District 4 AA semifinal: Loyalsock at Danville
When: 7 p.m., tonight
Last meeting: Danville beat Loyalsock, 23-21 in Week 2
Loyalsock ppg-30.1; ppa-19.1; ypg-364.3; ypa-280.4
Loyalsock facts: The Lancers are trying to reach the final for the first time since their championship season of 2009. They also are hoping to exact revenge on a team that edged in Week 2 and ended its season last year when it won, 31-6 in the quarterfinals. Loyalsock and Danville traded long, time-consuming drives in Week 2 and Loyalsock was literally inches from winning as a last-second field goal attempt bounced off the upright. Loyalsock has won three straight and avenged a Week 8 loss in last week’s quarterfinals, pounding Towanda, 48-20. The Lancers have beaten three straight playoff teams and captured their first outright HAC-II championship when they beat Montoursville 14-10 two weeks ago and handed their rival its first loss. Quarterback Kyle Datres has topped 100 yards rushing the last three weeks and ran for 229 yards and three scores last week. He has topped both 1,000 yards rushing and passing and totaled 229 yards in the first Danville game. Running back Robbie Klein has had a big year in his first season playing football and ran for 84 yards last week.
Loyalsock player to watch-Kaden Stensland: The junior center has been a key part of a strong offensive line. He and his fellow lineman will be tested against a strong defense tonight.
Danville ppg-28.2; ppa-11.6; ypg-335.5; ypa-236.5
Last playoff appearance-2012: beat Loyalsock 31-6 in quarterfinals; beat Athens 14-13 in semis; beat Mount Carmel 28-21 in final; lost 52-0 to Wyomissing in states.
Danville facts: The Ironmen look different than in Week 2 due to some costly injuries. Quarterback Weston Baylor was lost for the season in Week 9 with a broken foot. Fullback Sam Dressler returned to full-time action last week for the first time since Week 6. Fellow standout running back Isaiah Croll has seen limited action the last two weeks after recovering from a broken hand. Those two combined for 233 yards and three touchdowns in the first Loyalsock game. Dressler has given Loyalsock fits the past two seasons, running for 399 yards and four touchdowns while topping 100 yards in all four games. He ran for 165 yards and a touchdown last week as Danville dominated the line of scrimmage and time of possession in a 23-6 win over Lewisburg. Danville held the ball for 21 of the game’s final 24 minutes and overcame an early 6-0 deficit. Zack Kozick moved from wide receiver to quarterback when Baylor was injured and is completing 64.5 percent of his passes. Evan Tanner is averaging 17.7 yards per catch and scored six touchdowns. The defense is one of the district’s best and changed the game’s complexion last week. Caleb Klein returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown to ignite the comeback.
Danville player to watch-Eric Haney: The senior linebacker is one of the district’s best and is a tackling machine. The three-year starter averages 10.5 tackles per game and has 11 tackles for losses. He also has two sacks, an interception, two passes broken up and two fumble recoveries.
Outlook: These teams know each other well and this rematch has been long-anticipated since the Week 2 thriller. Expect another exciting game that could again come down to the last play.