Central Mountain Football looks to recover against much-improved Shamokin

MILL HALL — Central Mountain had a promising offensive showing in Week 1, but the momentum didn’t translate to success against Lewisburg.

The Wildcats racked up 548 yards and 26 points against Williampsort, those number dipped to 151 yards and seven points versus Lewisburg. Despite the sharp decline in production, spirits are high — and the team is focus on defeating the Shamokin Indians tonight.

“Our kids are pretty resilient,” Central Mountain Jim Renninger said. “They work pretty hard and we’ve had a good week of practice,in terms of being pretty physical this week. I thought we got manhandled on Friday, so we really got after it physically this week.”

Central Mountain’s week of practice was a combination of physical and mental toughness. They maneuvered through 90 degree heat, but got a chance to cool down with indoor film sessions. They studied last week’s footage, saw an unrecognizable team and made the necessary adjustments to compete with Shamokin tonight.

“We made the corrections, we looked at the film and they were pretty disappointed in themselves,” Renninger said. “They were disappointed that they made those mistakes, but we made the corrections, move forward and worked on this week’s game plan. They’re excited to get after it on Friday against Shamokin.”

The Indians are led by first-year head coach Henry Hynoski, a former NFL fullback and member of the Super Bowl winning 2011-2012 New York Giants. His Shamokin squad enters tonight with an even 1-1 record. They defeated Milton 34-33 in its season opener before dropping a 36-15 contest to North Schuylkill to in Week 2.

“Shamokin’s better than they’ve been in the last couple years, I believe,” Renninger said. “They’ve got a new head football coach that seems to have them playing really hard. They’re a power football team, they like to run it right at you and they don’t spread the football out as much as some of the teams that we’ve seen.”

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Tonight’s lingering question will be how Central Mountain’s defense responds after a disappointing pair of games.

Central Mountain’s lone victory in 2017 was against Shamokin, but to win tonight, the defense has to perform better than it has all season.

The Wildcats defense has struggled to contain offenses. They surrendered 117 points in two games and allowed an inexcusable 345 yards and 5 touchdowns to Lewisburg running back Max Moyers last week. And with Shamokin’s run-heavy offense, the task doesn’t get any easier.

“They have a nice tailback in Brycen James,” Renninger said. “Mark Wetzel is a really solid fullback, and they have a couple big kids on their offensive line.”

“And I really liked their quarterback (Zack Johnson), I think he’s a pretty athletic kid who throws the ball pretty well. He’s pretty poised in the pocket and can do some things running around with his feet. Overall, Shamokin’s another great test for us and we’re gonna have to play a lot better than we have in the first two weeks [in order to win].”

KEYS TO VICTORY

Central Mountain needs to win up front and have success running the ball to have a chance at winning tonight.

The Wildcats ran for 221 yards against Williamsport and just 31 yards against Lewisburg. Starting tailback Rocco Stark was held to 0 yards on six carries.

“We need Rocco Stark to have a better day running the football,” Renninger said. “But a lot of that starts with our guys up front. We need to have a ground game.”

Renninger’s also optimistic the team can eliminate “silly mistakes” from its

repertoire.

“We’re going to have to make some plays and execute offensively,” Renninger said.

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