This week we are treated to multiple inter-county games between Section 1 and Section 2 teams.
On Friday night in Elverson, the Twin Valley Raiders will host visiting Berks Catholic. These teams have seen complete opposite sides of the standings in their respective divisions since last season.
For Twin Valley, it’s been a bumpy ride the past few years. Now, under first year head coach Steve Gaunt, the Raiders will be looking to make a statement.
Last week, TV fell to a very mighty Garden Spot team, 48-3. The Raiders split time at quarterback between two sophomores, Alec Ranck and Chris Goebel. Ranck seemed to gain the upper-hand completing 50 percent of his passes for 62 yards and no interceptions. It will be interesting to see how both of these young players mature. Junior Remzie Akkad led the Raiders in receiving in week one. When combined with senior Nigel Hill, Akkad could very well be a nice option for these quarterbacks in the passing game.
While the Raiders struggled greatly, it is important to note that with a relatively young team, these struggles are to be expected. The Twin Valley faithful may have to wait until next season when they compete in Section 2, for their squad to climb back to relevancy in Berks County. For now, Coach Gaunt and company will be best suited to get their young players experience while preaching a shock the world, or at least Berks County, type of mentality.
For Berks Catholic, Coach Keeley and his team have been trying to shrug off the early accolades they have received. Ranked #1 in District 3 AA and #7 in the PIAA Class AA, it will be tough to avoid having a target on their back. Coach Keeley has stated that he wants his team to go out and still play like underdogs despite being treated as top dog.
Last week, the Saints took down their rival Catholic high school, Pope John Paul II rather easily by a score of 35-7. Much like Twin Valley, the Saints split time at QB between Matt Kase and Patrick Causa. However, that was to be expected based on last year’s results. On offense, Berks Catholic was led by senior running back Chris Warren who rushed 10 times for 72 yards and a touchdown. Warren also caught 2 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, which he followed by converting a two point conversion.
Defensively, Berks Catholic looked especially strong, not allowing any points until the 4th quarter, when the game was already out of reach for the visiting Golden Panthers. The Saints saw key contributions defensively from Cooper Kutz who registered the game’s only interception.
Looking forward to Friday, it is hard to believe the Saints would not be the favorites here, as Coach Keeley has his team firing on all cylinders in the early going.