Colts and Devils in big D-11 battle
Shenandoah Valley at Marian
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Shenandoah Valley 5-2 (4-2 Anthracite Football League); Marian 6-1 (4-1 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Shenandoah Valley def. Panther Valley 56-26; Marian def. Minersville 27-0
SHENANDOAH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Chris Palubinsky (86-152-1,327-11TD pass**, 90-492-5TD rush**), WR Nick Merva (23-384-6TD rec**)
MARIAN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: Corey Quick (34-83-689-7TD pass**), RB Dylan Quirk (105-526-7TD rush**), RB Anthony Agosti (73-yd Punt Return TD last wk vs. Minersville), WR John Julian (8-211-4TD rec**).
FAST FACTS: Since losing two of its first three games, Shenandoah has rebounded to win its last four contests. The Devils are currently tied for third in the AFL with North Schuylkill at 4-2. Tamaqua (5-0) and Marian (4-1) are the only two teams ahead of them. Shenandoah and Marian are neck-and-neck in the District 11 standings as well. The Colts are currently third and 130 points ahead of the Devils. Marian has the third best scoring defense in all of the district at 8.4 ppg. The only two teams ahead of the Colts are Williams Valley (6.7 ppg) and Catasauqua (7.4 ppg). Shenandoah Valley quarterback Chris Palubinsky has been on a mission as of late passing for over 200 yards in his last three games. The Colts secondary has been stout to say the least, giving up just 41 yards per game. Marian must also be aware of Palubinsky's ability to run. The Blue Devils' senior is averaging around 70 yards per game on the ground. Marian's ability to contain Palubinksy and how effective their offense can be will decide the outcome in this one. The Blue Devils defense has been suspect at times this year, so the Colts will need to take advantage and make some big plays.
QUOTABLE: "Shenandoah Valley is an outstanding football team and they're a threat to score on every possession. They also probably have the best quarterback in the league and they're playing with a ton of confidence after winning four games in a row. So, it will definitely be a challenge for us come Friday night. That being said we've been playing good football this season and we've been getting better every week. We threw the ball well last week and also scored on special teams once again, making that two weeks in a row. It's the kind-of game you want to be playing this late in the season and it should be a good game between two good football teams." Marian coach Stan Dakosty.
Panther Valley at Tamaqua
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Panther Valley 3-4 (2-3 Anthracite Football League); 7-0 (5-0 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Shenandoah Valley def. Panther Valley 56-26; Tamaqua def. Schuylkill Haven 27-6
PANTHER VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: WR/RB Kyle Ferryman (44-368-3TD rush**, 14-307-4TD rec**), RB Richard Nase (24-183-TD rush**),
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Dalton Nunemacher (82-600-9TD rush**, 15-406-5TD), RB Jake Love (77-494-5TD rush**), RB (33-361-3TD rush**).
FAST FACTS: Although Tamaqua and Catasauqua have the same overall record, the Rough Riders (1,010) are 190 points ahead of the Raiders (880) in the District 11 AA standings. Still, Tamaqua has a nice cushion over third-place Pen Argyl (680) and has almost assuredly locked a spot in the playoffs. Even though the Panthers currently have a losing record, they still have a shot at the Eastern Conference playoffs. Panther Valley lost talented running back Rich Smith to a season ending ankle injury two weeks ago, but bounced back nicely on offense rushing for 274 yards against Shenandoah Valley. Offense wasn't the problem for the Panthers, rather it was the "D" that was gutted by the Blue Devils. SV tallied a staggering 591 yards of total offense against PV, which is not the way you want to be playing football heading into a game vs. the AFL leading Raiders. The Panthers will need to make a drastic turn around if they want to contain that powerful Raiders' rushing attack that is averaging over 270 yards per game.
QUOTABLE: "Panther Valley still moves the ball well with Ferryman and Nase and they're a tough bunch of kids. They definitely have some athletes and they throw in a gadget play or two every game and they run them well. You have to be aware of where their athletes are at all times because they can use those plays to hit you. They definitely seem to be one of those quick score type of teams and can come back quick if they're down. This is another rivalry game for us and we're in a position where we control our own destiny. We have been in battles with these guys over the last few years so we need to come to play come Friday night," Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner.
Northwestern at Pen Argyl
WHEN: Saturday at 2 p.m.
RECORDS: Northwestern 3-4 (3-4 Colonial League); Pen Argyl 5-2 (5-2 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Northern Lehigh def. Northwestern 57-19; Catasauqua def. Pen Argyl 48-21
NORTHWESTERN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/WR Mason Schuler (66-348-TD rush**), RB/WR Cam Richardson (60-29-3TD rush**, 16-220-2TD rec**).
PEN ARGYL'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Mike Racciato (12-28-TD rush*), RB Nick Oyer (8-51-TD rush*), RB Ryan Lobb (12-56-TD rush*), QB Ryan Hunt (3-12-26 pass*)
FAST FACTS: Pen Argyl took an early 7-0 lead over Catasauqua last week, however saw the Rough Riders score 42 unanswered points en route to the runaway victory. The Green Knights, the defending AA champs, will have to keep winning if they want a chance to defend their title this year. While Pen Argyl is in third in the AA standings, both Northern Lehigh and Palisades are within 80 points of overtaking the Knights. Northwestern will have their hands full this week and will need to have a good game defensively. The Green Knights run the ball with a host of backs and the Tigers rush defense will need to improve as their giving up 215 yards per game. The Tigers offense has also struggled at times this season and playmakers Schuler and Richardson will need to make a difference for the Tigers to upset the Green Knights.
QUOTABLE: "We fought off a couple losses to come back with wins already, so its something that we definitely can do. Its not the easiest thing to do to come off a loss against rival, but we're going to wipe the slate clean. It's another opportunity to get out there and knock off another good team and play the spoiler." Northwestern coach Josh Snyder
Jim Thorpe at Schuylkill Haven
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Jim Thorpe 1-6 (1-5 Anthracite Football League); Schuylkill Haven 3-4 (3-3 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Jim Thorpe def. Mahanoy Area 41-12; Tamaqua def. Schuylkill Haven 27-6
JIM THORPE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Pat Duvigneaud (67-155-1247-12TD pass**, 103-689-12TD rush**), WR Mike Harelston (21-486-7TD rec**), RB Deonte St. Hill (77-259-6TD**).
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB William Casella (19-91-TD rush*), RB Ryan Fink (13-51 rush*).
FAST FACTS: After putting together a three-game win streak to improve its record to 3-2, Schuylkill Haven has dropped each of its last two games by a combined score of 48-13. Haven has scored a combined 98 points in its three wins, while scoring a total of just 13 points in its four losses. The 'Canes will be looking to bounce back after a 27-6 loss to the top AFL team at the time Tamaqua. Haven has been rushing the football with success again this season which does not bode well for the Olympians. The Jim Thorpe "D" is giving up 282 yards rushing per game. Haven running back's Casella and Fink are combining to rush for over 160 yards per game. The Olympians offense has been good this year so once again that unit will be depended on to keep them in the game. You never know what you're going to get with the Olympians week in and week, so it will be interesting to see how this one will turn out.
QUOTABLE: "Our main goal is to slow their running game down. We know they like to pound the rock and they're going to come at us. Once again we have avoid giving up the big play. We didn't pass the ball that much at all last week because our rushing game was working so well. That will definitely have to change this week. We need to get our passing game going early and try to put some points up on the board. I'm just really proud of the way our kids have responed over the last couple weeks. We have had some adversity to fight through and the kids hung in there and got a win last week. We have some confidence now, so we need to take that attitude into our game on Friday night." Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger.
William Allen at Pleasant Valley
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Allen 1-6 (1-4 Mountain Valley Conference); Pleasant Valley 5-2 (5-0 Mountain Valley Conference)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Allen def. Lehighton 26-14; Pleasant Valley def. East Stroudsburg South 21-10
ALLEN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Alvin Lara (15-21-145-4TD pass*, 16-55 rush*)
PLEASANT VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Brandon Leap (64-120-1311-15TD pass**), RB Austin Borre (106-883-9TD rush**), WR Sekou Jones (21-373-3TD rec**), WR, Andrew Romeo (21-532-7TD rec**), LB/TE Dakota Everett.
FAST FACTS: Allen's win over Lehighton last week was the program's first win against someone other than Dieruff since Sept. 30, 2005. The Canaries beat Nazareth that day, 28-6. It was also the first time Allen has scored more than 14 points in a game this year. The Canaries' defense has shown up the last two weeks, as they have held Pocono Mountain West and Lehighton to 17 and 14 points respectively. That's a huge step up from the 45-point average they allowed over the first five weeks. Pleasant Valley controls its own destiny in its quest for the MVC title. If the Bears win out and beat Allen, East Stroudsburg North and Stroudsburg, they will win the title outright. Two years ago Pleasant Valley lost its last game of the year to the Mounties and had to split the title with East Stroudsburg South. The Bears boast the sixth best offense in all of District 11 (34.4 ppg). They also have the 16th best defense (18.2 ppg). Not bad considering there are 47 district teams.
QUOTABLE: "I am sure Allen will be flying high after getting their first win of the year. We are fighting for the MVC title and the district playoffs, so every game is just as important to us and we can't afford take anyone lightly. The guys have done a great job of preparing each week for each team and I expect that to be the same this week." - Pleasant Valley coach Jim Terwilliger.
East Stroudsburg South at Lehighton
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: East Stroudsburg South 5-2 (4-2 Mountain Valley Conference); Lehighton 1-6 (1-5 Mountain Valley Conference)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Pleasant Valley def. East Stroudsburg South 21-10; William Allen def. Lehighton 26-14
ES SOUTH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Tyler McLaughlin (15-24-161 pass*, 14-33 rush*), RB Niko Petrone (12-31 rush*) WR Sherrod Ford-Cherry (6-66 rec*).
LEHIGHTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: WR/RB Jacen Nalesnik (29-306-3TD rec**, 57-245-5TD rush**).
FAST FACTS: East Stroudsburg South may have lost all hope of winning the Mountain Valley Conference with last week's loss to Pleasant Valley. The loss drops the Cavaliers to 4-2 in the MVC and one-and-a-half games East Stroudsburg North, Stroudsburg and Pleasant Valley. While the Cavs aren't mathematically eliminated, they would need a lot of things to go their way over the final few weeks of the season just to end up in a tie. There are no tie-breakers when it comes to the MVC title. All teams with the same record would be co-champs. Lehighton will need to do their best to stop the potent East Stroudsburg offense. Their defense hasn't been great this year, giving up 317 yards per game, so it will be tough for the Indians to consitently stop the Cavs. Also the Lehighton offense needs to get things going for the Indians to pull the upset. They are only averaging a little over 200 yards per game on offense this season.
QUOTABLE: "Well obviously we need to improve on our poor performance from last week. I can say this though, this has probably been our best week of practice this season, so it's good to see the kids bounce back and want to get better. ES South runs a tough physical defense and they're really well coached on offense. They present a lot of challenges for us and our main goal is to just play as disciplined as we can and make plays when there are opportunities to do so." Lehighton coach Tom McCarroll.
Catasauqua at Palmerton
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Catasauqua 7-0 (7-0 Colonial League); Palmerton 0-7 (0-7 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Catasauqua def. Pen Argyl 48-21; Bangor def. Palmerton 47-12
CATASAUQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Trey Nelson (47-223-6TD rush**), RB Alex Vignone (82-468-TD rush**).
PALMERTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Ra'Von Burton (15-90-3TD rush*), RB Eric Matz (7-56-2TD rush*), QB Zack Bradley (9-14-117-2TD pass*), WR Zach Stopay (2-28-TD rec*)
FAST FACTS: Catasauqua's win over Pen Argyl last week was a big one. The Rough Riders stayed unbeaten in the league with just three league games remaining. Northern Lehigh may be the only team standing in Catty's way, as the other two games are against 0-7 Palmerton and 3-4 Northwestern. Fortunately for the Roughies, they will have the Bulldogs at home. Catty and Tamaqua are shaping up as the two best AA teams in the district. The scoring numbers say it is Catty, as they have the No. 1 offense (41.2 ppg) and the No. 2 defense (7.4 ppg). Last week the Roughies' defense showed up yet again by holding Pen Argyl to just 200 yards of total offense. Palmerton has been struggling on offense this season and needs to find a way to put some points on the board.
QUOTABLE: "Catasauqua has 7 impact players that can hurt you anytime and from anywhere on the field; they are as good as advertised. We will need to execute at our highest level in all phases of the game and more importantly on every single play to compete with them." Palmerton coach Chris Walkowiak.
*denotes last week's stats, **denotes yearly stats