(Statistical Information Courtesy of Professor Briggs' archives, The Herald and Erie Times-News)
WEEK TEN FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
The District 10 playoffs open Friday night with a somewhat limited schedule. Two local teams will begin their respective playoff journeys in Class 1A as Reynolds and West Middlesex compete in the six-team draw. Both teams will have regular season rematches Friday night. Reynolds looks to avenge a home loss to Maplewood while West Middlesex aims for a season sweep of Cochranton.
The two respective regular-season meetings took place during the weather-delayed fifth week of the season September 21. That night, both games started 90 minutes early, then went through lengthy lightning delays.
Farrell will open Class 1A playoff play next week, as will 2A schools Greenville, Sharpsville and Wilmington. The local Class 3A playoff entrants, Grove City, Sharon and Slippery Rock, will begin the postseason next Saturday, November 3.
CLASS 1A QUARTERFINALS
Reynolds vs. Maplewood -- at Meadville, 7:00 p.m.
Two teams that competed in the 2017 District 10 Class 2A playoff will now meet Friday night in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Meadville's Bender Field when Reynolds faces Maplewood. Both teams enter the playoffs on an upswing after winning their respective regular season finales at home. Reynolds downed Class 2A Northwestern, 34-22, while Maplewood rolled past Saegertown, 56-0.
After sputtering for the last month, the Reynolds offense returned to its early-season form last Friday night in the win over Northwestern. Reynolds amassed 402 rushing yards as a team and finished with 439 total offensive yards. Senior wingback Tyrese Baker rambled for 120 yards and a touchdown while junior quarterback Sean O'Hara ran for 82 yards and three scores. Fullback Hunter Thompson, whose role in the offense has increased significantly in recent weeks due to injuries, added a season-high 70 yards.
Defensively, Reynolds held Northwestern to 80 rushing yards on 33 attempts. However, the Wildcats did throw for 192 yards.
Sophomore wingback Jordan DeCarmen leads Reynolds with 695 rushing yards and eight touchdowns despite battling injuries over the past month. Baker has contributed 637 yards while O'Hara owns 489 rushing yards. Sophomore Cole Toy (316) and Thompson (149) are also featured in Reynolds' rushing attack. No local team has attempted more rushing plays than has Reynolds (409) this season.
Senior tight end Chance Westover leads Reynolds (5-4) with seven catches and 171 receiving yards. He averages 24.4 yards per catch.
Maplewood's explosive offense produced 255 rushing yards and 242 passing yards last week against Saegertown. Senior running back Chevy Blake ran for a career-high 138 yards and two scores while junior quarterback J.D. McFadden gained 65 rushing yards. McFadden also completed 10 of 19 passes for a season-high 242 yards and three touchdowns. Camron Bienio pulled in four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Throughout the season, Maplewood's offense has been one of District 10's most balanced. Under seventh-year head coach Bryan Borkovich, the Tigers average 164.3 rushing yards and 153.9 passing yards per game. McFadden has rushed for 625 yards and seven touchdowns while Blake has 537 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
McFadden has thrown 18 touchdown passes and only two interceptions this year. He has completed 55 of 98 (56.1 percent) of his attempts for 1,385 yards. For his career, he has 3,885 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. Last year, he threw for 1,709 yards and 16 touchdowns after compiling 795 passing yards as a rookie. McFadden has 5,358 yards of total offense for his career.
This season, his younger brother, Jesse, is his top target. Only a freshman, Jesse McFadden has 22 catches for 639 yards and five touchdowns. Bienio and Ethan Wright also have five touchdown catches each.
Reynolds led 18-7 in the first quarter of the teams' September 21 meeting. Thompson returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Raiders that 11-point lead. Before the extra point could be attempted, thunderstorms delayed the game for well over an hour. After the delay, Jesse McFadden returned the subsequent kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown, sparking a 20-0 Maplewood run.
J.D. McFadden's 38-yard touchdown pass to Levi Butryn gave the Tigers (6-3) a 20-18 halftime lead. Blake's 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the win.
Baker ran for 124 yards while DeCarmen finished with 105 rushing yards. O'Hara threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Westover to open the Reynolds scoring. Reynolds outgained Maplewood, 386-205, and had a 22-9 edge in first downs. However, the Raiders turned over the ball three times and also had 11 penalties for 110 yards.
This is Maplewood's first game of the season on artificial turf. Reynolds played on turf in Week Two at Slippery Rock. Maplewood's last win on artificial turf came October 17, 2015 when the Tigers defeated Mercyhurst Prep, 20-14, at Mercyhurst University. Reynolds defeated Iroquois in last year's playoffs at Fairview.
Maplewood High School formed in 1973 after the merging of Townville and Randolph-East Mead High Schools. Maplewood's first football win came in its debut, September 8, 1973, when the Tigers earned a 19-0 win over Venango Christian. Maplewood's lone playoff win came November 6, 1993 in the Class A semifinals -- a 24-6 win over Kennedy Christian at Sharpsville's McCracken Field. The Tigers are 1-7 all-time in the postseason and have never won a playoff game on a Friday.
Maplewood fell to Wilmington in last year's District 10 2A quarterfinals, 48-14. Reynolds downed Iroquois in the quarterfinals, 32-13, before falling in the semifinals to Wilmington, 49-0.
The winner will face Farrell in next week's semifinals.
The game will be heard on Sports Radio 96.7. Live stats available here.
West Middlesex vs. Cochranton -- at Hickory, 7:00 p.m.
Former West Middlesex coordinators will lead the respective teams into Friday night's playoff battle in Hermitage. West Middlesex native Joel Murray, formerly the Big Reds' offensive coordinator, is in his second season as Cochranton head coach. On the Big Reds' sideline, West Middlesex High product Mark Means is in his first season as head coach after a lengthy stint as defensive coordinator.
West Middlesex posted a five-win improvement over last season under Means' guidance. The 7-2 Big Reds feature one of Mercer County's top defensive units as West Middlesex yields only 12.2 points and 179.3 yards per game.
Last week, West Middlesex held Sharpsville's dynamic passing game to 138 yards, 87 yards below the Blue Devils' season average. However, five turnovers doomed the Big Reds, who dropped a 35-19 verdict to Sharpsville.
West Middlesex quarterback Jake Bowen completed 19 of 34 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Senior split end Kaz Hoffman caught both touchdown strikes and finished the game with 71 yards on six catches. Junior halfback Zeb Rubaker had a career-high eight catches for 57 yards. Hoffman leads the Big Reds with 21 catches for 402 yards. He is second in Mercer County in yards per catch (19.1). Rubaker now has 17 catches.
Senior fullback Clayton Parrish ranks third in the area with 1,138 rushing yards. His 16 rushing touchdowns also rank third in the county. Parrish (3,523 career yards) continues to close in on Eric Lucich's career record of 3,798 yards, set in 2014.
After an 0-5 start, Cochranton closed the regular season by winning three of its last four games. Cochranton won a defensive struggle in Week Eight, an 8-7 thriller over Crawford County foe Cambridge Springs. In the regular season finale, Cochranton piled up 503 offensive yards in a 50-34 home win over Eisenhower.
Cochranton quarterback Kohl Bernarding ran for 239 yards while halfback Curtis Freyermuth added 90 yards and two touchdowns. Freyermuth also threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jon Gallo.
Freyermuth leads Cochranton with 646 rushing yards and five touchdowns in eight games. Bernarding is second on the team with 600 rushing yards and leads the Redbirds with 14 touchdown runs. He has also thrown for 917 yards. Gallo leads Cochranton with 282 receiving yards on 17 catches while Garrett Long leads Cochranton with 19 catches, good for 262 yards.
West Middlesex's 33-0 home win September 21 over Cochranton marked the second of the Big Reds' four shutouts this year. Parrish ran for 153 yards while halfback Jason Davis added 42 yards on the ground. Bowen threw for 73 yards and two touchdowns but also had three passes intercepted.
For Cochranton, Bernarding threw for 79 yards and rushed for 19 yards. Freyermuth missed the game due to injury. West Middlesex outgained Cochranton, 346-108.
West Middlesex is 18-8 all-time in the District 10 playoffs. Cochranton is 1-8 all-time in the District 10 playoffs. The lone win came October 31, 2003 at Meadville -- a 38-17 win over Sharpsville. Last season, West Middlesex rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to down Cochranton, 16-2, in the District 10 quarterfinals. Parrish ran for 114 yards and a pair of two-point conversions.
That marked the first postseason meeting between the teams since November 8, 2013, when West Middlesex earned a 46-32 win in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals. In 2003, West Middlesex defeated Cochranton for the D-10 title in overtime, 7-6.
This is the first game on artificial turf for each team in 2018. West Middlesex's last win on turf came in the playoffs last year against Cochranton. Cochranton last won on artificial turf October 4, 2013, when the Cardinals won 20-7 at Iroquois.
Friday's winner will play Union City in the District 10 semifinals next week.
The game can be heard on 790 WPIC.