One step closer.
The county is one step closer to having secured wins for all four high school football teams after Eisenhower's week two victory at Maplewood.
In week three, the Knights try to build on their first victory since 2009, Youngsville tries to improve to 3-0 and Sheffield and Warren try to break into the win column for the first time this season after back-to-back losses to start the year.
Times Observer photo by Mitchell Wilston
From left, Youngsville Eagles Cory Craig, Sam Lucas, Sawyer Dininny and Sage Sivak walk to midfield for the coin toss prior to the season-opening win over Seneca.
Maplewood (0-2) at Youngsville (2-0), at Mike Shine Field, Friday, 7 p.m.
Youngsville's 2011 home opener will also serve as Homecoming when the undefeated Eagles welcome the winless Maplewood Tigers to Mike Shine Field.
The Eagles are off to their best start since 2005 when the team started 4-0. A week ago, Youngsville opened Region 2 play with a defensive 5-0 victory over the Union City Bears, moving one step closer to the school's first playoff berth since 1994.
Sam Lucas led the ground game with 53 yards and the Eagles chewed up 197 yards on the ground overall. The defensive numbers were most impressive with Sawyer Dininny sacking the quarterback twice, Sage Sivak delivering 11 tackles and Ryan Rickerson recording a safety in the team's shutout victory.
"I think last week we showed that we are ready to compete with the teams that typically compete for playoff spots," said Youngsville coach Luke Alex. "Hopefully we've shown that we're a team that you can't look past. Our defense has been and continues to be outstanding. I personally think we have one of the best front sevens in the entire region."
Last week against Eisenhower, Maplewood was unable to rebound from a blowout loss to Kennedy Catholic in week one. The Tigers failed to get anything going until late in the contest and saw the Knights snap a 12-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory.
Running back Kevin Coatam was the only Maplewood player to deliver impressive numbers against Ike, rushing for 139 yards on 18 carries with a 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Last meeting: September 18, 2010- at Maplewood High School- Maplewood 12, Youngsville 10
2011 Eagles Leaders: Passing- Cory Craig 3 of 17 for 98 yards, INT; Rushing- Sage Sivak 21 for 100, TD; Receiving - Dalton Maze 3 for 98
Iroquois (0-2) at Eisenhower (1-1), at George Reilly Memorial Field, Friday, 7 p.m.
If the Eisenhower players look like they're walking a little lighter this week, there's a prefectly good reason.
Last week's dramatic 7-6 victory over the Maplewood Tigers ended a 12-game losing streak and gave Ike its first victory since November 6, 2009 - a win that came against these same Iroquois Braves.
The Knights strongly benefitted from the returns of John Pascuzzi and Clayton Coffaro in the victory. Pascuzzi rushed 19 times for 97 yards and the game-winning touchdown and Coffaro added six tackles, including two for loss.
"We were very happy to get the win, but at the same time we were frustrated that we didn't take control of the game sooner," said Ike coach Jim Penley. "It was a fight until the very end and we definitely earned the win. It built the teams confidence and they've been terribly confident all week in practice."
Winless Iroquois was simply overmatched in a 46-6 week two loss to District 10 powerhouse Mercyhurst Prep. The Braves' Brandon Roda saved Iroquois from a shutout against the Lakers, scoring on a 48-yard run in the fourth quarter and leading the team with 77 yards rushing. Teammate Matt Desin, the quarterback, rushed 13 times for 62 yards.
Last meeting: September 17, 2010- at Iroquois High School- Iroquois 14, Eisenhower 7
2011 Knights Leaders: Passing- Aaron Lundmark 1 of 4 for 14, INT; Rushing- Trevor Spicer 19 for 109; Receiving - Richard Knisley 1 for 14
Warren (0-2) at Fort LeBoeuf (0-2), at Fort LeBoeuf High School, Friday, 7 p.m.
Something's got to give.
Either the Warren Dragons or Fort LeBoeuf Bisons will earn 2011's first victory Friday. The Dragons could perhaps use the victory more than anyone after suffering a second straight disheartening loss to start the year last week against Erie East. The Warriors dominance was extensive as the visitors outrushed the Dragons 325 to negative 28.
The passing game was one bright spot for Warren as quarterback Austin Jerman completed 7 of 16 passes for 168 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Receiver Mark Davis caught four passes for 87 yards and a score in the loss and Chris Danielson added a 58-yard touchdown reception.
"We really need our first-year starters to play at varsity speed this week," said Warren coach Brad Wright. "I really don't think we've done that yet. That's really where a lot of problems exist right now. We just need to get used to the speed of the game. Now is the time."
Though falling short, Fort LeBoeuf played a powerful Strong Vincent squad tough in a 27-17 week two loss. The Bisons actually led the game 17-14 entering the fourth quarter before allowing two late Colonels touchdowns.
Fort LeBoeuf was limited to just 194 yards of total offense in the game and its leading rusher - Jacob Holes - gained 47 yards on just five carries.
Last meeting: September 17, 2010- at War Memorial Field- Warren 21, Fort LeBoeuf 8
2011 Dragons Leaders: Passing- Austin Jerman 16 of 37 for 276, 2 TD, 3 INT; Rushing- Chris McNeal 9 for 18; Receiving- Mark Davis 5 for 97, TD
Ridgway (1-1) at Sheffield (0-2), at Sheffield High School, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
It's been a short week of preparation for the Sheffield football team.
Last Friday's game at Curwensville was suspended at halftime with the Wolverines down 15-0 and continued on Monday where the Golden Tide finished a 37-0 thumping.
Sheffield's offense was improved in the week two loss, but the team also suffered a difficult injury, though not confirmed by the Sheffield staff, that will sideline tailback Kalil Slaughter for at least this week. Shequan Wright was Sheffield's best weapon, completing 7 of 13 passes for 110 yards while rushing 16 times for another 35 yards.
"Ridgway has a pretty good running back in (Eric) Matheson and he's also a pretty good receiver," said Sheffield coach Bryan Gould. "It was a short week with the circumstances, but we usually just game film on Monday so it really didn't cost us any practice time."
Ridgway enters Saturday's game looking for a measure of revenge against the Wolverines. In 2010, Sheffield topped the Elkers, 26-0, for the Wolverines' only victory of the season.
The Elkers enter the game with momentum after downing Smethport 28-7 last week. Eric Matheson had a monster game for Ridgway, scoring four total touchdowns. He returned a punt 37 yards for a score, scored on a fumble return, recovered a fumble in the end zone and capped off the night with a 47-yard touchdown run. He also caught two passes for 57 yards.
Last meeting: September 17, 2010- at Ridgway High School- Sheffield 26, Ridgway 0
2011 Wolverines Leaders (Through Week 1): Passing - Shequan Wright 4 of 15 for 78, 3 INT; Rushing - Kalil Slaughter 2 for 11; Receiving - Evan Jamison 3 for 50