Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: PV — Martin Tobias, 17th season; C — Dave Baker
Last meeting: C — 42, PV — 7, last season at Central
Key players: PV — Cameron Tobias, QB, Taylor Collison RB/WR; C — Austin Cunningham, QB/RB
The skinny: When losses mount the slope can quickly become slippery. Penns Vally knows that well after starting last season with four-straight losses that crippled its playoff chances despite winning five of its last six.
Last week, the Rams sprinted to an early 19-7 lead but lost 47-19 to undefeated Bald Eagle Area. The defeat was the team’s second after falling to Clearfield 37-15 in Week 2.
This week, Central (2-1) comes to town looking to rebound after its own 35-20 loss to the Bison (3-0).
Stopping the Dragon’s offensive attack will be daunting, but something has to change if the Rams want to stop the recent skid.
“I think a lot of it is the kids sticking together as a team,” said head coach Martin Tobias. “Obviously we need to be more confident and we have to play better.”
Stopping Central’s Austin Cunningham and Bradi Moore will provide a major obstacle.
Last season, the duo ran roughshod over the Rams’ defense en route to a 42-7 victory.
Moore, now a senior running back, rushed 12 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Cunningham, also a senior at quarterback, added 86 yards and a score on just eight carries. He also went 8-for-11 in the air for 120 yards, a score and an interception.
“They are two dynamic players there is no question,” Tobias said. “Their guys up front are also really aggressive off the ball.”
Tobias said the key will be limiting missed tackles, which lead to big gains.
Offensively, the Rams will try to spread the ball to playmakers Taylor Collison and Corey Hazel. Quarterback Cameron Tobias will also figure prominently in the ground game, but will also need to protect the football.
Last week, Penns Valley turnovers gave an explosive BEA offense short fields, which led to a bloated final score that was actually 27-19 after three quarters.