By Adam Kulikowski
4th Down Magazine is traveling to Landis Field tonight to cover all the action as Mid-Penn Conference Commonwealth Division heavyweights, Cumberland Valley and Central Dauphin, battle. Our Game of the Week coverage tonight will include with Making the Grade analysis, full game recap, a photo gallery and more.
Where and When: Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at 7 p.m.
Scouting The Eagles (6-1, 4-0): Cumberland Valley took home a 7-0 victory in this match up last year behind a stellar defense and just enough offense. The Eagles offense is better this year with Josh Ferguson under center and the three-headed monster of Nick Rhodes, Joey Heikel and Connor Long at running back. The running back trio has combined for more than 1,200 yards on the ground through seven games. The Eagles defense has yielded no more than 20 points and has held opponents to six or less in four of its seven contests.
Scouting The Rams (7-0, 4-0): Andy Shay's No. 1 team in our Top 10 rankings has some keys pieces will be missing when the Rams take the field Friday night. Most notably five-star defensive end Micah Parsons who has been suspended for multiple games due to a violation of team rules, according to head coach Glen McNamee and linebacker Cole Veliky, who according to report in the Patriot-News, is out with an ankle injury. Those are two key cogs in the Rams run defense.
Key Match-Up: Central Dauphin linebackers vs. the Cumberland Valley ground attack. This is the match up that sticks out to me. A key member of this unit will be missing in Velicky who leads the Rams with 71 tackles through seven games. Even minus Velicky, this is a unit, which also includes Adam Thornton, Mike Betz and Reid Albright, that is one of the best in the Mid-Penn.
One To Watch: CD quarterback A.J. Millar: This really could be either starting QB. Both teams are expected to lean heavily on the run game, so how each handles their limited opportunities--especially on third-and-long--will be key. For the Rams, Millar may end up with a few more touches in key situations with stud back Raleigh Sirb nursing an ankle injury, according to a Pennlive report.
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 21, Cumberland Valley 7: Hey it could be 7-0 again. When these two square off its almost always interesting, generally entertaining and rarely one sided or boring.
Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 28, Cumberland Valley 14: Much respect for CV, a squad that has clubbed every other team not named Bishop McDevitt, but Central Dauphin is the top dog in the Commonwealth Division and perhaps District 3-AAAA as well.
Jeff Dewees: Central Dauphin 24, Cumberland Valley 21: Some key pieces will be missing for the Rams, leaving them vulnerable, but still think McNamee’s crew sneaks by here.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 14, Cumberland Valley 7: My record picking Cumberland Valley's games is... well... not good. So I won't be shocked if the Eagles win.