Pleasant Vy. to be tested
Pleasant Valley at Wyomissing
WHEN: Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
RECORDS: Pleasant Valley 3-1 (3-0 Mountain Valley Conference); Wyomissing 4-0 (1-0 Berks Inter-County Conference)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Pleasant Valley def. Lehighton 54-0; Wyomissing def. Blue Mountain 35-0.
PLEASANT VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Brandon Leap (37-71-689-10TD pass, 20-110-TD rush**), RB Austyn Borre (50-616-8TD rush, 6-146-2TD rec**), WR Sekou Jones (11-176-TD rec**), WR Andrew Romeo (10-201-5TD rec**)
WYOMISSING'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Alex Anzalone (11-58-4TD rush*), RB Mason Smith (7-80 rush*), Brandon Gonzalez (8-56 rush*), RB Justin Causa (9-53 rush*), QB Joe Cacchione (2-4-24 pass*)
FAST FACTS: Wyomissing is ranked as the No. 1 small school (AA/A) on EasternPAFootball.com. State-wide, the Spartans rank second in all of Class AA behind Pittsburgh powerhouse Aliquippa according to EasternPAFootball.com's Josh Funk. Wyomissing has allowed just 14 points all season long and have not given up more than seven points in a game (two shutouts). That is good for the second lowest total in Eastern PA. Last week the Spartans gave up just 133 total yards. University of Notre Dame commit Alex Anzalone rushed for four scores last week on only 11 carries. The Spartans showcased a quartet of running backs with Anzalone, Mason Smith, Brandon Gonzalez and Justin Causa. The four combined for 245 yards on 35 carries. Wyomissing prefers to keep it on the ground, as it threw just five passes last week. Perhaps a deficiency in the past, Pleasant Valley's defense has shown up this year. After giving up 50 points in the season opener to Nazareth, the Bears have surrendered just 24 points in their last three games. While Wyomissing's defense has been stout, they have yet to see an offense like Pleasant Valley's. The Bears are putting up over 400 yards of offense and have the area's second best quarterback and running back in Leap and Borre. Furthermore, Pleasant Valley leads the area in points-per-game at 44.8.
QUOTABLE: "We have been flying high the last three weeks, but none of the teams we have faced in that time are in Wyomissing's class. Wyomissing is one of the top AAA teams in the state for a reason. We like to think we have made some strides as a program over the first few weeks, but this will be the test. This game will tell us where we stand." Pleasant Valley coach Jim Terwilliger
Schuylkill Haven at Panther Valley
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Schuylkill Haven 2-2 (2-1 Anthracite Football League); Panther Valley 3-1 (2-0 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Schuylkill Haven def. North Schuylkill 34-20; Panther Valley def. Jim Thorpe 49-48
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Ryan Fink (2-2-30 pass, 14-137-2TD rush*), RB Todd Zimmerman (16-173-TD rush*), RB Will Casella (9-95-2TD rush*)
PANTHER VALLEY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Richie Smith (67-701-12TD rush**), QB Matt Levitt (20-41-387-7TD pass, 24-140-2TD rush**), RB Kyle Ferryman (23-200-2TD rush, 9-213-4TD rec**), WR Devon Dilliard (5-92-3TD rec**)
FAST FACTS: Since being shutout in each of its first two games by Wyomissing and Marian, Schuylkill Haven has rebounded with two straight wins over Minersville and North Schuylkill. Haven's ground game was clicking on all cylinders last Friday. The Hurricanes totaled 437 yards and five touchdowns on 45 carries. Will Casella was five yards short of joining teammates Ryan Fink and Todd Zimmerman as 100-yard rushers on the night. Something will have to give though, as Panther Valley's run defense in third in the area at 401 yards allowed. Conversely, North Schuylkill did rush for nearly 300 yards against Haven. TN leading rusher Richie Smith could be in for a big night if he can find room to run. Smith has rushed for over 200 yards in three of his four games. He is second in the area in yards-per-attempt at 10.46 for rushers with more than 15 carries. The 'Canes have taken the last two meetings by a combined score of 56-13.
QUOTABLE: "We have not been playing good defense these past couple weeks especially with defending the run. So we know they're going to come in here on Friday night and try to run the football against us. It's up to us to play tough hard-nosed football and do our best to limit their productivity on the ground." Panther Valley coach Lon Hazlet
Tamaqua at Annville-Cleona
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Tamaqua 4-0 (3-0 Anthracite Football League); Annville-Cleona 2-2 (1-0 Lancaster-Lebanon League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Tamaqua def. Mahanoy Area 53-0; Annville-Cleona def. Northern Lebanon 42-14
TAMAQUA'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Dalton Nunemacher (48-380-6TD rush, 9-168-2TD rec**), RB Jake Love (49-309-3TD rush**), RB Tyler Hope (11-208-3TD rush**), WR Dustin Vandermartin (5-174-3TD rec**)
ANNVILLE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB/RB/WR Mitch Rodkey (22-278-4TD rush, 2-4-41-TD pass, 1-28-TD rec*), QB Anthony Fletz (2-3-55-TD pass*)
FAST FACTS: Mitch Rodkey, who lined up at quarterback, tailback and wideout last week, was the entire offense for the Dutchmen. The 5-8, 160-pound junior ran for four touchdowns (two of 70-plus yards), threw a 15-yard touchdown and caught a 28-yard score. He accounted for 92 percent (347 of 377) of Annville-Cleona's offensive yardage. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they have the second-worst run D in the area at 617 yards allowed. Still, they are giving up just 13.3 points a game. The Raiders' defensive ends will need to play disciplined because Rodkey is very athletic and likes to run. Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner likens Annville to Mahanoy Area's offense in that it likes to run a lot mid-line veer-options. Tamaqua has a playmaker of its own in Dalton Nunemacher. The senior is second in the area in scoring with 11 touchdowns and is in the top eight in both rushing and receiving. One thing Tamaqua does not do is shoot itself in the foot. The Raiders lead the area in turnover ratio at plus-nine and are fifth in penalty yardage.
QUOTABLE: "We need to get off the bus and play like we have been playing as of late. If we can do that then we should be fine. I would be disappointed if we weren't able to move the ball against Annville-Cleona." Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner.
Shenandoah Valley at Jim Thorpe
WHEN: Friday at 7p.m.
RECORDS: Shenandoah Valley 2-2 (1-2 Anthracite Football League); Jim Thorpe 0-4 (0-3 Anthracite Football League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Shenandoah Valley def. Minersville 21-14; Panther Valley def. Jim Thorpe 49-48
SHENANDOAH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Chris Palubinsky (9-16-133-TD pass, 22-98-TD rush*), WR Nick Merva (6-82-TD rec*), RB Dave Gottshall (6-69 rush*)
JIM THORPE'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Pat Duvigneaud (48-109-853-7TD pass, 67-373-6TD rush**), WR Mike Harleston (14-323-4TD rec**), RB Deonte St. Hill (42-148-3TD rush, 7-88 rec**)
FAST FACTS: Jim Thorpe has scored over 20 points in all four of its contests so far, and is averaging over 29 points-per-game, yet finds itself winless on the year. That is because the Olympian defense is allowing 42.5 points-per-game. Shenandoah isn't afraid to put it in the air, as it threw for 133 yards on 16 attempts last week. Jim Thorpe has only allowed 231 passing yards on the year, however that is because it has given up a staggering 1,369 yards on the ground. The Olympians are also the most penalized team in the area with 30 fouls for 200 yards. The locals will have to keep their eyes on Palubinsky, as he is just as likely to take off and run with it as he is to throw. Jim Thorpe's offense hasn't been the problem. The Olympians have the second best offense in the area in terms of yards-per-game (378.8) and should be able to score against the Blue Devils. If one takes out the Devils 28-6 win over Red Lion Christian Academy, they are allowing 24.6 points-per-contest. Look for a high-scoring affair this Friday. These two teams have alternated wins since 2008. Shenandoah won last year, 42-16.
QUOTABLE: "Chris Palubinsky is a great football player and he's the most talented quarterback we're probably going to face all season. He's got dual threat ability and can really hurt you if you don't keep contanst pressure on him. I really think they mirror us in a lot of ways. We both have mobile quarterbacks and a lot of talented athletes on offense. I think this game will come down to who will win the battle in the trenches between the lineman. I think whoever can protect who better will have the best chance to win." Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger
Northern Lehigh at Salisbury
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Northern Lehigh 3-1 (3-1 Colonial League); Salisbury 1-3 (1-3 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Palisades def. Northern Lehigh 31-12; Catasauqua def. Salisbury 43-3
NORTHERN LEHIGH'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Caleb Johnson (37-300-3TD rush, 7-155-TD rec**), QB Dan Marsh (14-31-266-4TD pass, 52-285-3TD rush**), RB Nate Farber (63-261-TD rush**)
SALISBURY'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Derek Brown (2-7-19 pass*), RB Michael Abraham (15-32 rush*), RB Teddy Denver (8-49 rush*)
FAST FACTS: Salisbury has had a lot of trouble putting points on the board so for this season. The Falcons have scored more than ten points just once in four games (13 in win over Palmerton) and are averaging a mere 5.75 points-per-contest. They are being outscored 93-23 on the year. Last week Salisbury managed only 114 yards on offense and scored its only points in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard field goal. The Falcons gave up over 200 yards rushing last week. That bodes well for the Bulldogs, who are averaging over 220 yards on the ground. Caleb Johnson racked up 103 of those yards, with the majority coming on a 61-yard touchdown run. Last week's loss to Palisades was the first time Northern Lehigh lost a regular season game to a team other than Pen Argyl since Oct. 30, 2009. Catty knocked off the 'Dawgs that day, 21-7. Northern Lehigh coach Joe Tout believes his team has responded well from the loss this week at practice and is looking to take it out on Salisbury this week. The last time Salisbury defeated Northern Lehigh was back Sept. 15, 2006 when it won 20-13.
QUOTABLE: "I expect to see an angry, upset football team get off the bus at Salisbury this week. We are looking to play a tough, physical football game and to get back on track." Northern Lehigh coach Joe Tout
Notre Dame at Northwestern
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Notre Dame 1-3 (1-3 Colonial League); Northwestern 2-2 (2-2 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Bangor def. Notre Dame 7-0; Southern Lehigh def. Northwestern 46-10
NOTRE DAME'S IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Noah Miller (5-14-62 pass, 15-23 rush*), RB Reggie Carter (12-25 rush*), WR Stanton Santos (2-42 rec*)
NORTHWESTERN'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Mason Schuler (50-209 rush**), QB Frank Dangello (32-69-443-5TD pass**), RB Cam Richardson (22-82-TD rush, 14-199-2TD rec**), RB Dylan Snyder (6-146-2TD rec**)
FAST FACTS: Northwestern has scored 23 points or more in its two wins. On the flip side, the Tigers haven't been able to score more than ten in either of their two losses. Notre Dame surrendered 230 yards on the ground to Bangor last week, but allowed just one 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Notre Dame hasn't scored more than seven points in a game since opening night when it defeated Palmerton 26-6. However, the Crusaders were going up against the likes of Northern Lehigh, Pen Argyl and Bangor - three of the top teams in the Colonial League. Miller and Carter are Notre Dame's biggest threats, although they haven't been able to accomplish much against the previous defenses. The Crusaders have been without a consistent passing game since quarterback Kordell Theadford was injured in week two. Noah Miller, a receiver who just got back from injury, went under center last week and ran a wildcat offense against Bangor. Northwestern has not lost to Notre Dame since 2005, when it fell 21-14.
QUOTABLE:"We definitely learned from past experiences that we are capable of bouncing back and putting a few wins together. We said at the beginning of the year that our goal is to play more than ten games this year. After Friday's game we said the goal is still to play more than ten games." Northwestern coach Josh Snyder
Palmerton at Palisades
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Palmerton 0-4 (0-4 Colonial League); Palisades 2-2 (2-2 Colonial League)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Saucon Valley def. Palmerton 42-7; Palisades def. Northern Lehigh 31-12
PALMERTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Alex Vignone (58-328-TD rush**), RB Tre Nelson (25-89-2TD rush**)
PALISADES' IMPACT PLAYERS: QB Nick Sanders (5-7-70-TD pass, 5-12-TD rush*), RB Jesse Snyder (18-120-TD rush*), FB JD Donnelly (12-52 rush*), RB Christian Gretzinger (8-57-TD rush*)
FAST FACTS: Palisades shut down the Northern Lehigh rushing attack last week by giving up 190 yards on 29 carries. If one subtracts Caleb Johnson's 61-yard touchdown run, the Pirates allowed 4.6 yards-per-carry to a run-first team. That does not bode well for Palmerton. If the Bombers can't establish anything on the ground, they will be in serious trouble as they are last in the area with 151 passing yards. In fact, they are the only TIMES NEWS team to have not thrown for a touchdown yet this season. Palisades' quarterback situation is also up in the air. Starting QB Kyle Jesiolowski remains out with due to a personal matter and his status is unknown. Palmerton's defense may be able to keep them in the game though. The Bombers are in the middle of the pack in terms of yards-allowed-per-game at 331. Palmerton has won the last two meetings between the teams, including a 38-0 victory in 2010.
QUOTABLE: "This week's practices have been very spirited and competitive. We must bring the same spirit and competitiveness to Palisades this week. Our backs are pressed up against the wall and I believe with some of the attitude displayed at practices this week, we will be prepared to fight our way out of it. There is still a lot of the football season yet to play." Palmerton coach Chris Walkowiak
Lehighton at Dieruff
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Lehighton 0-4 (0-3 Mountain Valley Conference); Dieruff 0-3 (0-2 Mountain Valley Conference)
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS: Pleasant Valley def. Lehighton 54-0; Dieruff was on a BYE
LEHIGHTON'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB/WR Jacen Nalesnik (43-206-TD rush, 15-125 rec**), RB Tom Ruzicka (30-141 rush**), QB Tyler Crum (20-60-193-TD pass**)
DIERUFF'S IMPACT PLAYERS: RB Shakur Lester (TD rush vs. Wallenpaupack), QB Quentin Williams, KR Matt Riddick (2 KRTD vs. Wallenpaupack)
FAST FACTS: Both of these defenses have been giving up a lot of points this year, as Lehighton is allowing 41 points-per-game while Dieruff is surrendering over 53 points-per-game. Dieruff's Matt Riddick had two kick return touchdowns against Wallenpaupack two weeks ago. They went for 77 and 83 yards. The Indians will have to be aware of him. Huskie QB Quentin Williams is the team's best athlete. Much like Lehighton's Jacen Nalesnik, Williams will line up under center and either run or pass at will. Tailback Shakur Lester is Dieruff's only other playmaker. Lehighton's offense has yet to get anything going this year. The Indians' offense is the worst in the area in both scoring (4.3 ppg) and yards (160.8). Last week they managed just four first downs against Pleasant Valley. Dating back to 1978, Lehighton and Dieruff have not played.
* Dentoes last week's stats,
** Denotes yearly totals