Marian at Pius X
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.
RECORDS: Marian 2-1 (2-1 AFL); Pius X 3-0
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Mahanoy def. Marian 26-6; Pius X def. Schuylkill Valley 56-28
MARIAN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Paul Martin (19-96 rush), OL/DL Brendan McGowan
PIUS X'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB A.J. Long (13-18-278-3TD pass, 10-71 rush), RB/WR DuBois Ross (4-25 rush, 6-99 receiving)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Colts need to limit their turnovers against the Royals. Marian turned the ball over five times against the Bears last week. The Colts will be challenged on defense with Pius X's spread attack and need to create some turnovers to try and slow down the Royals offense. Marian needs to run the ball effectively once again like they have all year with RB Paul Martin and beat Pius up in the trenches.
FAST FACTS: Marian is 4-16 all-time vs the Royals. Pius X is ranked fourth in the single A Pennsylvania State Football Rankings.
QUOTABLE: "First off it's crucial that we don't turn the ball over against Pius X this week. If you give a team like Mahanoy or Pius X 15 extra plays then your probably not going to win the game. We moved the ball well last week against Mahanoy but we shot ourselves in the foot at critical points. We have to avoid that this week and we're confident in the game-plan we have going into Saturday." Marian Head Coach Stan Dakosty.
Northwestern at Southern Lehigh
WHEN: Friday, 7p.m.
RECORDS: Northwestern 3-0 (3-0 Colonial); Southern Lehigh 1-2 (1-2 Colonial)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Northwestern def. Wilson 48-14; Bangor def. Southern Lehigh 28-26
NORTHWESTERN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Ty Cunningham (17-233-3 TD rush), RB Payton Bachman (10-65-TD rush, 3-65 2 TDs rec)
SOUTHERN LEHIGH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Tyler Edmund (16-26-200-2 TD pass), RB Jake Meluskey (1-55 rush)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Tigers will have to stop Southern Lehigh's spread offense and its Wing-T. The Spartans like to spread the ball around so the Tigers can't focus on the backs. Northwestern, which has fallen behind early in two of its first three games, will need to get off to a better start this week against the toughest opponent it has faced this season. The key matchup could be Southern Lehigh's big linemen against the Tigers smaller but athletic players in the trenches.
FAST FACTS: Other than a 49-0 Northwestern win in 2006 the last four contests between the Tigers and Spartans have been decided by 7.0 ppg.
QUOTABLE: "This is no doubt the best QB we have faced all season. It's going to be a tough task for us to stop them, and if we can't, we just have to hope that we can outscore them." Northwestern Head Coach Tom Linette.
Jim Thorpe at Panther Valley
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Jim Thorpe 0-3 (0-2 AFL); Panther Valley 0-3 (0-2 AFL)
LAST WEEKS RESULTS: North Schuylkill def. Jim Thorpe 67-13; Lehighton def. Panther Valley 41-0
JIM THORPE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Pat Duvigneaud (4-10-131-2 TD pass) WR Khaaliq Lynch (4-131-2 TD receiving)
PANTHER VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Nick McArdle (1-4-23 pass, RB Mike Weaver (1-14 rushing, 3-26 receving), RB Rich Smith (17-43 rushing)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Olympians need to find a way to get the ball to WR Khaaliq Lynch. Lynch has a huge size advantage on the Panthers defensive backs and could gash opposing defenses at any time. The Olympians also need to solidify some type of rushing attack in week 4. Panther Valley needs to keep the ball out of Lynch's hands and apply pressure to Thorpe QB Pat Duvigneaud to try and force turnovers. Offensively the Panthers have to take advantage of the Jim Thorpe run defense that has been weak so far this season.
FAST FACTS: Friday night's games will mark the 20th time Jim Thorpe and Panther Valley will battle out on the grid iron. The Olympians have won eight out of the last ten games they have played against the Panthers.
QUOTABLE: "Plain and simple we need to play better defense, and make teams punt. I feel we have made some progress on the defensive side of the ball at practice but it needs to carry over into game at Panther Valley." Jim Thorpe Head Coach Mark Rosenberger.
"We just have to play better football all around. We have had some success running the ball, but jus not consistently and we are going to try and run ourselves out of this rut. Overall, we just have to become a more physical football team." Panther Valley Head Coach Lon Hazlet
Tamaqua at Mahanoy Area
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Tamaqua 1-2 (1-2 AFL); Mahanoy 3-0 (3-0 AFL)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Shenandoah Valley def. Tamaqua 28-21; Mahanoy def. Marian 26-6
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Matt Delborrello (9-45-TD), RB Jared Muffley (18-71 rush), FB Nolan Ziegler (11-38-2TD rush)
MAHANOY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Mike Gaval (19-214-3 TD rush), RB/WR Neal Goodman (receiving TD)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Mahanoy quarterback Mike Gaval had a field day last week and he will be the focus of Tamaqua's defense. Gaval keeps the ball a lot in the Golden Bears' option attack and Bonner says that his defense must be disciplined. The outside linebackers will have to key their eyes on Gaval while the inside backers will be in charge of the dive if Gaval were to give it up. The Raiders are a little banged up offensively and are hoping to get some of their players back for this weekend's game. Mahanoy possess a stout defense and Bonner is looking to loosen them up with the pass. He would like his team to be more balanced on offense than they may have been in the previous three games.
FAST FACTS: Mahanoy area looks to be a real threat to challenge North Schuylkill for the AFL title. Tamaqua has won the last three match-ups with Mahanoy and has only given up an average of 6.5 ppg in those three contests.
QUOTABLE: "Mahanoy is a different team than we have seen so far this season. They are more run-oriented. Our defense is pumped up because no one has been able to stop them yet. It will be a big challenge for us." Tamaqua Head Coach Sam Bonner.
Palisades at Northern Lehigh
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Palisades 0-3 (0-3 Colonial); Northern Lehigh 3-0 (3-0 Colonial)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Catasaqua def. Palisades 42-21; Northern Lehigh def. Saucon Valley 36-0
PALISADES' IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Jesse Snyder, RB Justin Marsh, 0L/DL Jake Thompson
NORTHERN LEHIGH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Dylan Hoffman (6-8-131-3TD, 12-103), RB Trevor Yashur (15-64)
KEYS TO THE GAME: A big part of this game is going to be speed. Tout sees the Pirates as the fastest team that they have faced so far this season, so he has concern with his team's ability to pick up the pace in every aspect of the game. Palisades' linemen aren't the biggest, but they are very quick and Tout hopes to be able to take what NL's opponent is going to give them. NL is a 'run-first' type of team. However, they are more than confident in their ability to throw as well. The coaching staff sees that they can take advantage in certain areas of PHS' defense, and after two very physical practice sessions the hopes are high for Friday night's showdown.
FAST FACTS: Northern Lehigh is 14-1 against Palisades in their last 15 meetings with their only loss coming in 2008.
QUOTABLE: "We always say records are always deceiving. Palisades is 0-3, but if you watch them, they do things that are very impressive. We have to take care of the option and the QB scramble. But after the past few practices, we're anxious to see what the kids will do on Friday night." Northern Lehigh Head Coach Joe Tout.
Saucon Valley at Palmerton
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Saucon Valley 0-3 (0-3 Colonial); Palmerton 2-1 (2-1 Colonial)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Northern Lehigh def. Saucon Valley 36-0; Palmerton def. Salisbury 18-6
SAUCON VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Solt (10-80 rush), RB Laub (14-51)
PALMERTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Cody Grohotolski (10-57-TD rush, 12-15-159-TD pass), RB Alex Vignone (23-91-TD rush), WR Monty Szukics (8-125-TD, receiving)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Palmerton needs to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and avoid costly penalties and turnovers. The Bombers had two touchdowns called back last week against Salisbury due to penalties.
FAST FACTS: This will mark the second week where the Bombers face a winless opponnent. Palmerton leads the overall series with Saucon Valley 14-10 having won the last four meetings.
QUOTABLE: "You can throw the records out when we play Saucon Valley. The past few years our games with them have been wild and exciting.
We need to step up our overall game this week and continue to improve every time we take the field." Palmerton Head Coach Chris Walkowiak.