WHVL Game of the Week: Central Dauphin East at State College
Written by: Billy Splain on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
The Commonwealth Division in the Mid Penn league is a grind. I think it may be the toughest division in the state. Friday night at Memorial Stadium in downtown State College, that grind will have no more meaning than any other Commonwealth game going on: It’s a must win game. They all are. There are four teams with one league loss, and Harrisburg which stands alone with a big zero in the loss column. State College and Central Dauphin East will be playing for their league title lives, and the Little Lions don’t want to give up their crown.
For State College, they have to get their offense rolling like it was before their 36-21 loss to Cumberland Valley last Friday night. They’re dinged up a bit and lost Isaiah Edwards last week in addition to losing PSU recruit Keaton Ellis for the season, but Head Coach Matt Lintal says “that’s one of the things you wish you had control over. You’d like to be full health but we have to have next man up mentality.” One of the keys for the Little Lions will be to get QB Tommy Friberg on track fast. “Its a totally different environment than last weeks slow, grinding game. We moved the ball last week but we didn’t finish, we have to put the ball in the endzone. We have some miscommunication issues to clean up. We have to control what we do and our game” said Lintal. New Penn State commit Brandon Clark will be a big part of that equation. “He’s a big tall guy with great hands and can get open, make plays” said Lintal. Junior Jeremy Bullock played well last week and will also need to keep his mojo going. Friberg will have to choose his throws wisely as CDE has 9 picks to date.
The Little Lions also need big plays from Cohen Russell coming out of the backfield. Colin DeBoef and rest of the offensive line will need to make some holes and it will be State College who will need to play ball control to slow down the explosive Panthers. Triston Lyons has the potential to break one on any play.
Offensively for the Panthers, it’s all about getting Kane Everson going. The Junior signal caller has thrown and run for over 500 yards in each category. “Their qb is a play maker, he can take off at any moment and we have to attack him. They have good receivers that can go up and get it we just have to play them well” said Little Lion linebacker Ian Barr. Those receivers are Terrence Danner and Elijah Armor. Danner and Everson were the game heros last week in the Panthers win over Central Dauphin. Danner has hauled in 17 passes for 300 yards and 3 tds. Running the ball is former McDevitt running back Mike Jones, who has carried for 371 yards and 3 scores. But here its also Everson that leads the charge with 9 rushing TDs.
Defensively for State College, they have to play sound football. Hold their positions and not over play. Last week the Little Lions gave up over 230 yards on the ground. This week, they’ll have a different style to prepare for after losing to a grinding, ball control offense. “I think as a defense we’ve responded well at practice, so far its been our best practice. We have an all business mentality. We’ve just been working on playing lower, disciplined ball and not getting up field to fast” said DE Jackson Heasley. “They have a fast paced, explosive offense. More than likely we’ll have to prevent big plays. have to get off the field on 3rd down. Tackling in space is going to be a concern and we have to focus on that” Lintal said. Guys like Barr, Dresyn Green, Paul Olivett are going to have to play good cover football against the talented Panther receivers while the line, led by Heasley and Delaware bound Robert Nachtman, will have to remain disciplined to keep Everson in check.
For the Panthers, it will be much of the same. Defensive end Edward Rivers has 6 sacks and is second on the team with 32 tackles. They’ll need to pressure Friberg in to making mistakes and throwing in a hurry so guys like Stephon Brown (3 interceptions) can make a play for the defense. They’ll have their hands full with the State College receivers so they’ll need that pressure to try to make them get off their game. Lucas Waters is a dangerous player in the middle of the field and is always near the ball as shown by his team leading 38 tackles.
WHAT: WHVL Game of the Week
Where: State College Memorial Stadium
When: Friday, 7pm
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