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Written by: Phil Myers on Thursday, November 25th, 2021
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and reflecting on the good things in life. Protime thanks Mrs. Protime for giving him the best Thanksgiving turkey dinners ever even though Protime refuses to eat the brussel sprouts. He thanks Protime Jr. for giving him a hand with the yard work the past couple of summers even though Jr. weed whacked the 100-foot extension cord in two. And he thanks Brother Protime for those Thanksgiving Day tackle football games that were played so many moons ago.
When Protime was just a little Protimer his Thanksgiving Day consisted of rising early for the morning cartoons before the Macy’s Parade began. After the parade it was the annual football game between Protime and Brother Protime. No matter if there was rain, snow, or shine the game always went on. Hours later Protime and his brother usually came in muddy and bloody and ready for a hot bath before dinner. After gobbling down the turkey dinner, it was off to see what might be on TV. Then it was to bed knowing that special time of year was near because Santa Claus had made his appearance at the end of the parade.
Speaking of that special time of year, it is quarter-final week of the state playoffs. Protime will attempt to predict each and every game, previewing 8 contests. Last week the Proud Predictor went 25-5 and is now 300-67 (.817) for the year. Good luck to everyone this week. Happy Thanksgiving to all and here’s to the memories that will be made.
#4 Coatesville 12-1 @ #1 Garnet Valley 13-0 – This by far appears to be the most anticipated game in 6A. This is also the D-1 title game. Coatesville’s Red Raiders have another capable quarterback in Harrison Susi. Mr. Susi has thrown for 1,614 yards and 25 TDs. In addition, he has scrambled for 1,217 yards and scored 18 TDs. His wide receiver, Tommy Ortega, has 26 grabs for 404 yards and 13 TDs. RB Ashon Wesley has rushed for 906 yards and 9 TDs. Linebackers Nolan A’Hara and R.J. Rickenbach anchor the Red Raider defense.
Garnet Valley is 4th in the state in scoring, as they average 48.4 points a game. Their quarterback, Max Busenkell, has completed 73% of his passes, pitching the pigskin for 1,759 yards and 24 TDs with only 2 interceptions. Jaguar WR Sean Gallagher has 40 catches for 842 yards and 11 scores. WR Joey Halloran has 401 yards in receptions for 8 TDs. Shane Reynolds topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week and has found the end zone 17 times. RB Ryan Saunders has scored 18 touchdowns. Halloran is the top tackler for the Jaguars.
Protime couldn’t make his mind up and had to consult his crystal ball which says Garnet Valley 52 Coatesville 49.
#2 Mount Lebanon 42 #7 Erie McDowell 17 – The Blue Devils under the tutelage of head coach Bob Palko continue their dream season by defeating the Trojans.
#3 St. Joseph’s Prep 28 #6 Bethlehem Freedom 14 – The Hawks were written off after their second loss, but here they are advancing to the semi-finals after a tough battle with the Patriots.
#5 Harrisburg 21 St. College 10 – The Cougars punch their semi-final ticket by stalking and taking down the Little Lions for a second time this year.
#8 Exeter Township 9-3 @ #1 Governor Mifflin 10-0 – This D-3 championship contest is a rematch of a regular season game in which Governor Mifflin obviously won. The Exeter Eagle offense is extremely dangerous, led by QB Colin Payne’s 2,005 yards passing with 19 TD tosses. WR Joey Schlaffer has 36 snags for 672 yards and 6 scores, while wideout J.R. Strauss has 7 TD receptions. Eric Nangle has scurried for 1,544 yards and 20 TDs toting the football. RB Tyler Yocum chips in with 13 touchdowns. Kicker Mikey Moser has nailed 59 of 62 extra point attempts. The Eagles have an opportunistic defense as they have 22 takeaways and 94 tackles for loss. Yocum is the leading tackler.
When talking about Governor Mifflin, one name that usually pops up first is the numero uno running back in the country, Nick Singleton. Mr. Singleton has rushed for 2,019 yards and an amazing 40 touchdowns. Aiden Gallen has scored 7 TDs via the ground as the Mustangs seldom pass, rushing for almost 4,000 yards and passing for 350. Kicker Jackson Schools has made 65 PATs to date for the #3 scoring offense in PA, averaging 49.7 points per game. Trey Rock leads the Mustang defense which is under rated.
Governor Mifflin 42 Exeter Township 25.
#4 Erie Cathedral Prep 20 #2 Imhotep Charter 14 – It is Prep-Tep chapter V. These two teams have met 4 times in the state championship game in the past seven years with Prep winning the last 3. The Tep Panthers are primed and are taking this game personally, but the Prep Ramblers will be ready, willing, and able.
#7 Penn-Trafford 17 #3 Moon 14 – Protime’s crystal ball says take the upset as the Warriors ruin the Tigers undefeated season.
#5 Strath Haven 28 #6 West Chester Rustin 24 – The Panthers win this game with the Golden Knights on a last-minute score says the crystal ball.
#5 Lampeter-Strasburg 11-1 @ #3 Bishop McDevitt 10-1 – This is an interesting D-3 title game that features last year’s champs, Lampeter-Strasburg, against perennial power, Bishop McDevitt. The Pioneers are led by dual threat quarterback Brady Wagner. He has thrown for 1,437 yards and 18 TDs, while running for 799 yards and 15 TDs. WR Beau Heyser has snared 22 passes for 494 yards and 7 scores. RB Giovanni Malatesta has crossed the goal line 11 times. Jackson Heeter leads the Pioneers in tackles and Malatesta has 5 interceptions.
Phenomenal freshman Stone Saunders has thrown 42 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions for the Crusaders. Saunders has amassed 2,670 yards passing to date. He has a trio of receivers he relies heavily upon. Mario Easterly has 46 receptions for 875 yards and 13 TDs. Kamil Foster has 33 grabs for 808 yards and 13 scores. Rico Scott has caught 23 passes for 522 yards and 9 TDs. RB Marquese Williams has traversed the field for 1,424 yards and 23 touchdowns. By the way, the Crusaders have the #2 scoring offense, averaging 52.7 points a game. They also have the top defense in PA, as they only allow 5.7 point a game. Ryan Russo has 94 tackles to lead McDevitt in that category. The team has 105 tackles for loss led by Riley Robell with 22.
Protime envisions a Bishop McDevitt triumph by a score of 41-26.
#8 Meadville 9-3 vs. #2 Jersey Shore 13-0 – Meadville is young at the skill position and truly believes they will be there at the end with this hard-nosed veteran Jersey Shore squad. The Bulldogs of Meadville do not pass as they have thrown a grand total of 34 times all year. They run the Wing-T offense that features three really good backs in Khalon Simmons, Griffin Buzzell, and Brady Walker. They have amassed 4,555 yards on the ground so far in 2021. Simmons has scored a total of 34 touchdowns, 30 of which came on the ground. He has rushed for over 1,800 yards. Buzzell has travelled for 1,398 yards, scoring 19 TDs and Walker has 810 yards with 15 TDs. On defense the Meadville Bulldogs have 33 sacks and are led in tackles by Buzzell’s 126.
The Bulldogs of Jersey Shore have a very good dual threat QB in Brady Jordan. He has passed for 1,712 yrds and 15 TDs, while rushing for 957 yards and 13 scores. WR Cayden Hess has grabbed 49 passes for 868 yards and 9 TDs. RB Hayden Packer has journeyed for 1,122 yards on the ground and scored 19 times. The other offensive weapon is kicker Breck Miller. Mr. Miller has booted 13 field goals and 60 of 64 PATs. Defensively, the Shore Bulldogs have 101 tackles for loss, 39 sacks, and 27 picks. Karter Peacock leads in tackles and Hess leads in interceptions.
In the Battle of the Bulldogs, Jersey Shore wins 38-28.
#7 Bishop Shanahan 14 #6 Valley View 7 – In a defensive struggle, the Eagles are able to take flight to escape the clutches of the Cougars.
#1 Belle Vernon 30 #4 Aliquippa 22 – Protime admires the Quips, a small school playing up and playing in the District 7 championship for a second year in a row. They have more than proved they belong, but Leopard QB Devin Whitlock will be the difference leaving the Quips as the bridesmaid two years running.
#5 North Catholic 12-0 vs. #1 Central Valley 12-0 at Heinz Field – Two unbeaten teams will be battling it out for supremacy at Heinz Field Saturday in what appears to be a good one. The North Catholic Trojans are looking to knock off the Central Valley Warriors, last year’s state champs. Trojan quarterback, Joey Prentice has thrown for 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns. Kyle Tipinski has 516 receiving yards and 495 rushing yards, scoring a total of 18 TDs to date. WR Tyler Maziarz has 443 yards catching passes. He has scored 9 total TDs. RB Jack Fennell has run for 483 yards and has totaled 13 TDs.
The Warriors have the 5th best offense in the state, averaging 48-2 points and are led by RB Landon Alexander who has 1,730 yards and 25 TDs carrying the ball. He has scored 28 total TDs. Bret Fitzsimmons has chipped in 10 more TDs rushing. QB Antwon Johnson has 990 yards passing with 15 TD tosses. WR Jayvin Thompson has 23 catches for 559 yards and 6 TDs. The Warriors also have the #8 defense, giving up only 6.6 points per game. Sean and Bret Fitzsimmons lead that defense. Sean has 38 TFLs and Thompson has 7 interceptions.
Protime has it 35-24 Central Valley.
#4 Scranton Prep 11-0 vs. #2 Wyomissing 13-0 @ Governor Mifflin – Oh boy, what a game this is going to be! May be the best of the weekend Protime is thinking. The Cavaliers of Scranton Prep are led by London Montgomery who has galloped for 2,349 yards and 36 touchdowns. QB Sean Monahan has passed for 746 yards and a dozen tallies. WR Robert Rossi is the main guy receiving with 24 grabs for 573 yards and 9 TDs. Rossi has 5 interceptions for the Cavalier defense.
Wyomissing’s Wing-T is a tough nut to crack as they have the #9 offense, averaging 45.6 points per contest. The Spartans have rushed for 4,175 yards this season. Tommy Grabowski shows the way with 1,194 yards and 23 TDs. Amory Thompson has scored 12 touchdowns and Andrew Eisenhower 8. QB Ben Zechman has passed for 719 yards and 10 scores. Kicker Ian Levering has booted 63 extra points through the uprights and 3 field goals.
Wyomissing will win in double overtime 43-42.
#3 Central 35 #7 Grove City 21 – Jeff Hoenstine sets the single season passing TD record when his Scarlet Dragons prove to be too much for the Eagles. A side note has Protime wondering if these Dragons are friends with the legendary Puff the Magic Dragon.
#6 Neumann-Goretti 26 #8 Danville 13 – The Saints come marching into Lehighton and ding the Ironmen.
#3 Richland 11-2 @ #2 Southern Columbia 12-1 – Another great matchup pits the Rams and the Tigers for the third year in a row. The Rams have scored 57 points on Southern Columbia in those two years, but defensively couldn’t stop the Wing-T offense and thus lost both games. Richland is led by QB Kellan Stahl who has thrown for 2,605 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also has run for 10 more scores. WR Griffin Larue has 55 snags for 889 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sam Penna has 32 catches for 582 yards and 9 TDs. RB Grayden Lewis has rushed for 730 yards and 10 TDs, but he catches passes too, grabbing 40 for 817 yards and 8 scores. Brock Batche and Lewis lead the Rams in tackles. The team has accounted for 85 TFLs and 33 sacks of which Jordan Nichols has 12.
The Tigers run the Wing-T, sometimes to perfection. They are led by Gavin Garcia’s 1,941 yards and 32 touchdowns. He averages 13 yards a carry. Wes Barnes has 631 yards on the ground, scoring 9 touchdowns. Blake Wise has filled in nicely for the injured Liam Klebon at quarterback and has pitched the pigskin for 9 TDs. Jake Rose has 25 receptions for 531 yards and 8 TDs. Garrett Garcia has 174 tackles to lead the defense.
Protime flipped a coin and it rolled across the floor and stopped, standing on edge by the record album Protime was playing called ‘American Beauty’ by the Grateful Dead which features a lead guitarist and principal songwriter by the name of Jerry Garcia. Therefore, Protime picks Southern, because of Garcia, to beat Richland in overtime 36-35.
#4 Serra Catholic 22 #6 Beaver Falls 18 – The Eagles fly high as they barely get by the hungry Tigers.
#5 Northern Lehigh 31 West Catholic 22 – The Bulldogs put an end to the Burrs unforeseen run.
#1 Farrell 34 #7 Karns City 7 – The Steelers continue to roll out wins by hammering the opposition which this week is the K.C. Gremlins.
#2 Old Forge 11-0 vs. #1 Canton 12-0 @ Danville – A real slobber-knocker in single A features two undefeateds vying for a berth in the semis. It is the only game pitting the top two teams against each other in the quarter-finals. The Old Forge Blue Devils have a quarterback who has completed 73% of his passes. James Sobol has aired it out for 1,477 yards and 19 TDs. He also averages 7 yards a carry running the ball and has scored 10 TDs. Wide receivers Casey Holzman and Ethan Tallo and combined to catch 40 passes for 801 yards and 10 touchdowns. RB Hezekiah Deitz averages 9 yards a tote and has scored 9 TDs.
The Canton Warriors are big and love to pound on you all game long. QB Cooper Kitchen has 12 TDs rushing, but he does pass some as evidenced by his 619 yards and 7 TDs. RB Riley Parker has chalked up 1,214 yards on the ground and has scored 22 TDs. Weston Bellows is the dangerous all-purpose guy with 633 yards rushing, 486 yards receiving, and 407 yards in punt returns. He has crossed the goal line 12 times in various ways. Hayden Ward is the leading tackler for the Warriors.
Canton is victorious 26-20.
#3 Redbank Valley 28 #7 Northern Bedford 21 – The Bulldogs outlast the Black Panthers of NBC to advance to the semis.
#4 Bishop Canevin 20 #6 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) 16 – A tight one at Heinz finds the Crusaders stopping the Chargers.
#8 Bishop Guilfoyle 13 #5 Juniata Valley 6 – The Marauders’ defense swarms the Hornet offense and the Marauder offense has just enough sting to outscore the Hornets.
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