Chambersburg may have a fighting chance vs. Carlisle
Let's be honest. With the meat grinder of a football schedule Chambersburg has had, especially the last four weeks, the Trojans had almost no chance to win.
There is hope this week, however.
Chambersburg (1-8) renews its long rivalry with Carlisle (3-6) on Friday night at Millen Stadium and both teams are hoping their last game of the season will be their first Mid Penn Commonwealth Division win.
"Looking at film, our guys have the feeling that if we play some good football and make some plays, we have a chance to win this football game," Trojan coach Mark Luther said. "In the weeks before this, we would have had to play perfect football and get all the breaks."
Which doesn't mean the Thundering Herd are a pushover. Far from that. Carlisle won its first three games on the season, but then hit the Commonwealth wall.
"Like us, it looks like they've had some injury problems," Luther said. "But their quarterback (Eric Harris) can throw the ball well and he will run, too. And they throw the ball to Barnes a lot."
Either Barnes. Gavyn Barnes has 33 catches for 315 yards and a score, and Nate Barnes has caught 26 balls for 479 yards (18.4 average) and seven touchdowns. Harris has completed 71 of 131 balls (54.2%) for 906 yards, seven scores and eight interceptions.
Luther is hoping his defensive line of Griffin Leedy, Myles Braxton, Kelton Chastulik and Mason Deshong can cause Harris some problems.
"Braxton played real well on the defensive line last week, and for the first quarter and a half, those four guys were really getting after the quarterback," Luther said. "We need that kind of play on Friday."
The Trojan coach is more concerned with his offense, which has suffered two straight shutouts and has averaged 8.9 points per game.
"We're still struggling, and teams are forcing us to throw the football," Luther said.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Collier (73-for-169, 43%, 739 yards, 4 TDs, 8 int.) is still learning the ropes, but hasn't been able to hurt teams enough with his passing to make them back off stacking the line.
Luther said, "People see that Tyler's 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, but he's still only 15 years old. This is the first time that he's in a system that throws the ball a lot, and he has a lot of responsibilities for reading the defense. He's a smart kid and he picks things up quickly; he just has to take that onto the field with him."
NOTES: Sean Vessah is Chambersburg's leading receiver (24-400, 3 TDs) ... Clay Myers leads the rushers with 584 yards and four TDs on 103 carries ... Spencer Seaman, who injured his neck last week, will not play Friday, but was not seriously injured.
Trojans-Herd at a glance
Game data: Chambersburg Trojans at Carlisle Thundering Herd ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Millen Stadium ... Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game.
Media: Follow @MattBernardini7 for updates ... Webcast on MidPennBroadcasting.com.
Teams: The Trojans are 1-8 (0-5 MPC) after a 37-0 loss to State College ... Carlisle fell 45-7 to Harrisburg and is 3-6 (0-5 MPC).
Series: This is the teams' 101st meeting, and the Herd leads 55-44-1 ... Last year, Carlisle won 49-35.
P.O. pick: The Herd by 8. Both teams are hurt by injuries, but Carlisle has more weapons.