Hamburg (1-1, 4-1) at Blue Mountain (0-2, 1-4)
The Hawks returned to their winning ways after a 47-26 win over Kutztown last week. Hamburg also brought back another cog to their offense in starting quarterback Joey Cominsky.
Cominsky completed 3-of-7 passes for 31 yards in his return, but the Hamburg senior did more damage with his legs. He had seven carries for 103 yards and a touchdown, which was a 50-yard run in the first quarter.
Robert Henne led Hamburg with 117 yards rushing last week. He adds another dimension in the Hamburg rush offense, which averages 232 yards a game. Expect them to keep the ball on the ground against the Blue Mountain rush defense, which allows 272.8 yards per contest.
Blue Mountain will need to rebound after a 37-7 loss to Berks Catholic, which was their third straight defeat overall.
The offense needs to get back on track, starting with the run game. Will Bornstein has just 69 yards in his last two games after gaining 572 in his first three.
If Bornstein gets back up to speed, the Eagles will score points.
Tristan Dickey should find opportunities to get open against the Hamburg secondary, but will need to make big plays once the football is in his hands.
Blue Mountain should give a challenge early, but Hamburg has too many pieces with Cominsky back in the fold.
Prediction: Hamburg 35, Blue Mountain 21
The Spartans will look to rebound after allowing 49 points in a non-league loss to Pleasant Valley last week.
They were outscored 28-0 in the fourth quarter, including surrendering a 38-28 lead with less than eight minutes to play.
Despite the defensive breakdown in the final minutes, the Spartans offense scored the highest output of points in a game this season (38).
Scott Kuczala had a strong game at quarterback. He completed 8-of-12 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Kuczala is starting to find his rhythm for the Spartans, which they will need in order to win the section title.
For Kutztown to stay in this game, the Cougars need to control the time of possession. Fortunately for Kutztown, they have Nate Onorofsky and Zach Sessions to carry the ball. Both rushers have combined for 723 yards this season.
The Cougars also have found a receiver last week in Austin Isamoyer, who caught five passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss to Hamburg.
Kutztown has players that can give Wyomissing a run, but the Spartans depth at running back will be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Wyomissing 34, Kutztown 24
The Section 2 leaders head to Fredricksburg for a non-league showdown with the Vikings after a 31-7 win over Schuylkill Valley.
The Tigers will look to continue their offensive outburst, led by Tyler Emge. The junior rushed for a career-high 39 times and a school-record 214 yards last week. Expect Emge to get the ball for Fleetwood again Friday.
Zach Koenig will look to improve his numbers as the Section 2 passing leader. Koenig has 837 yards passing and seven touchdowns halfway through the year.
The Fleetwood defense will look to stop receiver Mason Yost, who has 17 catches for 226 yards and four touchdowns.
Northern Lebanon also has a trio of running backs that have rushed for over 200 yards this season: Derek DiAngelis (345), Issac Ray (263), and Dominic Trader (243). The Tigers will need to be at the top of their game to contain the Vikings rushing attack.
Fleetwood has risen up to the challenge against high-powered offenses this season. Expect the same Friday.
Prediction: Fleetwood 38, Northern Lebanon 21