ON TAP TODAY: WAVERLY AT HOME, ATHENS ON THE ROAD TO OPEN FOOTBALL POSTSEASON
(2023-11-03)Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — It’s time for postseason football, and Football Friday will feature a pair of Valley teams in action. Waverly will host Susquehanna Valley in the semifinals of the Section IV, Class C playoffs, while Athens will be on the road to take on top-seeded Danville in the quarterfinals of the District 4, Class 3A playoffs.
DISTRICT 4 PLAYOFFS
Class 3A Quarterfinals
8-Athens (3-7) at 1-Danville (9-1), 7 p.m.:
The Wildcats are coming off a 42-14 win at Sayre, while the Ironmen rolled to a 52-20 victory over Executive Education Academy Charter School.
First-year Athens coach Shawn Bradley knows his young team faces quite a challenge against the three-time defending District 4 champion Ironmen.
“(Danville) is obviously very good,” he said. “They have a multi-faceted offense with lots of great athletes, and they fly to the football on defense.
“They are a very good team, they’re well-coached, and they’ve been here before,” Bradley added.
Bradley believes playoff experience is what his young team needs to take the next step.
“Like I said last week, we had a choice as to whether we wanted to play this game or not.
“If we’re going to get to (Danville’s) level at some point, we have to start somewhere,” said Bradley. “So, it will be good to see what the atmosphere offers, and give it our best shot.”
Bradley is just looking for his team to play hard, and compete for 48 minutes.
“I just want them to show up, and play hard,” he said. “We have nothing to lose.
“Athens played (at Danville) last year … that team had a whole bunch of seniors, and it didn’t make out so well.
“Again, these guys have nothing to lose, I just want them to go out and compete,” added Bradley.
WHEN DANVILLE HAS THE BALL
“They are going to spread you out from sideline-to-sideline,” said Bradley. “They have four or five receivers, who are very good, and fast, and they have some big kids.
“Their quarterback has nearly 2,500 yards, and almost 40 touchdowns,” noted Bradley. “He’s very good.
“Our kids are going to have to play great football, just to stay in the game,” he added. “Hopefully, we show up and compete.”
The Ironmen have outscored their opponents by an average of 42.4 to 13.7 points per game, and enter the contest averaging 377 yards in total offense per game — 257.1 yards through the air, and 119.9 on the ground.
Junior QB Madden Patrick has completed 64.9 percent (135 of 208) of his passes for 2,339 yards, and 36 TDs, with just six interceptions.
Senior Aaron Johnson is his Patrick’s top target with 41 receptions for 989 yards, and 19 TDs, while sophomore Carter Raup has 39 grabs for 564 yards, and three TDs, junior Cole Duffy has 27 catches for 376 yards, and six TDs, and junior Cameron Kiersch has 24 receptions for 475 yards, and five TDs.
Junior Bo Sheptock leads the Ironmen ground game with 855 yards, and 10 TDs on 102 carries.
WHEN ATHENS HAS THE BALL
“Danville runs basically a four-man front … they don’t want to give up big plays, so they have one or two deep safeties, and man coverage underneath.
“They play good, sound defense,” said Bradley. “They fly to the football, and they tackle well.”
The Wildcats have been outscored by an average of 29.5 to 15.8 points per game, and enter the contest averaging 211.8 yards per game in total offense — 117.6 on the ground, and 94.2 through the air.
Freshman Connor Davidson has completed 43.6 percent (68 of 156) of his passes for 822 yards, 11 TDs, and five interceptions. Sophomore Sean Peters is the top receiver with 28 catches for 305 yards, and four TDs, while sophomore Eli Chapman has 15 receptions for 156 yards, and two TDs, and sophomore Cooper Robinson has 13 grabs for 212 yards, and three TDs.
Davidson also lead the Wildcat ground game, rushing for 488 yards, and four TDs on 132 carries, while Robinson ran for 364 yards on 81 carries, and senior fullback Kaden Parrish has 180 yards and three TDs on 30 carries.Common opponents:
Danville beat Line Mountain 51-13, and Central Columbia, 55-3 in Weeks 2 and 3 … Athens lost to Line Mountain, 54-12, in the season opener, lost to Central Columbia, 28-14 in Week 9.
Danville raced out to a 37-0 halftime lead, and beat the Wildcats, 43-0, in last year’s Class 3A semifinals.SECTION IV PLAYOFFS
Class C Semifinals
4-Susquehanna Valley (4-4) at 1-Waverly (8-1), 7 p.m.:
The Wolverines are coming off a 62-12 win over Oneonta, while the Sabers dropped a 38-14 decision to Schuyler.
The Wolverines have outscored their opponents by an average of 39.2 to 12.2 points per game, and have averaged 402 yards per game in total offense — 218 through the air, and 184 on the ground.
Senior QB Joey Tomasso has completed 72.3 percent (128 of 177) of his passes for 1,865 yards, 28 TDs, and just two interceptions.
Senior Jay Pipher is the Wolverines’ top target with 43 grabs for 840 yards, and 10 TDs, while junior Xavier Watson has 34 catches for 460 yards, and eight TDs, senior Jake VanHouten has 27 receptions for 345 yards, and five TDs, and junior Kolsen Keathley has 264 yards, and three TDs on 19 receptions.
Tomasso also leads Waverly with 448 rushing yards and six TDs on 78 carries, while junior Payton Fravel has 327 yards, and four TDs, and senior Carter George has 290 yards, and two TDs on 35 carries.
The Sabers have been outscored by an average of 24.8 to 23.6 points per game, and enter the contest averaging 229.9 yards per game in total offense.
Waverly jumped out to a big lead early on its way to a 42-12 win at Susquehanna Valley three weeks ago.
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