Hazleton Area (3-4) at Wyoming Valley West (6-1)
7 p.m. today
The Coaches: Hazleton Area’s Jim Drumheller (8-19, 3rd year); Valley West’s Pat Keating (37-15, 5th year)
Last Meeting: Valley West 42-12 in 2012
All-Time Series: Valley West leads 24-12-1
Quick Fact: Valley West led last year’s game 14-12 entering the fourth quarter.
Scouting Hazleton Area: The Cougars won for the third time in four games last Saturday, defeating Dallas 13-7. They’ve played well in the last four games, except for the disastrous second half against Crestwood. RB Zach Zukoski posted his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, while RB Nick George has added balance. WR Jeff Ochs continues to find holes in the opponent’s secondary. The defense had its best game against the run, holding Dallas to just 58 yards. As a unit, the group is showing improvement.
Scouting Valley West: The Spartans beat up an already hurting Tunkhannock bunch 48-6 last Friday, taking a 41-0 lead into halftime. No one put up gaudy numbers as this was an opportunity to give the reserves some playing time. Valley West has now scored 40 or more points four times and crossed the goal line at least four times in all its games. This could be the last home game at Spartan Stadium this year unless the Spartans secure a home contest in the D2/4-11 Class 4A playoffs in a few weeks.
What To Expect: Hazleton Area has enough talent to hang with Valley West for awhile. The Cougars, though, don’t have enough to make an upset bid seem feasible.