Fleetwood (1-2) at Hamburg (3-0)
The Hawks will look to start 4-0 for the first time since 2006 is their Section 2 opener against Fleetwood.
Joey Cominsky will not start at quarterback for Hamburg Friday. Cominsky served a one-game suspension for being ejected in a win over Annville-Cleona two weeks ago.
Nick Kuhn will start in place of Cominsky. Kuhn went 8-for-12 for 98 yards in Hamburg’s 24-21 win over Northern Lebanon last week.
Ian Hamilton will receive the bulk of the carries at running back while Joey Raffensperger is out. Hamilton rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns last week and adds another dynamic threat in Joe Sinkovich’s offense.
Cody Miller is the Hawks go-to player on offense. Miller has 228 yards rushing and 270 yards receiving (the Section 2 leader) through three games. Look for him to find a mismatch in the Fleetwood secondary.
Fleetwood has the offensive power to match Hamburg. Zach Koenig, the Section 2 passing leader, has thrown for 443 yards and four touchdowns.
Koenig has three talented receivers to throw to: Michael Allen, Nate Webb and Zack Klapchar. All three are candidates for 100-yard games on Friday nights.
Tyler Emge will be the back Hamburg’s defense needs to contain. Emge has rushed for 398 yards and scored a team-high four touchdowns in 2013.
Except this game to be a shootout, with the team that has possession last earning the victory.
Prediction: Fleetwood 38, Hamburg 35
The Spartans will look to get back to .500, but will have to survive a tough road test in Orwigsburg to do so.
Wyomissing will need to rack up more yards and put more points on the board in order to defeat the Eagles.
Thomas Paolini remains the player to watch on offense while Scotty McAvoy is out. Paolini has 109 yards rushing and 109 yards receiving on the season. He has the ability to make big plays once he gets the football.
Scott Kuczala is capable of doing the same throwing the ball. Kuczala averages 24.8 yards per completion on pass plays. He will have to watch Sean Greenawalt in the secondary if the Spartans choose to air it out.
Blue Mountain has some home-run hitters on offense as well, starting with Will Bornstein. The senior has 552 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns this season. He is among the league leaders in Section 2 in every major rushing category.
Shane Grapsy is also an efficient quarterback for the Eagles. Grapsy has 252 yards passing with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for Blue Mountain.
This game will come down to which unit has the stronger defense, which the Spartans take the nod here. Expect their offense to have a break out performance against Blue Mountain.
Prediction: Wyomissing 31, Blue Mountain 21
The Panthers are seeking a 4-0 start for the second straight year and the question asked in the beginning of the season appears to be answered.
Schuylkill Valley is reloading, not rebuilding. Nick Scheidt has made sure that was possible.
Scheidt has 522 yards and a section-leading eight touchdowns this season. He also has a team-high three interceptions in leading the Panthers defense.
Schuylkill Valley’s No. 2 tailback, Ed Shuttleworth, has 244 yards and four touchdowns. The ground game is a huge reason why they have won three straight to begin the season.
Kutztown also has a potent ground game led by Nate Oronofsky and Zach Sessions. Both rushers have combined for 507 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
Kutztown is an improving team, but Schuylkill Valley will prove to be too much for them. This team continues to impress every week. Expect the running backs to have big games.
Prediction: Schuylkill Valley 38, Kutztown 14
The Saints continue their four-game road trip with a visit to Columbia.
Berks Catholic has won its first three games by a combined total of 124 to 26. It’s clear the Saints are strong on both sides of the ball.
Chris Warren has been a dual-threat on offense for the Saints. Warren has 107 rushing yards, 103 receiving yards and a team-leading five touchdowns on the season.
The Saints lead Section 2 in total defense with 609 yards allowed. Pietro Gaspari leads Berks Catholic with three sacks this season.
The defense will be forced to contain Columbia tailback Michael Roberts, who has 342 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Keith Wakefield also adds 252 yards with four touchdowns on the ground.
If the Saints can force Columbia to throw the ball, they will be en route to another blowout win.
Prediction: Berks Catholic 40, Columbia 10