LOYSBURG - Northern Bedford coach Jeff Batzel knew his unbeaten Panthers would be facing a stiff test against Mount Union, but even he didn't know the Trojans were as good as they displayed Friday night.
Mount Union outscored Northern Bedford 33-7 in the second half en route to handing the Panthers their first loss of the season, 51-35.
"That was the best team we've faced all season. We knew they were good, but not this good. They have more team speed and more athletes than any team we'll face all season," Batzel said.
Junior quarterback Trevon Walker stole the show for the Trojans doing a little bit of everything. Walker rushed for 72 yards and three touchdowns, threw for 171 yards, and three touchdowns and also added a key third-quarter interception on defense as the Panthers simply had no answer for the 6-foot-3 specimen.
"Trevon is an unbelievable athlete. This was one of the best games he's ever played for us. I've been told by some scouts that he has Division I potential because of his size and speed. Tonight he did it all for us," Mount Union coach Dayton Shugarts said.
Northern Bedford quarterback Blake Over put on a show of his own, especially in the first half, as he sparked the Panthers to a 10-point halftime lead. The senior consistently found receivers Jacob Dasher and Kyler Diehl for big yardage and ended the first half with three touchdown passes, including two to Dasher. Over also took a kickoff return 85 yards for a touchdown as he displayed his own set of wheels.
"The first half we played really well and executed. Blake was finding open men and we moved the ball. Credit to Mount Union as they made some adjustments to take away the big plays in the second half," said Batzel.
The Trojans' second-half adjustments included pounding the ball on the ground and putting more pressure on Northern Bedford's receivers. They opened the half with a quick three-play, 63-yard touchdown drive sparked by a 61-yard Dylan Smith run to set up a Walker TD plunge.
Three plays later, Austin Low picked off an Over pass and raced 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Trojans their first lead, a lead they would never relinquish.
After forcing a Northern Bedford punt on the next drive the Trojans imposed their will with an 11-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that was done completely on the ground. Walker again capped off the drive, this time from 11 yards out.
"We knew we could run the ball and in the second half we did just that. Our two main goals coming out of halftime were to run the ball and to start being more physical with their receivers. Once we did that we took control of the game," said Shugarts.
Northern Bedford tried to make it interesting in the final quarter as Over connected for his third TD pass to freshman Dasher on the Panthers first possession, cutting the deficit to three.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mount Union 6 12 20 13 - 51
Northern Bedford.............14 14 0 7 - 35
NB - Dasher 5 pass from Over (Bequeath kick), 8:04
MU - Walker 13 run (run failed), 00:12
NB - Over 85 kick return (Bequeath kick), 00:00 .
MU-Loner 69 pass from Walker (run failed), 10:24
NB-Dasher 19 pass from Over (Bequeath kick), 8:50
MU-Kylor 5 pass from Walker (run failed), 1:16
NB-Snyder 12 pass from Over (Bequeath kick), 00:15
MU-Walker 2 run (pass failed), 10:57
MU-Low 58 interception return (Low kick), 9:29
MU-Walker 11 run (Low kick), 1:41
NB-Dasher 6 pass from Over (Bequeath kick), 10:37
MU-Hefner 54 pass from Walker (Low kick), 8:44
MU-Loner 51 interception return (kick failed), 2:13
RUSHING: Mount Union - Smith 14-129, Walker 8-72, Stapleton 7-51, Loner 7-17, Kylor 4-11, TEAM 3-(-7). Northern Bedford - Heck 8-28, Over 8-(-20), Brallier 3-13, Dasher 2-12, Diehl 1-4.
PASSING: Mount Union - Walker 6-13-1-171. Northern Bedford - Over 26-39-3-285, Diehl 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Mount Union -Kylor 3-33, Loner 1-69, Hefner 1-54, Smith 1-16. Northern Bedford - Dasher 12-121, Diehl 6-60, Heck 5-74, Hershberger 2-17, Snyder 1-12
INTERCEPTIONS: Mount Union - Low, Walker, Loner. Northern Bedford - Over
Passing (c-a-i) 6-13-1 26-40-3
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Punts-avg. 1-36.0 4-16.0