By The Daily Item
Four Valley football teams are still alive as we head to the holiday weekend with three in action on Friday night and Selinsgrove getting a nice road trip on Saturday.
Unbeaten Southern Columbia, fresh off its 21st District 4 Class A title in 22 seasons, heads to the Scranton area on Friday night to on District 2 champion Dunmore in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Valley View.
The Southern-Dunmore game pits two of the state's all-time winningest coaches against one another. The Tigers' Jim Roth, who has six state titles at Southern, enters Friday's game with 341 career victories -- against just 59 losses. On the other sideline will be Dunmore Jack Henzes, Jr., who has 367 career wins, second only to Berwick's George Curry (423) in state history. Henzes led the Bucks to the 1989 Class A title and to the Class AA title game in 2007 against the Terrelle Pryor-led Jeannette squad.
In the District 4 Class AA final, surging Mount Carmel (8-4) visits Danville (10-2) on Friday night. The Red Tornadoes have won five of six games since a three-game losing streak and are back to defend the title they won a year ago.
It is the teams' first meeting since the 2010 district semifinals, won by the Ironmen. Mount Carmel is looking for its third district title in five years and seventh overall. The Red Tornadoes also won the District 11 title in 1994, the first season they won a PIAA title.
Danville is hosting the final for the second time in three seasons and is looking for its first crown since winning back-to-back Class AAA titles in 1998 and 1999 when current Mount Carmel coach Carm DeFrancesco was the head coach at Danville.
In Class AAA, Selinsgrove is back in the state playoffs for the first time since winning the PIAA title in 2009. The Seals have three shutouts in their last five games, including two on its way the district title. Selinsgrove (9-3) will meet University Prep (7-3) on Saturday at Altoona's Mansion Park. The Panthers beat previously unbeaten Clearfield on Saturday night.