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Written by: Phil Myers on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
When Protime began to cover high school football games he didn’t park his duff in the pressbox or roam on the sidelines, he sat as close as he could to the fifty-yard line and as high up as he could to get that bird’s eye view.
The very first game he attended as a member of the press was a big rivalry contest with playoff implications. He luckily found an empty seat next to an older gentleman. “Is this seat taken,” asked Protime. “No, I used to bring my wife, but she passed away and I’m on my own,” answered the gentleman. When Protime asked why he didn’t invite a friend or a relative, the elder stateman said, “I just couldn’t do that, they’re all at the funeral.”
That is dedication to the fullest. Protime has been dedicated to predicting the top games across the state for many moons. This week is no different and the Prodigious Predicter has a palate for prominent pigskin prizefights. Last week Protime went 22-6 and is 89-23 (.795) for the year. Now on with the show.
Thomas Jefferson 3-0 @ Belle Vernon 3-0 – This is the game of the year in 4A. They’ll more than likely meet again in the playoffs for part 2. TJ is ranked #1 and Belle Vernon #4. In Protime’s mind it’s #1 vs. #2. This game will be a battle of defenses and quarterbacks. Coach Cherpak’s TJ Jaguars are led by their QB, Joe Leske, who has thrown for over 300 yards with 4 TD passes and he has rushed for another 4 scores. The stingy Jag defense has McClain Flinn, Isaac Eckley, and Kameron Eggerton as top cats right now. Coach Matt Humbert’s BV Leopards are led by their QB, Devin Whitlock, who has 400 yards passing with 3 TDs and 369 yards rushing and 7 TDs. BV’s defense is headed up by Logan Hoffman and Cole Weightman who are cat-like quick. Protime flipped a coin to determine the winner. Thomas Jefferson 13 Belle Vernon 10.
Penn Cambria 4-0 @ Central 4-0 – The Panthers of PC are putting together a nice season. They will be tested by a very good Scarlet Dragon eleven. Penn Cambria’s offense is led by QB Garrett Harrold with his 723 yards passing and 7 TD tosses. He also has 589 rushing yards and 6 more TDs. RB Zach Grove has scored 5 touchdowns for the Panthers. Nate Little has an amazing 44 tackles in 4 games for PC. Central has a pocket QB in Jeff Hoenstine. His 19 TD passes lead the state and he is also over 1,070 yards airing it out which is good enough for 4th in PA according to MaxPreps. Wide receiver Devon Broyles has caught 5 TD passes and 3 others have grabbed 4 apiece for the Dragons. Parker Gregg and Kaden Fisher head up Central’s defense. Central wins 28-21.
Garnet Valley 4-0 @ Strath Haven 4-0 – Here’s a game Protime would love to attend. The Jaguars of Garnet Valley have been blessed with the superb play of QB Max Busenkell who has completed 25 of 31 passes to date for 652 yards and 9 TDs. WR Sean Gallagher is his go to guy with 11 snags for 313 yards and 4 TDs. RB Jason Bernard balances the offense and has scored 6 times. CJ Wood leads the Jaguars in tackles. Strath Haven’s Panthers have been running circles around the opposition this year with 1,567 rushing yards in 4 games. Chase Barlow leads the stable of running backs with 9 TDs. He is followed by Anthony Crawford and Matt Shuler who have 5 TDs apiece. Crawford and Bob Fooskos anchor the Panther ‘D’. Another coin flip finds Garnet Valley clawing their way to a 35-28 win in a real cat fight over Strath Haven.
Karns City 4-0 @ Brookville 4-0 – Last year saw Brookville mercy rule Karns City during the regular season and then Karns City pulling off the upset in the playoffs. The Gremlins of KC are led on offense by RB Luke Garing’s 7 touchdowns and QB Eric Booher’s 389 yards passing and 5 TDs. Jayce Anderson and Luke Cramer are the defensive stalwarts so far this year. For the Brookville Blue Raiders, QB Charlie Krug has passed for 863 yards and 10 TDs to date. WR Brayden Kunselman has 23 grabs for 484 yards and 6 scores. His 484 yards is 3rd in Pennsylvania (MaxPreps). Jackson Zimmerman leads the team in tackles. Protime senses Karns City is a point better this week, 21-20.
Hampton 4-0 @ Highlands 4-0 – Hampton’s Talbots like to run. They are led by RB Christian Liberto who has traversed for 519 yards and 7 touchdowns. Backfield-mate Brock Borgo also has 7 scores. Highlands will run and throw with equal efficiency. QB Chandler Thimons has thrown for 496 yards and 9 TDs. RB Luke ‘The Bomber’ Bombalski has scurried for over 500 yards and has crossed the goal line 7 times. Protime has Hampton coming out on top of the Golden Rams 21-14.
Cochranton 3-0 @ Northwestern 3-0 – The Cochranton Cardinals’ running back, Jack Martinec has scored 7 TDs the past two weeks and QB Noah Cummings threw for over 100 yards and 2 scores last week in helping his team beat an undefeated Eisenhower squad. Ryan Tewell has thrown for 584 yards and 9 TDs in 3 games for the Wildcats. Brent Swift is top tackler on defense for Northwestern. Protime has the final Northwestern 33 Cochranton 19.
Mt. Carmel 3-1 @ Southern Columbia 4-0 – The Red Tornadoes blow into Catawissa looking to put a halt to the Tigers’ 92-game regular season win streak. Pedro Feliciano has completed 24 passes for 391 yards for MC. He will take off running also. The running game shows Julien Stellar with 7 scores to show the way. Stellar leads the Red Tornado defense in tackles. He is the place kicker too. Gavin Garcia helped bail his Tigers out last week by romping for 258 yards and scoring 5 touchdowns last week (4 rushing and 1 pass catch). Mount Carmel is built similar to Wyoming who gave Southern all they could handle last week. Look for another nail-biter with the Tigers pulling it out 34-28.
Palmerton 3-1 @ Catasauqua 4-0 – The Blue Bombers of Palmerton are led by their versatile quarterback Matt Machalik. Mr. Matt has 541 yards passing and another 328 running the ball. He’s thrown for 3 TDs and run for 8 others. James Denicola is the man on the Blue Bomber defense. The Rough Riders of Catasauqua use a two-quarterback system with Christian Fye throwing for 337 yards and 5 TDs. His quarterback cohort is Aiden Hess. WR Wyatt Younes has snagged 4 TD passes. Myles Melendez leads the Rough Rider ‘D’. Protime’s coin flip has Palmerton the victor 29-25.
West Shamokin 2-1 @ Cambria Heights 4-0 – Protime’s Game of the Week finds him travelling to Patton. The Wolves slink into town hoping their quarterback, Bo Swartz continues to impress. He has 526 yards passing and 5 TDs while scoring 4 more TDs running the agate. His top wide out is Lou Swartz. The Rural Valley Wolves’ defense is headed up by Derek Blose and Lou Swartz. The Highlanders have only allowed 14 points this year. Ty Stockley and Tanner Hite are a big part of why Heights is doing so well when they don’t have the ball. Offensively, they are a running team led by the 8 touchdowns of Ryan Haluska. Protime’s crystal ball says the Highlanders will score 35 points and the Wolves 24.
Downingtown East 34 West Chester Rustin 21 – The Cougars run their record to 5-0 while the Golden Knights fall to 2-2.
Scranton Prep 24 Western Wayne 17 – The Cavaliers remain undefeated in stabbing the Panthers in a close one.
River Valley 28 Conemaugh Township 13 – It’s the River Valley Panthers’ first year and they continue to play excellent football as they beat the Township Indians.
Northwest Lehigh 38 Bangor 34 – A back and forth affair finds the Tigers edging the Slaters by four.
Imhotep 20 Simon Gratz 0 – The Panthers pitch a shutout in beating the Bulldogs.
Ridgway 23 DuBois 13 – The Elkers remain undefeated by beating the Beavers.
Governor Mifflin 36 Episcopal Academy 24 – Possible good one between two undefeated teams will find the Mustangs riding past the Churchmen.
Sharon 22 Ft. LeBoeuf 21 – The Sharon Tigers edge the Bisons in a good one in District 10.
Parkland 17 Allentown Central Catholic 14 – District 11 is probably the hardest district for Protime to predict. He sees the Trojans winning the battle against the Vikings this night.
Washington 32 Chartiers-Houston 22 – The Little Prexies handle the Buccaneers in a struggle of two undefeated squads.
North Penn 38 Pennridge 35 – If you go to this game, you’ll witness a first-class contest. In the end, the Knights slay the Rams.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic 20 North Allegheny 17 – District 7 has no shortage of good games on tap this week. This 6A slugfest has the Vikings edging out the Tigers. Could they meet again in the playoffs?
Central Dauphin East 26 St. College 20 – This is what happens when you put Panthers in a cage with Little Lions.
Bethlehem Freedom 14 Nazareth 10 – Nazareth won both meetings last year. The Patriots ground the Blue Eagles in the regular season game this year.
Farrell 40 Sharpsville 20 – The Steelers are looking good this year. The Blue Devils are victim #4.
Upper Dublin 18 Quakertown 12 – The Cardinals get back on the winning track giving the Panthers their first loss by containing the dynamic Quakertown whiz, Tyler Woodman who has 10 TDs rushing.
West Allegheny 14 Kiski Area 7 – This defensive struggle sees the Indians of West A scoring one more touchdown than the Cavaliers.
Muncy 49 Sayre 42 – Protime was severely tempted to make another two-hour trek to see this game. The Muncy Indians make one more play than the Sayre Redskins.
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