The mantra for the Chambersburg football team this week was to turn the rear view mirrors completely around, forget about last week and simply focus on this week’s opponent.
The better the Trojans can manage to do that task, then the better game it will be Friday when the Cedar Cliff Colts host Chambersburg at West Shore Stadium at 7 p.m. in a Mid Penn crossover game. The contest will be live streamed on MidPennBroadcasting.com.
The Colts are 3-3 after halting a three-game losing streak with a win over Hershey last week.
Two things must happen for Chambersburg to have a shot at a victory: 1.) The Trojans must be stronger on defense. It was just too easy for Harrisburg to score last week, and although Cedar Cliff’s athletes aren’t as numerous as the Cougars, it does have some good players, and, 2.) Chambersburg must find an effective passing game.
Similar to CD East, the Colts have a triple-threat offensive star in Bobby Whalen. He started the season at quarterback (20-for-39, 274 yards, 4 TDs), but has recently played more at running back (36-179, 3 TDs) and receiver (21-213).
“They’ll line him up at different places and our challenge is to find him and account for him,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said.
“If we let them into a groove running the ball, they’ll make it tough for us, because that’s their M.O. But they have a lot of different looks, everything from power to empty backfields.”
Chris Dare (61-97, 817 yards, 7 TDs, 3 picks) is now playing QB, and the main runner is Mike Dubas (123-592, 7 TDs). Alex Lantz, who is 6-foot-2, is the top receiver with 20 catches for 255 yards and four scores.
Chambersburg’s offense managed a paltry 49 yards last week. The running game, which had been producing yards, was totally bottled up by the Cougars.
Luther said, “Cedar Cliff plays the same kind of defense we’ve seen lately, a 4-4. They like to get you in situations like third down and pressure you. We need to be better on first and second down so we don’t see many of those situations.
“But to avoid that, we have to be able to complete passes downfield. That’s the only way to open up the running game. Heck, they may pressure us on every play and make us beat them passing the ball.”
In the last two games combined, the Trojans have had only 124 passing yards. Last week, only one pass gained more than 10 yards.
Linebacker Donovon Ball is the Colts’ leader on defense, with 68 tackles 3 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss.
NOTES: Clay Myers and his backup at LB and RB, Kyere Morton, are both out with injuries this week … Offensive leaders for the Trojans: Rushing — Keshawn Jones, 71 carries, 414 yards, 3 TDs; Passing — Tyler Collier, 16-for-44, 237 yasrds, 2 TDs, 2 int.; Receiving — Justin Reichard 9-89; Seth Brouse 8-72, 1 TD; Morton 7-68, 1 TD; Devin Carbaugh 6-123, 2 TDs.