Given how the Red Knights performed last week against visiting J.P. McCaskey, head coach Rob Flowers has to be pleased with his young squad. Reading started the game off slow, at least in terms of scoring, before blasting for 33 points in the second half to earn the 33-15 win.
The Red Knights saw junior quarterback Sterling Young-Trapp lead the way both in the passing and rushing game as he accumulated 251 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. Taking much of the pressure of the junior was his fellow classmate Dontae Owens who caught five passes for 147 yards and two scores.
Defensively the Red Knights were led by senior linebacker Matt Sensenig and sophomore defensive back Jaie Johnson, who made a phenomenal highlight reel interception at a key point in the game. The defense allowed just 143 yards of total offense.
Fresh off their win over a Lancaster-Lebanon opponent, the Red Knights will travel to face another in Cocalico.
Cocalico, which comes into the game after boasting a 49-14 win against Daniel Boone, will look to continue their winning ways of a year ago.
Last week the Eagles powered their way to 431 yards, of which 408 were on the ground. They hope to test the Red Knights front seven the same exact way this Friday.
Using their option attack, the Eagles have multiple players capable of rushing for over 100 yards against any opponent. They will be led by quarterback Jhett Janis, along with running backs Spencer Moser and Brad Whitaker.
This game will certainly be a high tempo thriller for both offenses. It will obviously come down to whichever defense proves stronger.
Prediction: Reading 31 – Cocalico 23
Fresh off a 50-0 blowout victory over Bishop McDevitt (Wyncote), the Muhls will play host to Palmyra this Friday. Palmyra enters the game on a 12 game losing streak, including a week one loss to Northern York, 45-0. Last season Muhlenberg won by a score of 48-14.
The Muhls will turn to senior quarterback Antonieo Dominguez to lead the way offensively. Dominguez enjoyed a breakout performace a week ago, passing for 82 yards and rushing for an additional 89. The senior also added a pair of touchdowns, one on the ground and another through the air.
Despite only getting eight carries, senior running back Ben Ortiz exploded for 132 yards and two touchdowns, numbers which he will certainly look to replicate against Palmyra. The Muhls will also look to feature seniors Eli Quinter and Ethan Himmelberger in the passing game.
Defensively, the Muhls are experienced. Players such as Dakota Thompson, Daryll Ellison, Brock Stoudt, Jake Hess, and Diego Rodriguez can be expected to contribute on this Friday, and beyond.
Palmyra would just like to get in the win column at some point this season. New head coach Carl Deiner hopes to move them in that direction.
Offensively, the Cougars will feature quarterback Michael Lewis and running back Austin Combs, who led the team in total offense with just 15 yards last week.
Expect Muhlenberg to give another dominant performance in front of their home crowd this Friday.
Prediction: Palmyra 6 – Muhlenberg 44
This Friday, the Crimson Tide will play host to the Berwick Bulldogs. Last week the Crimson Tide looked impressive defeating Shamokin by a score of 41-13. Equally impressive were the Bulldogs who picked apart Crestwood on their way to a 41-7 win.
The Crimson Tide put up very good numbers in Tom McGeoy’s debut as head coach. Leading the way for Pottsville was senior quarterback Tyler Moser, who threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Moser also added a touchdown on the ground. The senior seems to have found a favorite target already in the early going in junior wide out Travis Blankenhorn, who had 180 yards and two touchdowns in their week one win.
The Tide may have also found something special in freshman running back Darion Jacoby, who ran for 82 yards and a touchdown in his first ever varsity appearance.
Berwick will look to spread the ball around the way they did in their week one victory. Senior quarterback CJ Curry threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns against Crestwood. On the receiving end of Curry’s passes were several key targets including Andrew Force (5 rec, 193 yards, 3 TD), Will Updegrove (3 rec, 87 yards, 1 TD), and Kyle Trenholm (3 rec, 39 yards).
The Bulldogs can move the ball on the ground as well, having rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown last week.
Possibly the most intriguing player to watch in this game will be Berwick kicker Olivia Seeley. The junior converted on 5 of her 6 point after attempts during week one.
Prediction: Berwick 38 – Pottsville 20
Last week was anything but what the Mustangs would have envisioned. Hosting Wilson in their season opener, Mifflin fell 38-7.
The offense struggled for much of the game to get anything going against a strong Wilson defense. Anytime Mifflin began to gain momentum, they would quickly cough the ball up. This trend began early and continued throughout the entirety of the game.
Despite allowing 38 points, the Mustangs defense was impressive at times. Due to the offensive struggles and frequent fumbles, Wilson had a very short field to work with for the most part. The Mifflin defense forced a red zone interception and also a turnover on downs.
This week the Mustangs will look to put the past behind them and get back to what made them the preseason favorite in District 3-AAAA.
Outside of a closer final score, the Crusaders of Lancaster Catholic did not fare much better in their 21-6 loss to Dallastown. The Crusaders combined for just 149 yards of total offense.
For the Crusaders, look for senior quarterback Collins Gantz Jr. to spark their offensive attack. Last week, freshman Jordan Scott saw some snaps at QB as well. At running back, you can expect sophomore Randolph Spiller and senior Trey Miller to see the bulk of the carries.
With both teams looking to put disappointing season openers behind them, this will be a very exciting game if one or both of these teams is able to find their groove.
Prediction: Mifflin 31 – Lancaster 26
Wilson at Harrisburg
On Friday, the Wilson Bulldogs will travel to Harrisburg, in what will surely be the most important game in District 3-AAAA. The two teams will head into the game ranked No. 1 (Wilson) and No. 3 (Harrisburg), respectively. Last year, these two teams split the season series. However, it was Wilson gaining the upper hand when it mattered most, as they put an end to Harrisburg’s season in the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs.
Wilson is coming off of a huge week one win over rival Gov. Mifflin by a final count of 38-7. The Bulldogs looked sharp, particularly on defense and special teams, forcing six turnovers in the opener. However, the offense was worth noting as well as they compiled 273 total yards and 38 points.
Led by seniors Matt Timochenko at quarterback and John Raifsnyder at running back, the Bulldogs will be a tough bunch. Complimenting that pair will be another pair in senior tight end Dom Nigrelli and sophomore tailback Shane Dantzler. All four are tremendous playmakers and have a chance to not only lead this team past Harrisburg, but also anyone else that stands in their way for a title.
Harrisburg faced the daunting task of opening up the season at Bishop McDevitt, which is ranked No. 3 in the state amongst Class AAA schools. Ultimately, the Cougars fell to their opponent by a final tally of 35-14.
Harrisburg will be led by junior quarterback Mikell Clark. Their top playmaker is senior Darian Davis-Ray, who had five catches for 108 yards and a touchdown against Bishop McDevitt.
This week it will be interesting to see if Harrisburg can bounce back, or if Wilson can continue their winning ways. Either way, we are in for a thriller on Friday.
Prediction: Wilson 23 – Harrisburg 20
By Dan Hoff
The Eagles home opener at Don Thomas Stadium will feature a battle of two area high schools. The Phantoms of Phoenixville will travel up 422 after last week’s 14-6 loss to rival Great Valley. Exeter will go for a 2-0 start after last Friday’s 35-7 victory over Ephrata.
The Eagles have been pleased with the early quarterback play from junior signal caller Chase Yocum. Yocum rushed 13 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns, while through the air he was 7-for-13 with one interception and one touchdown.
However it might be the Eagles defense that steals the show this Friday. Exeter held Ephrata to 44 total yards last Friday. Yes 44 yards, with 0 yards rushing on 25 attempts. This stat is in large part thanks too Michal Menet who was the BIC Sports defensive player of the week.
Phoenixville’s run game will probably prove better as they had 171 yards on the ground last week. Most of those yards came from Justin McDougal who had 93 yards and one score on 19 touches. The Phantoms have a tough defense of their own allowing only 14 points to Great Valley with both scores coming in the fourth quarter.
This matchup will definitely provide a heavy dosage of defense. However I expect Exeter to come out on top in the end. Look for Yocum to steal the show again with a few scores.
Phoenixville 6 – Exeter 20
By Jeff Kerr
If any team needs a win to springboard their season after a tough first week, these two teams fit the bill.
The Blazers allowed 408 rushing yards in a loss to Cocalico and allowed 49 points in a blowout loss.
One positive for Daniel Boone was the play of quarterback Nick Hughes, who threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start. Hughes will need to limit the mistakes or Brad Kinckner will be around in the secondary to make him pay.
Last week, Kinckner had an interception and a fumble recovery to lead the Wildcats defense.
Hughes should be able to find receivers Tommy Pufnock and Paul Galanti numerous times throughout the game. Kyle Myers and Xavier Smith should see plenty of carries as well.
Owen J. Roberts could only muster 131 yards of offense in a 35-13 loss to Conestoga last week. Quarterback Isaiah McDonald struggled with only two completions for 18 yards. Workhorse running back Wyatt Scott only had 39 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats.
If Boone scores multiple touchdowns early, they will force the Wildcats to throw frequently. Owen J. Roberts may be just what the Blazers need to get an early season win and avoid an 0-2 start.
Daniel Boone 28, Owen J. Roberts 14