Black Knights face tough test with Binghamton
Coming off an opening week loss to Lewisburg, the Black Knights are excited to get back to work this week as they prepare to host Binghamton.
"They are anxious, disappointed," Towanda coach Jamie Wecker said. "Disappointed with the performance in a lot of ways. But, they know a lot of the things are fixable."
Towanda knows they will have a tough task in facing a Binghamton team that is a large-school that was a state qualifier in New York a year ago.
"They have athletes everywhere," Wecker said. "They are a big school. They have kids that play offense and kids that play defense, they don't have two-way players. They are just a good, solid football team.
We have to play a great game to stay with them. Hopefully we are around when the fourth quarter comes around and have a chance to win."
Playing at home is one of the things going in the Black Knights favor in the game.
"It always helps to play at home," Wecker said. "We have had a good run at home, the crowd they support you. It's got to be a little intimidating with a visiting team to come in and play in that venue."
In the loss last week, the Black Knights also lost quarterback Trey Sites to an injury, which puts sophomore Noah Huff into the starting role.
"Noah gives us some things, he is very quick, he improvises well, he is working hard this week, learning the offense," Wecker said. "He has done a real good job learning the offense."
Things will be a little different on offense with Huff now under center.
"Noah is a different type of quarterback than Trey," Wecker said. "He is going to run some of the same plays, but Trey had the experience, he played within the system and Noah is a different type of quarterback. Maybe that can help us in one way, it may help us that now the defense is going to look for the unexpected and not know what we might do."
Along with not having Sites at quarterback, it's also a loss not having him in the defensive backfield.
"We are very young as far as experience goes," Wecker said. "Losing him, losing that senior leadership, just his knowledge it hurts. We have to ask kids to step up and I think they will."
Player to watch: Towanda's Noah Huff (14 carries, 96 yards, one touchdown after taking over at QB).
Windsor at Waverly, 7 p.m.
A week ago the Wolverines came away with a big victory over fellow Valley team Athens in a close game.
Now, it's back to work for Waverly and coach Jason Miller hopes they can put that win behind them and focus on taking on Windsor today.
"I think we have done a pretty good job this week," Miller said. "We are playing another big, tough team. They are not quite as athletic, but they are bit up front and they have another big kid at receiver, a 6-6 kid. With the first week of school there are some distractions.
"It's important that we do gain some additional focus this week. When Monday came around, this is a new week. Last week is over. It's hard at this time to see how they react. That was a big win for us, a huge sigh of relief, but it's still our concern that we will be living in last Friday and we can't do that this week."
While Waverly won last week, there was a lot of room for improvement from what Miller saw from his team.
"I can tell you after watching a lot of film on that game, we simply did not play very good defensively," he said. "We are capable of playing a lot better. Our inside linebackers did not have a good game. I think they realized it. They did not play well in that game. I know it was a physical game, I think they got tired.
We just didn't play that well. We are capable of playing a lot better than we did Friday night. I certainly think there were some first game jitters last week."
After losing a number of skill position players to graduation after last year, the Wolverines may have found a new star on offense as Austyn Bostwick caught three touchdowns in the win over Athens.
"We know he's capable of that," Miller said. "I believe he was capable of that last year. I think there are going to be additional kids that will step up as the year goes on, too. I don't believe Ryan McFarland had a catch and I think he will be a very good receiver. It certainly was a great game for Austyn. He had a three touchdown game last year in the first half against Dryden. We know what he's capable of.
"Athens simply played seven in the box and played man and we were just able to connect downfield with a little safety help over the top. We expect to see more zone coverage in the future. I think our offensive line played pretty good against their front."
While Waverly had a huge crowd cheering them on at Athens last week, they are happy to get back to play on their field this week.
"There are very few places around that are as well attended as Waverly," Miller said. "We may have limited opportunities at home this year, so we want to make the most of it.
"We are just excited to be in front of our home crowd. It always feels like it is an advantage."
Player to watch: Waverly's Austyn Bostwick (eight catches, 152 yards, three touchdowns).
Athens at North Penn, 7 p.m.
Both of these teams want to move on from disappointing games last Friday.
The Wildcats came out on the wrong end of a close 24-21 loss to valley rival Waverly while North Penn fell 33-13 to Loyalsock.
"We just have to move on," Athens coach Jack Young stated. "There's a lot of football season left."
The Wildcats will be working on execution this week as they gear up for the trip to Blossburg.
"It's really basic fundamentals," Young explained. "Offensively, we didn't execute well.
We need to be better offensively. Defensively were not too bad. We need to tackle better.
Overall, it's basically just the little things."
North Penn, too, will be working to cut down on their errors.
"It was just a lot of mistakes," Panther coach Tom Dickinson said about last week. "Mental more than anything. That's something we'll address this week and try to eliminate."
The veteran coach believes that its something they can remedy in practice.
"The people that didn't see (the game) think (Loyalsock) dominated us," Dickinson remarked. "They didn't make the mistakes and we did. Its things we can fix. Now it's our job as coaches to fix those mistakes."
Young believes last week's game against Waverly will help them against North Penn.
"They're very similar to Waverly offensively," he said. Last week Panther Taylor Hillson had a good day behind center, throwing for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think (Taylor Hillson) is as a big threat with his feet as his arm," explained Young. "He does a nice job managing their offense. But we have to stop everything they do, not focus on just one aspect."
On the other side of the field, Dickinson knows that they'll have their hands full with the Wildcats.
"They're a really good football team," he said. "I feel were going to have to try and get some type of passing game going."
Defensively, North Penn is going to have to be sharp.
"We just have to try and slow them down," remarked Dickinson. "They have so many weapons. We'll keep our game plan simple; we can't give up these huge plays to them."
Players to watch: North Penn's Taylor Hillson (14-for-30, 169 yards and two scores), Athens' Troy Stivason (13-for-22, 130 yards with two touchdowns).
Wellsboro at Troy, 7 p.m.
These two teams will be looking to keep their momentum from week one going.
Troy dominated Jersey Shore on the ground, racking up 342 yards en route to their 26-6 win.
"I think anytime you can come out with a win in game one it's really big," Troy coach Jim Smith remarked. "A lot of factors that go into a first game, mistakes and stuff like that."
Going down south and beating a bigger school like Jersey Shore is the type of win that helps the Trojans going forward.
"I think it helps reassure their own confidence," Smith said. "You don't really know until you play a football game."
Now they will pit that confidence against Wellsboro and their potent offensive attack.
"They're pretty well balanced," Smith said about the Hornets. "They run a lot of spread, we're going to have to be willing to take that on. Their quarterback is pretty good, they have a lot of returning kids. I think they're a confident football team. We're going to have to play well to beat them."
Despite Troy's big running performance Smith will use whatever he can to pull out a win.
"I think were going to take what the defense gives up," he explained. "If we can run the ball, we will and if we have to pass the ball we have that ability."
For the Hornets, their win against Wyalusing was an accomplishment a long time coming.
"It is the first time in a long time we've played four straight quarters of football," Wellsboro coach Steve Boyce said. "We were extremely happy with that. Before we would come out in the first half then we fail to come out of the locker room at halftime or we struggle in the first half and rally in the second. We can't have those let down halves and let down quarters. The kids got a taste of what it's like to get that momentum going."
They know it will take a similar performance against Troy to pull out another win.
"You've got to control their quarterback," Boyce explained. "If he finds the slightest seam, the slightest hole he'll run through it. Once he hits daylight he's next to impossible to stop. We need to work on controlling that quarterback."
Offensively, he believes that they have the potential to put some points up on the scoreboard.
"I have all the confidence in the world in my offensive coordinator Matt Hildebrandt," exclaimed Boyce. "We have to have a balanced attack, run the ball well and throw the ball well. We need to move the ball effectively, I'm pretty sure we can do that but don't know quite how yet."
The Hornets are hoping that they can continue their program's improvement, which began last season.
"We're hoping too," remarked Boyce. "I think if we play like we did Friday night with very few penalties, very few mental mistakes. We had two penalties that were drive stoppers. If we can clean those kinds of things up we might be able to go .500 or better. Nobody is easy on our schedule, nothing is a given, nothing is an absolutely win or an absolutely let down but I have confidence if we can play like we did on Friday we'll be on the better side of .500."
Players to watch: Wellsboro's Mike Pietropola (last week: 133 yards passing, 79 yards rushing with two touchdowns), Troy's Jed Wright (last week: 138 rush yards with two touchdowns).
Wyalusing at Sayre, 7 p.m.
Two teams that had opposite weeks last week offensively.
Sayre ran all over CMVT in their 27-0 victory.
"I was pleased because it was a very long bus ride and a very hot afternoon," Redskin coach Larry Hanafin said. "They were physical and we were able to respond. We kept our composure and did the things we practiced, it made me feel good."
Wyalusing struggled on that side of the ball in their 14-6 loss against Wellsboro, amassing just 60 yards of total offense.
Ram's coach Jim Huffman believes a little more practice will help his young team.
"Being consistent and just getting off the ball quicker," he remarked about what they worked on this week. "The big thing is the offensive line is a little banged up here and there. That's our big thing, just a consistent offensive line playing together. Knowing where everything is, that's our big preaching this week. Getting off the ball together, moving people."
Defensively both teams were solid.
Sayre held CMVT to 81 yards of total offense while Wyalusing was able to hold Wellsboro to just two scores.
It might well turn into a defensive battle.
"We understand they are a big, physical team," Hanafin said about the Rams. "There are definitely things we have to improve on to have a chance against Wyalusing. They do multiple things (on offense), they're linemen are sound. We know our assignments, if we played defense as a team hopefully we'll avoid the big play."
Huffman believes his team's defense can keep them in the game.
"We've just got to play sound," he said. "We've got to be ready for them. They're tough, good backs and they keep their feet chugging and they have speed to the corner. The big thing is we just have to improve, defensively we weren't too bad once we settled in."
Offensively, Sayre is going to stick to their ground game, a game plan that yielded them 258 yards last week.
"That's what we do," Hanafin explained. "That's what we believe in. We work to get better with what we do each week and wherever the chips fall that's where they fall."
As for Wyalusing, Huffman knows that despite all the troubles last week, the Rams were in the game all the way. That's encouraging as they move forward.
"We're young," he remarked. "The whole coaching staff, even in the pre-season we just want to improve each day, each week. The kids have a great attitude; they were pretty upset about the loss. Now we just want to put them in a position to win."
Players to watch: Sayre's Kyle Post (last week: 129 yards rushing plus a touchdown), Wyalusing's Dylan Otis (last week: 16 yards rushing with a touchdown).
Newark Valley at Tioga, 7 p.m.
Fans looking for an old-fashioned ground and pound game will be treated to two of the better running teams in the area tonight.
"It's going to be a very physical, very tough game," Tioga coach Nick Aiello predicted.
The Tigers are coming off a big 40-6 win over Dryden while the Cardinals picked up their own 38-0 one sided victory over Lansing last week.
"Both teams keep the ball on the ground," Aiello remarked. "It's going to come down to who's the most physical and who dominates the line of scrimmage. It's definitely a tough game for us."
Defensively, the Tigers are going to be as sound as possible.
"Just making sure were lining up properly," said Aiello. "Finding the football, making tackles, wrapping up and taking down. Like always, it starts up front."
Tioga only threw once last week but Aiello is confident if they need to go to the air tonight.
"We worked on the pass," he explained. "We know we can go to it if we need to. If the run is there were going to take it, we'll look to throw if we need to."
Players to watch: Tioga's Tyler Spires (last week: 270 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns).
CV at Muncy, 7 p.m.
Cowanesque Valley is coming off a huge win over Montgomery last week where they racked up 49 points.
CV coach James Burns doesn't want it to end there.
"It's not alright to think that we got our win for the season," he said. "We got lucky, let's pack it in."
To start the game CV found themselves in a 14-0 hole but scored 42 unanswered points to run away with the win.
"I think that was a plus for us," Burns explained. "In the past we got in a hole like that we never got back. If the kids a chance to see that we can play with some other teams."
Looking ahead, Burns wants to keep Muncy from stacking the box like they did in their win over Canton last week.
"I think the biggest thing we'll try to do is spread them out more," Burns said. "I think the biggest thing is just consistency."
Players to watch: CV's Brandon Whitsell (last week: 115 yards passing, 116 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns); Muncy's Troy Hembury (last week: 124 yards rushing, 1 touchdown).
South Williamsport at Canton, 1:30 p.m.
Coming off a loss to Muncy last week, the Warriors look to even their record this week.
"We've moved some people around, we simply have got to improve our line play if we are going to be successful," Canton coach Miller Moyer Jr. said.
Canton knows one of the keys to success will be the running game.
"We have to be able to run the ball effectively," Moyer Jr. said. "That means, the line has to improve and the backs have to run harder."
It's a second straight home game for the Warriors, and a second-straight game against an NTL small school foe.
A week ago South Williamsport picked up a big win over Bloomsburg, setting up a big matchup on Saturday afternoon.
"We have to try our best to limit their running game and try to get them out of their comfort zone," Moyer Jr. said.
Player to watch: Eddie Larcom (last week: Two interceptions on defense).