When Chambersburg hosts Central Dauphin East in a Mid Penn Commonwealth football game Friday night at 7 p.m., count on one skill being plentiful on the field — speed.
The Panthers have it. Wide receiver/running back Shawn Brown was the PIAA state champion in the 100 dash last spring. And Brown and running back Bryce Baker were members of the East 4 x 100 relay team that was a state runner-up.
But the Trojans’ speed resume is just about as good. Safety/WR Tyeshawn Worrell placed fourth in the 100, and he and defensive back/RB Jayden Jones were on the 4 x 100 relay team that finished seventh.
Somebody could organize a pretty good mini track meet at halftime.
So it will be up to the defenses to keep all of that explosive potential under wraps.
“They’re the kind of team that scares you,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said, “because they have some really athletic kids. It was a back-and-forth shootout with them last year (26-20 Trojan win) and we gave up a lot of yards.
“If we’re not focused and stay disciplined on defense, some bad things could happen.”
Baker is CD East’s workhorse tailback, with 80 carries for 715 yards and six touchdowns. Brown, who missed last week’s 48-7 loss to State College, has only six runs for 62 yards and six catches for 14 yards, but he is dangerous.
“We’ve seen them put Brown in at Wildcat before, and wouldn’t be surprised by that this week,” Luther said.
Zavia Flickinger is the Panther quarterback, and he’s hit on only 37% of his passes (17-for-45), for 463 yards. He’s thrown for four scores, but has been picked off nine times.
The top receiver is Khisahn Lester. He’s made only six catches, but those six have covered 211 yards for two TDs, an astounding average of 35.2 yards per catch.
Luther said, “They will throw the ball a little more than the last three or four teams we’ve played. But when they throw, they’ll throw it more vertical — they get it down the field and hope their athletes can make a play on it.”
The Chambersburg defense has been up to the task, holding four of its six opponents to fewer than 250 yards, and allowing only 16.2 points per game. The Trojans came up with two fumbles and had two interceptions in last week’s 30-0 win over Cumberland Valley.
Cornerback Kevin Lee was a big part of the defense last week. In addition to having one catch and several good blocks on offense, Lee made several tackles for a loss.
“He made some really nice plays on the edge when CV tried to bump a run outside,” Luther said. “We were trying to force their off-tackle plays to the outside and Kevin came up and had some tackles behind the line.”
Luther believes his team has put last week’s win behind them.
“It was a great win for the program,” he said. “To put 30 points up on CV and shut them out, I was very proud of our players. But I think we’ve moved on and we need to be ready for CD East.”
NOTES: The Panthers have beaten Lower Dauphin and Altoona, while losing to Manheim Township, Archbishop Wood, Harrisburg and State College … All four of those defeats are to teams ranked in the top 15 in the state … The intentional grounding call last week on QB Brady Stumbaugh when he spiked the ball was called because he bobbled the ball and it hit the ground before he spiked it, according to what officials told Luther … Keyshawn Jones ran for 299 yards last year against East.
TROJAN LEADERS: Passing — Stumbaugh 53-for-103 (51%), 794 yards, 9 TDs, 5 int. … Rushing — Keyshawn Jones 80-533, 7 TDs; Stumbaugh 55-285, 2 TDs; Jayden Jones 24-191, 5 TDs … Receiving — Tyler Luther 17-240, 3 TDs; Terell Williams 10-185, 5 TDs; Sam Vessah 8-103; K.Jones 8-34 … Kicking — Tyler Luther 21-21 extra points, 4-6 FGs … Sacks — Tyrion Hodges 5, Williams 3 … Fumble recoveries — Carter Sollenberger 3.