To get to where it is today, the Montour football team has had to overcome some significant challenges.
There was an overtime victory against Central Valley in which the Spartans limited the Warriors' do-everything star, Robert Foster, to 36 receiving yards. Last week, it was overcoming a season-high 282-yard passing performance by Blackhawk quarterback Chandler Kincade in a 40-35 win.
If Montour can clear another hurdle Friday and push its unbeaten streak to eight games, it will get something else entirely: a Parkway Conference title.
Indeed, for both teams taking the field tonight at the Spartans' Thomas Birko Stadium -- Montour and West Allegheny -- something is at stake with only two games left in the regular season.
With a win, Montour will clinch first place in the Parkway Conference, but a loss would produce a more convoluted situation. If West Allegheny wins, then the Indians would create a three-way tie for the title among Central Valley, Montour and themselves, assuming the latter two can win games next week against conference foes that have losing records.
Should that scenario take place, the teams would tie in Gardner Points and the WPIAL tiebreaker system, which rewards points based on comparative scores, would decide first, second and third place.
The game itself features two teams that have gone a combined 13-1 by utilizing strong offenses in different ways. Montour has a more balanced attack, one primarily based around its three-quarterback system (Ryan Mihelcic, Tynen Greer and Max Rosinsky) and wide receiver/running back Devin Wilson (1,093 all-purpose yards, 13 touchdowns).
West Allegheny, meanwhile, keeps things almost exclusively on the ground, usually with quarterback Tory Delmonico, as well as running backs Chayse Dillon and Armonde Dellovade, a trio that's combined for 1,351 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Montour coach Lou Cerro, who said that the Indians' rushing offense "has always given us problems in the past," acknowledged that being at home gives his team an advantage, but little else.
"I feel like we're pretty evenly matched on both sides of the ball," Cerro said.
With the pressure riding on his team entering the game, Cerro said although his players are aware of the game's magnitude, there will be no changes to the Spartans' overall gameplan.
"Both teams know what's at stake this week," Cerro said. "The team that makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win."
• Game: West Allegheny at Montour.
• Where: Thomas J. Birko Stadium.
• Check this out: En route to their Class AAA title last season, Montour defeated West Allegheny, 35-17, in the regular season, a game which marked its fourth win in the last five meetings against the Indians.
Craig Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org First Published October 19, 2012 4:00 AM