Here are FOX43’s Five Games to Watch this week
With the third (or, in some cases, fourth) week of high school football upon us, many teams around the midstate are wrapping up the non-league portions of their schedules and beginning to look ahead to their conference schedules.
But there are still some juicy matchups on the slate this week.
As always, be sure to check out FOX43’s High School Football Frenzy Friday night for all the scores and highlights.
Here are five of the games we’re keeping our eyes on this week:
FOX43 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK
Carlisle (2-0) at South Western (1-1)
The Thundering Herd is undefeated so far, but their season-opening wins have both been nail-biters. Carlisle held off Mechanicsburg 27-20 in overtime in Week 1, and nipped Red Land 17-14 last week. The Herd is averaging just under 200 yards per game on offense through its first two outings, most of that coming on the ground. RB Tristyn Sulich is the team’s top rusher, with 225 yards and two touchdowns on 41 attempts. He rushed for 144 yards and scored twice in last week’s victory over Red Land. Gavyn Barnes has caught seven passes for 62 yards and two scores to lead the receivers, while the QB tandem of Christian Watts and Cole Wolaver have combined to go 14-for-37 for 148 yards through the air.
South Western is looking to rebound from last Friday’s 42-0 drubbing at the hands of Manheim Township, a game in which the Mustangs managed a meager two first downs and 73 total yards. Manheim Township reeled off 28 points in the second quarter to take a 35-0 lead at the break, and put it in cruise control from there. In its season opener, South Western knocked off Gettysburg 21-14. Chris Heilman, who served as the Mustangs’ defensive coordinator for seven years, is in his first season as head coach at South Western. He’s been with the program since 2001.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
Governor Mifflin (2-1) at Manheim Township (2-0)
The Mustangs won their first two games, knocking off West York 48-14 and arch-rival Wilson 21-14. But they ran into a buzzsaw at Cocalico last week, as the Eagles churned up 349 rushing yards in a 42-21 rout. It was a disappointing effort by Mifflin’s defense, which had allowed just 110 rushing yards in its first two games combined. Quarterback Kamron Wolfe is the Mustangs’ top offensive weapon, with 435 yards and six TDs on 28-of-44 passing and 173 yards on 36 rush attempts. His favorite target is Tyshaun Weaver, who has nine catches for 164 yards and three scores. Isaac Ruoss is Governor Mifflin’s top rusher, with 215 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries. The Mustangs are averaging 343 yards per game on offense.
Manheim Township has allowed just 14 points and 351 yards in its first two games, so the Blue Streaks’ defense is stingy. Township knocked off Central Dauphin 17-14 in Week 1, and followed up with a 42-0 romp of South Western last Friday. QB Luke Emge has completed 27 of 36 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns in his first two games, with most of those targets going to wideout Rece Bender (10-130, TD). Grayson Sallade (20-98, TD) leads a balanced rushing attack.
Solanco (1-1) at Northeastern (2-0)
The Golden Mules dropped a wacky 55-54 overtime decision to Conestoga Valley last Friday for their first loss of the season. They blasted Pottstown 48-19 in Week 1. As those scores would indicate, Solanco’s offense has gotten the job done in the first two games, averaging 51.5 points and 389 yards per game. QB Joel McGuire (41-232, eight TDs) and RB Nick Yannutz (28-225) power a Solanco rushing attack that has churned out 730 yards in its first two games. The Mules’ biggest problem has been on the other side of the ball; they’ve allowed 729 yards in two weeks, including 527 in last week’s loss to CV.
Northeastern knocked off Daniel Boone 27-12 in Week 1, and followed it with a 35-0 blowout over York Suburban last week. The Bobcats scored on their first three possessions to build an early advantage and cruised to victory from there last week. Frank Brown rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, boosting his season total to 288 yards and three scores. On the other side of the ball, Northeastern gave up just 32 rushing yards against Suburban, but that defense will be put to the test this week.
Milton Hershey (1-1) at Hershey (1-1)
In a rivalry that dates back to 1943, Milton Hershey holds a slim 36-35-3 series lead in a game dubbed the Cocoa Bean Bowl. The Spartans have won the last three meetings, including a 46-7 triumph last year. Milton Hershey evened its record with a 34-23 victory over Greencastle-Antrim last week. They fell 28-26 to Central Dauphin East in their season opener. QB Shamar Manning threw for three touchdowns in last week’s victory and has four TD passes this season. Milton Hershey’s defense and special teams have supplemented a middling offensive attack in its first two games; the Spartans have a 73-yard TD on a block kick return and ran back an interception 44 yards for another score.
Hershey is limping into this one with a 1-1 record after getting trounced 42-0 by Elizabethtown last week. The Spartans managed just 140 total yards in the defeat. They knocked off Spring Grove 25-12 in their season opener. Hershey has struggled mightily to move the ball in its first two games; the Trojans have 314 total yards so far. Sam Carlson is the team’s leading rusher, with just 40 yards.
Elizabethtown (2-0) at Lebanon (1-1)
The Bears remained undefeated and their defense extended its shutout streak to two games with last week’s 42-0 rout of Hershey. Elizabethtown blanked Donegal 28-0 to open the season. The Trojans managed just 140 total yards against E-town last week, and turned the ball over three times. Meanwhile, running backs Cayden Livingston (23-192, two TDs) and Devyn Clair (19-136, four TDs) form a potent 1-2 punch in E-town’s offensive backfield; the Bears are averaging 307 yards per game on offense.
Lebanon handed Ephrata its 43rd consecutive loss last week, holding off the Mountaineers 28-21. That evened the Cedars’ record at 1-1; they dropped a 42-14 decision to crosstown rival Cedar Crest in Week 1. Lebanon’s prolific offense should be a test for E-town; the Cedars average 335 yards per game so far. QB Zakee Salisman is Lebanon’s primary weapon, with 411 yards and five touchdowns on 28-for-46 passing. He’s also the Cedars’ leading rusher, with 107 yards and a score on 27 attempts. The problem for Lebanon is on defense, where the Cedars have given up 715 yards in its first two outings.