SCRANTON PREP AT NORTHWESTERN
Eastern Conference Division II (Class AA) semifinal
Friday, 7 p.m.
A berth in the Eastern Conference AA championship game against the winner of Bethlehem Catholic-Coughlin
Northwestern 7-3 overall (7-3 Colonial League); Scranton Prep 7-3 overall (4-2 Lackawanna League Division 2)
KEYS TO THE GAME
* Two run-oriented offense will square off and the battle in the trenches will probably dictate the outcome.
* If either team can throw the ball to loosen up the defense that could be a big advantage. Both teams play 4-4 defenses. The Tigers like to bring pressure from different places. The Cavs will walk their outside backers up to the line of scrimmage
* Northwestern will key on Cavalier junior tailback John Mariotti who runs out an I formation
* Scranton Prep will have to stop Northwestern's stable of running backs while keeping an eye on wide receiver Garrett Lerner
Scranton Prep's three losses came to solid teams in Dunmore (10-0), North Pocono (9-1) and Lakeland (7-3). The Cavs have outscored opponents 262-133 this season ... Mariotti averages 6.4 yards per carry (243 for 1,556 yards, 18 touchdowns). He's 5-foot-9, 175 pounds and runs behind a big, physical line that includes 6-3, 275-pound junior left tackle Kevin Reihner ... Prep quarterback George Pachucy has thrown 90 passes, completing 39 for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns. Freshman wide out Karlon Quiller (5-11,155) leads the team with 13 catches for 205 yards. On defense, lineman Conor Tygar leads the team with 7 sacks. Senior linebacker Luke Walker leads the Cavs in tackles with 63, followed by senior linebacker Phil Belardi (54 tackles, 4 sacks) and junior defensive end Jimmy Fitzpatrick (53 tackles, 2 sacks) ... Northwestern gets fullback Mike Oswald back from injury this week. He leads the team in rushing, but Tiger backs Kevin Oxley and Colton Breininger are also solid backs. Quarterback Trevor German has been picking up yards on called runs and scrambles ... The Tigers are coming off three straight wins, in which their defense has pitched four shut outs this season, including one last week over Catty.
"They like to pound the football. They do what a good "I" team does. We haven't seen anything like this for a number of years. It looks like a USC offense. The tailback lines up eight yards deep. The fullback lines up five yards deep,"
Northwestern head coach Bob Mitchell.