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October 12, 2012

Johnstown-Bishop McCort a key matchup


JOHNSTOWN — Purchase Line at United

One of these teams will earn its first victory this week. United (0-6) fell 36-6 at Homer-Center last week but the Lions did score their first points since Week 1.

Opponents have outscored United 250-13.

Purchase Line (0-6) has found the end zone more frequently. The Dragons fell 12-6 to Marion Center last week but have been shut out only twice.

Purchase Line produced double-digit points in losses to Blairsville (36-20) and Blacklick Valley (27-13).

Last year, United won 40-0.


Portage at Windber

Each team is 5-1 entering a key conference matchup. The Mustangs have won four consecutive games, including a 12-0 shutout over Blacklick in a marquee game last week.

The Mustangs have held opponents to 19 or fewer points in those four wins, outscoring the opposition 143-47 in that span. Portage’s lone loss was to unbeaten Berlin in Week 2, and the Mustangs opened with an upset shocker over preseason favorite North Star.

Caleb Kephart has rushed for 525 yards on 47 carries.

Windber beat Conemaugh Township 19-6 last week to shake off the effects of a one-sided non-conference loss to Ligonier Valley in Week 5 (43-18).

The Ramblers’ Blough has rushed for 467 yards. Barkley has 301 receiving yards, and Dakota Gipe has passed for 664 yards.

Portage has won five of the past seven meetings in the series. The Ramblers had won seven straight from 1998 to 2004.

Last year Windber won 35-7.

Ferndale at Blacklick Valley

Ferndale (1-6) snapped a 24-game on-field losing streak with a dramatic overtime win against Rockwood last week. The Yellow Jackets, led by quarterback Chad Eisenhuth’s 808 passing yards (third-best in the area), hope to use that momentum on the road.

Blacklick Valley (4-2) gave up a pair of second-half touchdowns and couldn’t crack the Mustangs defense in a 12-0 loss at Portage.

The Vikings’ Johnny Sheesley ranks fifth in the area with 766 rushing yard and is third with 62 points scored despite being the focal point of each opponent’s defensive game plan every weekend.

Blacklick defeated Shade 26-6 in 2011.

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