Coughlin at Williamsport
Coughlin facts: The Crusaders have pushed Williamsport around at the line of scrimmage the past six seasons, winning each game and often running at will. Coughlin ran for 394 yards in last year’s 41-20 win over Williamsport and had 443 in a 2014 win at Williamsport as it overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit. Expect the Crusaders to try and establish the run early and often again. Jake Cole and Vincent Todd form a solid thunder and lightning duo. Cole has run for 641 yards and two touchdowns, compiling four 100-yard games. He had 168 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 40-0 win over Honesdale. Todd is a game-breaker who averages 10.3 yards per carry and who has 619 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 10.3 yards per carry. Todd also is the team’s leading receiver, catching nine passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Todd has returned a kickoff 82 yards for a score and intercepted a pass. Quarterback Kevin Kozerski has thrown for 346 yards and four touchdowns. The defense is stingy and has surrendered only 17 points the past two weeks. Eric Sovan averages 8.3 tackles per game and Devin Ortolani has five tackles for losses. Coughlin lost a 14-13 heartbreaker to Berwick in last year’s District 2 Class AAA semifinals. Coughlin is seeking its first winning streak this season after following each win with a loss thus far.
Coughlin player to watch-Paul Marinko: A good linebacker, Marinko averages a team-high 8.6 tackles per game and has six tackles for losses. Marinko also has added two sacks.
Williamsport facts: The Millionaires are hoping to pay back an old bully and stay perched atop the District 2 6A standings. Williamsport can officially clinch a first-round home playoff game and stay ahead of Delaware Valley in the race for homefield advantage if it wins. The Millionaires lost their first game last Saturday, a 49-42 thriller at Delaware Valley. Williamsport erased three double-digit deficits, including two in the fourth quarter and tied it with 2:39 remaining. The offense was explosive but the defense struggled mightily for the first time. Delaware Valley gained 496 yards and had both a 275-yard passer and 191-yard rusher. The defense, however, did make some timely second-half spots and has a shot at big-time redemption against a team that has controlled the line of scrimmage against it in each of the rivals’ last six games. The offense shook off a slow start and was explosive again, totaling 528 yards. Quarterback Isaiah Hankins was brilliant, throwing for 321 yards and two touchdowns while running for 56 more and scoring a game-tying touchdown. Hankins made good reads and adjustments while making some big-time throws, including a rope on a 23-yard completion to Elliott Walker on a fourth-and-2 in the second half. Walker was sensational as well, catching a career-high 10 passes for 198 yards, scoring on a 70-yard pass and adding an interception. Delaware Valley focused on stopping sophomore running back Treyson Potts but he still ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns and leads District 4 with 18 touchdowns. The offensive line has played well this season and has been key to the offense’s success. Tyler Anderson threw a terrific block on a Potts 52-yard touchdown, helping the sophomore go the entire way untouched. Marty Clark ran for 128 yards against Scranton and is playing well at linebacker, making 10 tackles the last two weeks.
Williamsport player to watch-Cam Dickey: The junior is not big but he plays tough. Dickey goes all-out all the time and came up big in the second half last week. Dickey had a sack that created a 3rd-and-long and a play later recovered a fumble that Clark forced. That set up the game-tying touchdown.
Outlook: This is another challenge for Williamsport and kicks off a tough three-game stretch to end the regular season. Williamsport must win the battle up front and slow Coughlin’s running game to bounce back and control its home-field destiny.
-by CHRIS MASSE