NOT SO SPECIAL: DeFrancesco said, “What was really disappointing was the play of our special teams. When you are giving them such great field position on those kickoffs (they also missed an extra point try) ... that’s a real concern for us.”
KEEPING HIM IN CHECK: The Tiger defense constantly flushed Mount Carmel quarterback Zach Wasilewski out of the pocket, but had just one sack. That came in the fourth quarter when linemen Mitch Stanziale and Josh Tripp dumped him for an eight-yard loss.
Luke Rarig and Bryce Parry each had an interception for the Tigers.
ON TOP FOR NOW: Southern’s win in this outstanding series broke a tie, giving the Tigers a 9-8 advantange.
CLAY-MATION: Shamokin linebacker Erik Taylor did his best Clay Mathews impersonation Friday, sacking Danville quarterback Weston Baylor three times in the first half. Taylor’s blitzes were so effective, he nearly caught the ball on a toss play to Ironmen halfback Isaiah Croll which could have prevented Danville’s go-ahead touchdown.
GAME-CHANGER: Preston Burns, a Shamokin freshman, had two electrifying kick returns in the first quarter Friday. He took the opening kick 54 yards and minutes later bolted 37 yards with a punt. A quarterback listed at 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Burns game in for injured Tucker Yost late in the game and completed his only pass.
LEAD FOOT: Danville senior Bret Berg, whose punting prowess was discovered during summer workouts, averaged 43.3 yards on three boots Friday, including a key 56-yard field-flipper in the fourth quarter.