Around the area: Week 6
Hughesville (1-4) at
Hughesville has concluded a brutal three-game stretch that ended with Southern Columbia last week. Tonight will start revealing how much playing that high-caliber competition has helped the improving Spartans. Hughesville showed its promise with a good effort in the opener against Bloomsburg before defeating Warrior Run, 37-13, the following week.
Running back Colton Yocum is among the area’s top 10 leading rushers and ran for a career-high 190 yards against Warrior Run. Devin Swank and Brenden Knight also have had some quality performances and Swank scored against Southern a week ago. Mikey Dylina is the fourth Spartan who has more than 100 rushing yards and he also caught a 52-yard touchdown against Warrior Run. Sophomore defensive end Gabe Wagner helps ignite that unit and collected 3 1/2 sacks in his first varsity start against Bloomsburg.
Midd-West running back Hunter Wolfley produced the 10th-best rushing performance in U.S. history last week, running for a staggering 452 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-33 loss against Mifflinburg. Wolfley, who has 904 yards, also is the team’s leading receiver and his last-minute reception set up Midd-West for a game-winning field goal that was blocked last week. Wolfley has scored a district-high 14 touchdowns.
Central Mountain (4-1)
at Selinsgrove (2-3)
If this game is anything like the one they played in Week 2, points will be hard to come by. Central Mountain won that game, 7-3, and Selinsgrove’s defense remains stifling, holding four opponents to one or no touchdowns. Central Mountain is the area’s most improved team and is coming off an impressive 41-27 win at Shamokin, snapping the Indians’ three-game winning streak. The Wildcats have won two straight since losing at undefeated Jersey Shore and scored 28 straight second-half points against Shamokin after trailing by seven in the third quarter.
A strong and experienced offensive line helped Central Mountain run for 359 yards with Ryan Pentz erupting for a career-high 237 yards and three touchdowns. Micah Walizer and Peyton Johnson also scored on long runs. Johnson is one of the area’s most explosive receivers and Brett Gerlach has played well as a first-time starting quarterback. The defense has held three opponents to single digits and Walizer and Jason Rinker are averaging more than eight tackles per game with Kaden Falls intercepting two passes.
Selinsgrove has struggled offensively, but its defense remains outstanding. The Seals blanked Shikellamy, 28-0, last week with Brett Foor returning an interception and a punt for touchdowns. Brandon Hile had three of the team’s six sacks and Ryan Aument ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
Troy (2-1) at Wellsboro (2-1)
This is a big game in both the NTL standings and the District 4 Class AA playoff chase. The top four teams advance and Troy is fifth in the standings with Wellsboro eighth. This essentially could be an elimination game with next week being the regular-season finale.
Wellsboro came back strong after not having played in three weeks, blanking Towanda, 43-0, a week ago. The Green Hornets feature a stellar defense and the offense has topped 40 points in both victories. Quarterback Isaac Keane is a three-year starter enjoying his best season. He has produced 538 yards and seven touchdowns. He threw three touchdowns against Towanda, including two to emerging sophomore Will Kibler. Kibler also has returned an interception for a touchdown while Darryn Callahan has run for 202 yards and three touchdowns.
Troy will be playing its first game in three weeks and has won two straight after blowing a 16-point late fourth-quarter lead in a 34-28 overtime loss against Canton. The Trojans were the only team to beat Wellsboro in the regular season last year. Damien Landon earned all-state running back honors last year after topping 2,000 yards and has 262 yards this year. Caleb Binford, though, is the team’s leading rusher, going for 352 yards and seven touchdowns. He ran for a career-high 193 yards in Troy’s last game.
Cowanesque VALLEY (0-5)
at Bucktail (1-4)
Tonight’s game is an intriguing battle between two small-schools teams who have shown plenty of promise and whose futures look bright with young cores at their disposal. Bucktail played South Williamsport tough last week and throttled CMVT, 50-8 the previous Saturday. The Bucks are hoping to make a run these next three weeks and finish .500 while CV is seeking its first win and momentum toward 2021 when nearly every starter may return.
Three Bucktail players have run for at least 244 yards with Gage Sutliff topping 100 yards in consecutive games. Quarterback Dylan Cross ran for a career-high 126 yards and two touchdowns against CMVT and Zach Pick and Conner Mason also have provided quality running. Paul Risley and Will Kelley have combined for six sacks and Braylon Fantaski and Tristan Probst intercepted passes against South.
CV has struggled defensively, but is showing some offensive firepower. Tucker St. Peter threw for 633 yards the first four games and Jacob Schmitt added 153 yards in his first start a week ago. CV outscored North Penn-Mansfield 12-0 in the second half of last week’s 30-12 loss and wide receiver Tanyan Brown leads the area in receiving yards with 401. Elliott Good and Cody Fleming combined for 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week.
Sayre (1-2) at
North Penn-Mansfield is fighting for one of the four District 4 Class AAA berths and is fifth in the points standings. The Panthers had no trouble overcoming a three-week layoff last Friday, scoring 30 straight first-half points while defeating Cowanesque Valley, 30-12. North Penn-Mansfield took a shutout into the second half and sophomore Kohen Lehman was a big-play machine, running for a career-high 208 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries. Noah Spencer added six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Colton Litzelman has thrown for more than 2,000 yards the past two seasons and spreads the ball around to several quality playmakers. Running back Bryan Bogaczyk missed last week’s game, but ran for 90 yards in a season-opening 17-14 win at Wellsboro and also returned an interception for a touchdown. Fisher Vandruff has two sacks and three players have intercepted passes.
Sayre is a few plays from being 3-0, losing three-point games against Athens (in overtime) and Wyalusing. Quarterback Luke Horton threw for 215 yards in that Wyalusing game two weeks ago and Zack Garrity ran for 89 yards.
Lewisburg (1-4) at
A week after facing the two-time defending District 4 Class AAA champion, Lewisburg encounters the machine that is three-time defending Class AA champion Southern Columbia. Southern has won 86 straight regular-season games and 53 straight overall. The Green Dragons are trying to extend their district playoff streak to 13 years, but face an uphill battle and are sixth in the District 4 Class AAAA standings with the top four teams advancing.
Lewisburg moved the ball well at times in the first half of last week’s 45-7 loss at Montoursville, but was done in by three interceptions. A week earlier, Lewisburg put together its best offensive performance and defeated Midd-West, 35-28, with all-state running back Max Moyers running for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Cam Michaels does damage as a runner, too, and is one of the area’s most promising young players, scoring seven touchdowns over the last four games. Defensive end Harry Murphy is averaging nearly 10 tackles per game and had a sack against Montoursville.
Southern has mercy-ruled 22 straight opponents and has not allowed a first-half point this season. Gavin Garcia is seeking his third straight 1,000-yard season and the junior running back is averaging an astounding 26.4 yards per carry, running for 660 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns on just 25 carries. All-state cornerback Jake Davis has caught three touchdowns and has 16 interceptions over the last three seasons.
Warrior Run (1-5) at
Warrior Run is playing its second game in five nights after losing 52-18 against Loyalsock last Monday. The Defenders, who have a forfeit victory over Mount Carmel, showed promise in that game, dominating the second quarter when they scored on both possessions and controlled the ball for all but 56 seconds. That performance could provide a springboard into tonight against a Mifflinburg team clinging to the fourth and final spot in the District 4 Class AAAA playoff field.
Four different ball-carriers did damage on two 11-play scoring drives against Loyalsock with Justin Blair and Hunter Rovenolt combining for 77 yards and a touchdown. Nathan Michael found Nasir Berry for a 28-yard touchdown on the first-half’s final play and the offensive line started getting a good push to free open players who effectively gained yards after contact. Logan Smedley was one of those players and the junior linebacker is having a strong season, making nearly 10 tackles per game while adding a sack and interception.
Mifflinburg allowed 482 rushing yards in an exciting 35-33 win at Midd-West last week, but gained a season-high 402 yards and forced three turnovers. Running backs Andrew Diehl and Colin Miller both topped 100 yards rushing and Mifflinburg is 2-0 when Diehl goes over 100 yards. Miller also caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown as Mifflinburg won it second road game in three tries.
Shamokin (3-2) at Milton (0-4)
Saturday morning’s game is an early-riser’s delight with kickoff at 9. Milton did not play last week due to COVID-19 concerns and gets a second chance against Shamokin, which defeated it, 37-6, in Week 2. Shamokin is second in the District 4 Class AAAA playoff standings and is seeking a third straight playoff berth.
Jason Valladares and Ashton Canelo both have gone over 100 yards rushing for Milton and Canelo also is a receiving threat, catching four passes two weeks ago at Central Mountain. Sophomore wide receiver Xzavier Minium caught a long touchdown in that game and is averaging 24.3 yards per catch.
Shamokin has become explosive offensively. Sophomore quarterback Brett Nye has topped 300 yards in consecutive games with Billy Delbaugh going over 100 yards each time and catching six touchdowns. Running back Max Madden ran for 154 yards against Milton the first time and has topped 90 yards in all three wins.