JOHNSTOWN — LHAC
Penn Cambria at Forest Hills
This game will be big in the LHAC but even more significant as far as each team’s hopes in District 6-AA.
Penn Cambria (4-2), currently in the eighth and final spot in 6-AA with 450 points, will try to halt a two-game slide after opening the season as one of the team’s to beat in the district. The Rangers (3-3) are an uncharacteristic .500 through six dates and are ninth in 6-AA with 300 points.
The Rangers bounced back with a 28-14 win at Central Cambria last week, ending a two-game skid with losses to Cambria Heights (24-6) and Bishop Guilfoyle (14-0).
Forest Hills quarterback Joe Donoughe had passed for 612 yards but went out with an injury during the Guilfoyle game. Since then, versatile back Jared Shope has stepped in and thrown for 317 yards, including 194 last week. Shope also has 253 receiving yards. Shawn Dell leads the ground game with 567 rushing yards.
Penn Cambria opened 4-0 before falling to Heights (27-20) last week and at Bishop Guilfoyle (14-8).
Penn Cambria has used a stable of backs to accumulate 1,122 rushing yards, an average of 187 a game and 5.2 a carry. Brendan Eckenrode has passed for 418 yards, with 6-foot-6 receiver Nathan Keagy hauling in 10 receptions for 294 yards and five touchdowns.
Last season Forest Hills won 24-0 during the regular season, but Penn Cambria won 14-12 in the 5/6-AA playoffs a month later. The Rangers are 17-3-1 in the series since 1990.
Westmont at Richland
Undefeated Richland (6-0) is rolling through the LHAC and 6-AA after routing then once-beaten Somerset 47-0 last week.
The Rams have been in one close game, a 17-14 last-second win over visiting Bishop McCort in Week 5, and have outscored opponents 241-56. The Rams put up 62 points against Bedford and rolled over Johnstown 42-0 while moving to the top of the District 6-AA rankings with 810 rating points.
A week ago junior Tanner Solarczyk ran for five touchdowns. He had the only two Rams TDs against McCort, giving him seven scores in two weeks and 791 yards this season. The Rams can pass too. Quarterback Matt Shaffer is second in the area with 844 passing yards and Kyle Flick is the area’s leading receiver with 483 yards despite missing most of two games with an injury.
McCort shut out Westmont 35-0 last week at the Hilltoppers’ field. Westmont dropped a 26-21 game in Week 5 in a game that came a week after Hilltop stunned previously undefeated Somerset 17-14. The Hilltoppers also were close at Johnstown, falling 20-17.
Sam Curry leds Hilltop with 511 rushing yards. Quarterback Liam Moran has thrown for 323 yards, with Lukas Kleinmeyer making 26 catches for 183 yards.
Richland won 41-8 last season and the Rams have won three straight in a series Westmont had dominated with 11 consecutive wins from 1991 through 2001 and 16 wins in 18 years through 2008.