Just how much of a confidence boost did Chambersburg get by beating Mifflin County last week?
That answer will be more apparent when the Trojans host Central Dauphin East in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division football game at Trojan Stadium on Friday night.
It is the Public Opinion Game of the Week.
By all accounts, Chambersburg had not played up to its potential in the first five games of the season, all of which resulted in defeats. Then coach Mark Saunders resigned last Friday and the Trojans took it to another 0-5 team, Mifflin County.
"With all the events of the day and the week, for the kids to play the way they did was inspiring," Chambersburg interim coach Scott Mitchell said. "It's carried over to this week, too – winning cures a lot of things. We hope it brings the guys together and gets us back on track."
The question is, can the same kind of effort be successful against a CD East team that has a 4-2 record?
Mitchell said, "I think we know now that we can play at a higher level. We hadn't seen that (until last week). The guys were getting off the ball and playing faster and with more confidence. I think we can play with anybody when we do those things."
The Trojan defense held the Huskies to 155 yards last week. The Panthers will be a bigger challenge this week, thanks to veteran quarterback Jahad Neibauer, a dual-threat player. He leads the team in rushing with 69 carries for 321 yards, and he's hit 45 of 93 passes (48.4%) for 711 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Tyshaun Pollard has the second-most rushing yards (54-291) and leads the team in receptions (23 for 245 yards, 4 TDs). Aaron Arp has 11 catches for 265 yards and two scores.
"(Neibauer) is a pretty good athlete – he's a scary runner and a good passer, too," Mitchell said. "We have to make sure everybody is covered up. Last week, the defensive line got off the ball, the linebackers flowed to the ball and the DBs were reading the ball well. When you look on film, we had 11 hats on the ball a lot of the time. We'll need that again."
Mitchell is hoping the Trojans will make Friday night the first time all aspects of the offense come together.
He said, "Earlier in the season we could move the ball passing and last week we did it running (304 yards). We need to be balanced, especially against a team like East, so we can mix things up."
A year ago, the Panthers held Chambersburg to just 66 total yards.
Mitchell was pleased with the running of backs Warren Lee (17 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD) and Carter Edmondson (10-97, 2 TDs) last week.
"They both had a good game running the ball and the offensive line did a great job," Mitchell said. "When the line is getting off the ball like they did, it makes it easier to call plays."
Mitchell pointed out that Chambersburg still has a positive turnover ratio (plus-2).
"That's unusual for a 1-5 team," he said. "I think that points to the fact that the potential is there. We felt all along that the talent level is there, and we should have been able to make more plays, but we weren't.
"Last week we played at the level we should be at. I think it's been more mental than physical. We need that confidence."
Game data: Central Dauphin East Panthers at Chambersburg Trojans ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium ... Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game.
Teams: CD East is 4-2 (2-1 MPC) after a 17-14 win over Harrisburg last week ... Chambersburg beat Mifflin County 28-7 and is 1-5 (1-2 MPC).
Series: Chambersburg leads 20-19, but East won last year 42-19.
P.O. pick: CD East by 9.