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BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: DISRTRICT 4 PLAYOFF PICTURE COMING INTO FOCUS — AND NEWS AND NOTES (2020-10-22)

This weekend marks the final games teams can count toward qualification for the District 4 playoffs and the dust is beginning to settle on this season’s post-season match-ups. The playoffs will kick off the weekend of Oct. 30-31 with a championship contest in Class A.

The semifinals for Class AA, AAA, and AAAA will also be next weekend, with the finals slated for the following weekend.

Canton, at 3-0, comfortably leads Muncy (5-1) following its shutout win over the Indians, and could very well be hosting the championship game next Friday. Fans of the Warriors have seen this scenario play out the last two seasons – Canton wins the regular season, before Muncy captures the district title on the Miller A. Moyer Field. Possibly, the third time is a charm for the Warriors.

Canton’s regular-season finale, scheduled for Friday at Northwest, has been cancelled. The Warriors have replaced that game with a home contest against Wellsboro on Friday. The Green Hornets and Sayre Redskins elected not to play.

Muncy is scheduled to host the Wyalusing Rams (3-2).

Southern Columbia (6-0), after finally tracking down the Mounties of South Williamsport, now has command of the Class AA standings. However, the chase for the remaining three spots remains crowded.

Troy (3-1), after its dominating win over Wellsboro, is second followed by South Williamsport (3-1) - defeated by Athens. Central Columbia (4-2) commands the last qualifying spot.

In a schedule change announced Wednesday afternoon, Troy will now be traveling to Blossburg to again play the North Penn Panthers - a team it defeated 34-21 two weeks ago.

South Williamsport will be hosting Towanda (1-4). Central Columbia (4-2) has Southern coming to town Friday. Line Mountain (3-1) could move in front of the fourth-seeded Blue Jays should it get past 2-0 Newport this weekend.

Wyalusing (3-2) remains on the outside looking in. It’s unfortunate for the Rams because in a normal season eight teams would qualify. Add Bloomsburg and Wellsboro to that list of unfortunate sons as they are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively.

In Class AAA, the battle is for the right to meet Montoursville (6-0). The undefeated and defending District 4 champion Warriors have clinched the top seed and home-field advantage.

Loyasock (3-2) holds a slight lead over North Penn-Mansfield (2-1) for the fourth and final spot, and will play Lewisburg (1-5), while NP-M hosts Troy for the second time this season. If Loyalsock wins it will travel to Montoursville. If not, NP-M could slide into the fourth spot.

Athens (4-1) is currently the third seed, and will in all likelihood travel to Danville next weekend for a semi-final match-up, regardless of what happens tonight in Montgomery (3-3).  Danville (6-1) has already received a forfeit from Mount Carmel, which canceled its season after a hazing incident in early October.

Jersey Shore (5-0), Shamokin (4-2), Selinsgrove (3-3) and Mifflinburg (3-3) will be the four qualifiers of Class AAAA.

Montoursville’s Rocco Pullizzi, the district’s leading ground=gainer with 1,040 yards, suffered a broken collarbone on his first carry against Loyalsock.

Montgomery’s Logan Almedia throwing for 173 yards in the Red Raiders’ win over Wyalusing. He now has 1,066 yards for the season in just six games. Kaide Drick netted 277 yards on the ground and four touchdowns in Montgomery’s win.

Canton collected 234 yards rushing against Muncy, a team that had been allowing an average of just 135 yards per game on the ground prior to Saturday. On the other side of the line-of-scrimmage, the Warriors, 19-0 winners, allowed Muncy just 90 yards running the football.

Have to wonder if Rhyan West’s 90-yard touchdown run against Columbia Montour Vo-Tech is any kind of Towanda school record. Anyone got any ideas? West totaled 153 yards rushing as the Knights netted their first win of the season.

Athens’ Shayne Reid ended just one yard shy of a 200-yard rushing evening in the Wildcats’ big win over South Williamsport. Down 18-7 at the half, the Wildcats put the hammer down on South’s offense in the last two quarters.

Northwest running back Hunter Wolfley recently ran for 452 yards and five touchdowns in a loss to Mifflinburg.

Troy netted 389 yards rushing in its huge win over Wellsboro. The Green Hornets had allowed only 189 total yards on the ground this season to opponents prior to that game. Damien Landon netting 224 yards and Caleb Binford 153.

Northern Tier League leading rushers:
Kaide Drick, Montgomery (746 yards); Zach Miller, South Williamsport (549); Caleb Binford, Troy (512); Ty Nixon, Muncy (509); Shayne Reid, Athens (491); Damien Landon, Troy (490); Gage Sutliff, Bucktail (413); Riley Parker, Canton (336); Mitchell Burke, Wyalusing (323); Alex Mosier, Wyalusing (247); David Northrup, Sayre (246).

NTL Large School Standings: Canton (3-0), Athens (4-1), Wyalusing (3-2), Troy (3-1), Wellsboro (2-2), North Penn-Mansfield (2-1), Towanda (1-4).

NTL Small School Standings:
Muncy (5-1), South Williamsport (3-2), Northwest (3-3), Montgomery (3-3), Sayre (1-2), Cowanesque Valley (1-4), Bucktail (1-5), Columbia Montour Vo-Tech (0-5).

District 4 results: Athens 35, South Williamsport 18; Towanda 45, Columbia Montour Vo-Tech 8; Cowanesque Valley 23, Bucktail 20; Canton 19, Muncy 0; Montgomery 43, Wyalusing 19; Troy 41, Wellsboro 0; Danville 46, Bloomsburg 0; Midd-West 31, Hughesville 20; Mifflinburg 49, Warrior Run 14; Southern Columbia 42, Lewisburg 7; Line Mountain 47, Northwest 20; Selinsgrove 9, Central Mountain 7; Jersey Shore 16, Shikellamy 0; Shamokin 56, Milton 14; Montoursville 23, Loyalsock 12.

District Four schedule:
Athens at Montgomery; Wellsboro at Canton; Wyalusing at Muncy; Troy at North Penn; Towanda at South Williamsport; Southern Columbia at Central Columbia; Line Mountain at Newport; Mount Carmel at Danville; Midd-West at Bloomsburg; Cowanesque Valley at Columbia Montour Vo-Tech; Hughesville at Mifflinburg; Jersey Shore at Central Mountain; Lewisburg vs. Loyalsock at Selinsgrove; Milton at Shikellamy; Montoursville at Warrior Run; Selinsgrove at Shamokin; Dallas at Williamsport (Saturday).

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