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Moon flashes defensive muscle, downs Montour in Week Zero matchup

September 16, 2018

When Moon coach Ryan Linn, looked back on the 2017 season, he wanted to see more consistency with his team.

The 2018 season got off to a good, consistent start as his Tigers soundly defeated Montour, 32-6, at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers (1-0) were dominant on defense, holding Montour to just 56 yards and limited the Spartans to just 10 rushing yards on 33 carries.

The Tigers defense returned nine starters that surrendering more than 27 points per game in 2017. Not only did Moon’s defense shut down the Spartans offense statistically, it outscored Montour’s offense, as well. Tigers’ defensive backs Dawson Snyder and Malcolm Johnson each picked off fourth-quarter passes and took them to the end zone for scores, salting away the victory.

After a scoreless first quarter, Montour (0-1) got on the scoreboard first with a defensive score of its own. Anthony Tambellini picked off a Dante Clay pass and ran it back 43 yards to give the Spartans a 6-0 lead.

But it was all downhill from there and the Tigers scored the last nine points of the first half to take their first lead. Ryan Zimmerman kicked the first of two field goals, a 26-yarder, at the 7:25 mark of the second quarter to cut the Montour lead to 6-3.

And then, after a blocked punt deep in the Spartans end, Malcolm Johnson scooped up the ball and ran it 27 yards for a touchdown to give Moon it’s first lead, 9-6, with under two minutes left in the first half. The Tigers scored 10 points in the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Zimmerman and a 2-yard run by Clay.

Clay played well in his first start at quarterback. The Tigers’ junior completed 10 of 24 passes for 171 yards and one interception.

“When I’m in doubt with any routes, I know I can come back to any of my receivers and they’ll be open,” he said. “They’re great athletes, and I know they can beat anyone one-on-one.”

Montour’s starting quarterback, Luke Persinger, finished the evening 7 for 19 for 46 yards and two interceptions.

Montour will begin Northwest Eight Conference play next Friday at home vs. New Castle while Moon will travel to play Mars in another out-of-conference matchup.

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