Chambersburg faces big challenge against Red Lion
One team in Friday night's game is right where it wants to be.
Red Lion is 2-0, playing well, and has experienced seniors manning most of the key positions.
On the other hand, Chambersburg is 1-1 coming off a loss, has quite a few young and inexperienced players in key roles, and is still searching for its identity.
That's the challenge the Trojans face in a non-league battle with the Lions at 7 p.m. at Horn Field.
"Red Lion is very experienced across the board and they're playing like it," Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. "They look like they've been playing together for quite a while."
The Lions' offense has been sharp, led by quarterback Sam Emig. He has racked up 204 yards rushing, 159 through the air and accounted for five touchdowns, with no turnovers. Tailback Dylan Gurreri has 190 yards and the team has a total of 522 yards rushing in two games.
Luther said, "They don't run that many different plays, but they show a lot of different looks. They use a lot of misdirection with their fullback and that's what's gotten the quarterback free on his runs. You can tell with as many different things as they do, they've been able to work on it a lot, especially for this early in the season."
That will put a lot of pressure on the Trojan defensive front seven. They did hold Shippensburg to 12 yards on the ground in the first half, but the Hounds were more successful in the second half.
"The defensive line has had some great plays and gotten off the ball well," Luther said. "But we've lost our focus sometimes and had some breakdowns, and that can be the difference between stopping a third-and-long and them making a first down."
On the other side of the ball, Luther is very pleased with his offensive line. Tailback Clay Myers has gained 182 yards on 23 carries, Kammeron Green has 57 yards and quarterback Tyler Collier has 71. The line includes left tackle Tucker Karn, left guard Kelton Chastulik, center Wade Stickell, right guard Mason Deshong and right tackle Derek Moore.
Luther said, "The line is playing well as a group, and given some nice holes for Clay and Kam. They're protected the quarterback well, too. The season's been a real positive for them.
"But we'll have to be good this week, because I'm sure Red Lion is going to get up in our face and pressure us, and force Tyler to beat them with his passing."
The Trojan offense has scored only one TD so far, but had another called back on a very questionable offensive interference call. And a glaring number of big plays have been wiped out by penalty.
Luther said, "We've had some penalties at inopportune times. It seemed like every time we'd hit a big play, we'd get penalized. It was frustrating.
"We did not have a sharp week of practice last week and it showed with a lack of focus in the game. Maybe that had to happen so the kids can understand it. We were much better in practice this week, and we'll need it because we can't make those mistakes against Red Lion."
Trojans-Lions at a glance
Game data: Chambersburg Trojans at Red Lion Lions ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Horn Field ... Non-league game.
Media: Live stream on GameTimePA.com and MidPennBroadcasting.com ... Follow @C_Arnold01 for updates.
Teams: Chambersburg is 1-1 after a 20-7 loss to Shippensburg ... Red Lion is 2-0 after beating Daniel Boone, 42-7.
Series: The Trojans won the schools' only meeting, 28-6, in a District 3 semifinal playoff game in 1993.
P.O. pick: Red Lion by 8.