FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Southern Columbia to meet unbeaten South Williamsport
CATAWISSA RR - Knowing what South Williamsport is going to do is only half the battle.
Stopping the Mounties, that's where the difficulty lies.
Plain and simple, they're ground pounders.
Through three games, all victories, they've thrown the ball only 28 times, completing 15.
On the ground though, they've been considerably more effective, accounting for 296 yards per outing.
They'll bring that efficient ground attack to Southern Columbia Friday night for a battle of Heartland III unbeatens.
At the heart of the Mounties' offense is running back Dominick Bragalone. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound junior has already rushed for 657 yards and 10 touchdowns through victories over Bloomsburg, Canton and Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech. He averages more than 10 yards per carry and 200 yards per game, and according to Southern Columbia coach Jim Roth is a very solid player.
"He's their number one runner," Roth said. "He's run the ball a lot for them in those first three games. He's their go-to guy, no doubt.
"He had a pretty good year last year, but they had a really good fullback and he was kind of overshadowed."
When Bragalone doesn't get the ball, it usually goes to John Peters who has 123 yards and two touchdowns through three games.
Matt Boone is the Mounties' quarterback. The transfer from Montgomery has completed 14 of 24 passes thus far, good for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Riley Hengler has emerged as his favorite target with nine catches for 134 yards and two scores.
"He's a good receiver," Roth said. "He's about 6-3 and when they do go to the air, they try to get it to him."
Possibly the biggest worry the Tigers have coming in is overconfidence, particulary following last week's 45-7 dismantling of backyard rival Mount Carmel Area. It was a game in which they rolled out to a 25-0 advantage after a quarter and were never threatened.
"Certainly, one of the things we're stressing is not to have a letdown," Roth said Monday night. "But it's hard to tell on a Monday. We'll have a better idea Tuesday with how they approach the practice.
"Hopefully they look at it like we have a 3-0 team coming in here that's going to think it can win and that takes care of itself. They (South Williamsport) have won a lot of games the last few years."
Roth said Southern Columbia came out of the Mount Carmel game healthy.