Catasauqua at Northern Lehigh
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Catasauqua 6-2 (6-2 Colonial League); Northern Lehigh 7-1 (7-1 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Catasauqua def. Palmerton 35-0; Northern Lehigh def. Bangor 20-7
CATASAUQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Jake Bloszinsky (5-10-88-3 TDs pass), RB Sa'Quon Burton (2-49-TD rec, 1-1-36-TD pass), WR Vinny Pellechia (2 TDs rec)
NORTHERN LEHIGH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: DL Kyle Greenawald, LB Kirk Bender, DL Caleb Johnson, LB Dalton Johnson, DB David Getz, DE Nick Valentini, LB Kyle Schomp, LB Dratyon Budhoo
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Rough Riders are pretty scary at the skill positions with the Burton brothers and Pellechia. Northern Lehigh has to continue to play sound defense and limit the yards the Catty skill guys get when thet get the ball. Northern Lehigh is going to run the football right at the Catty defense, which at some points this season looked to be a weakness for the Catasaqua defense.
FAST FACTS: Catasauqua's record is fourth in the CL North division. However, if the Roughies were in the South division, they would be in first place and two games ahead of Southern Lehigh. Northern Lehigh is currently third in the District 11 AA rankings, just ten points ahead of Pine Grove. Fortunately for them, Catty is in fifth with 740 points. The Bulldogs' defense has yet to give up more than 14 points in a game. Their 7.5 points-per-game-allowed average ranks second in all of D11. The two teams are tied at 14 wins apiece all-time. With that said, Northern Lehigh has won the last ten meetings.
QUOTABLE: "Going into this week we challenged the offense to become more dynamic and put points on the board. We played a great physical game last week against Bangor and now that it's getting down to the end of the regular season it's important for our guys to do that week in and week out." Northern Lehigh Head Coach Joe Tout
Bangor at Northwestern
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Bangor 7-1 (7-1 Colonial League); Northwestern 4-4 (4-4 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Northern Lehigh def. Bangor 20-7; Pen Argyl def. Northwestern 42-0
BANGOR'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Josh Wing (23-168-TD rush, CL leading rusher), Ryan Hydock (8-18-91 pass)
NORTHWESTERN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Ty Cunningham (has totaled 1,313 yards on the year so far), RB Payton Bachman (averaging over 14 yards per catch)
KEYS TO THE GAME:The Tigers have to find a way to limit Wing. He's the kind of back that opponents rarely can stop, but just hope to contain. Bangor has the biggest line in the Colonial League on both sides of the ball. The Tigers have to find a way to get through those big linemen on offense and get around them on defense.
FAST FACTS: Bangor is ranked No. 1 in the D11 AAA rankings and seems to be a lock for the top seed. The Slaters boast District 11's 12th best offense (32.6 ppg) and fifth best defense (10.7 ppg). Last week was the first time this year they failed to score at least 29 points in a game. Northwestern has lost its last three games after starting out the season 4-1. Northwestern is 9-6 versus Bangor, as the two teams have alternated wins over the last four years.
QUOTABLE:"For three straight weeks we have faced the biggest team we have all year. They are absolutely the biggest team in the league. They've got a college-size line." Northwestern Head Coach Tom Linette
Palmerton at Pen Argyl
WHEN: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
RECORDS: Palmeton 4-4 (4-4 Colonial League); Pen Argyl 8-0 (8-0 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Catasauqua def. Palmerton 35-0; Pen Argyl def. Northwestern 42-0
PALMERTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Cody Grohotolski (second in the area with 779 passing yards), RB Alex Vignone, WR Monty Szukics
PEN ARGYL'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Dylan Evans (26-99-2 TDs rush), RB Mike Racciato (12-57-2 TDs rush), QB Conor Gum (6-10-85-TD pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Bombers need to Protect the football, execute offensively and most importantly finish drives. Defensively, Palmerton must gang tackle Pen Argyl RB Dylan Evans and be aware of where RB Mike Racciato is at all times. Evans will get his yards, he is a great back, but they need to limit the big plays for touchdowns. The Bomber defensive line must play solid football in order for Palmerton to have a chance in this one.
FAST FACTS: Pen Argyl is just one of three remaining undefeated teams in District 11 (North Schuylkill and Pine Grove). All three of those teams are in the AA bracket. The Green Knights are currently ranked first, 70 points ahead of the Spartans. The Knights have scored at least 35 points in six of their eight games. On the flip side, their defense is tops in all of District 11 at 4.3 points-per-game-allowed, including four shutouts. Palmerton has lost its last two games to Bangor and Catty by a combined score of 88-7.
QUOTABLE: "Pen Argyl is as good as advertised. They're a very well coached football team and are sound in all phases of the game. We definitely need to be consistent, efficient, and make the most of our opportunities when we have the ball on Saturday. We have a huge challenge ahead of us, but the players are excited about the opportunity of playing a top notch program in the state." Palmerton Head Coach Chris Walkowiak
Tamaqua at Minersville
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Tamaqua 4-4 (4-2 Anthracite Football League); Minersville 7-1 (5-1 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Tamaqua def. Panther Valley 39-6; Minersville def. Tri-Valley 33-0
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Jarred Muffley (first RB in the area to go over the 1,000-yard mark), RB/DB Dalton Numemacher (intercepted three passes last week)
MINERSVILLE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Cole Weachock (9-16-178-3 TDs pass, 14-111-TD rush), WR Jake Kopinetz (6-164-3 TDs rec), RB Chris Murphy (7-54-TD rush), RB Billy Powanda (11-73 rush)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Raiders have been playing good football as of late and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Raiders will need to first concentrate on stopping the Minersville rushing attack. The Miners have multiple skill guys that can do damage and two in Weachock and Powanda that need to be accounted for at all times. If the Tamaqua "D" can limit the amount of big plays and make the Miners work for every yard the Raiders should continue on the track they have been on as of late. Tamaqua must also continue to run the ball effectively with work horse RB Jarred Muffley.
FAST FACTS: Last week the Miners ran 46 times for 295 yards and two touchdowns. Conversely, Minersville gave up just 109 total yards (83 rushing) in posting its second shutout of the season. The Miners are second to Pius X by 100 points in the D11 A rankings. They are currently on a six-game winning streak in which they have averaged over 36 points-per-game. Tamaqua has won the last four meetings with Minersville to push their overall series lead to 14-12.
QUOTABLE: "We need to focus on gang tacking and wrapping up Powanda and Weachock on every play. They run the ball tough, so they're going to fight for every inch out there. Offensively we have to keep running the football with success, and our line has to continue to play tough." Tamaqua Head Coach Sam Bonner
Jim Thorpe at Marian
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Jim Thorpe 1-7 (1-6 Anthracite Football League); Marian 4-4 (3-3 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Jim Thorpe def. Schuylkill Haven 30-28; Marian def. Shenandoah Valley 35-21
JIM THORPE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: WR Khaaliq Lynch (accounted for 183 of Jim Thorpe's 232 receiving yards last week), QB Pat Duvigneaud (has thrown a TD in every game this season)
MARIAN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Paul Martin (tied for the area lead in TDs despite missing last week), RB Dylan Quirk (filled in for Martin and ran for three TDs)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Jim Thorpe is very athletic at the skill positions, so Marian will have its hands full. The Colts' pass defense will have to be aware of Lynch and PJ Johnson out of the backfield. As for Marian's offense, Martin is still listed as day-to-day and they are hopeful that he will be able to go this weekend. Last week the Colts had people step up in his absence, especially on the offensive line, so their offense should still be able to perform well enough to score points.
The Olympians will have to contain the Colts' rushing attack, regardless if Martin plays, if they want to win their second consecutive game. Offensively, Jim Thorpe want to become more balanced and that requires them to be able to run the football.
FAST FACTS: Marian has won every game in which it has scored at least 28 points. Jim Thorpe's defense ranks third to last in all of D11 in points-allowed-per-game (46.5). The Olympians are 6-3 all-time against Marian and have won the last four meetings by a score of 138-41.
QUOTABLE: "For us, this is the biggest game of the year. We still have aspirations of a winning season and hopefully making the playoffs and none of that can happen unless we win this week." Marian Head Coach Stan Dakosty
"We are excited after the way we played last week against Schuylkill Haven. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing one of our rivals and possibly getting our second win of the season." Jim Thorpe Head Coach Mark Rosenberger
Lehighton at ES North
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Lehighton 3-5 (1-4 Mountain Valley Conference); East Stroudsburg North 4-4 (2-2 Mountain Valley Conference)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Lehighton def. Pocono Mountain West 38-28; Stroudsburg def. East Stroudsburg North 48-13
LEHIGHTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Josh Agosto (became Lehighton's all-time leading passer last week), WR Jacen Nalesnik (second in the area in total scoring with 101 points)
EAST STROUDSBURG'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Joe Clouse (22-166 rush, 1,002-14 TD rush on year), WR Abdul Murphy (3-49-TD rec), RB Caseem Johnson (7-81-TD rush)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Indians just plain and simple have to stop the Timberwolves triple option. The Indians will have plenty of opportunites to pass the football on the 'Wolves and if the Lehighton defense can play solid against the triple option the Tribe has a good shot to win this one.
FAST FACTS: Stroudsburg rushed for 381 yards against North's defense last week. The week before Pleasant Valley passed for 271. Since winning four in a row, the T'Wolves have dropped the last two games by a total score of 84-26. Despite its 4-4 record, North is still ranked second in the D11 AAA rankings. Currently only one team in the class (Bangor) has a winning record. ES North leads the all-time series 5-4.
QUOTABLE: "Offensively I feel like we will have some good oppurtunities to put some points on the board. They don't pass the ball much, so that means they can't get much practice time playing against a passing offense. It's going to be one of those games of who can stop who and hopefully we stop them more than they stop us." Lehighton Head Coach George Ebbert
Panther Valley at North Schuylkill
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Panther Valley 1-7 (1-5 Anthracite Football League); North Schuylkill 8-0 (7-0 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Tamaqua def. Panther Valley 39-6, North Schuylkill def. Mahanoy Area 38-37
PANTHER VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/QB Mike Weaver, RB/WR Nick McArdle
NORTH SCHUYLKILL'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Ryan Henning (10-15-290-TD pass, TD rush), WR Jon Long (four 2-point conversion runs, including the game-winner)
KEYS TO THE GAME: If there was ever a time to play the Spartans it's now. Two weeks ago NS was in a battle with Mount Carmel and last week squeaked out a win against Mahanoy. The Spartans have been living dangerously lately, but the Panthers have not been good against physical teams this season. The Panthers will have to bring there A plus game this week and hope the Spartans turn the ball over a lot for a chance in this one.
FAST FACTS: North Schuylkill won its 27th straight regular season game last week, as well as its 26th consecutive Anthracite Football League victory. The win also gave the Spartans their third straight league title. They are the first team in league history to accomplish that feat. They needed a two-point conversion with 46 seconds remaining in order to do so. The 37 points by Mahanoy Area were the most scored upon the Spartans' defense since Panther Valley put up 39 in a 40-39 loss on Oct. 24, 2008.
QUOTABLE: "North Schuylkill is a great program and they're very well coached. They have quality football players on that team and I hope our kids are as excited as I am to face an opponent like North Schuylkill. I love coaching in these type of games and our kids have to come out ready to play some good football." Panther Valley Head Coach Lon Hazlet