Game of the Week: Greencastle-Antrim vs. Waynesboro is a big rivalry again
A lot of people think that a rivalry can only be a true rivalry if the teams are competitive.
For a long time, Waynesboro's football team was not competitive with Greencastle-Antrim.
But all of that has changed. Prior to last year, the Blue Devils had taken 12 straight victories – many of them coming with decisive scores. But the Indians finally got one on their neighbors with a 28-14 win of their own in 2014.
"That game stuck with us for awhile," Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis said. "This is a big rivalry, and we're only eight miles apart. Everybody knows each other from the summer throwing against each other. This is what high school football is all about."
Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said, "We try to focus on every game the same, but obviously this is a bit more emotional for the kids. It's a big rivalry, and it was lopsided for years. It was at least 10 years straight that they beat us, so last year was huge. We're trying to balance things back out."
The Indians (4-4, 1-3 MPC) have all the pieces to get another victory this year.
Although Waynesboro quarterback Brady Riddell has been a bit inconsistent, with a 36.9 completion percentage, he has thrown for 1,275 yards and 13 touchdown passes. He has also scored five rushing touchdowns and is coming off a fine game in which he contributed to four scores.
Leading rusher Jake Wertz also had one of his best games of the season last week when he gained 133 yards on 11 carries, but Greencastle (6-2, 2-2 MPC) has proved its run defense is tough to get through.
"The game plan is the same as always: We're going to try to be balanced," Myers said. "Brady had one of his sharpest weeks in awhile, but we still want to make sure we can rely on the run to keep them guessing."
Waynesboro also has one of the best run defenses in the area, but Greencastle has a way to combat that. Quarterback Spencer Meyers is the most accurate passer in Franklin County (83-for-149, 55.7%). He also has a cast of strong running backs to keep the Indians on their toes.
Demetrius Burton leads the run game with 603 yards on 87 carries, and James Hines has racked up 512 yards on 99 carries. Also, Derek Measell has contributed 295 yards on 40 carries.
"We'll see what happens," Tinninis said. "We can throw the ball as much as we want. I don't foresee that we'll come out slinging, but we'll take what they give us."
Defensively, Tyler Jeffreys leads the Blue Devils with 62 tackles, and Bailey Parker has 47.
Waynesboro's defense is stacked with the top four tacklers in Franklin County. Forrest Rhyne (119 tackles) and Tyler Hahn (109) both have more than 20 tackles for a loss. Patrick Swiney has contributed 66 tackles, and Brandon Baer is right behind with 65.
"They're a good football team," Tinninis said. "A couple plays go the other way, and they've got a few more wins. They're aggressive, and they've got some speed guys. Their QB has a cannon for an arm, and they've got big offensive and defensive lines. They're gonna be fired up, and we'd better be ready to go."
Both teams could also use a win to help their playoff hopes. Waynesboro is currently ranked 18th in Class AAAA, and Greencastle sits at 13th in Class AAA. The top 16 teams in both classes advance to the postseason.
Game data: Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils at Waynesboro Indians ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Buchanan Auto Park Field ... Mid Penn Colonial Division game.
Teams: Greencastle (6-2, 2-2 MPC) and Waynesboro (4-4, 1-3 MPC) are both still in the hunt for the playoffs and could use a win this week ... The Blue Devils are coming off a 38-14 loss to Northern York, while the Indians dominated James Buchanan to the tune of 60-3.
Series: The Blue Devils lead the series 15-10-1, but the Indians came out on top last year, 28-14.
P.O. pick: Blue Devils by 7.