As the Chambersburg Trojan football team begins play in the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division on Friday night, hosting Cumberland Valley at 7 p.m. for the Homecoming Game, one thing stands out.
Chambersburg plays a killer schedule.
If you take away 0-3 Greencastle-Antrim, which is an uncharacteristic record for the young Blue Devils, the other nine schools on the Trojans' schedule have combined for a current record of 29-1, with the only loss by Harrisburg to Bishop McDevitt.
So that means Chambersburg has already played a pair of 3-0 teams in Shippensburg and Red Lion, and has six more to go.
And one of the best of them is next up. Cumberland Valley is - of course - 3-0 after a 24-14 win over McDevitt last week. And, as usual, the Eagles are running the ball effectively out of their traditional wing-T system.
"They can move the ball on the ground, that's their bread and butter," Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. "It's not real complicated, they just run it really well. The linemen aren't big, but they get after it, play hard, and don't make mistakes. They play football the way it's supposed to be played."
Last week against a good Red Lion offense, the Trojans played well for about a quarter, but the Lions eventually started to create some holes and ended up with 233 rushing yards.
"We played with them early and I don't think we were physically beaten," Luther said, "but their line started to take advantage of some things. We have to get better with our technique."
The Eagles' main threat is fullback Josiah Quigley, who has run for 457 yards and three touchdowns, while Jake Palmer has 185 yards and three TDs. CV splits quarterbacking duties between Jared Plessinger (5-for-6, 115 yards) and Ridge Bachman (8-for-19, 102); they have split four touchdowns. Charlie Katshir - who may be the best athlete on the field (he's also an outstanding defensive back) - is the leading receiver with six catches for 102 yards and two scores.
On offense, Chambersburg looked good early, and put together a nice drive. A pass to Sean Vessah gave the Trojans a first down at the Red Lion 4, but they had to settle for a field goal. Things then went downhill, although tailback Clay Myers did end up with 67 yards and Jace Hopple had 39.
Luther said, "To not punch it in there was disheartening. There are some things we can do better as coaches to help us convert those chances. When we looked at the film, the players were doing the things we were asking them to do, but we have to learn how to finish - little things like sustaining blocks or not using our hands enough to shed blocks. We're not that far off.
"When we had our staff meeting Sunday, I said it's hard to see now, but when we get together for spring ball we'll be 10 times ahead of where we are now. We can't just snap our fingers and be there. Losing is tough to deal with, but we have to stay positive."
STATS: Myers is the leading ballcarrier, with 40 carries for 249 yards, while Kammeron Green is 11 for 65 ... QB Tyler Collier has connected on 29 of 57 passes for 308 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INT ... Vessah leads the receivers with 11 catches for 161 yards and a TD.
Eagles-Trojans at a glance
Game data: Cumberland Valley Eagles at Chambersburg Trojans ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium ... Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game, and Homecoming.
Media: Follow @NoahShatzer for updates ... Webcast on MidPennBroadcasting.com.
Teams: CV is 3-0 after a 24-14 win over Bishop McDevitt ... The Trojans are 1-2 after a 31-10 loss to Red Lion.
P.O. pick: Eagles by 15.