Fleetwood (2-1, 4-3) at Berks Catholic (3-0, 7-0)
The Tigers present the Saints their biggest challenge until the regular season finale against Wyomissing and should not be taken lightly.
Fleetwood had their worst offensive game of the season in poor weather conditions as they fell to Wyomissing. The Tigers were held to 43 yards passing and 200 total yards.
Tyler Emge was on his way to another good game before an injury sidelined him the second quarter. Emge had nine carries for 66 yards prior to the injury.
Zach Koenig will look to get back on track throwing the football as well. Koenig completed just 5-of-13 passes and threw an interception in the loss to the Spartans.
Fleetwood will be the most-balanced offense the Saints defense has faced this season. The Tigers averaged 200.1 yards on the ground and 134.7 yards passing through seven games. Berks Catholic will be tested.
The Tigers defense will have to stop Pop Lacey, who has become the Saints biggest weapon on offense. Lacey has 503 yards rushing and is averaging nine yards a carry.
Chris Warren is another threat in the Saints backfield. Warren is second on the team with 400 rushing yards and first in receiving yards with 203. Warren will get touches for the Saints, especially on deep pass patterns and counter sweeps.
This game has the makings of a classic and is a must-watch for football fans in Berks County. Hopefully, it lives up to the hype.
Berks Catholic 41, Fleetwood 28
Hamburg (1-2, 4-3) at Wyomissing (3-0, 4-3)
The Spartans continue to play at a high level on both sides of the ball and the performance has resulted in three straight victories.
Thomas Paolini continues to be a dual-threat on offense. Paolini had 10 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Fleetwood. He also had 23 yards receiving. For the season, Paolini has 501 rushing yards, 176 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Jack Baker also had two touchdowns and 90 yards on the ground last week. Baker has 167 yards in his last two games. He and Paolini form a solid 1-2 punch at the running back position that has improved the Spartans offense.
Hamburg has lost three of its last four games against quality opponents. The Hawks have only mustered 20 points in those losses while giving up 119.
Joey Raffensperger returned to the Hawks last week and gave them a boost in the backfield. The 1,000-yard back had 21 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown after missing the first six games due to injury.
Hamburg will need to control the time of possession with Raffensperger, Ian Hamilton and Cody Miller if they want to compete in this game. Otherwise, they’ll struggle to score points against another quality opponent.
Wyomissing 35, Hamburg 17
Blue Mountain (2-2, 3-4) at Kutztown (0-3, 0-7)
The Eagles continue their torrid play in the second half of the season, which has resulted in two straight wins.
While a section title seems unlikely, Blue Mountain is still competing for a District 11 playoff spot.
Shane Grapsy had an exceptional game for the Eagles against Schuylkill Valley. Grapsy threw for 235 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for Blue Mountain in making his case as one top the top quarterbacks in the section.
Will Bornstein had 108 rushing yards and a touchdown while Tristan Dickey caught a touchdown pass last week. The Eagles will be tough to beat if their big three on offense have good games.
Kutztown has improved its passing game under Zack Mickey. Mickey has completed 18-of-29 passes for 317 yards and threw four touchdowns since taking over the position in week six.
Bryce Santos has benefited from Mickey’s passes. Santos has 17 catches for 293 yards and five touchdowns for the Cougars.
Blue Mountain is playing its best football to this point and it should continue against Kutztown. The Cougars will need to throw the ball early and often to have a shot at the upset.
Blue Mountain 40, Kutztown 24
Schuylkill Valley (4-3) at Donegal (5-2)
The Panthers come into this non-league contest on a three game losing streak, allowing 98 points during the stretch. The defensive issues need to be fixed to defeat Donegal.
Schuylkill Valley will have to contain Connor Ness, who has completed 37-of-52 passes for 857 yards with 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
Connor Maxwell is another strong offensive player for the Indians. Maxwell has 564 rushing yards with 210 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The Panthers need their defense to be in first-half form to pull off the upset.
On offense, Schuylkill Valley needs to control the clock with Nick Scheidt and Ed Shuttleworth. The two backs have combined for 1,407 yards on the ground and have the ability to break into open space for scores.
A loss shouldn’t hurt the Panthers in the District 3-AA playoff power rankings, but a win will certainly help boost their position.
Donegal 35, Schuylkill Valley 24