Keys to the game: York Catholic-Littlestown
Looking at the schedule, this is probably the most enticing, non-Division I game we'll see for the rest of this regular season. On one hand you have Littlestown (4-0), the point-popping, high-flying offensive juggernaut, capable of dizzying opponents with its passing or overpowering them on the ground. Then you have York Catholic (3-1), a team which boasts plenty of its own firepower and is loaded with three-year starters. I'll be making the trip down to Littlestown on Friday for this contest. In the meantime, here are a few keys to the game for each team. For York Catholic1. Avoid the big plays. This seems like a silly request, because it's been almost impossible to completely shackle the Bolts' attack. In four games, Littlestown has racked up 12 touchdown plays of 30 or more yards. But if the Irish can limit the Bolts to just one or two of those big gainers, they'll have done a decent job. 2. Get a big game from Adam Sentz. He's the pace car for this offense. When he's at his best, the senior quarterback can dice up defenses with his left arm or slice through them with his legs. But Sentz only had 100 passing yards through two games. Those numbers have turned upward the last two weeks, but at the expense of Fairfield and Hanover. Can Sentz get the passing game going against a bigger and better defense? 3. Eliminate turnovers. This would seem to go without saying. But after committing six giveaways in a stunning opening night loss to Kennard-Dale, the Irish haven't committed a turnover since. That trend needs to continue. 4. Get some pressure on Austin Reynolds. The Littlestown quarterback has been the most prolific in the area the early part of this season. But he's had the luxury of operating behind a rock-steady offensive line, which has yet to allow a sack this season. The Irish's front four, led by 270-pound senior Adam Conner, need to penetrate and disrupt Reynold's rhythm. For Littlestown1. Establish the run. The Bolts' passing game gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so. But Littlestown can also run it right at teams if it wants. Senior running back Sean Doherty has run for 10 touchdowns this year, while Reynolds has chipped in 353 rushing yards of his own. And if the Bolts get that ground game churning, it will only open up the defense more for Reynolds. 2. Clamp down on Gary Laucks. At 6-foot-3 and with good speed, York Catholic's senior receiver is a handful to cover. But limit him, and you limit York Catholic's passing game. Laucks has been on the receiving end of 287 of York Catholic's 392 passing yards, and has reeled in all six of the Irish's passing touchdowns. 3. Keep Sentz in the pocket. Once you've taken away his favorite target, the next step is jailing Sentz inside the pocket. The quarterback is more than capable of beating teams with his legs, as evidenced by his 535 rushing yards last season. 4. Not skip a beat at wide receiver. The Bolts are a little bit thin here, with Dustin Hildebrand (collarbone) and Jonathan Justice out for Friday's game (and Hildebrand likely gone a good bit longer). Luckily, senior Seth Wren, the team's leading wide receiver who went out injured last week against Biglerville, will play. And no matter who the Bolts need to replace at receiver, they seem to find somebody capable of making plays.