Sep. 15—Berwick (0-3) at Williamsport (1-2)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: Mike Bennett, 2nd year; Williamsport's Mike Pearson, 2nd year at Williamsport, 7th year overall
Last Meeting: Berwick 34-10 in 2022
First Meeting: Williamsport 14-0 in 1946
All-Time Series: Berwick 26-9
Scouting Berwick: The Dawgs were outscored 33-0 in the second half in a 47-21 loss to Abington Heights. The defense was burned for four touchdown passes. A silver lining was the offense showed more life, with RB Tyler Winter rushing for a career-high 143 yards. Assistant/athletic director Bo Orlando ran the team the past two weeks and could be doing so again while Bennett deals with a health issue.
Scouting Williamsport: The Millionaires made a final push behind QB Caleb Williamson, but fell short in a 28-20 loss to Dallas. The good news is they didn't fold after falling behind by 22 points midway through the third quarter. Williamsport has a strong stable of receivers which should be put to use considering Berwick surrendered four TD passes last Friday. The running game is pedestrian so far.
Bottom Line: Hard one to figure out. Slight lean to Williamsport.
Hanover Area (1-2) at Pittston Area (1-2)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: Jason Majiros, 2nd year; Pittston Area's Nick Barbieri, 7th year
Last Meeting: Pittston Area 40-12 in 2022
First Meeting: Pittston Area by forfeit in 1974
All-Time Series: Pittston Area 11-6
Scouting Hanover Area: The Hawkeyes have been fine on defense the past two weeks. The offense, though, hasn't measured up and the result was consecutive 14-6 losses to Tunkhannock and Carbondale Area. Take away a 61-yard TD run by Jaydon Skipalis and Hanover Area averaged just 2.6 yards per play last Friday. The secondary will face its toughest task.
Scouting Pittston Area: The Patriots did just enough offensively to get by Wyoming Valley West 20-13. Growing pains were expected as three-year starting QB Drew DeLucca is surrounded by basically a new cast of skill players. Freshman WR Lucas Lopresto and first-year WR Matt Walter have been the main targets. The running game remains a work in progress.
Bottom Line: Pittston Area's offense is a little further along at this point.
Nanticoke Area (1-2) at Wyoming Area (3-0)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: Nanticoke Area's Ron Bruza, 14th year; Wyoming Area's Randy Spencer, 15th year
Last Meeting: Wyoming Area 26-13 in 2023
First Meeting: Wyoming Area 21-20 in 1970
All-Time Series: Wyoming Area 37-7-1
Scouting Nanticoke Area: The Trojans are in the same boat as last year — without starting QB Payton Kepp, who was lost for the season once again due to an injury. That means RB Zack Fox will be leaned on greatly in the run-heavy offense. He scored his only TD on a kick return in last Friday's 40-13 loss to Lackawanna Trail. Big Seth Raymer (6-5, 250) took over the QB duties, a position he has played briefly in the past.
Scouting Wyoming Area: No doubt Aaron Crossley is the best running back in the WVC. The Warriors, though, showed in their 29-22 win over Crestwood that they aren't a one-man band. Michael Crane and Lidge Kellum came up with big scoring runs. The defense gave up 322 yards to the Comets, but when a big play was needed the group responded.
Bottom Line: Wyoming Area is on a nice run and it should continue.
Tunkhannock (2-1) at Carbondale Area (1-2)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: Tunkhannock's Pat Keating, 1st year at Tunkhannock, 11th overall; Carbondale Area's Jeff Arthur, 3rd year
Last Meeting: Carbondale Area 29-22 in 2022
First Meeting: Tie 0-0 in 1962
All-Time Series: Carbondale Area 3-2-1
Scouting Tunkhannock: The Tigers dominated Holy Redeemer 35-0 in a game ended at halftime because of the threat of nasty weather. The decision was sound because the teams would have never be able to resume Saturday. RB Logan Ross had another strong day and the defense had six sacks. The Tigers are embarking on a favorable part of their schedule.
Scouting Carbondale: The Chargers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 14-6 victory over Hanover Area. RBs Anthony Prince and Colin Ormes combined for 38 carries for 171 yards. Expected another heavy dose of running as Carbondale Area doesn't put the ball in the air much. The team has scored just 24 points and locating the goal line was troublesome in 2022.
Bottom Line: Tunkhannock hasn't won three in a row since 2019. That has a decent chance of changing.
West Scranton (0-3) at Dallas (3-0)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: West Scranton's Jake Manetti, 2nd year; Dallas' Rich Mannello, 9th year
Last Meeting: Dallas 42-13 in 2022
First Meeting: West Scranton 19-14 in 1998
All-Time Series: Tied 3-3
Scouting West Scranton: The Invaders are working on a short week, having lost 43-25 to Scranton in the Bell Game on Saturday. They trailed by four midway through the third quarter and then the wheels loosened. A similar situation occurred Week 1 vs. Riverside. While competitive in two of three games, surrendered 44 points a game isn't going to cut it in the long run.
Scouting Dallas: Dallas held off a late Williamsport rally in a 28-20 victory. The defense is allowing 230 yards passing per game, but it must be noted a couple opponents can really throw the ball. Still, that number needs to drop. QB Brady Zapoticky is tied for the WVC lead in TD passes with eight while WR/DB Zach Paczewski has made plays on both sides of the ball.
Bottom Line: After three very tough games, Dallas might finally get a double-digit win.
Wilkes-Barre Area (1-2) at Hazleton Area (1-2)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: WBA's Ciro Cinti, 5th year at WBA, 18th year overall; Hazleton Area's Dennis Buchman, 4th year
Last Meeting: Hazleton Area 20-7 in 2022
First Meeting: WBA 34-20 in 2019
All-Time Series: Hazleton Area 3-2
Scouting WBA: The Wolfpack led their first two games at halftime and lost. They trailed Wallenpaupack at halftime and then won 27-10. QB Jake Howe threw two TD passes in the second half as WBA outscored the Buckhorns 21-0 after intermission. The Wolfpack is throwing more than anticipated, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues.
Scouting Hazleton Area: The Cougars had four cracks from the 3-yard line in the final minute, but failed to punch it in as they fell 23-20 to North Pocono. The defense did a solid job overall as North Pocono had to settle for field goals three times. However, the unit is still waiting to make its first takeaway. RB Brady Mizenko had another strong game, but the passing game was off a tick.
Bottom Line: A critical game in the District 2/4/11 Class 6A playoff picture.
Wyoming Valley West (1-2) at Crestwood (0-3)
7 p.m. Friday
The Coaches: Wyoming Valley West's Bob Stelma, 1st year; Crestwood's Ryan Arcangeli, 5th year
Last Meeting: Crestwood 49-21 in 2022
First Meeting: Valley West 42-8 in 1981
All-Time Series: Valley West 11-4
Scouting Valley West: The Spartans did a good job on defense in a 20-13 loss to Pittston Area, but a 98-yard TD pass came back to bite them. Pittston Area totaled 127 yards on 47 other plays. QB Lucas Zdancewicz ran for two scores, but RB Isaiah Cobb was bottled up for a second consecutive week. However, peaks and valleys were likely with a new coach.
Scouting Crestwood: The defending District 2 Class 4A champion suffered its third consecutive seven-point loss, this one 29-22 to Wyoming Area. All three losses have been to 3-0 teams. Like the other two losses, the setback to Wyoming Area could be traced to not be able to make a play to sway the momentum. The Comets were on the verge several times, though.
Bottom Line: Crestwood will finally break into the win column.
Lake-Lehman (0-3) at Holy Redeemer (0-3)
1 p.m. Saturday
The Coaches: Lake-Lehman's Jerry Gilsky, 14th year; Redeemer's Tyson Kelley, 5th year
Last Meeting: Lehman 22-20 in 2022
First Meeting: Lehman 38-7 in 2007
All-Time Series: Lehman 16-0
Scouting Lehman: Now that the gauntlet of high-quality Lackawanna Conference opponents has ended, the Black Knights switch to their divisional schedule. The first three games were rough, no more so than a 49-6 loss to perennial power Scranton Prep. Opponents have been attacking Lehman's defense mainly on the ground. The defense will see the ball in the air plenty vs. Redeemer.
Scouting Redeemer: The Royals lost 35-0 to Tunkhannock in a game ended at halftime because of weather. Redeemer was expected to struggle on offense based on graduation losses, but the performance against Tunkhannock showed plenty of work is needed. QB Thomas Dugan was under duress on nearly every play and was sacked six times, including on three consecutive plays.
Bottom Line: Despite the rough start, Lehman should be able to come away with a win.