By Michael Bullock:
1. Hectic pace continues for Williams Valley’s Vikings
Playing for the third time in eight days — after spending some time sidelined by a COVID-19 flare-up — Williams Valley (1-1, 1-0 Schuylkill 2) will travel to Saint Clair on Friday night to take on Nativity (2-0, 1-0) in a Schuylkill 2 clash that could double as a possible District 11 Class 1A playoff preview. While Tim Savage’s Vikings opened with a convincing 54-0 thumping of Shenandoah Valley — Hunter Wolfgang rushed for 104 yards and three scores on just six carries, while Bryce Herb tossed a pair of touchdown passes — as the reigning 11-A champions coasted to a season-opening victory. Four nights later at Mount Carmel’s historic Silver Bowl, Williams Valley tumbled 43-28 to the host Red Tornadoes (1-0). Jesse Engle had a monster night for the Vikes, catching seven passes for 213 yards and three TDs. Herb finished with 322 yards passing, completing 13 of his 31 attempts for three scores and three interceptions. Engle also put on a show defensively, totaling 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops against a Mount Carmel side that rolled up 332 yards on the ground. Nativity opened the 2020 season Sept. 11, defeating crosstown rival Pottsville 31-21. Pat Mason’s Green Wave backed up that season-opening victory by defeating Pequea Valley 27-23.
2. Pine Grove chasing first victory
Victimized in the second half for the second consecutive weekend, Pine Grove (0-2, 0-1 Schuylkill 1) dropped a 41-19 decision to North Schuylkill in the teams’ first encounter since last season’s District 11 Class 3A playoff game. Josh Leininger fired three touchdown passes for Frank Gaffney’s Cardinals, who trailed 21-13. Two of those touchdown passes went to Shea Morgan, who set a single-game school record by pocketing 10 catches. Dalton Geesey snared the other touchdown reception for the visiting Cardinals. Jake Hall threw four touchdown passes to lead North Schuylkill (2-0, 1-0) — Hall finished with 264 passing yards — while the Spartans also scored on a blocked punt return. Up next for the Cardinals is a road date with unbeaten Jim Thorpe (2-0, 1-0), which owns road victories over Marian Catholic (43-0) and Schuylkill 1 playmate Blue Mountain (22-21).