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Michael Kresovich on high school football: BEA-Bellefonte headlines slate of games

Centre County’s biggest rivalry resumes tonight as Bellefonte travels to Bald Eagle Area. Teams such as Bucktail and Central Mountain look to rebound after losses last week while Jersey Shore looks to remain unbeaten. Here’s a look at tonight’s high school football action:

2-5 Bellefonte vs.

6-1 Bald Eagle Area

Over the past seven seasons, Bellefonte has dominated the rivalry between the Raiders and Eagles by winning seven in-a-row. BEA’s last win came in 2013.

Tonight, the two schools are set to clash as they add another chapter to the extensive Curtain Bowl rivalry. Although the two teams are trending in opposite directions. First let’s begin with the away team, the 2-5 Raiders. Bellefonte–who picked up its second win of the last week–has been outscored 76 to 2019. While the home team–BEA–has outscored its opponents 190-37.

The Raiders made a change at the quarterback position last week by starting sophomore Trevor Johnson. The move was beneficial for Bellefonte’s offense as the Raiders notched their season-high (40) in points. Johnson ended the game with just three completions but two of them were touchdowns. It was a tremendous night for Nolan Weaver on the ground in the win as he dashed for 266 and a pair of scores. Bellefonte’s going to need the same level of production and much more if it wants to run with the Eagles.

“What else do I need to say, it is Bellefonte vs Bald Eagle Area,” Raiders coach Vaughn Donmoyer said earlier this week. “BEA is having a nice year this year. We will be preparing to go over there to win the football game.”

BEA topped 40 points for the third time this season in its, 49-0, win over P-O a week ago. The Eagles have an offense capable of scoring in a multitude of ways and it begins with freshman QB Carson Nagle. Nagle has completed 62% of his passes to go with 12 touchdowns. Tonight’s game could be a dominant outing for senior running back Garrett Burns. The Raiders have greatly struggled as of late stopping the run and Burns has 700 yards and six scores on the ground this season.

Bellefonte picked up a big win at home last week, but the Eagles just have too much offensively and too strong of a defense for the young Raiders. Prediction: Bald Eagle Area, 56-7.

5-2 Central Mountain vs. 4-3 Mifflinburg

Central Mountain is coming off its second loss of the season as it fell to Selinsgrove at home last week. Tonight, the Wildcats’ challenging stretch of games continue as they hit the road to battle Mifflinburg.

CM is going to have to take care of the ball and tighten its defense up if it wants to defeat Mifflinburg. In its loss to Selinsgrove last week at home, the Wildcats allowed more than 230 yards and a trio of scores on the ground.

“To bounce back we will need to clean up our mental mistakes and have a tremendous week of preparation. Our attitude and effort throughout the week will play a huge role in our ability to go to Mifflinburg and have success. Film prep for players and staff can have a major impact on the outcome of the game. Knowing what they do offensively is imperative,” Wildcats coach Shanon Manning said.”

Mifflinburg is not a heavy-run team, but it does have an offense capable of scoring points. The Wildcats picked up an impressive win away from home last Friday at Montoursville which ended their two-game losing streak. Sophomore Troy Dressler–leader of Mifflinburg’s offense–is among the top quarterbacks CM will face all season long. Dressler has completed 55% of his passes for 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air.

Mifflinburg has two 400-yard rushers in junior Andrew Diehl and Carter Breed. The pair have combined for seven scores on the ground. On the outside, Mifflinburg has a trio of go-to’s in Diehl, Jacob Bingaman and Zach Wertman. On the defensive side of the ball Mifflinburg has tallied eight sacks and six interceptions. Diehl leads the squad with three of his own and poses a challenge for the CM offense.

“Mifflinburg has a dynamic offense and solid defense,” Manning said. “Offensively they make you defend the entire field and distribute very well. They are explosive in both the run and pass game. Defending all aspects of their offense is extremely difficult. Defensively, they tackle well, get to the football, and do not beat themselves.”

The two schools last met in 2019 as CM won 35-28.

Prediction: Central Mountain, 27-21.

7-0 Jersey Shore vs. 5-2 Danville

Shore is coming off a statement win last week as the Bulldogs took down Milton by a count of 62-7. The victory for Shore marked its seventh straight to begin the season and its 18th dating back to Sept. 2020. In the win, Shore ran for a total of 335 yards and six scores. The passing success was there as well as Brady Jordan fired two scores through the air.

The Bulldogs offense has been nothing short of efficient this season, but Danville’s is not too far off. The Ironmen have posted totals of 40 or more four times this season and a major reason why is the production of wideout Carson Persing. Persing has nearly half of Danville’s receptions for 567 yards and eight scores. The Ironmen defense has totaled six sacks and nine interceptions entering tonight’s game. If Danville wants to end Shore’s winning streak it will have to create turnovers and find a way to stop the Bulldogs’ high-powered offensive attack.

“Danville has great players that have played in

the PIAA AAA Final 4 last season,” Bulldogs coach Tom Gravish said. “We will need to be in manageable down and distance situations and convert on all of them. We need to play great defense and special teams

Danville owns the series, 8-2, since the two first met back in 2004

Prediction:

Jersey Shore, 42-35.

0-6 Bucktail vs.

1-5 Otto-Eldred

Tonight, is a great chance for the Bucks to earn their first win of the season. Bucktail travels to Otto-Eldred tonight to compete against the one-win Terrors.

Otto-Eldred has been outscored, 255-88, this season and is currently on a four-game losing streak. The Terrors’ lone win came against Cameron County, a team Bucktail fell to by two.

Bucktail continues to fight each week and that did not change last week against Redbank. After limiting Redbank to just one score in the first, the Bucks allowed seven more in loss. Bucktail needs four strong defensive quarters if it wants to get win No. 1.

Otto-Eldred’s offense is led by Gavin Jimerson who has completed 43% of his passes for 521 yards. Next to Jimerson in the backfield is running back Ryan Love who has four scores and 300 yards on the ground this season. Wideouts Wade Daniels and Manning Splain both play a key role on the outside for the Terrors.

Prediction:

Otto-Eldred, 31-20.

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