EASTERN CONFERENCE AA PLAYOFFS
No. 4 Tamaqua at No. 1 Catasauqua
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Tamaqua 5-5; Catasauqua 7-3
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Jarred Muffley (200-1,132-15 TDs rush, 12-165-TD rec), RB Dalton Nunemacher (37-345-3 TDs rush, 16-193 rec), RB Tyler Hope (58-143-4 TDs rush, 6-127-2 TDs rec), RB Nolan Zeigler (59-259-5 TDs rush), QB Brett Kosciolek (12-21-171-2 TDs pass)
CATASAUQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Joe Bloszinsky (68-133-747-10 TD pass, 86-292-4 TDs rush), WR Sa'Quon Burton (24-296-3 TDs rec, 28-176-3 TDs rush, 3-4-128-2 TDs pass), WR Vinny Pellechia (20-234-5 TDs rec), RB Luke Garner (109-681-7 TDs rush), RB Ra'Von Burton (61-425-3 TDs rush)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Catasauqua possesses a lot of balance offensively and will pose a great challenge for Tamaqua. The Riders' two wide receivers are dangerous in space. They also have two solid running backs. Catty reminds Tamaqua of Minersville in the sense that it likes to spread its offense out and run the ball up the middle. Garner is tough between the tackles, so the Raiders will attempt to force him outside. If he does go inside, they must make sure they wrap him up and take him down. S. Burton has the ability to catch, run and even throw the ball and looks to be the Riders' do-everything man. Lastly, Bloszinsky is a dual-threat and must be watched at all times.
As always, Tamaqua will look to establish the run. Catty is giving up over 214 yards on the ground, so that should bode well for the Raiders. Bonner is hoping that the ground game will also keep the ball away from the Riders' offense. Kosciolek, a freshman who will make his second start, is an all-around athlete and lets the Raiders do more with the quarterback. While Tamaqua doesn't want to put too much on his shoulders, he can throw the ball and makes the offense more balanced.
FAST FACTS: Catasauqua's three losses have come to the Colonial League's top three teams in Bangor, Pen Argyl and Northern Lehigh. Those teams were a collective 26-4 and each earned a District 11 berth. Although they are 7-3, the Riders have given up more yards (291.9) than they have gained (264.3). Only one of Raiders' losses was to a team with a losing record (Lehighton at 4-6). The other four teams (Shenandoah, Pleasant Valley, North Schuylkill and Minersville) were a combined 31-9.
QUOTABLE: "Everyone is excited. Everyone, including the seniors, is looking forward to playing an 11th week of football. Hopefully we can make it to a 12th week and a championship game, but right now our focus is on Catty." Tamaqua Head Coach Sam Bonner