PIAA PLAYOFFS

Class 2A Semifinal

at Selinsgrove H.S.

Southern Columbia vs. Richland

The Rams have a pedigree the Tigers have to respect. Richland has won the District 6 Class 2A title the past two seasons — beating an undefeated Ligonier Valley both times to do it. The Rams also have some athletes on the outside with three of their four starting receivers listed at 6-foot or taller. Senior wide receiver Caleb Burke has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and like Julian Fleming, he's in the top 10 in the state in every career category. Burke and Fleming will probably see a lot of each tonight at Bolig Memorial Field. Sophomore quarterback Kellen Stahl has thrown for nearly 2,800 yards and 40 touchdowns against just four interceptions this season, but the Rams have run the ball better in the playoffs than they did in the regular season. Richland has more rushing attempts in the three playoff games than passing attempts. So there is a good chance Richland could score some points on Southern Columbia. The question becomes: Can the Rams stop the Tigers? Of course, that's been tough to do. It's been 44 games since the Southern Columbia offense has scored less than 35 points in a game. It's been 46 games since this group of Tigers have lost a game, I'm not picking against them, now.

Southern Columbia 42, Richland 7.

 

Class 4A Semifinal

at Danville H.S.

Jersey Shore vs. Dallas

I haven't been correct about this Jersey Shore team all postseason. Down 21-0 to Pottsville in the quarterfinals, Jersey Shore rallied to win the game in overtime. Tanner Lorson topped 3,000 yards passing in that game to go along with his more than 1,000 yards rushing. Lorson is making a case to be the PIAA Class 4A player of the year. The Bulldogs are going to need all of their magic to knock off the Mountaineers. Dallas took care of business in a deep class of 4A teams in District 2 — dealing Valley View both of its losses and beating Berwick as well. Senior running back Lenny Kelly has been nearly unstoppable this season. He's rushed for 2,354 yards this season and 36 touchdowns this season. His running mate — Danny Meuser, who committed to Bucknell earlier this season — adds 819 yards and 10 scores on the ground, and a team-high 85 tackles. Senior lefty quarterback Michael Starbuck gives the Mountaineers a passing threat, completing 61 percent of his passes for 1,803 yards and 23 touchdowns. Imhotep Charter became the first team to score more than 20 points against Dallas in last week's quarterfinal. Expect a big crowd at Danville tonight, but the Mountaineers should win.

Dallas 35, Jersey Shore 21. 

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