State College and Bald Eagle Area are aiming to stay undefeated this week.
The Little Lions take on a struggling Mifflin County team, while the Eagles travel to Chestnut Ridge for an early season showdown. In other action, Bellefonte will look to build on a solid start against Central Mountain, Philipsburg-Osceola faces winless Tyrone on the road, and Penns Valley hosts Central.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy has a bye this week.
Here’s a look at this week’s matchups:
State College (2-0) at Mifflin County (0-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: SC — Matt Lintal (fourth season); MC — Brent Hartman
Last meeting: State College 51-7, last season
Players to watch: SC — Isaiah Edwards, RB; MC — Noah Wright, QB
The skinny: After scoring 45 points in its season opener and following that up with 55 points last week, State College should add another high-scoring performance Friday.
The Little Lions will be taking on a Mifflin County team that has allowed 45.5 points per game in two losses. And State College has moved the ball with ease on its way to two blowout wins, showing off a deep rushing attack in the process.
Last week against Hollidaysburg, running back Isaiah Edwards (169 yards), quarterback Tommy Friberg (127 yards) and running back Tristen Lyons (113 yards) led the way. In the season opener against J.P. McCaskey, Lyons and quarterback Brady Dorner powered separate scoring drives on the ground. Little Lions wide receivers Cohen Russell and Keaton Ellis have been part of the team’s running game, too.
Bald Eagle Area (3-0) at Chestnut Ridge (2-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: BEA — Jesse Nagle (second season); CR — Max Shoemaker
Last meeting: Bald Eagle Area 3-0 (OT), last season
Players to watch: BEA — Jaden Jones, QB; CR — Logan Hauck, QB
The skinny: Jaden Jones is coming off his best performance this season.
The BEA quarterback completed 10 of 14 passes (71 percent) for 161 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Penns Valley. Jones connected with Matthew Reese on four passes, Derek Henry on three passes and Nick Turner on a touchdown to cap the Eagles’ scoring.
They all roam the secondary for the Eagles, too. Henry, Turner and Gage McClenahan each finished with an interception against Penns Valley. The BEA defensive backs, including Blake Roberts, could make a difference against Chestnut Ridge — the Eagles picked off quarterback Logan Hauck three times in last year’s win. Roberts, who missed last week’s game with an ankle injury, said he’ll be “about 100 percent” by Friday.
Central Mountain (0-3) at Bellefonte (2-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: CM —Jim Renninger; Bel — Shanon Manning (fifth season);
Last meeting: Central Mountain 24-21, last season
Players to watch: CM — Austyn Carson, QB; Bel — Cade Fortney, WR/DB
The skinny: The Red Raiders could post big numbers on offense this week.
Central Mountain hasn’t been able to slow any of its opponents in three blowout losses — Williamsport and Shikellamy torched the Wildcats through the air, and Hughesville used its running game. And Bellefonte has developed a balanced attack with quarterback Dylan Deitrich, running back Dexter Gallishaw and wide receiver Cade Fortney. Deitrich (303 yards) and Gallishaw (229 yards) rank second and third, respectively, in rushing in the area, while Fortney leads the county in receiving (228 yards).
Fortney and Deitrich will be threats to make plays on defense in the secondary as Shikellamy returned three interceptions for touchdowns against Central Mountain.
Central (2-1) at Penns Valley (1-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: C — Dave Baker; PV — Martin Tobias (22nd season)
Last meeting: Central 41-8, last season
Players to watch: C — Trystan Detwiler, RB; PV — Ryan Ripka, RB
The skinny: Penns Valley has been overmatched in back-to-back losses to Clearfield and Bald Eagle Area. And it won’t get any easier this week.
Central is one of the top teams in the Mountain League. The Scarlet Dragons rolled past Clearfield 42-14 last week — one week after Clearfield cruised to a 42-12 win over Penns Valley. Central running back Trystan Detwiler has surpassed the 100-yard mark in all three games this season while averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
While the Rams have struggled to limit big plays the past two weeks, they’ve also had trouble generating any offense. Running back Ryan Ripka is the one of the team’s top offensive weapons, but he managed just 19 yards rushing on 14 carries last week in the loss to BEA.
Philipsburg-Osceola (1-2) at Tyrone (0-3)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: P-O — Mike Mann (second season); T — Jason Wilson
Last meeting: Tyrone 37-7, last season
Players to watch: P-O — Matt Johnson, RB; T — Brandon Loose, RB
The skinny: Tyrone enters this week with an 0-3 record — but the Golden Eagles have been relatively competitive against three quality opponents. Tyrone lost to Bellwood-Antis (3-0) by three points in overtime, suffered a 17-point loss to Central (2-1) and fell by 12 points to Huntingdon (3-0). The Mounties, meanwhile, own a win over West Branch (0-3) to go with a pair of blowout losses to BEA (3-0) and Bellefonte (2-1).
P-O running back Matt Johnson rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s win before being bottled up the past two weeks. All three of Tyrone’s opponents were effective on the ground, so the Mounties will need their top running back to be a factor Friday night. Brandon Loose, Tyrone’s top rusher, ran for more than 100 yards against the Mounties last season.