PLEASANT VALLEY

AT EAST STROUDSBURG SOUTH

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Pleasant Valley 3-4 (2-1 MVC); East Stroudsburg South 6-1 (4-0)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Pleasant Valley needs to be disciplined on both sides of the ball and play together as one unit. The Bears face a well-coached, athletic Cavalier squad, which is on a roll having won six straight.

* PV head coach Jim Terwilliger has preached winning the turnover battle all season and Friday night will be no different. Turnovers are also important in controlling the football and winning the battle of field position. Miscues are also magnified when playing a quality team.

* Defensively, the Bears need to match-up well with their athletes. ESS has a number of players that can hurt team offensively, and like to spread it out. The Cavs are successful running and throwing the ball. That means PV must be sound in their schemes and play aggressive.

NOTABLE

Since 1988, Eastburg South has a 16-5 advantage in the series. The Cavaliers have won four straight against PV, including a 24-14 decision a year ago. The Bears last victory against ESS was a 14-0 win in 2004 ... Pleasant Valley has only turned the ball over seven times this year and has a +11 turnover ratio ... The Bears, not surprising with Terwilliger as coach, have thrown the most passes (165) among TIMES NEWS area team and have thrown for the most yards (1035). Despite the amount of passes, PV has thrown the fewest amount of interceptions (2) ... The Cavs, currently ranked second in District 11 Class AAAA, average 33.9 points per game while allowing just 8.7. Their only loss came in the first week to Easton, 24-22 ... ESS's defense is led by senior linebacker Sam Bergen, who recently announced he will be attending Rutgers ... Since 2002, the Cavs are 42-4 in MVC play ... Eastburg offense is led by quarterback Robert Moyer and running back Colin Hegarty.

QUOTABLE

"We're going to a hostile environment, one that I'm very familiar with. The word of the week is 'Together'. We have to have our eggs in order and play a very disciplined 48 minutes of football. We're looking forward to doing that." - Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger.

LEHIGHTON AT POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Lehighton 1-6 overall (0-4 Mountain Valley Conference); PM West 2-4 overall (1-1 Mountain Valley Conference)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* The Indians need to be very disciplined on defense, especially if they want to shut down the Panthers' potential game-breakers like quarterback Jeff Krisiak, converted tailback Rich Adams, who is listed as a quarterback on the roster and running back Terrence Quiteh. Senior wide receiver TJ Bartree and senior tight end Curtis Parker, who stands 6-foot, 3-inches, are also threats on the outside.

* Against the Panthers 4-4 defense, the Indians will need to have some balance. Look for Lehighton to spread the field a little more than usual to help the passing game.

NOTABLE

After losing its first four regular season games, Pocono Mountain West is currently riding a two-game winning streak with recent wins over Pleasant Valley and Jim Thorpe ... Lehighton looks to end a six-game losing streak ... No better way of getting one than where it got its lone win a 35-13 victory at Marian to start the season than on the road ... PM West is 1-2 at home this season with its lone win coming against Pleasant Valley (26-14) ... Lehighton leads the season series between the two Mountain Valley Conference foes, 4-3 ... PM West has won the last two meetings by scores of 35-20 and 44-0 ... With Kyle Hunter is still limping around a bit with an ankle injury, he'll share time under center with Josh Agosto. The Tribe will probably go with Matt Rebovich at the tailback position. Tim Sulzer is still a game-time decision as he's sick on top of nursing an injury.

QUOTABLE

"We just have to put a good game together - defensively and offensively. We put one good half together last week and that wasn't enough to win. We lost 14-13. So, we're sticking with the goal we had at the beginning of the year - Get better every week." - Lehighton coach George Ebbert

NORTHERN LEHIGH AT BANGOR

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Northern Lehigh 6-1 overall (6-1 Colonial League); Bangor (3-4 overall (3-4 Colonial League)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* The Slaters run a very obscure defense only putting down three lineman and then placing five LB's at a depth of four yards. NL head coach Joe Tout feels one key is to giving his offense every imaginable look this week during practice. Bangor's strength is their linebackers so the Bulldogs will have to make sure that they are able to pick up the backers come from various positions. The Bulldogs also have to expect different looks from them defensively.

* Bulldogs must stop Bangor QB Scott LaValva from having a big game. The key this week is to make sure that every gap is accounted for. LaValva does a great job of looking for cut back lanes. The Bulldogs have to make sure that their defensive ends and linebackers are gap responsible and that they look for the cut back.

* The Bulldogs are excited about the challenge of stopping the most explosive athlete in the Colonial League this year in LaValva. If they do, they'll get the "W".

NOTABLE

Tout and his staff are reminding the team about last year when it led at Bangor 26-6 and wound up losing 36-32 so the kids understand that they will need to be focused for the entire game ... Bulldogs' offensive line was the key to the win over Northwestern. Tout thought the entire offense blocked extremely well. Northern Lehigh ran mostly power-I and got great blocking from its backfield as well as its flankers. It was a complete team effort and all 11 players did a great job of staying on blocks ... Bulldogs (6-1) are now No. 2 in the District 11 2A rankings with 810 points and an average of 115.71, tied with No. Schuylkill, but the Spartans get the No. 1 nod right now because they are 7-0.

QUOTABLE

"We tell our kids that the mark of a high quality football team is to not have a let down game. At this point in the season every game is critical and we have to make sure that we are only focused on the current game." - Northern Lehigh coach Joe Tout

PALMERTON AT CATASAUQUA

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Palmerton 1-6 overall (1-6 Colonial League); Catasauqua (5-2 overall (5-2 Colonial League)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Blue Bombers have to minimize their mistakes. In most of Catasauqua's wins, the Rough Riders were outgained by their opponents, but they either forced or capitalized on mistakes to win.

* In most of Palmerton's losses, the Bombers have hurt themselves with key mistakes. If they can reverse those trends, Coach Paul McArdle feels they can come out of there with a big win.

NOTABLE

Bombers are still approaching each week like they always do. The coaches and players are working hard and the attitude is very positive ... Despite the 1-6 record, defensively, Levi Serfass has really established himself as one of the better players in the league, despite playing with injuries every week of the season. Joe Weber has been solid at DE and Travis Labyack has been very good in the secondary ... Offensively, Labyack has stepped up nicely since being moved to receiver and so has Chris Marcin now that he has a couple games at tailback under his belt ... Nick Carullo took advantage of a few carries last week and showed that they have to get him the ball more ... Zach Dotter has been very steady at offensive tackle and Weber has been spreading the ball around nicely to a lot of receivers ... Rough Riders will be out for revenge after Blue Bombers stole one down there last year on a Matt Falcone-to-Austin Cseh completion as time was running out.

QUOTABLE

"Our goal for the week is the same: win. We feel strongly that we can turn this season around. We still have three opportunities to do that." - Palmerton coach Paul McArdle

Jim Thorpe at Schuylkill Haven

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Jim Thorpe 2-5 (2-4 AFL); Schuylkill Haven 4-3 (3-3 AFL)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Schuylkill Haven's rushing offense vs. Jim Thorpe's rush defense, or simply put, the Hurricanes' strength vs. the Olympians weakness. Schuylkill Haven averages 237.7 yards on the ground per game, while the Olympians are allowing 202.9 rushing yards per game. Jim Thorpe had their best outing last week against Pocono Mountain West (allowing 64 yards on 27 carries) and needs to have repeat performance against the Hurricanes.

* Health is a huge concern for Jim Thorpe entering this week's game. Twenty kids were missing from Tuesday's practice, including 9 of 22 starters, due to illness. If Jim Thorpe is not at full strength come Friday, Schuylkill Haven will have a huge advantage.

* Jim Thorpe goes from playing on the worst field surface in the Anthracite Football League to the best field surface in the league (Rotary Field). The change in venue should benefit a Jim Thorpe offense that operates out of a spread formation and relies on passing and perimeter speed.

* The Olympians need to be more efficient in the red zone. Last week against Pocono Mountain West, Jim Thorpe was in the red zone (inside the 20 yard line) three times and came away with 0 points.

NOTABLE

This game was originally scheduled to be played at Jim Thorpe; however, due to poor field conditions, the game was moved to Schuylkill Haven (thus cancelling Jim Thorpe's Senior Night for the time being) ... With the site change, Schuylkill Haven will be playing its fourth consecutive home game at Rotary Field ... Rotary Field's surface is field turf ... Jim Thorpe will be wearing their home red jerseys ... Jim Thorpe is 0-3 on the road this season and has given up 40.3 points per game ... Since 1992, Schuylkill Haven leads the all-time series 9-4, including last year's 49-20 victory ... In last year's game, Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year Zach Barket had 27 carries for 389 yards, including four rushing touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown ... Barket, now a member of the Lehigh University football team, has played in four games this season with 10 carries for 47 yards (0 touchdowns) ... Schuylkill Haven's defense has been stout and has given up more than 14 points in a game just once this season (35 points to Panther Valley) ... The Hurricanes are allowing 198.3 yards per game (75.1 passing yards per game) ... Schuylkill Haven's employs a run-oriented offense, as 18 of its 19 offense touchdowns this year have come on the ground ... Running back Evan Fink takes over for Barket and has compiled 158 rushes for 952 yards (136 yards per game) with nine rushing touchdowns on the season. Fink's 952 yards would be second most in the TIMES NEWS area behind only Northern Lehigh's Cody Remaley (1,206) ... Quarterback Brian Murphy is also a threat to run with 59 carries for 409 yards and six touchdowns ... Jim Thorpe's weakness is its rushing defense. They allow 202.9 yards per game on the ground and 6.0 yards per carry, both second worst in the TIMES NEWS area (behind Pleasant Valley) ... Quarterback Corey Cinicola leads the Olympians with eight passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns ... Jim Thorpe is fighting for a berth in the District playoffs and is 90 points behind Salisbury (2-5) for the eight and final spot in the District 11, Class AA Tournament.

QUOTABLE

"Right now, we're a team that's scraping to get by. With so many kids being sick and out of practice, it's a huge concern. Schuylkill Haven's a good team and they have a bunch of weapons on offense. If you're going to beat Schuylkill Haven, you need to stop their running game, but in order for us to do that, we need to get some healthy bodies back on the field."

- Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger.

MARIAN AT SHENANDOAH VALLEY

WHEN

Friday, 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Marian 2-5 (2-3 AFL); Shenandoah Valley 3-4 (2-4 AFL)

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Marian hopes to build on its momentum from Sunday's win against Minersville. The Colts' defense registered seven sacks while the offense had a big second half, scoring three touchdowns. Stan Dakosty called Sunday's game the best Marian played this season and is looking for continued improvement which will be needed to beat a physical Devils' squad.

* The Colts need to hold their own in the trenches. Shenandoah boasts an experienced and big line on both sides of the ball. Marian will try to use its quickness to offset another team that outsizes them.

* Marian must control the ball on offense and not allow big plays on defense. Shenandoah has a home run threat in RB Eric Whalen, who must be contained for the Colts to have a chance.

NOTABLE

Shenandoah leads the all-time series, 6-5, although the Colts have won the last two contests. A year ago, Marian gained a 26-0 victory the last shutout registered by the Colts ... Paul Martin has reached 100 yards rushing three times this season, including the last two games against Panther Valley and Minersville. Martin has also scored touchdowns in six of his team's seven games ... Dakosty plans on continuing to rotate his quarterbacks, using both Pat Leitzel and Corey Quick ... The Blue Devils returned eight starters on offense and seven on defense this season. Led by a senior-dominated line which includes Greg Polosky, Albert Amberlavage, Bill Navitsky and Sam Sadja, Shenandoah likes to pound the ball between the tackles. If the Devils do run outside, they'll probably do so with their quarterback - Danny Merva ... SV is coached by Nick Sajone and has wins against York Catholic, Minersville, and Jim Thorpe. Its losses are against North Schuylkill, Tamaqua, Schuylkill Haven and Panther Valley.

QUOTABLE

"Shenandoah is a great challenge for our team. The kids are excited and they have a great attitude. The big question is can we carry over what we did Sunday into Friday's game." - Marian head coach Stan Dakosty

PEN ARGYL AT NORTHWESTERN

WHEN

Friday 7 p.m.

RECORDS

Pen Argyl 2-5; Northwestern 4-3

KEYS TO THE GAME

* Northwestern wants to be the more aggressive and physical team after getting pushed around by Northern Lehigh last week

* Pen Argyl will look to get the ball in the hands of Dylan Evans, who had 131 offensive touches this season, far more than any Knight other than the quarterback

* A Northwestern defense that's pitched three shut outs this year will have to contain a balanced Knight offense

* Pen Argyl has gotten bad breaks in a few games this season and could really use some to go its way. Northwestern is a team still smarting from a loss and needing a win to stay in the district playoff race

* The Tigers will try to get their Wing-T working. Mike Oswald has been the work horse recently, but the Tigers have a number of players capable of breaking plays when they touch the ball

NOTABLE

Offensive coordinator Roy Cortez, who coached Pen Argyl to four Colonial League titles from 1999-2002, has put his stamp on the team's offense. The Knights average 154.4 passing yards to 117 rushing. Junior quarterback Nathan Hood (6-1, 185) has completed 65 of 153 with 1081 yards, 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Evans, a 6-2, 178-pound sophomore running back has 115 carries for 525 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's caught a team-high 16 passes for 265 yards and is one of four different Pen Argyl players who have 10 or more receptions….Hood is the team's top defensive player. The Knights have given up an average of 29.2 points per game while scoring 19.6…. Pen Argyl opened the season 2-1 and has lost four straight since….With so many good teams in District 11 Class AAA, Northwestern looked like an outsider when it had one loss, then two. But even with three the Tigers are fifth in the district rankings, one spot out of a berth. They probably need to win out and hope Pottsville, the fourth place, team loses a game or two. Bethlehem Catholic, in sixth place and with a difficult remaining schedule, could also leapfrog the Tigers.

Quoteable

"This looks like the Pen Argyl offenses from earlier this decade. They're chucking and ducking. Their defense is good and their offense is unpredictable. If we view them as a 2-5 team then shame on us. We can't take them lightly,"

- Northwestern head coach Bob Mitchell