Friday, November 9, 2012

Games of the week, first-round edition

The first-round of the playoffs in districts 5 and 6 are loaded with intriguing matchups - Bishop McCort at Penns Manor (where I'll be on Saturday), Forest Hills at Central (Martinsburg) and Cambria Heights at Tyrone among them.

There's also three games where local teams are paired up.

Shade (6-4) at North Star (8-2)
In Week 6, these WestPAC neighbors met and the Cougars escaped Boswell with a 3-0 victory. Brantley Rice scored the game's only points on a field goal to cap North Star's opening drive.
"Games like that a real rare, especially in high school," North Star coach Stacy Schmitt said. "We had a lot of missed opportunities and they did too. The conditions were not the best. We expect them to be better (Saturday)."
The narrow victory ignited a five-game win streak for the Cougars, who have won the past two District 5 Class A titles.
Shade is making its first postseason appearance since 1989, but the Panthers aren't just happy to be involved. They believe they can compete with a district power like North Star.
"Beating a team like that takes us to the next level," said Mike Pribish, who co-coaches Shade with Don Fyfe. "Not only being in the playoffs, but getting a win in the playoffs. That's what we want. Portage, North Star, Windber, Berlin, that's the next level in our league. That's where we want to be."

Northern Cambria (7-3) at Portage (9-1)
The Colts can beat any team, as evidenced by impressive victories over Penns Manor (Week 1) and Cambria Heights (Week 10) during the regular season. They've also been competitive against a pair of 9-1 teams in Berlin and Ligonier Valley.
Few teams enter the postseason on a bigger roll than Portage.
The Mustangs are on an eight-game win streak, and they earned a share of the WestPAC title with Berlin and Windber. Portage averages 8.1 yards per carry.

Penn Cambria (6-4) at Richland (10-0)
The Panthers have responded to a four-game win streak and the abrupt resignation of Ernie Fetzer with a pair of victories over Westmont Hilltop and Somerset to secure the eighth spot in the District 6 Class AA standings.
Penn Cambria played at Richland in Week 8 and left with a 30-12 loss.
The Rams are the only undefeated team in the coverage area and all of District 6. For that matter, Richland is one of nine unbeaten teams in Class AA in the state. Only two teams (Bishop McCort, Bellwood Antis) stayed within 10 points of the Rams.

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