One team will be able to climb out of the Mid Penn Commonwealth cellar after Friday night.
Chambersburg (2-5, 0-4 MPC) travels to Landis Field in Harrisburg to take on Central Dauphin East (2-5, 0-4 MPC) at 7 p.m. in contest that looks even on paper.
“It’s a game we can win, but we can’t just go out there expecting it,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “East has some good athletes. They won a couple of games early, and they’ve had some blowout losses (to State College and Harrisburg) recently.”
The Panthers’ offense will offer a completely different look than Altoona did the week before. East will spread it out and try to throw short passes to get their athletes into space with the ball, so they are not a power running team.
Chambersburg did well stopping Altoona’s fullback dive last week, but had issues against the wide pitches.
“Avery Kuhns had a lot of good plays against that dive, and used good technique,,” Luther said. “All the linemen did well.”
The Panthers will likely use two quarterbacks: Terrence Jackson-Copney is primarily a runner and Matthew Hiller is used more for passing. The offensive line is fairly young, with a freshman in the starting lineup.
On defense, CD East does some gambling. They will send linebackers on most plays and hope the pressure disrupts the offense.
Luther said, “Some games — and we expect it will be that way against us — some guys are real aggressive and they’ll play man-to-man coverage. No. 55 (Vincent Jackson-Carroll) is 6-5, 270 and he gets off the football well and creates some havoc. We’ll have to know where he is, because he lines up in different places.
“Their aggression has worked against them sometimes when the other team hit for some big plays. That’s what we hope to do.”
Luther said his team used Monday’s practice to get over the 27-23 loss to Altoona, a game the Trojans led all the way until the final 21 seconds.
“We watched film of the end of that game and we tried to explain to them that they were in position to win that game, but they just didn’t finish,” Luther said. “Like on Altoona’s next-to-last scoring drive, we tackled them behind the line and they would have had third and about 12, but we were called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“That’s about 20 yards different, plus a fresh set of downs. And on the next play, we dropped an interception. If either of those go the other way, we probably win that game.”
After four straight defeats, and Harrisburg and State College still on the schedule, the Trojans hope they can find a way to win this one.
NOTES: Trojan leaders: Passing — Riley Harmon 70-113, 776 yards, 7 TDs, 3 int.; Jermere Jones 22-35, 160 yards, 1 TD … Rushing — Dayre Senft 64-261; Jones 28-172, 2 TDs … Receiving — J.J. Kelly 24-321, 5 TDs; Rhaigeon Parker 19-310, 2 TDs; Andy Jean 25-174, 4 TDs … The Trojans are scoring 20 points per game; opponents are scoring 25.6.