High School & College Sports Enthusiast Jim Hammett breaks it down for you!
I went 5-1 last week, which raises my total to 11-1 on the season. My lone miss was picking Cambria Heights to beat Bishop McCort. I also was off (as were most people) in taking Bishop Guilfoyle to beat Westmont big. The Hilltoppers battled and kept it close. Some very good games this week that should help paint the picture for the league the rest of the season.
Westmont (0-2) at Penn Cambria (0-2) Friday 7:00
Westmont was the surprise of the league last week, as they nearly upset conference favorite Bishop Guilfoyle. The Hilltoppers have been a tough team to figure, as they have had two totally different performances to start the year. So which team will show up this week? I think the team that nearly took down Bishop Guilfoyle will be here this week. Look for Westmont to play their methodical game running the ball with Camden Moors and Tucker Kushner.
Penn Cambria is currently being outscored 80-12 through two games. If they are going to turn this season around, the defense has to improve. The Panthers had some success in week one with Derek Brown running the ball, but he was held in check last week. Coach Franco will need to find a consistent source of offense as well. This team has a lot to figure out in the near future.
Bottom Line - I like Westmont in this one. They are methodical, even boring at times on offense, but they can be effective. I think the confidence from that close game last week carries into this week.
Hilltoppers 26 Panthers 7
Bedford (1-1) at Bishop Carroll (0-2) Friday 7:00
Bedford raced out to a big lead last week on Central Cambria and held off the Red Devils for their victory. The Bisons used a balanced rushing attack with junior Dylan Arnold leading the way. Senior quarterback Davis Kline accounted for four touchdowns (2 passing, 2 receiving) in last week's game, and has looked solid so far this season. With these two playmakers, look for the Bisons to have a pretty high-scoring attack throughout the season.
Bishop Carroll dropped one to Johnstown 42-0 to fall to 0-2. The Huskies just had a tough time getting anything going with four turnovers against the ball-hawking Trojans' defense. BC found some success in week one through the air and look for them to use that same attack this week. Bedford gave up some big passing play last week, and I suspect the Huskies will try a similar mode of attack.
Bottom Line - I think Bedford has too many weapons for Bishop Carroll to slow down. The Bison's option based offense should be enough to generate points at will. Bishop Carroll can move the ball, but to hang for four quarters will be tough.
Bisons 42 Huskies 14
Richland (1-1) at Central Cambria (0-2) Friday 7:00
After a dissapointing opening game, Richland put together a sound overall performance against Penn Cambria to even their record at 1-1. Joey Hauser put together a masterful effort last Friday going 19-23 for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. Joey Kovachik, Caleb Burke, and Trevy Hardison led the way in the receiving ranks. Noah Wanko added a nice game rushing the ball, and the defense pitched the shutout. Just about all you could ask for if you are a Richland fan or coach.
Central Cambria once again dug themselves a hole, and started to climb out of it probably a bit too late. You have to respect the fight of this team, but the defense is giving up too many big plays. 95 points allowed in two games is far too much to remain competitive. The offense, however, has been pretty entertaining. Justin Bezek already has 689 passing yards this season, and Luke Bennett and Kayden Kutchman have been making plays all over the field.
Botton Line - This might be a long game, as both teams really, really like to pass. Both coaches are former quarterbacks, so it makes sense. I think Richland is a more complete team, but this could be a sneaky fun game filled with big plays.
Rams 45 Red Devils 35
Somerset (1-1) at Cambria Heights (1-1) Friday 7:00
Somerset dropped back to .500 following a 20-7 setback to Forest Hills. The Golden Eagles are a tricky team to figure, but they are a dangerous one. Ryan Funa has been their focal point on offense through two games with 236 rushing yards and 85 receiving yards. The Golden Eagles could benefit from a secondary source of offense. Cam Coddington is an experienced quarterback and can make plays through the air and with his feet. He could be one to watch on Friday.
Cambria Heights battled Bishop McCort, but could not keep pace for all four quarters. The Highlanders proved to have a strong passing game, but they did not fare well in the trenches. The gave up 300+ rushing yards to the Crushers, and really failed to get much going on the ground themselves.Nick Brawley is a very good receiver, and I would expect he will see the ball in a variety of ways on Friday, as the Heights' coaching staff is pretty creative and usually has a trick or two up their sleeves.
Bottom Line - This is a big game, and it should be a good one. I think both teams have the potential to be very good this season and this is a pivital game for both sides. I like the home team in this one. Heights has a lot of different weapons and they are good at gaining favorable matchups in the passing game. Don't sleep on Somerset though, they should be able to hang and challenge for the win.
Highlanders 28 Golden Eagle 20
Games of the Week
Bishop McCort (2-0) at Bishop Guilfoyle (2-0) Friday 7:00
Couldn't pick just one game of the week, as both of these final matchups appear really good on paper.
Bishop McCort received a big boost last week as they were able to add Anthony Walters and Josiah Jones back to the lineup and it helped. Walters gave McCort another weapon on offense, and he played a big role with two touchdowns. Jones made some plays on defense, and adds to the Crushers' depth there. Overall, this is a veteran team with kids that have been starting for years, Carnell Andrews has been really good in both games this season as well.
Bishop Guilfoyle was a bit of a surprise last week. They won, but it was closer than a lot of their games in recent seasons. I get Westmont is a tough opponent, but many expected BG to win by multiple touchdowns anyway. I don't think it's a concern long term, but the Marauders will need to play better if they want another undefeated season. Max Sankey has been running really well, and Mark Conrad is a capable playmaker at quarterback. I think they should be able to score more this week.
Bottom Line - Look, Bishop McCort is an experienced team. Walters, Andrews, Phillips and company have been seeing the field since they were freshmen. They should be ready for a game like this. It was close for a half last year before BG pulled away, could they make it even closer this year? I'm not so sure. Bishop Guilfoyle has the advantage in size and they are experienced as well, and at home to boot. This could be a good game if McCort runs the ball well, and controls the tempo. I just think Bishop Guilfoyle will play better this week.
Marauders 28 Crimson Crushers 21
Johnstown (2-0) at Forest Hills (2-0) Friday 7:00
Johnstown is 2-0 and have outscored their opposition 77-12. Still, the Trojans have not been tested yet, but that should change on Friday. Austin Barber has been playing lights out this year, and will look to continue that trend this week. The senior has thrown for 338 yards and 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Darrian Berkins and Imil Britt have been his top targets thus far. And for as explosive as the Johnstown offense has been, the same could be said for the defense. Johnstown has 8 takeaways and a defensive line anchored by Shamar Jones. This team is talented across the field, but again a bit untested this season.
Forest Hills is off to a 2-0 start and have been pretty impressive this season as well. The Rangers steamrolled Westmont, and handled Somerset. With D6 AAA wide open this year, Forest Hills has been as impressive as anyone thus far. Adam Cecere is one of the better quarterbacks around, but hasn't had to carry the team like in past years. Jon Long has been putting up big plays this year, as he is a force in the running and passing games. The Rangers have also been opportunistic on defense with 6 turnovers themselves.
Bottom Line - This should be a great game, as you have arguably the two best quarterbacks in the league going at it. It's hard to say where any of advantages lie for either side. Johnstown should be a bit stronger up front, but Long may be the best playmaker in this game. I think it's pretty evenly matched, but I'm going with the Trojans. Johnstown has been a bit more successful in recent seasons, and I think they are more prepared to win a big game. The Rangers won't go down easily though, Bailey will have them ready to play.
Trojans 34 Rangers 28
I don't really know, he said it was for wrestling but his two friends that are also D1 wrestlers are playing so maybe they encouraged him. He was on the roster all along if you noticed in the Tribune Democrat preview, so I guess it was in the works before Friday.
Forest Hills and/or Johnstown *could* beat Bishop Guilfoyle. That's what I gathered tonight. I'm not sure if they will, but those games could be a lot of fun.
BG is still really good, but the 2017 team is not the 2016,15,and 14 teams.
BG is still really good, but the 2017 team is not the 2016,15,and 14 teams.
Just to throw this out there...but after BG won it in 2014, everyone said the same thing about the 2015 team, and thy turned out ok. I'll be interested to see where things go from here
Yeah Bishop Guilfoyle's been doubted on here more than a few times. I still think they should win the state championship, but Forest Hills and Johnstown are going to give them all they can handle.
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Agree that BG's games with both FH and JHS will be appointment viewing. I was interested to see the T-D picked BG to go 9-1 in their preview tab but I don't recall them saying who they thought would deal them the "L".
dougkeklak wrote:Agree that BG's games with both FH and JHS will be appointment viewing. I was interested to see the T-D picked BG to go 9-1 in their preview tab but I don't recall them saying who they thought would deal them the "L".
I think they did that last year as well. And last year they were less beatable than now
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