchor an offensive line that averages almost 260 pounds. The others are left guard Christian Balaski (6-3, 260), left tackle Nick Arnold (6-3, 210) and right guard Matt Martin (6-0, 225). All five are seniors.

“I don't think anyone realizes what our offensive and defensive lines have this year,” said Barone, who started at guard in 2011. “I think a lot of people are going to realize after the first couple of games.”

Haddock summed it up simply: “We've got a lot of beef this year.”

They'll block for junior Cole Macek (6-0, 185) and senior Kevin Klemmer (6-0, 180), who both have little varsity experience at running back. They combined a year ago for just nine carries and 42 yards, all by Macek. Klemmer started on defense.

There's also uncertainty at quarterback; seniors Ryan Mihelcic and Max Rosinsky and junior Tynen Greer entered camp competing for the job.

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