(Statistical Information Courtesy of Professor Briggs' archives, The Herald and Erie Times-News)
WEEK FIVE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
The Mercer County area's 13 teams enter the homestretch of the shortened 2020 regular season this weekend. Five games will be played Friday night, with the other two battles scheduled for Saturday evening.
Several games have playoff implications as District 10 will award four berths in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A. Hickory sewed up the Region 3 (3A) title and a playoff berth with its win last week at Grove City. Reynolds clinched at least a share of the Region 1 (1A) crown last week and will clinch the outright title with a win Friday night at Mercer. In Class 2A, Wilmington and Farrell have clinched the top two spots. Wilmington clinches Region 2 with a win Saturday night over the Steelers.
In Region 4, that conference's two Class 2A teams meet Saturday night in Albion, when 2-2 Lakeview visits 4-0 Northwestern. Northwestern has clinched the top 2A spot from that region but Lakeview could further solidify its standing for one of the remaining berths with a victory Saturday night.
Grove City at Slippery Rock, 7:00 p.m.
Slippery Rock (1-3) hosts Grove City (2-2) in the Rockets' home finale for the 2020 season. With several Class 3A teams in contention through District 10 for a possible at-large playoff berth, it is a must-win game for both teams. Grove City fell to 2-2 last week with a 28-7 home setback to Hickory. Meanwhile, Slippery Rock dropped its third straight game as the Rockets fell at Sharon, 31-20.
Grove City will be without senior quarterback Logan Breese, who had knee surgery earlier in the week. He has completed 56 of 98 passes for 745 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He also has two rushing touchdowns. Breese went over the 3,000-yard mark for his career in Week Three at Sharon. He has 3,154 career passing yards.
Junior Zach Rodgers or freshman Hunter Hohman will likely start behind center Friday night. Rodgers has attempted four passes in his varsity career. He has started at slot receiver and free safety this year for the Eagles. Hohman has not taken a varsity snap.
Breese's absence will undoubtedly put a greater focus on Grove City's rushing attack. Junior Curtis Hovis leads the Eagles with 329 rushing yards and sophomore Anthony Nemec has added 192 yards. Both men have scored three touchdowns. Hovis ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns in Grove City's 34-21 home win over Slippery Rock in Week Two. Nemec added 90 yards and a score. Breese went 17 of 22 for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
Hickory held Grove City to 197 yards on 60 offensive plays last week. Hovis ran for 38 yards and Nemec netted 36 yards. Junior wide receiver Anthony Pereira caught six passes for 63 yards.
Pereira ranks second in the county with 22 receptions, 373 receiving yards and four touchdown catches. Hovis leads the county with 81 rushing attempts. He ranks fifth locally in rushing yardage.
Slippery Rock trailed 17-7 at halftime last week at Sharon before rallying to take a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. Ryan Montgomery hauled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from William Mokel early in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 17-14. Following a Sharon fumble, Shane Thompson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard run.
Thompson opened the scoring by returning a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Montgomery led Slippery Rock with five catches for 87 yards. Mokel completed 13 of 26 passes for 181 yards. He did throw three interceptions, however. Sharon held the Rockets to 22 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Slippery Rock went 2 for 10 on third down.
After going 11 for 16 on third down three weeks ago at Grove City, Slippery Rock has converted only 3 of its last 21 third-down situations.
Both teams have struggled defensively on third down this season. Grove City allows opponents to convert 51.0 percent (26 of 51) while Slippery Rock has allowed a 51.1-percent conversion rate (24 for 47) on third down.
Mokel ranks third in the area in passing yards (631) and pass completions (55). Montgomery has moved into the area's top 10 with 12 receptions and 155 receiving yards. He ranks 10th in both categories. Junior wide receiver John Sabo also has 12 catches and senior Ethan Plesakov has pulled in 11 balls. Slippery Rock and Hickory are the only two area teams to have three players with 10 or more receptions this season.
Plesakov caught nine passes for 98 yards and a touchdown in September 18 meeting at Grove City. Mokel completed 20 of 35 passes for 212 yards. Thompson ran for 52 yards and a score while Montgomery added 40 rushing yards.
That game featured 145 total offensive plays and 50 combined first downs. Grove City held a 27-23 edge in first downs.
Grove City leads the all-time series 25-11. The Eagles have won six straight games against Slippery Rock and 13 of the last 16 meetings. The teams first met in the 1976 season finale as Grove City downed Slippery Rock, 29-20. Grove City is 11-4 at Slippery Rock High School.
The teams split two regular season meetings at Slippery Rock University. In 2014, Slippery Rock earned a 47-21 win September 12 over Grove City at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium. Grove City defeated Slippery Rock, 27-0, September 14, 1985 at SRU. That game preceded the Slippery Rock University-Wayne State (Mich.) game.
The game will be heard on Sports Radio 96.7. Live stats available here.
Sharon at Hickory, 7:00 p.m.
After sweeping a three-game road trip, Hickory (4-0) hosts Shenango Valley rival Sharon (1-3) in the first of two straight home games for the Hornets. Hickory has already clinched the Region 3 title and a playoff berth. A win Friday night would significantly boost Sharon's postseason hopes.
Hickory wrapped up the conference crown last Friday night by earning a 28-7 victory at Grove City. The Hickory defense forced three turnovers and carried a shutout deep into the fourth quarter of the win. Senior strong safety Matt Cannone picked off a pair of passes while junior free safety Ramarion Whitehead also recorded an interception. Meanwhile, Hickory's front seven held Grove City's rushing attack to 88 yards on 35 attempts.
Cannone and Whitehead also made notable contributions on offense as each caught a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Michael Henwood. Senior tight end Rocco Iacino also hauled in a touchdown catch and added a one-yard touchdown run. Whitehead finished the night with seven catches for 172 yards, Iacino totaled four catches for 53 yards and Cannone gained 60 yards on his two catches.
Henwood posted his second consecutive 300-yard outing as he threw for 303 yards on 16-of-29 accuracy. He is the first Mercer County quarterback with consecutive 300-yard passing games since October 7-14, 2016, when Grove City's Kameron Patterson achieved the feat against DuBois and Fairview in successive weeks.
Henwood continues to lead the area with 1,108 passing yards, 14 touchdown passes, 64 completions and 1,282 total offensive yards. Last week, he became Hickory's all-time leading passer with 3,520 career yards. He passed both Luke Brennan (3,437 yards) and Frank Triggiani (3,408) in last week's victory. (Historical numbers courtesy of Bob Greenburg)
Each of Hickory's top three pass catchers leads the area in a significant receiving category. Whitehead leads the county with 24 receptions and 446 receiving yards. Cannone paces the area with five touchdown receptions. He has 13 catches for 202 yards overall. Iacino averages a county-best 19.4 yards per reception as he has gained 271 yards on his 14 catches.
Junior tailback Clay Wiesen leads Hickory with 309 rushing yards, the area's No. 7 total. Hickory is the only area team to score on every trip inside the opponents' 20-yard line this year. The Hornets are 14 for 14, including 13 touchdowns.
Defensively, Hickory ranks second in the area in scoring defense (11.0 points per game) and second in yards allowed per play (3.2). Hickory has held opponents to an area-low 22 percent (11 of 50) on third down. The Hornets have not allowed a point in the first quarter this year.
Sharon broke into the win column in Week Four by rallying for a 31-20 victory over visiting Slippery Rock at Sharon Tiger Stadium. Sharon led 17-7 at halftime but saw that lead turn into a 20-17 deficit in the third quarter.
However, junior wide receiver Ja'On Phillips caught a go-ahead five-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Brett Salsgiver late in the third quarter. Senior halfback Tyvell Richardson sealed the win with a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.
Since shifting to a Wing-T attack earlier in the season, Sharon produced its most productive and most balanced offensive outing of the season last week. Led by Richardson's 113-yard outing, Sharon finished with 172 rushing yards. Salsgiver completed 11 of 16 passes for a season-high 137 yards. He and fullback Labrae Norris also ran for touchdowns. Phillips caught eight passes for 52 yards.
Phillips, Labron Wilder and Shane Rowe all intercepted passes to help lead the Sharon defense. The Tigers yielded only seven first downs and 22 rushing yards.
A standout kick returner, in addition to his duties at receiver and cornerback, Phillips ranks sixth in the area with 463 all-purpose yards. He ranks third in the area with 19 receptions. Salsgiver has only thrown one interception in his 68 pass attempts, which is the lowest interception rate among area passers with 30 or more attempts.
Friday's game features the only two area kickers to have converted a field goal this season. Sharon's Jake Auchter is 3 for 3 on field goals while Hickory rookie Lukas Jones is 1 for 1. Jones leads the area with 24 kick points. He is 21 of 23 on extra points. Auchter leads the area in extra point percentage as he is 8 for 8 on conversions this year.
Following a 7-7 halftime tie, Hickory pulled away for a 48-16 win at Sharon in the season's second week. Henwood ran for 132 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for 198 yards and three scores. Cannone caught five passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Phillips returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown for Sharon. Salsgiver ran for 63 yards and added 52 passing yards. Norris caught a touchdown pass. Richardson and senior linebacker Braelin Hawkins both picked off passes.
Sharon leads the all-time series 39-14-1. The teams have met in the regular season every year since 1981. The teams first met in 1959.
The game can be heard on 790 WPIC.
Reynolds at Mercer, 7:00 p.m.
It is fitting that in the 60th anniversary season of Reynolds High School football, the Raiders will make a trip to the school that hosted the Raiders' first-ever varsity game. Mercer defeated Reynolds, 55-0, at the Lamor Road facility September 23, 1960.
While Friday night's Reynolds-Mercer game may not have the same level of historical significance as that 1960 clash, the game carries plenty of importance for both teams. Reynolds clinches the outright Region 1 title with a victory. The Raiders are also aiming for their first 5-0 start in 15 seasons.
Meanwhile, Mercer remains mathematically alive for a share of the region title with a victory over the Raiders. Mercer would also improve its chances of earning a District 10 Class 1A playoff berth by winning Friday night.
Both teams used strong second-half performances last week to earn league wins. Reynolds pulled away from visiting West Middlesex for a 36-14 victory. Reynolds scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to sew up the win. Mercer forced four turnovers in the second half in turning a 6-0 halftime lead into a 26-0 triumph last Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Catholic.
The Raiders' four starting offensive backs combined for nearly 300 rushing yards and five touchdowns against West Middlesex. Senior Dreyvin Livingston paced Reynolds with 98 yards, including an 84-yard touchdown run. Sophomore quarterback Brayden McCloskey ran for a career-high 80 yards and a score while senior Cole Toy added 75 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Senior fullback Aidan Mull scored on a 33-yard run and finished with 45 yards.
Overall, the Raiders ran for 307 yards. Reynolds finished with 351 offensive yards and owned a 13-minute edge in possession time.
Toy and Livingston both intercepted passes while special teams ace Quinton Earley recovered a fumbled kickoff. Rocco John-Daniello recorded two sacks and fellow defensive end Luke Faber added a sack.
Toy ranks second in Mercer County with 11 touchdowns and 66 points. His 529 rushing yards also rank No. 2 locally. Livingston has moved into eighth place in the area with 256 rushing yards. Livingston averages 10.2 yards per carry. He is fifth in the area with 37 points.
Successfully running the ball and stopping the run have been two tenets of football coaches since the sport's beginnings. Reynolds excels in both areas. The Raiders lead the county with 22 rushing touchdowns as a team. Overall, Reynolds averages 322.8 rushing yards per game, the second-best figure in the area. Defensively, Reynolds allows a county-low 70.2 rushing yards per game.
Mercer forced seven turnovers last week at Kennedy Catholic, which gives the Mustangs a county-best 14 takeaways. Junior cornerback Donovan Pugh intercepted two passes while Jake Badger, Aidan Bright and Caiden Ferguson also picked off passes. Bright also returned a fumbled punt snap 22 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Bright ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns at Kennedy. He also caught three passes for 33 yards. Junior quarterback Ethan Wiley completed 5 of 10 passes for 46 yards.
Bright moved into sixth place in the county with 325 rushing yards. He ranks third with nine total touchdowns and 56 points. He has scored on two punt returns, a fumble return and an interception return this year, along with five rushing touchdowns. For his career, Bright now has 2,119 yards from scrimmage -- 1,399 rushing yards and 720 receiving yards on 45 catches.
Mercer and Reynolds share the county lead in turnover margin at plus-7. Reynolds forced two turnovers September 18 against visiting Mercer to help the Raiders roll to a 47-0 victory. Reynolds scored on its first five possessions of the night. Toy helped pace Reynolds with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns while Livingston added 74 yards and a score. McCloskey threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jalen Wagner.
Wagner helped highlight the second half with a 35-yard interception return to the end zone. John-Daniello, Faber and Mitchell Mason all had sacks for Reynolds.
Wiley completed 5 of 11 passes for 65 yards. Junior halfback Logan Turton caught two balls for 27 yards. Bright led the ground attack with 46 yards.
Reynolds has won seven straight in the series and has won 22 of 31 all-time meetings with the Mustangs. Reynolds has won three straight meetings at Mercer. Mercer's last home win over Reynolds came November 1, 2013 as the Mustangs pulled out a 32-28 win. The Raiders are 10-5 all-time at Mercer, including an 8-4 mark at the Mercer High School field.
Reynolds has started 5-0 on nine different occasions: 1962, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1988, 1991, 1995 and 2005.
Kennedy Catholic at West Middlesex, 7:00 p.m.
West Middlesex closes its 2020 home schedule Friday night by hosting longtime rival Kennedy Catholic. The Big Reds are battling for a potential Class 1A District 10 playoff berth while improving Kennedy looks to earn a season split with West Middlesex.
Turnovers foiled both teams last week in their respective Region 1 setbacks. West Middlesex turned over the ball three times in a 36-14 defeat at Reynolds. Meanwhile, Kennedy Catholic committed seven turnovers in its 26-0 home loss to Mercer.
Defense ruled the first West Middlesex-Kennedy meeting September 19 at Butala Stadium in Hermitage. The Golden Eagles forced two turnovers, tallied four sacks and held West Middlesex to 204 offensive yards on 59 plays. Meanwhile, West Middlesex's defense opened the scoring when junior linebacker Ian Smith recorded a safety. The Big Reds held Kennedy to one first down and minus-34 yards in a 10-0 victory.
Smith ran for 107 yards while sophomore wingback Colby Johnson scored the game's lone touchdown on an 11-yard run in the third quarter. Senior split end Chris Smith caught four passes for a game-high 66 yards.
Johnson scored on a career-long 68-yard touchdown run last week at Reynolds while Chris Smith opened the Big Reds' scoring with a 21-yard touchdown catch from senior quarterback Ty Tate. Tate threw for a career-best 168 yards on 12-of-21 passing. Senior wingback Alex Rea recorded five catches for 50 yards while Johnson had a game-high 60 receiving yards on three receptions.
Tate ranks fourth in the area with 426 passing yards. He has completed 35 of 59 (59 percent) of his passes this season. No quarterback has more rushing attempts than Tate's 47 carries. Chris Smith is second locally in yards per catch, averaging 18.8 yards on his nine catches. His 169 yards receiving place him sixth in the local rankings.
After struggling through the first half of the season, Kennedy Catholic's ground game gained traction against Mercer as running back Matt Jordan ran for a season-high 109 yards on 26 carries. Senior wide receiver Sky'Ler Thomas grabbed five passes for 48 yards and sophomore Dajaun Young caught three Nick Ondo aerials for 34 yards.
Thomas and Young continue to rank among the area's receiving leaders. Thomas is fifth in the area with 184 receiving yards on his 12 catches while Young ranks fifth in the county with 17 receptions. Ondo, a sophomore, ranks sixth with 400 passing yards.
Kennedy leads the all-time series 24-15. West Middlesex has won 10 straight meetings, however. This is the seventh time that Kennedy and West Middlesex will play multiple times in the same season, whether two regular season games or once in the regular season and once in the playoffs. The team that won the first game is 6-0 in the rematch.
The teams played twice in the regular season each year from 1992 to 1995. Kennedy defeated West Middlesex in the 2005 regular season, then eliminated the Big Reds in the District 10 Class A semifinals. The next year, West Middlesex turned the tables on Kennedy, winning in both the regular season and the D-10 semifinals.
Greenville at Sharpsville, 7:00 p.m.
Sharpsville returns to McCracken Field for a season-ending two-game homestand. Friday night, the Blue Devils host longtime rival Greenville in the 77th all-time meeting of a series that dates back 110 years. The 1-3 Blue Devils remain in contention for one of the four Class 2A playoff berths in District 10 but Sharpsville likely needs to defeat Greenville to stay in the playoff race.
Sharpsville already owns one win over Greenville this season, a 14-12 road win September 18 at Stewart Field. Kicker Liam Campbell went 2 for 2 on extra points while Greenville missed both of its conversions, accounting for the margin of victory.
Versatile senior Danny Henwood gave Sharpsville a 7-6 lead with a 68-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter of the first meeting. Following a bad Greenville punt snap, Sharpsville sophomore quarterback Stephen Tarnoci scored on a one-year sneak. Henwood ran for a career-high 115 yards on 10 carries. Junior fullback Chris Roth added 65 yards on a season-high 19 attempts. Henwood and Zack Tedrow both intercepted passes for the Blue Devils.
Junior running back Levi Swartz ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns for Greenville. Senior wide receiver Rufus Byler caught six passes for 59 yards. Lane Fry, Griffin Richardson and Cole Karpinski all had quarterback sacks for the Trojans.
Greenville opened the second half of the regular season last week with a 48-6 setback to Wilmington. Freshman fullback Malachi Hyde ran for 61 yards on 13 carries to help pace Greenville. Junior quarterback Jalen Ritzert went 4 of 10 for 70 yards and a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jase Herrick.
Byler ranks seventh in the county with 13 pass receptions. He also ranks ninth with 156 receiving yards. Ritzert is ninth with 225 passing yards.
Henwood scored on a 25-yard touchdown run with 8:27 left in the first quarter to help Sharpsville take a 7-6 lead at Farrell. The Steelers rattled off 45 unanswered points, however, to complete a season sweep of Sharpsville.
Sharpsville lost fumbles twice in Farrell territory and also turned over the ball on downs twice on Farrell's side of midfield. Henwood ran for 90 yards while Roth finished with 53 yards. Tedrow chipped in a season-high 45 rushing yards as Sharpsville finished with 210 rushing yards. Tarnoci and fellow sophomore Caullin Summers both saw time at quarterback.
Henwood has accumulated 452 all-purpose yards this year, the No. 7 total in the area. He leads Sharpsville with 242 rushing yards, seven receptions and 73 receiving yards.
Sharpsville is the least-penalized team in the area, having been flagged 13 times for 82 yards in four games. Greenville ranks third in the area in fewest penalties (19) and total penalty yards (143).
Greenville owns a 39-35-2 edge in the all-time series. Greenville won the first meeting in 1910, 17-0. The teams began playing regularly in 1922 and the series remained uninterrupted from 1927 to 1982. In 1983, Bradford joined the Northwest Conference, causing Greenville's schedule to be reconfigured. A common open date could not be found, so Sharpsville filled its open date that year with Franklin.
Sharpsville and Greenville then played each year from 1984 to 1989. The series then resumed in 2014 and 2015 with non-conference games. The schools have been league foes for the last five seasons.
Farrell at Wilmington, 7:00 p.m.
Wilmington carries a 20-game regular-season winning streak and a 21-game home winning streak into Saturday night's rematch with two-time defending Class 1A state champion Farrell. Wilmington (4-0) and Farrell (3-1) have clinched the top two spots in Region 2 Class 2A. A Wilmington win gives the Greyhounds the outright region title.
Both teams had strong first halves last week in their respective victories, erasing any notion that they might have been looking ahead to this Saturday night's game. Wilmington scored 27 first-quarter points on the way to a 48-6 win at Greenville. Meanwhile, Farrell rolled past visiting Sharpsville, 51-7, thanks to 37 unanswered points in the first half.
Farrell junior tailback Anthony Stallworth ran for six touchdowns, setting what is believed to be Farrell's single-game record. He ran for 243 yards on only 13 attempts. Stallworth moved into first place on Mercer County's rushing list this season with his performance against Sharpsville. He has 605 yards and a county-high 13 rushing touchdowns through four games. Stallworth leads the county with 14 touchdowns and 86 total points.
Quarterbacks Christian Hartley and Trian Holden combined to complete 7 of 8 passes for 156 yards. Hartley and Holden alternated possessions last week against Sharpsville and both are expected to again see action Saturday night. Hartley has completed 24 of 35 (68.6 percent) of his passes while Holden is 12 of 16 (75 percent) for 203 yards.
Farrell quarterbacks lead the county in completion percentage (69.2) and yards per attempt (12.0). They have combined for a pass efficiency rating of 203.1 (NCAA formula), which ranks second locally. The leader in that category? Wilmington.
Wilmington has only attempted 26 passes out of its 166 total offensive plays this season. But when the Greyhounds have gone to the air, it has paid off. Senior quarterback Caelan Bender is 13 of 26 for 292 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He averages a county-best 22.5 yards per pass completion through the first month of the season.
Bender completed 6 of 7 attempts for 155 yards and three touchdowns last week at Greenville. He threw touchdown passes to senior split end Mason Reed, senior halfback Ethan Susen and junior halfback Luke Edwards.
The efficient passing game complements Wilmington's strong ground attack. Wilmington backs average 10.5 yards per carry and 367.5 yards per game this year. Susen averages 14.8 yards per carry, Bender nets 10.5 yards per attempt and senior fullback Darren Miller averages 10.2 yards per rush.
Susen sits third in the county with 475 rushing yards, one spot ahead of Miller (356 yards). Both have rushed for six touchdowns. Bender has added 230 rushing yards and four scores. Susen also ranks second to Farrell's Stallworth in all-purpose yardage. Susen has 679 yards, trailing Stallworth by 12 yards in that category.
Susen leads the county with four interceptions defensively.
Wilmington and Farrell rank first and second, respectively, in fewest turnovers among the area's 13 teams. Wilmington has only two turnovers while Farrell has turned over the ball three times this year. Two of Farrell's three turnovers came in Wilmington's 41-20 win September 11 at Farrell.
Wilmington led 27-20 late in the third quarter but Farrell drove to the Wilmington 5. On third-and-goal, Bender ended the scoring threat by intercepting Hartley in the end zone.
Susen ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Miller posted 118 yards and a score. Bender recorded 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Susen finished the game with 286 all-purpose yards. Stallworth ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting. He also caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Hartley and finished with 187 yards from scrimmage. Hartley went 7 of 14 for 112 yards.
The teams have split their previous 12 all-time meetings. Farrell won the first meeting, 22-12, September 5, 1986 at Farrell. The teams met as Tri-County A opponents in District 7 from 1986 to 1991. Wilmington moved to Class AA in 1992, then joined District 10 prior to the 1994 season. Farrell played in D-10 from 1982 to 1985 in the Keystone Football League.
In 1988, Wilmington earned a 36-7 win at Farrell in the regular season, then defeated the Steelers five weeks later for the District 7 title, 10-7, at Three Rivers Stadium.
Wilmington last lost at home October 16, 2015, when Hickory earned a 42-7 non-conference win. Two weeks earlier, Farrell defeated homestanding Wilmington, 37-6, in Class A action. That is Wilmington's last home loss to a league foe.
Lakeview at Northwestern, 7:00 p.m.
The Farrell-Wilmington game Saturday night is not the only game involving a local team that has Class 2A playoff implications. Lakeview visits undefeated Northwestern in a matchup of Region 4's two Class 2A squads. This is the league finale for both teams, thus, Northwestern has clinched the region title. However, Lakeview can strengthen its case for a District 10 playoff berth with a win Saturday night in Albion.
Lakeview closed its home schedule last Friday night by holding off Saegertown, 22-12. Junior quarterback Gavin Murdock helped seal the win with a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 62 rushing yards. Junior Calogano Wilkins led Lakeview with a career-high 105 yards on 16 carries. Seniors Isaac Devault and Damon Kerr also ran for touchdowns. Lakeview finished the game with 254 rushing yards.
Defensively, the Sailors recorded their second safety of the season and limited Saegertown to 196 total yards.
Murdock leads county quarterbacks with 240 rushing yards this year. He has also thrown for 303 yards. Wilkins now ranks second on the team with 165 rushing yards and senior Kendall Crocker - injured early in the Saegertown fray - has totaled 127 rushing yards. Senior Hunter Miller leads the receiving corps with 10 receptions.
Northwestern clinched the region title last Friday night by earning a 25-8 win at Cambridge Springs in a matchup of undefeated squads. Quarterback Ryan Tewell went 9 of 14 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. Running back Austin Swift paced the Wildcats with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Tewell has completed 32 of 57 (56.1 percent) passes for 396 yards and four touchdowns. He has only been intercepted once. Tewell also has 176 rushing yards and a team-leading four touchdown runs. Swift leads Northwestern with 406 rushing yards.
Northwestern allows only 5.5 points and 135.3 offensive yards per game. Northwestern owns shutout wins over Saegertown (51-0) and Cochranton (20-0).
Both Lakeview and Northwestern played overtime games against Maplewood this year. In Week Three, Lakeview fell at Maplewood in overtime, 30-22. Northwestern opened the season with a 17-14 overtime win over visiting Maplewood.
Northwestern leads the all-time series, 3-0. The teams met twice last year. Northwestern earned a 30-14 home win October 4, then blanked Lakeview, 33-0, in the District 10 Class 2A quarterfinals three weeks later. In 2018, Northwestern escaped Lakeview with an 11-3 win.
Lakeview played its first full varsity football schedule in 1966. From 1966 to 1970, Lakeview played District 7's Northwestern High School yearly in Tri-County League play. Lakeview went 2-3 against Darlington-based Northwestern, which became part of the newly-created Blackhawk High School in 1973.
Next week, Lakeview will visit Cambridge Springs in a rematch of the season opener. That game will not count toward the Region 4 standings.