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Week 6 Football Preview: Coudersport and Smethport Battle for Northern Supremacy

Coudersport and Smethport are set to battle for first place in the Northern Small School Division, while Brockway looks to continue their two-game winning streak against Union/A-C Valley.

(Photo Courtesy of: Jared Bakasya)

Brockway (2-3) vs. Union/A-C Valley (4-1) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

Brockway is riding a two game winning streak into their matchup with Union/A-C Valley. Last week, Brockway utilized a powerful second half rushing effort to power past Curwensville. The Rovers will look to upend Union/A-C Valley team who has only allowed 35 total points in five games this season. The Falcon Knights have four players with over 150 rushing yards, and have developed a solid passing game to complement their impact rushers. Union/A-C Valley used key turnovers to defeat Brockway in their first meeting, and the Falcon Knights’ defense will strive to make a similar impact this week.

One Thing to Watch: Brockway rode their ground game to victory last week, but Union/A-C Valley has a top notch rushing defense. Will Brockway change up their game plan this week, or will they continue to work hard to establish the run?

Redbank Valley (4-0) vs. Curwensville (0-4) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

Redbank Valley is 4-0, and they took down Keystone last week in a display of offensive persistence and defensive dominance. The dual threat rushers of Ray Shreckengost and Hudson Martz are the Bulldogs’ best offensive threat, while their sturdy defense has only allowed a pair of touchdowns all season. In the previous matchup between the two teams, Curwensville was overmatched, falling 44-0. The Golden Tide will hope to ignite their passing attack by resisting the Bulldogs’ pass rush, as Curwensville searches for their first win of the season.

One Thing to Watch: The Bulldogs are heavy favorites in this matchup, and they will look to recapture some of the passing rhythm that has been absent from portions of the last two contests. Will they be able to smoothly execute these plays, or will they suffer from the slight hesitation and indecision that has occasionally given the Bulldogs trouble this season?

Keystone (3-2) vs. Conemaugh Valley (4-1) (Oct. 17, 1:00pm)

Keystone looks for redemption from last week’s loss to Redbank Valley as they travel to Conemaugh Valley in Cambria County. The Panthers are 3-2 in 2020, and like their conference foes Redbank Valley and Union/A-C Valley, Keystone’s solid defense is their best asset. Nick Weaver is Keystone’s feature back, rushing for 77 yards per game and notching seven touchdowns. Conemaugh Valley possesses a rush-first offense, and running back Logan Kent has 869 rushing yards in only five games. As a team, the Bluejays rush for 304 yards per game, posing a tough matchup for the Panthers.

One Thing to Watch: Like any matchup between strong rushing offenses, this game will be decided in the trenches. Will Keystone be able to get the necessary push to stop Conemaugh Valley’s elite rushing attack? Can the Panthers use their speed and agile line play to emerge victorious?

Brookville (5-0) vs. DuBois (2-3) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

Brookville had another dominant win last week, defeating Punxatawney 49-14. Registering 301 passing yards and 135 rushing yards per game, Brookville’s offense has been unstoppable in 2020. Quarterback Jack Krug is the frontrunner for D9’s Player of the Season, as he has thrown for just under 1500 yards and 22 touchdowns in five games. DuBois is 2-3, but they have turned in quality performances as of late, defeating Moniteau last week and playing Central Clarion close one week prior. Zach Henery has been the Beavers’ impact player, rushing for 347 yards, while quarterback Cam-Ron Hays has thrown for just over 100 yards per game this season.

One Thing to Watch: DuBois did a solid job slowing down Central Clarion’s throwing attack, but Brookville possesses an offensive line that is much larger and more experienced than that of Central Clarion. Will the Beavers be able to produce an efficient pass-stopping effort against Brookville’s premier offensive line?

Central Clarion (4-1) vs. Punxsutawney (0-5) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

After a dramatic come-from-behind victory last week, Central Clarion squares off against Punxsutawney for the second time this season. In the first matchup, Central Clarion were comfortable 42-6 victors. The Wildcats have clearly established themselves as a pass-first offense, passing for just under 300 yards per game. Central Clarion quarterback Cal German has 1,478 passing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2020, leading the Wildcats offense. For Punxsutawney, Kameron Falgout leads the way, splitting time at running back and quarterback to take full advantage of his athletic playmaking ability. Seth Moore has seen some time at quarterback over the past few games as the Chucks search for a way to establish some offensive rhythm.

One Thing to Watch: Central Clarion has not been able to establish their running game in recent weeks, but they have a good chance to get back on track against Punxsutawney. Will the Wildcats attempt to get the ground game going, or will they continue their pass-heavy approach?

Moniteau (1-4) vs. Karns City (3-2) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

Two rivals clash for the second time this season as Moniteau looks to upset Karns City. The first battle between the two sides led to a Karns City 31-8 victory, as the Gremlins’ strong special teams effort propelled them to the win. Moniteau is coming off a close loss to DuBois, but their strong rushing game is a threat for any opponent. Mason Mershimer leads the Warriors with 537 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Karns City suffered a heartbreaking loss to Central Clarion last week, but they look to continue their rushing dominance against Moniteau. The Gremlins have a strong line, and love to spread the ball around, with eight players registering 50+ yards on the ground this season.

One Thing to Watch: Karns City’s Achilles heel has been their turnovers, which doomed them against Brookville and Central Clarion. Will Moniteau be able to capitalize on this weakness, or will Karns City moderate their mistakes and take control in the trenches?

Smethport (4-0) vs. Coudersport (4-0) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

In a premier battle between two undefeated teams, Smethport will face off against Coudersport. Both teams have similar paths to success, utilizing a strong rushing attack that depends heavily on the speed and decision making of a dual threat quarterback. For Smethport, Noah Lent is the man under center. Lent has rushed for 147 yards per game and thrown for 123 yards per game. Running back Braedon Johnson is the Hubbers other primary rusher, tallying 378 yards and five touchdowns. For Coudersport, Hayden Keck rushes for 132 yards per game under center, while his 11 touchdowns are a team-high. Brandt Kightlinger also rushes for over 100 yards per game for the Falcons.

One Thing to Watch: Like most games between two strong rushing teams, the line play will most likely decide the contest. Which team will create the lanes for their playmakers to do damage?

Otto-Eldred (1-2) vs. Elk County Catholic (2-2) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

Otto-Eldred dropped a 43-14 decision to Coudersport last week, but a solid passing performance from quarterback Cole Sebastian will be an encouraging sign for the Terrors. Sebastian threw for 268 yards last week, passing 5,000 passing yards for his career. The Terrors will look to use their strong passing game to take down Elk County Catholic. The 2-2 Crusaders used their powerful rushing offense to take down Port Allegany last week, and the rushing threat of Sam Kaul and Nick Crisp will be a challenge for Otto-Eldred to contain.

One Thing to Watch: Elk County Catholic looked vulnerable to the pass in their win over Port Allegany, and Cole Sebastian has the skill to truly push the Crusaders. Will Elk County Catholic be able to shore up their passing defense, or does this game have the potential to be a high scoring affair?

Port Allegany (0-4) vs. Cameron County (0-3) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

The Port Allegany Gators are 0-4, and while they have had a leaky defense, their offense has shown flashes of strong play. Sophomore quarterback Drew Evens has thrown for 171 yards per game this year, with Trey Ayers and Noah Archer receiving a majority of Evens’ passes. Blaine Moses has also had a strong season, rushing for 227 total yards over four games. Cameron County is 0-3, and they have struggled tremendously on offense, scoring only six total points thus far in 2020. The Raiders will look to get their running game rolling this week, as they look to grab their first win of the year.

One Thing to Watch: Both teams have been unable to contain opposing offenses, allowing 40+ points in six of their seven combined games. Which team will come up with the big defensive stands and turnovers required to snag their first victory?

St. Marys (4-0) vs Ridgway (3-1) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

St. Marys continues to roll through the North Large School Division, knocking off Kane for the second time to advance to 4-0. The Flying Dutch passing offense has been the story of St. Marys’ season, as quarterback Christian Coudriet has thrown for 992 yards and 14 touchdowns in four games. Interceptions hurt the Flying Dutch last season, but St. Marys has kept things clean in 2020, throwing only two interceptions. Ridgway is looking to avenge their previous 34-7 loss to St. Marys, a game where the Elkers could not get their offense moving. Ridgway’s defense is their strong suit, as they’ve registered 10 sacks and six turnovers in four games. Offensively, Ridgway has a balanced offense, passing for 81 yards per game while rushing for 85 yards per game.

One Thing to Watch: Ridgway will need a strong offensive performance to topple St. Marys, but the Elkers have struggled to put points on the board in 2020. Will the Elkers figure things out offensively, or will St. Marys’ powerful offense storm to another victory?

Kane (1-3) vs. Bradford (0-4) (Oct. 16, 7:00pm)

The Wolves are 1-3 this season, with their only win coming in a 51-7 blowout of Bradford. In their first meeting, Kane was able to capitalize on a string of Bradford turnovers to cruise to victory. Zuke Smith has been Kane’s biggest playmaker, passing for 401 yards and rushing for 126 yards. Bradford has been doomed by turnovers in 2020, but they put together a more solid and composed performance in last week’s close loss to Ridgway. Quarterback Austen Davis is the catalyst for the Owls’ offense, and Dalton Dixon will strive to continue his momentum as Bradford’s number one pass catcher.

One Thing to Watch: Turnovers sunk Bradford in their first matchup with Kane, but last week’s display proved that Bradford is capable to moving to football if they avoid mistakes. Will Kane be able to coax Bradford into errors, or will Bradford continue to build off of their strong week five performance?