Chambersburg faces similar opponent in Harrisburg
Chambersburg's football team did some good things against Central Dauphin East last week.
In fact, the Trojans held a 13-10 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the first half before things went awry in a 41-19 defeat.
Hopefully, they can remember some of those good things Saturday, when they play Harrisburg at Severance Field in a Mid Penn Commonwealth game, because CD East and the Cougars have a lot in common.
"Harrisburg is very similar to East," Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. "They have a lot of good athletes. One thing different is they'll air it out more than East did. The quarterback (Yahmir Wilkerson) is similar to East's quarterback - he's not big, but he's a lefty, very athletic and quick and he can change directions well."
Wilkerson burned Chambersburg last year, hitting 15 of 21 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns.
The Cougars are currently 4-1 (1-0 MPC) and ran wild over Hershey 49-0 last week.
It some ways, this game is just one in a series of tough tests for the Trojans (1-4, 0-2 MPC). The Commonwealth is pretty good every year, but this year it may be well above average.
"Our schedule is brutal," Luther said. "I can't see how it's not one of the toughest in the state."
The reality is, Chambersburg will have to find ways of improving while running its gauntlet of foes. The Trojans have played just about everybody tough for a while, but haven't been able to maintain it.
Luther said, "The kids were fired up and played well last week, but then it looks like we lost focus. We went ahead before halftime and then we gave up a big run and gave them momentum. Just a couple of guys broke down and didn't handle their responsibility.
"That's what has been happening. The 41-19 score is not indicative of how the game went. But we need to do the little things that add up - like taking a bad angle, or looking the wrong way, or going inside when your responsibility is outside. They see it, and they understand it, but it's going to take more reps until they do it right."
Mistakes are also taking a toll. For example, bad snaps caused a broken down play on a point-after try and a penalty on a punt. Trying to salvage something, kicker Nazeer Taylor was called for intentional grounding on the point-after and was penalized for kicking the ball while it was on the ground on the punt.
"Those aren't situations you can simulate in practice," Luther said. "And our snaps have been really good all year."
NOTES: Luther said running back Clay Myers (84 yards, 1 TD) had a good game, and he was happy to see QB Taylor Collier connect on a long pass (79 yards) to Sean Vessah (3 catches, 134 yards) ... He also said Kelton Chastulik "had a nice game on defense." ... Myers now has 444 yards on 69 carries, Vessah has 14 catches for 295 yards and Collier has completed 40 of 85 passes for 497 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions.
Trojans-Cougars at a glance
Game data: Chambersburg Trojans at Harrisburg Cougars ... Saturday, 1 p.m. at Severance Field ... Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game.
Media: Follow @EdGotwalsPO for updates ... Game will be live streamed on GameTimePA.com and MidPennBroadcasting.com.
Teams: The Trojans are 1-4 (0-2 MPC) after a 41-19 loss to CD East ... Harrisburg (4-1, 1-0 MPC) ripped Hershey 49-0 last week.
Series: Harrisburg leads 20-12-1 after last year's 38-34 win.
P.O. pick: Cougars by 11. Chambersburg defense has made plenty of good plays, but then has given up big plays. Harrisburg can do big plays.