PANTHER VALLEY AT MARIAN

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Panther Valley 4-1 (3-0 Anthracite Football League); Marian 1-4 (1-2 Anthracite Football League)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* The Panthers boast the third-best defense in all of District 11 in terms of points-allowed-per-game at 9.4, so Marian head coach Stan Dakosty feels that his team must establish 'something' on offense. The Colts will determine whether that is running the ball or passing come game-time, but they must establish their tempo if they want to have a shot.

* Panther Valley will be looking to limit turnovers as always. Head coach Frank Damian said that has been a goal of his Panthers all season, along with taking advantage of the opportunities that the other team gives them.

* According to Dakosty, the key to the Panthers' D is their athleticism. Panther Valley runs well and covers a lot of field - making it hard to pick up big plays on. Look for the Colts to stay conventional and matriculate the ball down the field.

* Marian's defense is giving up an average of 31 points-per-game, while Panther Valley's offense is putting up 32. If the Panthers can take care of their jobs up front, look for their offense to put up some big numbers.

NOTEABLE

The two local teams come into Friday's matchup going in different directions ... Panther Valley made yet another statement by beating one of the best teams in the league in Schuylkill Haven, 34-23 ... The Panthers torched the 'Canes tough defense for 268 rushing yards and 34 points ... RB Kyle McAvoy picked up 148 yards and a TD on the ground ... QB Casey Lawrence added 82 rushing yards along with two scores ... He also hit Jake Dunn for a 15-yard TD ... It was Dunn's only catch of the game ... Meanwhile, the Colts were blanked by North Schuylkill 37-0 last week and already have as many regular season losses as they did all of last year ... Marian totaled just 26 yards of total offense while allowing 368 ... Still, the Colts lead the all-time series 16-7 ... The Panthers took last year's matchup 28-7 even though they had lost the previous six of seven to Marian.

QUOTABLE

"Last week was our first win over Schuylkill Haven in ten years. We enjoyed the win on Friday, but we can't dwell on last week any longer. We learned what we could from the tape in order to get better and have moved on. Our concentration must be on Marian now, which it is. We will continue to work on things throughout the week and get ready for another big game." - Panther Valley head coach Frank Damian.

"It has been a day-by-day building process for us as of late. We will be up against a very, very good Panther Valley team this week. We are excited to play and are looking forward to another chance to get back on track." - Marian head coach Stan Dakosty.

LEHIGHTON AT EAST STROUDSBURG SOUTH

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Lehighton 1-4 overall (0-2 Mountain Valley Conference); East Stroudsburg South (2-0 Mountain Valley Conference)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* The Indians have to contain versatile Cavaliers' quarterback Robbie Moyer, who threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns last week. The Indians may also need to be prepared for the Cavaliers to line up in the "I" formation and try to jam the ball down their throats. The Tribe will need to keep their eyes out for running back Colln Hegarty and fullback Sean Bergen.

* Lehighton must find a way to control the Cavaliers' talented linebackers, especially 6-0, 225 pound middle linebacker Bergen. The Indians will also need to get past a physical South front line.

NOTEABLE

After opening the season with a win over Marian, Lehighton has lost four straight games ... The Indians have also dropped the last six conference games to ES South ... Dating back to 1997, the Cavaliers hold a 12-9 lead in the series ... Lehighton coach George Ebbert said Moyer has one of the quickest releases he has ever seen from a quarterback, which doesn't make it any easier on the Tribe in putting pressure on him ... One of Moyer's favorite targets is 6-3 senior Dan Cason, who finished with four receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 28-10 win over Stroudsburg ... 5-8 senior Sean Connors also adds another threat to a group of talented Cavalier receivers.

QUOTABLE

"We're just looking at it as a big challenge. It's a chance for us to upset the number one team in the league. We're not going to give up. We're going to do the best we can. But, we have good kids, and we just got to keep their attitude up. We've got to keep thinking positive and just try to play for the upset." - Lehighton head coach George Ebbert.

NORTHERN LEHIGH AT PEN ARGYL

WHEN

Saturday, 2 p.m.

RECORDS

Northern Lehigh 4-1 overall (4-1 Colonial League); Pen Argyl 2-3 overall (2-3 Colonial League)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Green Knights are a little deceiving right now having faced Wilson and Southern Lehigh, two of the better Colonial League teams the past two weeks. Green Knights remind NL head coach Joe Tout a lot of his own kids. Schematically, they're more like Wilson. spreading you out a lot more and throw all over the place so Bulldogs must jump on them early. The longer it's a close or tie game, the Bulldogs could be in trouble.

* The Green Knights can move the ball and did last week against Southern Lehigh, but just didn't score. Where the Bulldogs hold the key is on the line, where the Green Knights are big, but young and inexperienced.

NOTEABLE

Bulldogs played excellent football on both sides of the ball last week and took their game to another level in win over Salisbury ... This will be Pen Argyl's fourth game on a Saturday afternoon and it's a tough place to play. What has the Bulldog coaching staff concerned is that the last time Nolehi played a varsity game there, this year's seniors were freshmen ... Knights opened the season with a 24-21 loss to Palisades, before beating Salisbury 33-23 and Notre Dame 35-9. Since then they've lost to Wilson 31-7 and Southern Lehigh 49-7 ... Bulldogs won 14-9 the last time they made a trip to Pen Argyl back in 2006.

QUOTABLE

"It's another scary game because I think Pen Argyl is going to feel that its back is against the wall as far as district playoffs. They know if they pull this one off, they'll get a lot of points out of it." - Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout

PALMERTON AT NORTHWESTERN

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Northwestern 3-2 overall (3-2 Colonial League); Palmerton 1-4 overall (1-4 Colonial League)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Northwestern will look to get its running game going with a bevy of backs, including Colton Breininger, Michael Oswald and Kevin Oxley. The Tigers will also try to get the bal to all-purpose weapon Garrett Lerner. Palmerton's top priorities will be stopping the ground game and containing Lerner.

* Northwestern needs to finish drives. Against good teams this season the Tigers have moved the ball, but failed to turn long drives into points.

* Palmerton is looking for consistency in its offensive execution. Key mistakes and breakdowns have been the Bombers' downfall this season.

NOTEABLE

Although the Bombers have two less wins than the Tigers, they are probably in better district playoff position because they are seeking a Class AA playoff spot where eight teams make the field ... Northwestern is trying to bust into a 4-team playoff bracket in Class AAA...The Bombers were Colonial League co-champs in 2007 and were 8-2 in each of the past two seasons ... Bombers have won three of the last four meetings and the past two at Northwestern by shutouts (14-0 in 2005 and 20-0 in 2007) ...

QUOTABLE

"It's tough to gauge our attitude right now because we have such quiet leaders. We've challenged them to step up in this second part of the season. We told them being young is no longer an excuse. The sophomores have to play like juniors, the juniors have to lead like seniors, and our five seniors have to fight for their season right now," - Palmerton head coach Paul McArdle.

"We have to be concerned about their quarterback because he throws the ball very well. he does a nice job of faking so we have to be disciplined and we have to play good pass defense," - Northwestern head coach Bob Mitchell.

PLEASANT VALLEY AT

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Pleasant Valley 2-3 overall (1-0 Mountain Valley Conference); Pocono Mountain West 0-5 overall (0-2 Mountain Valley Conference)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* According to the film he has seen, Bears head coach Jim Terwilliger believes the Panthers' defense is very aggressive and has a great front seven. However, West has given up an average of 31 points-per-game, including 43-39-45 the last three weeks.

* The Panthers offense is led by QB Rich Adams and RB Terrence Quiteh. The Bears match up well defensively, but the game will come down to who wins the individual battles up front.

* Terwilliger believes his team as a whole plays better when his defense is playing with passion. The Bears have been inconsistent doing that so far this year, but if they can get on track this week they should be in the driver's seat.

NOTEABLE

West fell to MVC foe East Stroudsburg North 45-20 last week ... The Panthers gave up 344 yards on the ground alone while only having a total of 267 yards themselves ... Adams threw for just 64 yards last week on 3-for-9 passing, but did have a TD ... Quiteh was the workhorse, as he picked up 102 yards and a TD on 20 carries ... Fellow RB Dwayne Elmore also had a decent night with 32 yards and a TD ... West is averaging only 12.2 points-per-game through five games ... After winning the first four games between the two schools, Pleasant Valley has since dropped the last three ... West won last year's contest by a score of 46-13 and has scored an average of 47 points in the last two games of the series.

QUOTABLE

"When you start MVC play and you play a team that is well coached like Pocono Mt. West - the records don't really matter that much. I'm not considering being a favorite or an underdog. I think we just have to come out and play. West has lost to some pretty good teams in East Stroudsburg North and East Stroudsburg South. People can say they aren't real good because they have no wins, but they have played some tough opponents. We have to approach this game with a great mentality and go from there." - Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger.

Minersville at Jim Thorpe

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Minersville 1-4 (1-3 AFL); Jim Thorpe 1-4 (1-4 AFL)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Jim Thorpe needs to be well-rounded offensively so the run can open up the passing game and the pass can open up the running game. Establishing consistency on offense has been the Olympians' Achilles heel over the past three weeks.

* Jim Thorpe quarterback Corey Cinicola needs to get back on track. Over the first two weeks, the senior gunslinger passed for 373 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. During the last three weeks, he's been ice cold, passing for just 150 yards with no touchdowns and five interceptions.

* Defensively, the Olympians need to get back to the fundamentals, as far as playing assignment football and making tackles. Jim Thorpe missed 60 tackles in last week's loss to Shenandoah.

NOTABLE

Since 1992, Minersville leads the series 9-6; however, Jim Thorpe has won six of the last eight meetings, including last year's 34-25 decision. In their last meeting at Jim Thorpe (2007), Minersville posted a 10-0 shutout ... Both teams enter the contest with 1-4 records, with each of their wins coming against winless Mahanoy Area. Jim Thorpe defeated the Golden Bears 42-0, gaining 362 yards of total offense, while holding Mahanoy Area to just 62 yards. Minersville rallied from a 14-13 halftime deficit to win 31-22. In that game, Minersville totaled 281 yards offensively and yielded 281 defensively ... The Minersville offense averages just 172.4 yards per game and have been held to under 70 yards offensively in two of their four losses this season (to North Schuylkill and Schuylkill Haven) ... Jim Thorpe quarterback Corey Cinicola is on pace to throw for 1,046 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season, Cinicola led the TIMES NEWS area with 1,744 passing yards and 27 touchdowns ... Minersville only has two passing touchdowns all season, both to wide receiver Dave King ... Quarterback Zack Dixon has completed 16-of-44 passes this season for 202 yards with six interceptions ... The Battlin' Miners ground game runs though Storm Walcott (41 carries, 232 yards) and Cole Weachock (43 carries, 154 yards). Walcott leads the team with four rushing touchdowns.

QUOTABLE

"Offensively, we need to be able to spread the ball around. Corey (Cinicola) needs to be more consistent with throwing, we need to have better pass protection and we need to win our one-on-one matchups. If we come out and play aggressive physical football and establish some consistency, both offensively and defensively, I think we're going to be okay." - Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger.