Chambersburg vs. Harrisburg could produce a lot of scoring
If you're a fan of a lot of points being scored in a football game, Chambersburg's 49-35 defeat against Carlisle last Friday may whet your appetite.
There might be another big serving of points happening Saturday, when the Trojans travel to Severance Field to take on the Harrisburg Cougars in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division football game at 1 p.m.
Chambersburg's 35 points was its highest point total in its last 21 games, going back to a 54-51 loss to the Cougars in 2013. Meanwhile, Harrisburg put up 75 points last week against Mifflin County – and it gave up 31.
The Cougars have scored 28 per game and allowed nearly 23.
"Yeah, they may score some points," Trojan interim coach Scott Mitchell said. "But we did a lot of good things last week, so I was encouraged."
Chambersburg ran 78 plays last week, including 58 rushes for 328 yards. Carter Edmondson ran for 126, Darius Johnson 104 and Warren Lee 72. The offensive line opened up some holes and the backs took advantage.
Mitchell said, "The line did well and Calvin Noel (6-foot-5, 215-pound right tackle) played one of his best games. He's coming along – something in the last few weeks has clicked in for him. He's using his body and playing with more leverage and intensity."
Mitchell believes his team's biggest downfall last week was a combination of too many penalties (including a really strange one; see below), an interception returned for a score and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
"At times, the defense played well and made some plays – we did have three interceptions," Mitchell said. "We have to be happy with that. At times we executed very well on offense. We showed we can move the ball on the ground and I think we can through the air, too. But those penalties really hurt.
"Our kids really want to be successful, but the big thing is we need to be more consistent ... on every play. We try to make sure they know what to do in every situation, but sometimes they don't do it by instinct; they have to think, and then it's too late."
The Chambersburg defense will be tested by the Cougars' usual cadre of athletes. Quarterback Yahmir Wilkerson has completed 55 percent of his passes (62 of 113) for 1,038 yards and 12 touchdowns. Shaquon Anderson-Butts (26 catches, 448 yards, 5 TDs) and Jeray Anderson (20-385, 6) are the top receivers, while Joel Davis (48-348, 8) is the top runner.
Mitchell said, "Their quarterback will be a challenge. He moves around very well and will run, but he keeps his eyes downfield and he wants to throw it. We'll have to keep him in the pocket, because it's hard for a DB to cover somebody for more than six seconds."
WEIRD CALL >> The Trojans were flagged for one of the strangest penalties we've ever seen last week. A Carlisle runner fumbled as he hit the ground, and the refs made the correct call that he was down before the ball came out. A Chambersburg player picked up the loose ball and took off downfield as the crowd screamed, thinking it was a turnover. The officials blew the whistle several times before the Trojan player finally stopped running. By the time he returned with the ball, he had been penalized for delay of the game. Really?
TROJAN STATS >> Passing – Kaden Hoover 56-120 (46.7%), 665 yards, 4 TDs, 6 INT ... Rushing – Edmondson 64-352, 5 TDs, Johnson 52-321, 1 TD, Lee 77-362, 2 TDs ... Receiving – Johnson 13-143, 1 TD, Sam Blevins 12-175, Sean Vessah 9-72, 1 TD ... Tackles – Griffin Leedy 46, Kelton Chastulik 43, Myles Braxton 42, Mason Deshong 40.5, Vessah 40 ... Tackles for loss – Chastulik 9, Braxton 8 ... Interceptions – Vessah 3, Austin Kopp 3.
Trojans-Cougars at a glance
Game data: Chambersburg Trojans at Harrisburg Cougars ... Saturday, 1 p.m. at Severance Field ... Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game.
Teams: Chambersburg is 1-7 (1-4 MPC) and fell 49-35 to Carlisle last week ... The Cougars (4-4, 1-4 MPC) are No. 14 in the District 3-AAAA rankings after a 75-31 win over Mifflin County.
Series: Harrisburg won 47-10 last year to extend its lead to 19-12-1,
P.O. pick: Cougars by 11. If it's a track meet, they've got more horses.