Northern Lehigh at Catasaqua
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Northern Lehigh 6-2 (6-2 Colonial); Catasaqua 8-0 (8-0 Colonial).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Northern Lehigh def. Bangor 34-27; Catasaqua def. Palmerton 48-7.
NORTHERN LEHIGH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/TE Caleb Johnson (107-770-11TD rush**), QB Dan Marsh (30-60-610-9TD pass**, 86-510-8TD rush**), WR Darien Middaugh (11-233-3TD rec**, 11-115-TD rush**).
CATASAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Ra'Von Burton (19-56 rush*), RB Eric Matz (5-156-3TD rush*), QB Zack Bradley (8-13-214-3TD pass*).
FAST FACTS: Catasaqua definitely provides a tough match-up for Northern Lehigh. The Roughies are averaging over 300 yards of total offense per game and are averaging almost seven yards per carry. They are fast and they are athletic at almost every position on the field and will be by far the fastest team the Bulldogs have faced all season. Northern Lehigh's two losses this season have come to Palisades and Pen Argyl. Catty blew out the Pirates 40-0 back on Septemer 14th and handled the Green Knights 48-21. Catty's Ra'Von Burton poses a threat from multiple positions and is averaging almost nine yards per rush and has 12 touchdowns on the year. Since losing to Pen Argyl three weeks ago Northern Lehigh has put up a combined 91 points in two games. The Bulldogs, who have been inconsistent at time this year have seemed to found some consistency and just at the right time.
QUOTABLE: "We're excited for the challenge this week and without question this is the biggest challenge we've faced so far this season. We've been playing our best football the last two weeks and we're hoping that carries over to this week. We also talked to our kids last week after our win over Bangor that it was a team effort that got us that win. We're going to need a lot of guys to play their best football this week. With a team like Catty you have to control the clock and stop them from making that quick strike. We need to have consistent sustained drives on offense as well. Three and outs will definitely not help us win the game. Once again we know what we're stepping into being that it's a road game against a great team, but we're going to give it our best shot and we'll be ready to play." Northern Lehigh coach Joe Tout
Minersville at Tamaqua
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Minersville 3-5 (2-4 Anthracite); Tamaqua 8-0 (6-0 Anthracite).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Minersville def. Carson Long 50-13; Tamaqua def. Panther Valley 46-0.
MINERSVILLE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/WR Chris Murphy (4-41 rush*), RB Luke Heffron (2-34-2TD rush*).
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Dalton Nunemacher (94-685-rush-11TD**, 16-421rec**), RB Jake Love (85-520-6TD rush**), RB Tyler Hope (41-392-3TD rush**), Dustin Vandermartin (8-264-6TD rec**).
FAST FACTS: Minersville run first attack did not fair too well against Marian in week six only rushing for 86 yards on 36 carries. Tamaqua plays the same style of defense as the Colts using speed and toughness to shut down the opposition. The Raiders are only giving up 206 yards of total offense per contest so if Minersville wants to have a chance in this one they're going to have to have a balanced attack. The problem is the Miners have had some real trouble passing the football this season. In that same game against Marian they were only able to come up with 21 yards on the night. Secondly, freshman Nick McBreen, who is the signal caller for Minersville was under contsant pressure and it got to him. The youngster only completed three passes. The Raiders are going to come after you on defense, so it looks like the Miners certainly have their work cut out for them come Friday night.
QUOTABLE: "There's no reason to think that if we keep playing football the right way with the team we have that we always have a good chance to win. Minersville is a tough team that can run the football so we have to make sure that we play physical defense. Also, last week we turned the ball over three times, which is uncharactersitic of our team. We were fortunate to still be plus one in the turnover game, but we need to cut that down this week. We just need to keep playing good football, stay positive in the turnover game and make some plays in special teams like we've been doing all year." Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner.
Marian at Jim Thorpe
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Marian 7-1 (5-1 Anthracite); Jim Thorpe 1-7 (1-6 Anthracite).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Marian def. Shenandoah Vy. 21-17; Schuylkill Haven def. Jim Thorpe 50-42.
MARIAN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Dylan Quirk (121-579-7TD rush**), QB Corey Quick (45-103-9TD pass **), Eric Swankoski (11-249-2TD rec**), Mike Cataldo (11-235-2TD rec**), John Julian (9-263-5TD rec**).
JIM THORPE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Pat Duvigneaud (79-175-1,508-14TD pass**, 118-822-15TD rush**), WR Mike Harelston (27-655-8TD rec**), RB Deonte St. Hill (87-295-7TD rush**), WR Ryan Saunders (17-291 rec**).
FAST FACTS: This game is a very interesting match-up in the AFL this week. It boast the league's best defense statistically (Marian) vs. the league's best offensive teams stats wise (Jim Thorpe). Anybody who has been keeping tabs on the AFL this season can tell you that the Olympians lost a few heartbreakers and also that their offense is straight up dangerous. They average 32 points per contest and have been putting up over 350 yards of total offense per game. The problem is the Olympians also give up 40 points a game and they have also let up over 20 touchdowns this season over 35 yards or more. Marian on the other hand has absolutely stifled teams. They shutdown Shenandoah last, holding them to 224 total yards after SV racked up 591 yards the week before against Panther Valley. They have been allowing just a tad under 150 yards per game and also are only giving up 9.5 points per game. Offensively the Colts will run it at you like they have in the past, but now they can throw it as well with QB Corey Quick, who has come on as of late. Quick threw for 215 yards and two scores last week against the Devils. It's interesting to see if the Colts can stop JT QB Pat Duvigneaud, who has been an offensive firework this year shooting to throw for close to 2,000 and rush for a 1,000. The Colts do only let up 47.5 yards passing per game, but if anybody can do it Duvigneaud has got a shot.
QUOTABLE: "This is definitely the best defense we're going to see all year. They have great athletes that fly to the football and they play with a lot of passion. We have to try and control the clock and put some points on the board with our offensive attack. Once again, on defense we have to tackle better. Marian has a balanced offensive attack so we have to make sure we wrap them up consistently. It's going to be a tough challenge for sure." Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger.
"We're well aware of the threat they pose on offense. They are a great offensive team if not the best one of the best we've seen all year. They have a really dangerous quarterback and he is surrounded by some talented athletes. Our kids know the challenge and we have to be a great defensive team in space this week. We have to come out and continue to be a balanced football team on offense and get our running game going a little better than we have the last couple weeks. We've just got to continue to get our skill kids in space to make plays and we have to try and make a couple big plays on special teams as well." Marian coach Stan Dakosty.
North Schuylkill at Panther Valley
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: North Schuylkill 5-3 (5-2 Anthracite); Panther Valley 3-5 (2-4 Anthracite).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: North Schuylkill def. Mahanoy 30-0; Tamaqua def. Panther Valley 46-0.
NORTH SCHUYLKILL'S IMPACT PLAYERS: WR/RB Ethan Motsney (21-125-2TD rush*), RB Matt Gownley (5-113-3TD rush*).
PANTHER VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: WR/RB Kyle Ferryman (18-329-4TD rec**, 48-366-3TD rush**), RB Richard Nase (41-230-TD).
FAST FACTS: The Panthers have no doubt struggled since the loss of starting running back Rich Smith. Smith was responsible for 842 yards and 14 touchdowns before he went down in the second half against Marian a few weeks ago. Overall PV has lost four straight and two in the absence of Smith. They've also been struggling to put points on the board averaging just eight points per game in the last four games. Defensively the Panthers have been struggling as well giving up an average of 42 points per game over the last four. North Schuylkill is coming into their game with PV looking at the match-up as a must-win. If they want any hope of qualifying for district playoffs the Spartans must win out. They sit in sixth place two spots out of the last spot behind Palisades and Northern Lehigh.
Northwestern at Bangor
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Northwestern 3-5 (3-5 Colonial); Bangor 6-2 (6-2 Colonial).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Pen Argyl def. Northwestern 35-7; Northern Lehigh def. Bangor 34-27.
NORTHWESTERN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/WR Cam Richardson (79-361-4TD rush**, 16-220-2TD rec**), RB/WR Mason Schuler (70-339-TD rush**, 14-122-2TD rec**), QB Frank Dangello (65-143-913-10TD pass**), WR Dylan Snyder (12-284-3TD rec**).
BANGOR'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Phil Vass (1,501 rush**), QB Brett Albinson (25-65-572-6TD pass**), WR Isreal Alvarez (11-209-3TD rec**), FB/LB Josh Pensyl.
FAST FACTS: The Tigers face the top four teams in the Colonial League on consecutive weeks. They took on Northern Lehigh (6-2) two weeks ago, faced Pen Argyl (6-2) last week, are up against Bangor this week and have Catasauqua (8-0) to finish off the season. Five turnovers last week led to a 35-7 loss to the Knights. Bangor's rushing attack (256 yards per game) has been one of the best in District 11 this season led by stud back Phil Vass. The Tigers are giving up 220 yards per game on the ground. They will definitely have to improve in their run defense for a shot at the upset over the Slaters.
QUOTABLE: "We're seeing improvements. We're just making mental and physical mistakes that young, inexperienced teams make. We're definitely improving, it just so happens that we're doing it against some of the better teams in the league." Northwestern coach Josh Snyder
Pen Argyl at Palmerton
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Pen Argyl 6-2 (6-2 Colonial), Palmerton 0-8 (0-8 Colonial).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Pen Argyl def. Northwestern 35-7; Catasaqua def. Palmerton 48-7.
PEN ARGYL'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Mike Racciato (14-115-3TD rush*), RB Nick Oyer (6-103-TD rush*).
PALMERTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Alex Vignone (82-468-TD rush**), RB Trey Nelson (64-281-7TD rush**) DT John Snyder (91 tackles, 8 sacks).
FAST FACTS: Pen Argyl poses a different problem for the Bombers then last week's opponent Catasauqua. Pen Argyl likes to ground and pound first, then mix in their pass game to keep teams off balance. Palmerton will be facing another top running back in the league in Mike Racciato and will definitely be under sized compared to Pen Argyl's line. For the Bombers to successful they will we have to hold on to the ball, which has been an achilles heal this year for Palmerton along with not allowing the big play. The Bombers must also find some sort of passing offense to help the running duo of Vignone and Nelson. Palmeton is only averaging 33.5 yards passing per game and only scoring 9 points per game.
QUOTABLE: "It is senior night this week and we only have 8 seniors on the roster, so we are going to continue to prepare hard so we can give something back to these seniors who have dedicated the last four years to the program. Last weeks first half showed a big improvement in our play. Our style of play in the first half gave us a chance against a team who no one gave us a chance against. Even though the final score didn't indicate it, there were many positive lessons to be learned from that game. This week we need to find a way to keep up our mental intensity and focus for four quarters. We are striving to put a complete game together where we execute efficiently and consistently in all phases of the game for four quarters, not just one half." Palmerton coach Chris Walkowiak.
PM West at Lehighton
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: PM West 3-5 (2-4 Mountain Valley Conference); Lehighton 2-6 (2-4 Mountain Valley Conference).
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: PM West def. Dieruff 49-14; Lehighton def. ES South 22-19.
PM WEST'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Jeff Krisak (10-12-292-5TD*), WR Jordan Hardy (4-170-3TD rec*, kickoff ret TD*).
LEHIGHTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/WR Jacen Nalesnik (94-433-6TD rush**, 29-306-3TD rec**), QB Tyler Crum (40-108-459-4TD pass**, 65-281-TD rush**).
FAST FACTS: Lehighton showed they will do whatever it takes to win pounding the rock with usual wide receiver Jacen Nalesnik 38 times against ES South last week. The strategy worked and the Indians got the upset 22-19 with Nalesnik rushing for 188 yards. The Indians will once again have their work cur out for them on defense with pass happy PM West. West QB is closing up on the 2,000 yard mark this season tallying 1,990 yards to date. Lehighton has been average against the pass this season allowing about 114 yards per game. If Lehighton can continue to successfully run the football and not let up the big play on defense coach McCarroll could possibly be looking at back-to-back win for the first time this season.
QUOTABLE: "I've been saying to the kids that we need to have more of a winning mentality. Last week's win certainly looks like we're headed in the right direction. This group also does a great job refocusing every week. They are eager to learn and work hard every Monday come practice time. This week we have to continue to refocus again because Pocono Mountain West is a totally different type of team. We just need to continue to get ourselves in the right spots and then make the plays when we're there. Last week we made the plays and the kids saw what can happen when we make plays." Lehighton coach Tom McCarroll.