By Andy Shay:
That’s five in a row for Cumberland Valley over Central Dauphin. Safe to say the Eagles enjoy playing the Rams.
This one, though, was lopsided. The final score, 21-7, does not tell the story. At no point in this game after the first time Cumberland Valley had the ball and scored did Central Dauphin threaten to be the better team and own this game.
The Eagles took control on that first possession and never let off the gas – on both sides of the ball. Total plays in the District 3, Class 6A semifinal was 63-38, total yards 266-185 and time of possession was a ridiculous 32:08-15:52. All those number favored the winning team, by the way.
Time to hand out some 4th Down Magazine grades.
Quarterback: Senior Ridge Bachman hands the ball off and steers the offense, but when he goes to throw downfield it gets a little dicey. Sophomore Jared Plessinger is a better passer, but it’s clear Bachman has a better grasp of the Wing-T offense overall. I’m a big fan of Charlie Katshir in the Wildcat. QB’s were a combined 6 of 8 for 88 yards. Just what you need from the Wing-T.
Running Backs: Josiah Quigley is just a beast. And given a little space with a full head of steam he can move a bit. But he always falls forward and almost never goes down on first contact. He rushed for 119 yards on 31 carries with two scores. Hello Beast!! Jake Palmer is a nice compliment and had 18 totes for 50 yards with a TD. That’s 49 carries between the two.
Wide Receivers: The one grab Katshir made downfield in the first quarter was spectacular. He was double covered and still got up between the two defenders and came down with the ball. He did miss the other deep one, though. The passing game was not a key on this night.
Offensive Line: Robert Goodrich, Aaron Wagner, Andrew Miller, Matt Lawrence, Jacob Fetterolf and TE Michael Sandy take a bow, gentlemen. You owned this football game up front from start to finish.
Defensive Line: Holding the edge on those jet sweeps is a huge key against CD. And DE’s Austin Kupko and Goodrich did a fine job most of the night And there was no room in the middle, thus the Rams were limited to 56 yards on the ground. Yeah, that’s impressive.
Linebackers: Quigley was everywhere and not a single play broke for a monster gain or big play. Rajkaran Singh is better than I thought, too.
Defensive Backs: Alex Hetzel knows he made a first-week-of-camp mistake on that touchdown. As the game wore on, though, this group became more aggressive and their tackling in space was spectacular. I didn’t see a legitimate missed one, did you?
Special Teams: There was a missed extra point, but the two-point conversion made up for it. Kick coverage was just okay, not great. Katshir is more of a threat to run out of punt formation than get off a booming kick.
Quarterback: Junior Brady Straub was the No. 2 guy most of the season for a reason. But with starter AJ Millar not available and not on the sideline, Straub was thrown into the fire. He completed 13 of 19 passes and throws a decent ball. He was also handcuffed by some awful play calling at times. Threw for 129 yards and a score without a pick. Hey, one of the few guys who you can say did his job.
Running Backs: There’s was just no pop or sting to Rams’ ground attack on this night. Now, part of that had to do with CV owning the line of scrimmage. Not having Mike Wise was a tough pill to swallow. But I’m not sure he makes that much of a difference. Less than 3 yards per carry says it all.
Wide Receivers: Those short, quick routes are a CD staple and they work in the right situation. This was NOT the right situation. Michael Payton had a good game with five grabs for 59 yards. But they don’t have any home run hitters.
Offensive Line: Sorry, this is easy. The other team was winning up here on an alarmingly consistent basis. There was not room to run. Now, you get only 38 snaps it’s going to have an impact. But this OL got tossed around on this night.
Defensive Line: I get tired watching people try to tackle Quigley from CV. He’s not easy to bring down. Solid, but always making that first hit a yard or two further downfield than you want to against the Wing-T. That means they were losing more 1-on-1 battles than they were winning.
Linebackers: I did hear Cole Veliky’s name called a lot over the loud speaker Friday night. That’s normal, though. I thought they stay too deep for too long in this game and didn’t crowd the line of scrimmage. That’s a coaching thing, not a player thing. Still, they didn’t make enough plays to keep CV behind the chains.
Defensive Backs: No plays against a passing offense that is anemic at best even with a stud at wideout. Allowed six completions on eight attempts. Run support was okay.
Special Teams: Four punts for 100 total yards is an average of 25 per kick. Not good against a team like CV to give them extra yards. Punt coverage was good, though. Just not a lot of good or bad here. Never had a chance to impact the game.