After one week of the 2012 high school football season, only the Warren Dragons have celebrated the initial victory of the season.
Warren did that with a 28-6 victory over Erie East last Friday at Erie Veterans Stadium and will try to make it 2-for-2 Friday when it welcomes Clarion-Limestone to War Memorial Field. Across the county, Youngsville also hosts its home and Region 2 opener with the Iroquois Braves visiting Mike Shine Field.
Sheffield's home opener will have to wait until Saturday afternoon as the Elk County Catholic Crusaders visit the Wolverines in a 1:30 p.m. encounter. After opening the year with a 33-7 loss to Mercer in week one's only home game, the Eisenhower Knights are the lone team on the road this week, visiting Maplewood in Friday night Region 2 action.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Looking for daylight
Youngsville quarterback Jake Marino (7) looks for room to maneuver as teammate Jaykup Durlin (52) blocks during last Friday’s season opener with Fairview at Fairview Area High School. The Tigers won the game, 45-21, leaving the Eagles looking for their first win Friday at Mike Shine Field when the Iroquois Braves come to town.
at Warren (1-0),
Friday, 7 p.m.
War Memorial Field
It may only be one week into the new season, but Warren coach Brad Wright has to be pleased with what he saw from his Dragons in week one.
Looking to enhance his own running game while slowing down the opposition, Wright's team did both in a 28-6 week one victory over Erie East. Now, Warren looks to keep the momentum it built moving forward when it hosts District 9 Class A school Clarion-Limestone Friday at War Memorial Field.
"We're excited about the challenge ahead of us," said Wright. "Clarion-Limestone is going to be coming up here looking to play spoiler and be a giant killer. We respect them and know we need to focus on the task at hand. We can't afford to look past anybody at any time."
Austin Jerman had a big first week for the Warren offense, throwing for 192 yards and three touchdowns and leading the team with 71 rushing yards. Luke Wortman had a big night at receiving, catching one of Jerman's touchdown passes and totaling 106 receiving yards.
To say the Lions struggled in their season opener against rival Clarion would be an understatement. Limestone was defeated, 57-0, and outgained by the Bobcats by well over 400 yards. In fact, the Lions totaled just 13 yards of offense a week ago, including a negative seven mark on the ground.
Clarion-Limestone's offense was in a giving mood in the season opener, turning the ball over six times. The Lions struggles have been ongoing as the team has won two games or fewer in every season since 2006. The run of futility started after seasons of 10-2 and 9-2 in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
2012 Dragons Leaders: Passing- Austin Jerman 11 of 18 for 192 yards, 3 TD, INT; Rushing- Austin Jerman 12 for 71; Receiving- Luke Wortman 5 for 106, TD
Last meeting: First meeting
Iroquois (0-1) at Youngsville (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Mike Shine Field
Injury was added to insult during Youngsville's 2012 season-opening 45-21 loss to the Fairview Tigers last Friday.
Not only did the Eagles lose in the regular season for the first time since 2010, but the Eagles suffered a rash of injuries to key players during the setback. The most significant of those injuries was to starting quarterback Jake Marino. Youngsville head coach Luke Alex said Jake Lauffenburger will start for the Eagles this week.
"Last week, we moved the ball well in the first half, gaining a bunch of first downs before turning the ball over," said Alex. "If we want things to end differently this week we need to take care of the ball and tackle, tackle, tackle."
Lauffenburger looked comfortable in relief against the Tigers, completing all three of his passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Speedster Rocco Gatta looked brilliant in the return game, returning one kick 76 yards for a score and setting up another touchdown with a return to the Fairview 16.
While the Eagles enter week two looking for their first win, their opponent -the Iroquois Braves - are looking for their first points of the new season. The Braves were shut out in week one, falling to the Harbor Creek Huskies, 13-0.
Iroquois finished with just 149 yards of offense in the loss to the Huskies. Brandon Roda had a team-best 48 rushing yards on four carries and Alex Williams rushed 13 times for 46 yards. Quarterback Justyn Roda was 5-for-10 for 46 yards, completing three of his passes to wideout Matthew McLean.
2012 Eagles Leaders: Passing- Jake Lauffenburger 3 for 3 for 39, TD; Rushing- Matt Fox 4 for 43; Receiving- T.J. Hardy 3 for 55, TD
Last meeting: September 23, 2011- at Iroquois High School- Youngsville 42, Iroquois 14
Eisenhower (0-1) at Maplewood (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Maplewood High School
In 2011, the Eisenhower Knights shook off a tough season opener against a tough Region 1 opponent (Sharpsville) by earning a road victory in Maplewood during the second week of the season.
The Knights hope to do just that again Friday when they travel to Guys Mills for their Region 2 opener with the Tigers. Eisenhower's season got off to a tough start in week one with a 33-7 loss to Mercer, but coach Jim Penley thinks his team can bounce back against Maplewood.
John Pascuzzi emerged as a primary threat for the Knights in week one, compiling 86 all-purpose yards - 53 on the ground and 33 more in the air. Quarterback Aaron Lundmark had a tough night throwing the ball, but did score Eisenhower's only touchdown by using his legs.
While the Knights had their share of struggles in week one, Maplewood struggled to a greater degree. The Class A Tigers were defeated by Reynolds, 44-0, and totaled just two yards in the loss. Quarterback Nate Klinger threw for 33 yards, but the Tigers rushed for -31 yards against the Raiders.
Klingler had the toughest night of all as sack totals count against a quarterback's rushing total. All together, Klingler ran nine times for -90 yards. Maplewood fumbled 10 times in the defeat, but lost just two of those.
2012 Knights Leaders: Passing- Aaron Lundmark 4 of 13 for 60, INT; Rushing- John Pascuzzi 14 for 53; Receiving- John Pascuzzi 2 for 33
Last meeting: September 9, 2011- at Maplewood High School- Eisenhower 7, Maplewood 6
Elk County Catholic (1-0) at Sheffield (0-1), Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Sheffield High School
Despite losing its season opener to Kane, the Sheffield Wolverines know that it's a long football season.
Last year, Sheffield started 0-3 before beating Johnsonburg 40-0 and ultimately advancing to the District 9 Class AA football playoffs for the first time in school history.
Sheffield will hope to get that first win two weeks sooner in 2012 when they host the Elk County Catholic Crusaders at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Wolverines' first game under new head coach Dave Fitch ended with a 35-13 loss to the Wolves. Still, Sheffield showed flashes of brilliance in the game and quarterback Shequan Wright was efficient with an 11-of-22 for 139 yards and one touchdown performance. Sheffield earned some week two momentum at the end of the Kane game, scoring on a 33-yard touchdown strike from Wright to Dylan McNeal on the game's final play.
"I think that last touchdown drive showed a lot of what our mentality is this year," said Fitch. "We got down in the game, but were able to fight back. The kids stayed together and kept working and we were able to give ourselves some momentum going into this next game."
The Crusaders opened the year with a 33-6 victory over Smethport. ECC gobbled up 344 rushing yards in the win, including 117 yards from standout tailback Hank Capiello. Capiello only ran 11 times in the Smethport win, but found the end zone on three of those totes.
Teammate Brock McCullough rushed 14 times for 85 yards and Mitchell Vallone totaled 67 yards and a score on only three carries.
2012 Wolverines Leaders: Passing- Shequan Wright 11 of 22 for 139, TD; Rushing- Tyler Fitzgerald 9 for 20; Receiving- Dylan Smith 5 for 26
Last meeting: September 25, 2009- at Elk County Catholic High School- Elk County Catholic 27, Sheffield 6