Linebackers Muncy, Harper lead McCutcheon's defense
October 26, 2012McCutcheon High School
One is the emotional and tactical leader, keeping McCutcheon defenders motivated and directing them on the field.
The other provides a relentless physical presence in the middle of the defense.
McCutcheon linebackers Matt Muncy and Caleb Harper have led the Maverick defense throughout the season. They’ll also be crucial to the team’s chances of reversing a regular-season loss and knocking off Noblesville tonight in a Class 5A, Sectional 4 semifinal.
“They do pretty much everything,” McCutcheon senior safety Kyle Brewer said. “Muncy directs everything, Harper just performs, Lukas (Robinson) does a great job. All around, the linebacking corps, it’s probably one of the toughest we’ve had in a long time.”
Muncy could only watch when the Mavericks’ 2011 season ended with a hard-fought 29-23 loss to Fishers. The now-senior had suffered a season-ending broken collarbone in McCutcheon’s second game.
Having shifted from middle linebacker to “Sam” for this season, an inspired Muncy has collected 101 tackles (10 for loss), two sacks and six quarterback hurries. Just as important are the intangibles of senior leadership he provides.
“It was horrible watching my team play without me, and it really hurt,” the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Muncy said of last season. “I’ve been really excited about this season and giving it my all.”
Harper, a junior, took over in the middle and has enjoyed a breakthrough season. Despite missing one game with concussion symptoms, the 5-10, 175-pound Harper has collected a team-high 112 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and four pass breakups.
“He just goes,” Muncy said. “He has a great nose for the ball and just goes. He has probably the best motor on the team and is always high-tempo.”
The linebackers want to improve on their performance in the 21-14 loss to Noblesville on Sept. 14. Led by junior quarterback T.C. McKiernan, the Millers kept the Maverick offense off the field, including a third-quarter scoring drive that consumed nearly the entire period.
McCutcheon had the ball in the red zone late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t score the tying touchdown.
“We’ve got to play with some confidence and some intensity,” McCutcheon coach Ken Frauhiger said. “If we do that, we’ve got a chance to win the game.”