Bald Eagle Area (0-1)
at Philipsburg Osceola (0-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: BEA— Ron Hoover (first season); P-O Michael Soyster (first season)
Last meeting: Bald Eagle Area 40, Philipsburg-Osceola 13, last season
Players to watch: BEA— OL/DL Josh Fye; PO— QB/WR Tanner Lamb
The skinny: Both programs will have heavy hearts tonight following Tuesday’s passing of Lester Horton, a BEA assistant coach. Horton, 50, was also a longtime assistant at P-O until this season.
A football scholarship is being established in Horton’s honor. All donations can be dropped off to the BEA Athletic Office at the middle/high school or in the Business Office located in the administration building. Checks need to have written in the memo section “Lester Horton Football Scholarship.”
Both new coaches got off to rough starts last week and their problems were mostly on opposite sides of the ball.
BEA’s offense did not score a point in a 27-7 loss against Moshannon Valley. The Eagles had just 141 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice.
For the Mounties it was just the opposite. They improved offensively as the game went on, but West Branch racked up 397 yards on the ground in a 30-28 triumph.
The Eagles’ only score came from it defense, which gave up just 252 yards. The defense was hurt as Mo Valley received several short fields and scored 27 unanswered points in the second half.
P-O’s offense came alive in the second half. The Mounties used two different quarterbacks and Tanner Lamb and Jake Anderson delivered. Lamb threw one fourth-quarter touchdown pass and Anderson threw two in the period as the Mounties rallied. The two combined for 314 yards through the air.
That success in the air has to concern the Eagles, who gave up three touchdown passes in the second half of their loss.
Mitchell Struble will be hoping to get the BEA ground game in gear. The Eagles will have a size advantage along the lines.
Both of the P-O quarterbacks will continue to target Caleb Belinda, who caught nine passes for 198 yards and two scores. Lamb also grabbed a touchdown pass from Anderson in the contest.
at Penns Valley (0-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: C— Tim Janocko (30th season); PV— Martin Tobias (19th season)
Last meeting: Clearfield 37, Penns Valley 15, last season
Players to watch: C— WR Ryan Lezzer; PV— QB Ben Alexander
The skinny: The Mountain League’s longest tenured coaches find themselves looking for their first wins of the season.
That’s an unusual position for Janocko, whose team program has gone 48-4 over the past four seasons. The Bisons suffered a stunning loss in its season opener. They raced to a 30-14 halftime lead against Keyser, W. Va., but giving up 29 uncontested points in the second half in a 43-30 loss
The Rams moved the ball against Juniata, but had some trouble in the red zone. The came away empty twice from inside the 10 in a 29-16 loss against Juniata.
Penns Valley, who struggled defensively last season, gave up 437 yards in the opener. The Rams will get a good test from Cody Spaid. The junior threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. His favorite target was Ryan Lezzer, who had seven catches for 187 yards and three scores.
But the Bison, who had two players combine to rush for more than 3,200 yards last season, had just 37 yards on the ground.
Clearfield gave up more than 300 yards on the ground in its opener and that’s where the Rams excelled. Running back Wyatt Sharp rumbled for 162 yards and quarterback Ben Alexander added 98 more. Alexander also passed for 102 yards.
Penns Valley need to be wary of the big play. Two of Juniata’s scores were 65 yards or long and another went for 29 yards.
Bellefonte (0-1) at Huntingdon (0-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: B— Shanon Manning (second season); JS— Mike Hudy (third season)
Last season: Huntingdon 47, Bellefonte 0
Players to watch: B— LB Tyler Kreger; H— RB/LB Jon Wagner
The skinny: Bellefonte hasn’t won a game since Sept. 14, 2012. That’s a span of 18 games.
But Shanon Manning’s squad gave an indication last week that the Red Raiders are improving. They trailed just 9-7 through three quarters before Jersey Shore pulled away late.
They’ll face a Huntingdon squad that got blasted 53-20 by Mt. Union last week.
The Red Raiders were crushed last season by the Bearcats’ ground game. Huntingdon amassed 373 yards rushing, averaging more than seven yards per carry, but the Bearcats graduated their top three runners from that game.
They rushed for 160 last week, but those numbers were skewed because 67 came on one carry. Jon Wagner had 72 yards on 10 carries to lead the attack. Quarterback Hudson Speck was 4 of 12, but did toss two touchdown passes.
The Huntingdon defense was vulnerable through the air last week as Mount Union’s Trevon Walker threw for 226 yards and five touchdowns. Bellefonte quarterback Mark Armstrong threw three interceptions in the opener and had four against Huntingdon last season. Storm Smith led the ground game with 43 yards.
Linebacker Tyler Kreger and defensive back Dan Caprio led the Red Raiders’ defense against Jersey Shore with 14 and 12 tackles, respectively.
St. Joseph’s (1-0) at United (0-1)
Time: 7 p.m
Coaches: SJ— Dave Carson (second season); U— Lance Holupka
Last season: First meeting
Players to watch: SJ— WR/DB Mike Jabco; U— QB— Jesse Beacker
The skinny: St. Joseph’sgot off to a hot start, knocking off Halifax 31-20 last week.
Mike Jabco had a huge evening on both sides of the ball. Three of his five receptions went for touchdowns. He also picked off three passes as the Wolves notched six interceptions in the contest.
New quarterback Jack Driscoll completed 13 of 23 passes for 148 yards and the three scores to Jabco. Charlie Ross, who bolted 75 yards for a score, and Garrett Walters (72 yards on 17 carries) let the rushing attack. Austin Emel and Titus Tice led the defense with nine tackles apiece.
They’ll face a team that is in the midst of a 21-game losing streak.
United suffered a 35-7 setback against Marion Center in its opener. Sophomore Jesse Beacker threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Devin Mack on the opening drive for the Lions’ lone score. Beacker rans for 86 yards and threw for 101 in his first varsity start.
United’s defense was hurt by Marion Center’s rushing attack. The Stingers scored all five of the their TDs on the ground.