Football preview: Trojans take on unbeaten Little Lions

To say the Chambersburg football team has a challenge this Friday night is a bit of an understatement.

The Trojans will host State College in their final game of the season, with the Mid Penn Commonwealth game at Trojan Stadium at 7 p.m.

Rhaigeon Parker

First of all, the Little Lions come in undefeated at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the division. State College is ranked No. 7 in the state among all classes by Max Preps.

Second of all, Chambersburg will be missing some key players in its attempt to pull off a huge upset.

And thirdly, the Trojans have never beaten State College in the 20-some years they have been playing the school.

Those factors will make it a pretty tall task on Friday.

“Hey, they are good,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “You can certainly see why they are undefeated.”

State College faced a challenge last week in a game at home vs. Cumberland Valley, when CV streaked to a 24-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the second quarter. That might have rattled most teams.

However, by halftime, the Little Lions had turned the game on its head and took a 35-24 lead into halftime, and eventually won 48-31.

“They’ve got a good line and a young running back who is quick and elusive,” Luther said. “The quarterback does a nice job. He’s not a big-time thrower, but he can get it downfield, and he’s good at getting out of the pocket.”

The running back is freshman D’antae Sheffey, who has piled up 1,094 yards on 141 carries (7.8 average) and has scored 15 touchdowns. QB Finn Furmanek has connected on 64 of 99 passes (65%) for 1,071 yards, 12 TDs and four interceptions. He’s also run for 383 yards and scored five times.

His top receivers are Donte Nastasi (35-439, 3 TDs) and Ty Salazer (18-488, 5).

On defense, State College has changed schemes, going to a 3-4 front. And that big three-man line includes 330-pounder Justin Castro in the middle, flanked by ends Stephen Scourtis (6-4, 240) and JW Scott (6-3, 240).

Nathaniel Stroman

Luther said, “The kid that anchors the middle, teams have had a difficult time trying to move him. And they always seem to have good defensive ends — they are aggressive and tackle well.”

Chambersburg (3-6, 1-5 MPC) will once again be without the services of QB Jermere Jones, who suffered concussion symptoms in the Altoona game and has had to sit out. He had provided a good running option to starting QB Riley Harmon.

The Trojans will also be missing starting offensive lineman Chase Stenger, out with an injury. He will be replaced by Nathan Stroman (5-10, 215).

“We’re struggling a little because we’re so thin (at a lot of positions),” Luther said.

Luther said that linebacker Shea Makosy had a good game against Harrisburg, making eight tackles; at least three for losses.

“He made some nice plays on first and second down and created some third-and-longs,” Luther said.

NOTES: Stanley Lozius had 7 tackles and a sack and Brice Flenory also had a sack last week … Trojan offensive leaders: Passing — Harmon 84-143 (59%), 951 yards, 8 TDs, 6 int. … Rushing — Dayre Senft 93-324 … Receiving — Rhaigeon Parker 24-406, 3 TDs; J.J. Kelly 27-380, 5 TDs; Andy Jean 28-191, 4 TDs.

Categories: Chambersburg, Football