Football preview: Trojans, Herd have plenty of skill players

If you enjoy seeing a lot of offense in a high school football game, the contest at Trojan Stadium on Friday night might be to your liking.

Carlisle comes to town sporting a 2-2 record (0-1 MPC), having scored 34.5 points per game. Chambersburg (2-2, 0-1 MPC), which will host the Thundering Herd at Trojan Stadium at 7 p.m. in a Mid Penn Commonwealth tussle, has put up 24 per game, including 35 at Central Dauphin last week.

Riley Harmon

It will be the 107th meeting between the old rivals.

“They have some really good skill position players,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said, “and they have put points on the board.”

The Herd beat Mechanicsburg and Governor Mifflin impressively to start the season, then dropped a 54-47 verdict to York High, and fell 44-15 to Harrisburg last week.

Luther said, “They have a good team and they play hard, and if you give them some space you could be in big trouble.”

Quarterback Louis Shank has connected on 30 of 55 passes (55%) for 592 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. The top receivers are Carson Swartz (11-255-2 TDs), Ezeekai Thomas (8-127) and Jeremiah Hargrove (6-121).

The Herd can also run the ball effectively, with Ja’Queece Morrel (30-192, 1 TD), Hargrove (17-123-2) and Marquise Miller (13-117-3). A year ago, Miller ran for 117 yards vs. Chambersburg.

The Trojans had trouble stopping Central Dauphin’s running game last week, especially in the second half when they got tired. Carlisle certainly noticed that on the film.

Luther said, “We just lost steam after a really good third quarter. We want to alleviate that some this week by giving some guys more of a break. We want to limit the number of guys going both ways, and we’ll cross our fingers that it works.”

Quarterback Riley Harmon has taken over the No. 1 spot and he broke out with a fine game last week. Harmon hit on 21 of 29 passes for 233 yards and four scores. For the season, he is 43-for-65 (66%) for 474 yards, five TDs and one pick.

“Riley is starting to understand the system and our approach and who we’re trying to isolate and go to,” Luther said. “When it clicks, you’ll see good results. If you have a quarterback who is feeling it like Riley was last week, he has the skill players to work with to do some damage.

“Last week was one of the best games for a Chambersburg quarterback in a long time.”

Carlisle has played an aggressive defense the past two weeks, with lots of man-to-man coverage and blitzes, and they were burned a few times by York and Harrisburg.

“They didn’t do that in their first two games, so we’re not sure what we’ll see Friday,” Luther said.

He’s hoping if they do, Harmon can find J.J. Kelly (18 catches, 241 yards, 4 TDs), Andy Jean (15-127-2) or Rhaigeon Parker (11-160-1) for long gainers.

NOTES: The game will be liv e streamed on the NFHS network, and the audio will be available on and … Brax and Shea Makosy each led the team with 6 tackles last week … Sedrick Vessah (touchdown) and Alonzo Torres recovered fumbles and Jean picked off a pass … Teegan Humelsine is 13-for-13 on extra point kicks.

Categories: Chambersburg, Football