Long-standing rivalries take center stage Friday night for the third week of the high school football season.
The night is highlighted by a pair of intra-county matchups, with Bald Eagle Area and Penns Valley meeting for the Old Iron Bell and Philipsburg-Osceola tangling with Bellefonte for the Bill Luther Trophy, and two teams trying to maintain a perfect record in BEA and State College.
A look at this weekend’s contests:
Bellefonte (1-1) at Philipsburg-Osceola (1-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: P-O — Mike Mann (second season), Bel — Shanon Manning (fifth season)
Last meeting: Bellefonte 45-7, last season
Players to watch: PO — Brandon Anderson, RB; B — Dylan Deitrich, WR/QB
The skinny: After opening-game victories for both the Mounties and Red Raiders, their coaches both admitted their teams were not prepared for their Week 2 games, both losses. P-O coach Mike Mann said his team lacked intensity, while Bellefonte leader Shanon Manning said hewasn’t ready on special teams.
In the case of the latter, the Raiders got burned by two kick returns for touchdowns, and saw an interception also taken to the end zone. P-O, riding a two-game win streak for the first time in years, saw a much quicker BEA defense.
P-O back Brandon Anderson showed flashes of big-play ability, running for 42 yards against the Eagles on eight carries, but there weren’t enough opportunities for him to get a rhythm with the ball.
Despite giving up the big returns, Bellefonte stuck with Huntingdon in the 52-31 loss, even with receiver Dylan Deitrich taking over at quarterback. He passed for 133 yards and ran for another 124, though he was picked off twice.
Bald Eagle Area (2-0) at Penns Valley (1-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: BEA — Jesse Nagle (second season), PV — Martin Tobias (22nd season)
Last meeting: Penns Valley 41-18, last season
Players to watch: BEA — Kael Gardner, LB; PV — Ryan Ripka, RB
The skinny: The county rivals had vastly different openings to their Mountain League schedules last weekend, with the Eagles rolling over Philipsburg-Osceola to get off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season, while the Rams were bottled up by a powerful Clearfield.
BEA has been using a balanced, diverse offense to roll up 81 points in two games. Gage McClenahan has been leading the way on the ground with 235 yards, and the team is averaging 225 yards rushing per game, but the brother tandem of Jaden and Jordan Jones at quarterback also has the team also averaging 166 yards per outing through the air.
After giving up nearly 600 yards of offense last Friday to the Bison, Penns Valley will have its hands full.
The Rams will also have to find the best way to use their weapons against the Eagles’ quick defensive attack, getting balanced rushing attempts out of quarterback Justin Sands and slippery running back Ryan Ripka, who managed just 35 yards last week after taking off for 110 yards in the opener against Punxsutawney.
Hollidaysburg (2-0) at State College (1-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: Hol — Homer DeLattre (sixth season), SC — Matt Lintal (fourth season)
Last meeting: State College 45-10, last season
Players to watch: H — Patrick Young, RB; SC — Tristen Lyons, RB
The skinny: The Little Lions will seek to duplicate the all-around performace they had last weekend in the opener against JP McCaskey. The total offensive yardage seemed small with 306 yards, but two defensive interceptions returned for touchdowns helped a lot, as did a defense that shut McCaskey down with 134 yards.
Tristen Lyons picked up 61 yards on nine carries, plus two catches for 20 yards, as the starting offense barely broke a sweat before opening up a big lead by halftime.
The Tigers have rolled to a pair of decisive wins, but the first was 30-20 over Class 3A Central (Martinsburg) and the second was 31-6 over Silver Oak Academy of Maryland, a team that has been outscored 137-6 in three games.
Perkiomen (0-0) at St. Joseph’s (0-2)
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Altoona
Coaches: P — Tom Calvario, SJ — Murray Fetzer (first season)
Last meeting: Perkiomen 44-13, last season
Players to watch: P — Nick Guadarrama, QB; SJCA — Brendan Robinson, QB
The skinny: The Wolves, outscored 53-6 in their first two games, will be pinning their hopes on the health of junior quarterback Brendan Robinson, who is expected to be back on the field Friday after leaving in the first half of the season opener with an injury. Robinson entered the season as the team’s top playmaker on the very thin 21-man roster. Without the senior, freshman Isaac Maas has been behind center.
Perkiomen, a small independent boarding and day school in Pennsburg, is playing its season opener and will have no sympathy for the Wolves’ small roster. The Panthers have just 18 on their roster, and begin the year replacing 11 graduates that included three running backs and the entire offensive line from a 6-3 season.