Daily Item football writer Todd Hummel makes his predictions for week 6, including a 9 a.m. kick on Saturday.
BLOOMSBURG AT DANVILLE
The Panthers almost made this a battle of 4-1 teams, but they lost a road game to Loyalsock last week. Bloomsburg can’t be overlooked, though, if only because of its win over Mount Carmel earlier this season. Mike Kogut, in his second stint at the school, has washed away the negativity that surrounded the program last year. Danville’s first three wins came on the strength of its offense, but it proved last week against Central Columbia that its defense can hold its own when the offense isn’t clicking at a high level. The Ironmen are looking at a likely bye next week, and I don’t think they let this opportunity slip away.
Danville 31, Bloomsburg 21.
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN AT SELINSGROVE
These teams combined for 10 points when the Wildcats’ won in Week 2. Don’t expect much different this week when the two meet at Harold L. Bolig Memorial Stadium. Jersey Shore is the only team that’s been able to run on Central Mountain this season. However, Selinsgrove went back to the I-formation, and ran some plays familiar to old-school fans. The coaching staff feels like the running game was much improved last week, as fullback Ryan Aument had 84 yards and two scores on the ground. Any help from the Selinsgrove defense and special teams — Brett Foor scored a touchdown on an interception return and a punt return against Shikellamy — would be appreciated. One thing that could benefit Selinsgrove is the Wildcats are no longer a surprise. Central Mountain has proved that over the last five weeks.
Central Mountain 10, Selinsgrove 7.
SHIKELLAMY AT JERSEY SHORE
The Braves didn’t fare well in the teams’ first meeting in Sunbury on Sept. 18, and not much has changed since. Shikellamy is really struggling with injuries up front, and the Jersey Shore defensive line is not going to help matters. The Bulldogs' offense has been humming — 33 points scored against Selinsgrove two weeks ago was a season-low. Oh, do you know where else Shikellamy’s had to shuffle players around due to injury? Its defense.
Jersery Shore 35, Shikellamy 0.
WARRIOR RUN AT MIFFLINBURG
The Wildcats might have found some new offensive weapons. Andrew Diehl had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season — both Mifflinburg wins — but senior Colin Miller had more than 100 yards on the ground, as well. A team that hadn’t scored in two games put 35 points on the board, including 21 first quarter points for the first time this season. The Defenders biggest sticking point this season Stopping the run, and that reared its head again in Monday night’s loss to Loyalsock (a make-up game). Warrior Run did have its best offensive game of the season, though, controlling the clock in the second quarter and scoring two touchdowns.
Mifflinburg 28, Warrior Run 7.
LEWISBURG AT SOUTHERN COLUMBIA
The Green Dragons just faced Montoursville, and now their reward is a trip to play the three-time defending state champion Tigers who have a 52-game winning streak. Lewisburg coach Marc Persing has to scheme to stop his nephew, Gavin Garcia — he averages only 26.3 yards per carry. The biggest issue Southern coach Jim Roth has had this season is picking a quarterback, and junior Liam Klebon seems to have won the job. He’s started the last two games, and has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions this season.
Southern Columbia 35, Lewisburg 7.
HUGHESVILLE AT MIDD-WEST
Despite 454 rushing yards and five touchdowns from Hunter Wolfley last week, the Mustangs still couldn’t pull out a win over Mifflinburg. Midd-West coach Brad Hatter worried about his team’s resiliency early in the season, but rallying from 21 points down last week should alleviate those concerns. Now, on to the prospect of picking up the first win of the season. The Spartans bring a Wing-T attack led by fullback Colton Young, who leads the team with 388 yards and three touchdowns. Midd-West’s defense allowed two 100-yard rushers last week, but Hughesville won’t have the weapons in the passing game to attack the Mustangs if they stack the box.
Midd-West 35, Hughesville 21.
LINE MOUNTAIN AT NORTHWEST
The Eagles have an hour-and-half road trip to Shickshinny (I just wanted Shickshinny to appear in the paper). Northwest’s George May is a battering ram at running back at 5-foot-9,220 pounds (as well a defensive tackle on defense), so it will be a test for an Eagles rush defense that’s allowedjust 154 yards in three games. It’s also the first opponent that will line up and run right at the Eagles. Garret Laudenslager made a seamless transition to halfback with nearly 500 yards in three games, while quarterback Jacob Feese has run the Eagles’ option flawlessly.
Line Mountain 28, Northwest 18.
SATURDAY; SHAMOKIN AT MILTON
NBC used to promote “Breakfast at Wimbledon.” Consider this is “Breakfast with Henry and Phil.” Henry Hynoski’s Indians are looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Central Mountain. Shamokin’s defense cracked, surrendering several big plays in the second half that allowed the Wildcats to pull away. Milton got the week off due to a coronavirus scare; Phil Davis’ Black Panthers haven't played since a loss to Shikellamy on Oct. 2. It will be interesting to see how the layoff affects them. These teams met in the second week of the season, and both are now completely different squads. The Indians ran all over the Black Panthers in that game, but quarterback Brett Nye has topped 300 yards passing in each of the last two games. Meanwhile, I made a case for Milton having a chance to beat the Indians in Week 2. I’m not sure that can happen now.
Shamokin 21, Milton 0.
UPPER DAUPHIN AT HALIFAX
The Trojans got back on the winning track, using the running game to beat Susquenita. In an oddity, Upper Dauphin also went 6-for-6 on two-point conversions. Not sure how many times I’ve seen that. Halifax proved it can throw the ball and score some points. The Wildcats just haven’t been able to stop anybody in their first two games (losses to Juniata and Line Mountain), and Upper Dauphin’s pistol Wing-T is certainly a tough offense to get well against. The Trojans should pick up the win, but the Wildcats might give them trouble. Still, with just 16 players UD’s run game should wear down Halifax.
Upper Dauphin 42, Halifax 28.