Must-win situation for Tri-Valley
While Jeff Sampson’s Tri-Valley outfit (4-1, 1-0) received little or no resistance last weekend from Colonial-Schuylkill Blue playmate Marian Catholic, the Bulldogs’ next league adversary should provide a much-larger challenge. Since Nativity (4-2, 2-0) is making the journey to the Hegins-Valley View Metroplex, make your reservations now for some hamburgers and sauce, Williams French Fries and have a $5 bill ready for a book of 50-50 tickets.
That’s right, a dandy figures to unfold along Route 25. Although Sampson’s Bulldogs spread the ball around while decimating Marian 53-0 a week ago — backs Jake Scheib and Kam Wetzel had effective yet brief outings lugging the ball — QB Jonas McGrath may need to find the form he flashed before Tri-Valley was put on hold by a COVID-19 flare-up. Pat Mason’s Green Wave turned back Shenandoah Valley 35-26 last weekend, but Nativity is sitting atop the Blue table as we speak while Tri-Valley leads the District 11 Class A power rankings. Cody Miller and Stephen Spolski are dependable skills and they’ve played a lot of varsity football for the Pottsville-based Wave. Stay tuned.
Williams Valley regaining form
Rolling up 500-plus yards last weekend during a 44-14 conquest of Colonial-Schuylkill Blue adversary Panther Valley, Williams Valley (5-1, 1-0) is hoping to build on its two-game winning streak Saturday night when Tim Savage’s bunch wheels into suburban Tamaqua to meet winless Marian Catholic (0-6, 0-2). Sophomore Alex Achenbach shrugged off the bumps and bruises he received two-plus weeks ago during a loss to pass-happy Minersville, rushing for 334 yards and four scores against Panther Valley. Isaac Whiteash added 140 yards passing, hooking up with Brady Evans five times for 75 stripes.
Evans also scored twice. Williams Valley also is trying to remain at or near the top of the Blue Division standings — pending the outcome of Friday’s Tri-Valley-Nativity clash — while maintaining or bettering its No. 2 spot in the 11-A power rankings. Jackson Yoder sparkled defensively against the Panthers, making a team-high 12 stops, while big eater Ezi Hite dominated up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Vikes are big favorites here.
Pine Grove hoping to knock off 2A hammer
Hoping to avoid its second three-game skid of the 2021 campaign, Pine Grove (1-5, 0-2) will welcome Colonial-Schuylkill White frontrunner Palmerton to southern Schuylkill County. These Blue Bombers (5-1, 2-0) — not the Canadian Football League mainstay that calls Winnipeg home — also are parked atop the District 11 Class 2A power rankings. Pine Grove has struggled to move the ball recently, so getting productive nights from backs Lane Lehman and Colin Ibarra is a must.