Central (5-2) at Bellefonte (2-5)
Especially with leading rusher Austin Jackson in street clothes after suffering an apparent first-half injury.
But that’s exactly what the Red Raiders did and they may have found something in the process of their 20-12 win. Out of a flex-bone, running back Dillon Kephart keyed the game-tying drive that was short on frills, but heavy on smashmouth running and blocking.
Can that work against Central, which rotates several defensive lineman throughout the course of each contest? The Dragons have not allowed more than 15 points in their last four games.
Bellefonte’s defense, which did an excellent job limiting big plays from Penns Valley’s Ben Alexander, faces two quarterbacks this week.
Noah Benton (819 yards, 9 TDs passing, 111 yards rushing) and Mike Mock (350 yards, 8 TDs passing, 454 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing) can beat you with their arms and legs. Mock also has caught four touchdown passes.
Clearfield (5-2) at Bald Eagle Area (2-5)
Did the Eagles find something or did they exploit a Huntingdon defense that gave up 384 yards rushing to Penns Valley’s Ben Alexander earlier in the serason?
Clearfield should provide a clear test.
After a 1-2 start, the Bison have rebounded with four straight wins. They shut down previously unbeaten Tyrone’s prolific rushing attack, holding the Golden Eagles to 46 yards on the ground in a 26-14 triumph.
The Bison do their share of moving the ball on the ground. Erik Sellers had 102 yards and three touchdowns last week and Seth Caldwell chipped in 81 yards.
Clearfield also got a touchdown on special teams as Dustin Maines blocked a Tyrone punt and recovered it in the end zone.
Penns Valley (2-5) at Chestnut Ridge (6-1)
The Lions have wins over Bald Eagle Area, Philipsburg-Osceola, Central and St. Joseph’s.
Chestnut Ridge is getting it done with defense. In their six wins, the Lions are giving up 10.3 points per game. That number was actually skewed last week when St. Joseph’s scored two touchdowns and a safety inside the final 90 seconds of Chestnut Ridge’s 52-16 romp.
Penns Valley’s prolific offense stalled last week in a 20-12 overtime loss to Bellefonte. The Rams hurt themselves with penalties on two deep drives in Red Raider territory.
Quarterback Ben Alexander, who has been doing most of the damage with his legs (774 yards rushing), completed 13 of 19 passes last week, six to Luke Bitsko for 86 yards.
State College (3-4, 2-2) at Central Dauphin East (6-1, 4-0)
State College sits in fourth place with a 2-2 record. Central Dauphin East is tied for first place with Central Dauphin.
The Little Lions got a big night from wide receiver/defensive back Kellin Valentine in the loss to Harrisburg. He returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and hauled in a touchdown pass.
But State College had no answer for Harrisburg’s talented receiving corps.
CD East boasts a passing attack led by two quarterbacks. Jahad Neibauer has thrown for 626 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception, while Justis Jacobs has accounted for 577 yards passing, five touchdowns and five interceptions.
Neibauer is also a threat with his legs. He’s rushed for 100 yards once and averages 6.8 yards per carry.
Huntingdon (3-4) at Philipsburg-Osceola (0-7)
The Mounties have allowed 42.8 points per game and scored 9.2 points per game during the six-game stretch. Philipsburg-Osceola is coming off a 40-7 loss to Central last week. Quarterback Jake Anderson connected with Tanner Lamb for the Mounties’ lone score.
Huntingdon is looking to bounce back after a 32-12 loss to Bald Eagle Area.
Bearcats running back Jon Wagner returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the loss. Wagner is averaging 98.7 yards rushing per game, and he’s scored 11 rushing touchdowns.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy (1-6) at Line Mountain (3-4)
St. Joseph’s has lost six straight and was overmatched in a 52-16 loss to Chestnut Ridge last week. The Wolves scored all 16 points in the final 85 seconds. Quarterback Michael Kresovich threw two touchdowns.
St. Joseph’s will face a Line Mountain team coming off a 14-7 win over Upper Dauphin. The Eagles also beat Halifax 24-6 the previous week.
Against Upper Dauphin, sophomore running back Kenny Boyer ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries.