With the exception of 1964, Montour has not produced any championship football teams. More often, their athletes have been the butts of jokes—you may recall when, Hall of Famer Dick Butkus couldn’t produce a winner when he coached them on a reality show.
But now, it seems the Spartans may have the last laugh. Montour (11-2) defeated Knoch (12-1) 41-14 to win the WPIAL AAA championship for the first time since 1964.
|VICTORY CELEBRATION—Montour’s Julian Durden celebrates on the sideline after rushing for 159 yards and scoring four touchdowns to lead the Spartans to 42-14 win over Knoch in the WPIAL Class AAA Championship game.
Kent State recruit Julian Durden ran for 159 yards and four touchdowns. The senior running back, two years removed from playing for Pittsburgh CentralCatholic, entered the game with 5,189 career rushing yards and 61 rushing touchdowns over the last three seasons.
Montour took the early 7-0 lead on a Dillon Buechel 12-yard pass to Devin Wilson. Wilson caught six passes for 96 yards and Buechel threw for 184 yards on a 10-of-17 day.
Buechel though, was in no mood to pat himself on the back, instead turning his attention to next week.
“Last year we won the state basketball championship and winning states in football is the only thing that we are focusing on right now,” “said Buechel. “We want to win it for Coach Lou (Lou Cerro) we wanted this bad.”
Knoch entered the playoffs with a heavy heart. The Saxonburg community was brought closer due to tragedy that occurred at the onset of the WPIAL playoffs. Cheerleader Alexis Summers was killed in a one-car crash, and her boyfriend, Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin, is the leading rusher on Knoch’s team.
To reach Heinz, Knoch defeated West Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Regional, programs which won a combined 11 WPIAL championships.
“I’ve got one word when it comes to this team and this community and its ‘love’,” Coach Mike King said. “It’s love. It’s what everything should be about in sports.”