It's been a successful season for Warren County football teams, and it's not over yet.
A year ago, the four teams combined to win 10 games.
This season, the teams have already combined to win 16 games and each team has won at least twice.
Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg
Sheffield head coach Bryan Gould gets a Gatorade shower from Robert Hopkins (60) after the Wolverines’ 18-0 win over Smethport on Saturday at Sheffield High School.
More impressive yet? If the season ended today, three of the county schools would be included in postseason brackets.
Youngsville (8-0) at Cochranton (3-5), at Cochranton High School, Friday, 7 p.m.
It's been an incredible season for the Youngsville Eagles football team. With a win at Cochranton on Friday, it could become a historic season.
A victory over the Cardinals would give the Eagles a ninth win on the year. That would break the school's single season mark for victories last set in 1966 (8-0). In addition, a win would give the Eagles at least a share of the Region 2 championship, setting up a week 10 showdown with Saegertown at Mike Shine Field.
"We've stressed all week that these next two games are playoff games," said Youngsville coach Luke Alex. "Our guys know what's on the line and aren't looking past Cochranton at all. They pounded us pretty good last year and have a running game that can certainly do some damage."
Youngsville shook off a slow start against Conneaut, Ohio a week ago and used 26 second-half points to earn a 33-7 victory. Sam Lucas only carried 11 times for the Eagles, but made the most of them with 151 yards and three touchdowns. Rain stymied the potent passing game led by Cory Craig (824 yards, 12 TD), but there is only a 10 percent chance of precipitation on Friday night.
Cochranton's hopes of making the postseason were all but dashed with last week's 20-6 loss to Eisenhower. The Cardinals are now 2-5 in region while the Knights - who currently hold the fourth and final Region 2 playoff spot - are 3-3, a game and a half ahead.
The Cardinals' leading rusher is Austin Andrews, but he only ran three times against the Knights. Andrews did damage with those three carries, rushing for 64 yards. Cochranton relied heavily on Clayton Beatty who finished with 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Chad Eisenhooth was 6 of 14 for 35 yards with a pick on a rainy evening.
2011 Eagles Leaders: Passing- Cory Craig 40 of 91 for 824, 12 TD, 4 INT; Rushing- Sam Lucas 76 carries for 583 yards, 10 TD; Receiving- Dalton Maze 18 catches for 423 yards, 6 TD
Last meeting: October 29, 2010- at Mike Shine Field- Cochranton 33, Youngsville 14
Cathedral Prep (6-2) at Warren (2-6), at War Memorial Field, Friday, 7 p.m.
Offensively, it's been a successful season for the Warren Dragons. Defensively, it's an entirely different story.
In week five, the Dragons scored 39 points against Strong Vincent. Last week, the Dragons scored 51 points against Central Tech. Warren is 0-2 in those games despite averaging 45 points per game.
"Surprisingly, I think our kids have kept things pretty loose this week," said Warren coach Brad Wright. "They haven't dwelled on last week and have put it behind them for the most part. I think that's pretty important after a loss like that."
Sticking with the positives, Warren junior quarterback Austin Jerman is the highest rated passer in District 10 through eight weeks. Jerman is 105 of 176 for 1,619 yards with 15 touchdowns and just five picks. His top target - senior Nathan Zigler - leads District 10 in pass receptions with 36 for 496 yards and four scores.
The offense will have to repeat its week eight performance - and the defense will need to rebound quickly - if the Dragons want to earn the season's third win this week.
Standing in the way - Cathedral Prep.
The Ramblers were dinged up a week ago and had to settle for escaping with a 14-7 victory over Fort LeBoeuf - a team the Dragons defeated 34-21 earlier this year.
Like the Dragons, Cathedral Prep has a viable threat at quarterback in Damion Terry, the district's third ranked signal caller. Terry has thrown for 1,415 yards and 14 touchdowns this season and has set several school records along the way.
Terry has two key targets in Nathan McLaurin and Delton Williams. McLaurin has 33 grabs for 546 yards and six touchdowns and Williams has added 19 catches for 393 yards and three touchdowns.
2011 Dragons Leaders: Passing- Austin Jerman 105 of 176 for 1,619 yards, 15 TD, 5 INT; Rushing- Chris McNeal 38 carries for 155 yards, 2 TD; Receiving- Nathan Zigler 36 catches for 496 yards, 4 TD
Last meeting: October 29, 2011- at Cathedral Prep- Cathedral Prep 37, Warren 2
Eisenhower (3-5) at Saegertown (5-3), at Saegertown High School, Friday, 7 p.m.
Eisenhower and Youngsville are bitter rivals on the football field. This week, the Knights could help the Eagles move one step closer to Region 2's top seed by beating the Panthers.
Knights' coach Jim Penley thinks he has the team to get the job done as Ike enters the game after having delivered one of its most sound performances in last week's 20-6 win over Cochranton.
"I hope that last week's win helps us with our confidence," said Penley. "Saegertown has a ridiculous amount of speed and we need to be able to keep them from getting outside. When we are able to force them back in, we need to be able to make plays as they are very physical running the ball as well."
Helping the Eagles isn't what will be on Eisenhower's mind Friday. After all, Ike needs every region win it can muster as it tries to secure its own D-10 Class A playoff berth. John Pascuzzi has been running like a man possessed for the Knights. Last week, Pascuzzi had 177 yards and a touchdown and now has 554 yards on the year. A very impressive number considering he has only appeared in five of the eight games played.
Saegertown enters the game wounded after a dramatic 27-26 overtime loss to Mercyhurst Prep last Thursday. The Panthers tried to go for two in the overtime, but were stopped. The Lakers tied the game and appeared to have missed the potential game-winning extra point. However, Saegertown was offside and the Lakers got another shot. This time, the PAT was good and Saegertown suffered its first region loss.
The Panthers rely on pounding the rock and they have the bodies to do it with a trio of backs. Brock Lojek leads the way with 675 yards, Casey Chapman has 566 yards and Matt Mondi has 485 yards. Each back has scored five touchdowns.
2011 Knights Leaders: Passing- Aaron Lundmark 20 of 45 for 316 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT; Rushing- John Pascuzzi 69 carries for 554 yards, 4 TD; Receiving- Nathan O'Brien 10 catches for 113 yards
Last meeting: October 28, 2011- at Eisenhower High School- Saegertown 40, Eisenhower 14
Sheffield (3-5) at Cameron County (2-6), at Cameron County High School, Friday, 7 p.m.
Sheffield needed three straight wins to close the season at 5-5 and head to the District 9 playoffs for the first time in school history. The first step toward that came in an 18-0 victory over Smethport last Saturday.
Sheffield coach Bryan Gould hopes the next step comes Friday when his upstart Wolverines visit the Cameron County Red Raiders. The defense has guided the Wolverines to wins in three of their last five games and Gould believes the defense is key to that trend continuing against Cameron County.
"The defense has played tremendous this last part of the season and I'm very proud of their effort," said Gould. "I noticed in game film the past few weeks I've been irritated when we've given up a first down because I know we're better than that. That's a good problem to have."
The Wolverines allowed 97 points through three weeks of the year as Sheffield started 0-3. In the five games since, Sheffield is 3-2 and has allowed just 26 additional points. All three of its wins have come in shutouts.
Cameron County is struggling through a rebuilding year and is just 2-6 entering Friday's game. The lone wins were an 18-6 triumph over one-win Otto-Eldred and a 22-20 double overtime victory over winless Johnsonburg - a team Sheffield topped 40-0.
The Red Raiders enter the game trying to bounce back from a 54-6 loss to Port Allegany last week. A 38-yard touchdown pass from Tucker Britton to Devin Mason was the only thing that kept Cameron County from being shutout for the third time this season.
2011 Wolverines Leaders: Passing- Shequan Wright 37 of 97 for 509 yards, 2 TD, 9 INT; Rushing- Nick Bonavita 97 carries for 476 yards, 5 TD; Receiving- Nick Bonavita 10 catches for 113 yards
Last meeting: October 30, 2011- at Sheffield High School- Cameron County 17, Sheffield 0