The Chambersburg football team has one chance left to avoid a winless season when it hosts rival Carlisle on Friday at 7 p.m.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, they will not be anywhere near full strength, especially on defense.
“We’re really struggling with injuries,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said.
“We’re just trying to get by. We just don’t have the depth we need, especially with the big guys. Every week it seems like the other team has 30 to 40 big linemen and we have about 10.”
That depth will be tested by the Thundering Herd, which is 4-0 in non-league games and 0-5 in the Mid Penn Commonwealth. Carlisle, like the Trojans, has given up a ton of points (70 to State College, 65 to Central Dauphin), but has been more competitive in other games.
Chambersburg (0-9, 0-5 MPC) will be without at least two starters on defense — linebacker Andrew Shetter and safety Brady Stumbaugh. LB/DB Clay Myers and DB Justin Reichenbach both missed last week and hope to be able to play Friday.
“It’s Clay’s last game, so I hope he can play a full game,” Luther said.
Chambersburg will start at least five sophomores, with plenty more getting a lot of playing time.
The Trojan defense, with its ranks pared down, has had trouble making stops recently. And the Herd does have some good weapons.
Gavyn Barnes is the team’s top athlete and he has moved from wide receiver to quarterback. So far, he has completed only 19 of 51 passes for 283 yards and one score, but he’s very dangerous as a runner.
Luther said, “Barnes is the key to their whole system, because everything revolves around him. They will run him a lot, and we need to contain him.”
Joe Mastrangelo, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound receiver (21 catches, 327 yards, 2 TDs) is Carlisle’s top target, at least since Barnes moved to QB. Tristyn Sulich (556 yards, 7 TDs) and Rojen Porcopio (324) are the top runners.
On defense, the Herd will play a 3-5-3 formation.
“Their linebackers are very aggressive,” Luther said. “They’ll probably jam us up outside and bring pressure, just like everybody else has been doing.”
Although Chambersburg was crushed by State College last week, the Trojans did have their best output on offense, with 341 yards. Quarterback Tyler Collier had his best game, running for 119 yards on 20 carries and completing 8 of 14 passes for 86 yards and two TDs.
NOTES: Trojan leaders: Passing — Collier 35-for-85, 514 yards, 4 TDs, 5 int.; Brady Stumbaugh 35-for-81, 365 yards, 4 TDs, 3 int. … Receiving — Seth Brouse 20-198, 2 TDs; Devin Carbaugh 12-211, 5 TDs; Justin Reichenbach 9-89; Cota Heckman 9-85, 1 TD … Rushing — Keyshawn Jones 106-564, 5 TDs; Clay Myers 38-147.