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By Kenny Varner

MOUNT UNION – Despite posting pretty good numbers through the air in the first half, the Tussey Mountain football team could not overcome the skill set of Mount Union’s running back Daunte Martin.
Martin followed the clear paths his blockers gave him and made the most of it early, posting three first quarter touchdowns.
Before the Titans knew what hit them, they fell behind early 19-0.
Though they battled the entire game and got a 101-yard rushing performance by Cole Weist, but fell to the Trojans 45-20 on Friday night in Mount Union’s home opener.
Tussey quarterback Matt Leonard went 7-13 for 119 yards through air, posting a touchdown and two interceptions.
On the Mount Union side, in just two quarters of play, Martin ran for seven times and posted a game-high 212-yard running performance. Four of his seven rushes went for a score. He also got into the act on defense as well as he picked off two of Leonard’s passes.
On the second interception, Martin took it to the house for a 20-yard TD interception.
“He’s a heck of a running back and if you try to bring him down by arm tackling he’s going to run through you all night like he did to us,” Tussey Mountain coach Josh Smith said. “That’s my take of it defensively. We got manhandled. When you don’t tackle its apparent with the big runs.”
Mount Union started the game with the ball and went right at it.
On the first play from scrimmage, Martin busted loose and rambled for a 57-yard touchdown with still 11:47 showing on the first quarter clock.
Mount Union’s defense forced the Titans to punt on their first offensive possession and the ball went back into the hands of the Trojan offense.
This time it took three plays to score. Again Martin got the nod and showed his speed breaking away on a 37-yard touchdown.
Two highlights for Tussey early on was its special team’s ability to block two of Mount Union’s PATs, keeping the score at a minimum 12-0.
The Titans started to get its offense started on its second possession, getting the ball to their 40 before Martin would again make his presence known.
On third down, Martin picked off Leonard in the middle of a group of defenders, giving the Trojans good field position, placing the ball on the Tussey Mountain 41.
Martin was once again eager to get into the end zone as he took the first play after his interception for a 31-yard gain.
He then finished off the drive as he scored on a 10-yard scamper. With s successful Doug Gearhart PAT, Mount Union increased its lead to 19-0 after one.
“I’m very proud of my guys. They came out and played hard and took care of business when they needed to,” Mount Union coach David Smith said. “We played our game and that’s what the scoreboard took us to. We’re starting to get our identity of who we want to be offensively. Defensively, we are starting to step up.”
In the second quarter, the Titans struck for the first time when Leonard found a wide open Tyler Rhodes behind the secondary and scored on the 40-yard hook up, cutting it to 19-7.
However, in next offensive touch by Mount Union, the result was the same, touchdown Martin. Martin ran this one in from 47-yards out to up the lead once again.
On the next offensive possession by Tussey, Martin once again put a stamp on his already strong performance, picking off Leonard for the second time and scoring from 20-yards out, upping the Trojans lead to 31-7.
After holding the Titans at bay once again, Mount Union rolled down the field, this time on the legs of quarterback Quinton Posey. Posey took his team down the field and scored from 9-yards out ending the first half score at 38-7.
In the second half, Posey scampered in from 1-yard out to put the game into a mercy rule contest, leading 45-7.
With the clock against them, the Titans were able to score twice before the final buzzer.
In the third quarter, Brendon Gorey muscled his way in from one yard out and teammate Weist broke away on a 74-yard TD run, pulling their team to 45-20.
But that would be as close as the Titans would get as they ran out of time.

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