Bald Eagle Area (4-2) at Huntingdon (0-6)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: BEA Jack Tobias, fifth season; H Mike Hudy, first season
Last meeting: Bald Eagle Area 35, Huntingdon 0, last season
Key players: BEA Dakota Bartley, RB; Rhett Stetchock, RB/CB
The skinny: Last week was a rough one for Bald Eagle Area. Tyrone running back Jordan Oliver ran his way into the record books with a 335-yard, six touchdown performance, good enough for a Tyrone single-game rushing record and a 54-6 victory. This week, the Eagles, who have lost two straight after winning their first four, face a winless Huntingdon squad which gave up 412 yards of total offense to Penns Valley in Week 5.
BEAs offense will look to seize opportunities they let slip away against Tyrone.
The key is just making the plays that are there, said BEA coach Jack Tobias. I know we rushed for 100 yards. ... but we had two dropped touchdowns passes and a fumble.
Last season, BEA blanked Huntingdon and missed on few offensive opportunities, rushing for 270 yards en route to a 35-0 blowout win. And after their own lopsided loss last week, Tobias said his crew is ready to move forward and get a very important win for their program, one that would guarantee that the Eagles wouldnt have a losing regularseason record.
The guys have had a great week of practice and have had a great attitude and Im extremely happy about that, Tobias said. We have a chance to be.500 for the first time in a long time and the guys are excited for that.
Dakota Bartley, BEAs running back, was the bright spot in an otherwise dismal game against Tyrone, rushing for 137 yards on just 15 carries. This week, he should figure prominently as the Eagles look to dominate on the ground early.
Its important to get off to a good start in any game, Tobias said. We talk about not getting too high or too low. For us its just a matter of taking care of the little things. Wed like to jump out and get a big lead but if we have to work at it well work at it.
State College (4-2) at Central Dauphin East (2-4)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: SC Al Wolski, ninth season; CDE George Chaump, second season
Last meeting: State College 34; CD East 27, last season
Key players: SC Patrick Irwin, QB; CDE Chase Edmonds, RB
The skinny: State College coach Al Wolski, knows his team dodged a bullet last week in their wild come-from-behind 30-28 victory against Chambersburg.
We let them up when we were ahead and theres no excuse for that, Wolski said. But it was nice to see them not give up and I think thats the thing we take away from that.
Last week after Chambersburgs Jamal Pickett took a screen 97 yards for a touchdown with just 41 seconds remaining, the Little Lions could have hung their heads and pointed fingers.
Instead, quarterback Patrick Irwin tossed a game-winning, 21-yard touchdown pass to Dan Fry on the last play of the game.
This week, the Lions hope to take that momentum to Harrisburg when they take on Central Dauphin.
Anytime you win a game in the final seconds theres a little more excitement, a little more electricity ... just that exciting feeling you get at the end of the game is a little different, said Wolski. And we hope to keep that momentum this week.
Chase Edmonds is CD Easts premier running back and hes coming in with a little momentum of his own after a 168-yard performance in a loss to Harrisburg.
But the Little Lions have faced lethal legs before and Wolski said that experience should serve them well.
One thing about this year is weve faced some great running backs, (Jalen Williams) at Harrisburg, (Drew Scales) at Central Dauphin, Wolski said. Weve faced good backs all season long and (Edmonds) is another in a long line.... Hes probably 80 percent of their offense.
In last seasons matchup, State Colleges running back, Jack Haffner, generated the bulk of the Little Lions offense, rushing for 237 yards en route to a 34-27 victory. The team rushed for over 300 yards that night and this year Wolski is looking for someone on his team to serve a similar role..
Jack was good at making people miss, Wolski said, and were looking to find someone else to fill his shoes this year.
Philipsburg-Osceola (0-6) at Central (4-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: P-O Jeff Vroman, 11th season; C Dave Baker, second season
Last meeting: Philispburg-Osceola 32; Central 20, last season
Key players: P-O Curtis Matsko, QB; C Austin Cunningham, QB/DB
The skinny: Turnovers are a key concern for Philipsburg-Osceola coach Jeff Vroman. Last week, the winless Mounties outgained Penns Valley, amassing 210 yards on the ground, but fell 27-7. A key fumble just before halftime while trailing 6-0, turned what could have been a lead-seizing drive into a crushing change of momentum that P-O never recovered from.
Its something weve been constantly working on, Vroman said. Last week we turned it over at inopportune times. Often times that leads to 14-point swings. Thats led to teams driving on us. You know that swing really turns the momentum.
The good news is the Mounties offense has been able to produce statistically. Now, Vroman said, they just need to turn that production into points on the scoreboard.
Well, we outgained (Penns Valley) ... we had 300 yards of offense, Vroman said. We have to sustain drives. Were not putting together and ending the drives.
Key penalties, whether its just a motion penalty, thats enough to throw you out of whack and thats something that we work on continually at practice. And last Friday it happened again. Its a young group and you have to understand that.
Of the Mounties 42 players nine are seniors. Turnovers can plague younger teams but can, to a certain extent, be controlled. Injuries are a different story.
Have to try to get healthy here, Vroman said. We have a lot of kids banged up and that definitely doesnt help.
It wont get any easier for the Mounties this week as they travel to play a strong Central team led offensively by junior quarterback Austin Cunningham. Last week, Cunningham went 21-of-32 for 238 yards and threw and ran for scores in a 29-21 loss to Fort Hill (Md.).
Central lives on big plays. We have to contain the quarterback because hes dangerous running and throwing the football, Vroman said. We cant let him get outside and hurt us.
Last season, the Mounties rushed for 291 yards and dispatched Central 32-20. The key to last years success, Vroman said, came on first down.
If youre successful on first down it makes it a lot easier, Vroman said. It opens up the playbook. We have to have manageable second down situations that will put us in a much better place to keep people off balance.
This week though, with the dangerous Cunningham under center for Central, defense on first down also will be a key as the Mounties try to get their first win of the season.
Weve gotten better, Vroman said. I saw a lot of improvement last week, but we just havent seen enough to see that W in the column and thats where were at right at now.