Wyoming Valley Conference football is at the point where 1,000 yards rushing during the regular season is pretty commonplace. So are 1,000 yards passing. As for 1,000 yards receiving, well there's a chance that could happen for the first time in 10 years on Friday night.
Crestwood senior wide receiver Kota Kishel enters Friday's game with Coughlin at 884 receiving yards. If he can get 116 yards worth of catches against the Crusaders, he'll be the WVC's first 1,000-yard pass catcher since 2002.
Kishel is coming off a 187-yard performance against Williamsport. Coughlin's pass defense has allowed an average of 201.3 yards in its last three games after surrendering an average of 54.8 through its first six.
The last WVC player to reach 1,000 receiving yards during the regular season was Wyoming Valley West's Jim Jordan in 2002. Jordan caught 43 passes for 1,015 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The feat is so difficult to achieve that since Jordan did it, only one player has topped 900 yards – Williamsport's Jared Fagnano (902) in 2010. Fagnano is sitting out this season at Penn State after transferring from Akron.
Only three others topped 800 during that span – Williamsport's Shamaar Coates (823) and Crestwood's Jason Prushinski (811) in 2004 and then Pittston Area's Charles Salvo (844) in 2005.
The annual UNICO All-Star Football Classic will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Wyoming Area.
Tunkhannock's Rod Azar and Wyoming Valley West's Pat Keating will coach the West while Holy Redeemer's Pat Reece will run the East squad.
The coaches met recently to select the teams. The rosters will be released Sunday unless for some reason the regular season isn't completed by then.
Berwick receiver Andrew Force did it again Friday against Coughlin. He caught a pass that resulted in a touchdown. He now has six receptions, all of which have gone for scores.
Force nearly had a seventh as he ran wide open down the middle of the field, but the pass was a hair too long.
Three teams have clinched Eastern Conference playoff berths.
Wyoming Valley West has a spot in Class 4A. The Spartans will clinch home field throughout the four-team tournament if they defeat Williamsport on Friday. They can also get home-field advantage if Emmaus and Nazareth lose, which is very possible.
Dallas has a Class 3A spot locked up, but it can also make the District 2 playoffs. Coughlin is leading for a berth, but whether the Crusaders get it depends on how the D2-3A bracket shakes out. That's because Valley View and Dallas – both teams in the hunt for the final two district berths along with Crestwood – are ahead of them in the E.C. Northern. Crestwood is in the E.C. Central Division.
Meyers has clinched an E.C. Class 2A berth. The Mohawks will likely open on the road, with North Schuylkill and Palisades as likely destinations.
Northwest has fallen behind Bucktail for the E.C. Central Division berth in Class A. There's a good chance that will change, however, because the Rangers would get 150 points for a win at Montrose while Bucktail will get only 100 for defeating winless Carson Long.
District 2 made a great decision last year when it allowed the higher seed to host the championship games in Class 3A, 2A and A. After all, those schools should be awarded something for being the best team in their classification during the regular season.
There are caveats attached, however. The district football committee can move the site if the host doesn't meet some of 12 criteria such as field condition, seating, parking and security. I can't see any WVC playoff team where those criteria would be a problem.
The only time a game was nearly taken away from a District 2 team was in 2006 when Abington Heights was scheduled to host Bethlehem Liberty in a District 2/4-11 Class 4A semifinal. The game was going to be moved to a neutral site, most likely Scranton Memorial, but after some haggling the Comets got their home-field advantage.
It didn't matter as Liberty won 42-7.
The Pit – Abington's home field – is one of my favorites because of its quaintness. But the visitors seating is sparse, the distance from the sidelines to the seating is dangerously narrow, parking is a headache and the grass field gets chewed up pretty well during the season.
It will be interesting if the topic comes up if Abington hosts the D2-3A title contest.
Mid Valley coach Frank Pazzaglia has decided to retire after 44 years coaching, most of them at Valley View. But Friday night might not be his last game on the sideline.
Mid Valley is just 20 state points behind Carbondale for an Eastern Conference Class 2A spot in the Northern Division.
Holy Redeemer's only scoring drive in a 56-6 loss to Meyers went 82 yards on 13 plays … and five offside penalties by Meyers. The Mohawks have been plagued by false start and offside penalties in the games I've attended.
I heard one guy take exception to Meyers throwing a 34-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter of that 56-6 win against the Royals. Rubbing it in is the way he phrased it.
Decide for yourself.
The pass was thrown by sophomore T.J. Cistunk. It was only the second varsity pass of his career.
It was caught by Ty Thomas, who recently joined the team after moving to the area. Both of his catches this season came in that game.
QB – Dallas
Zapoticky completed 8-of-11 passes for 157 yards and four touchdowns as Dallas routed Tunkhannock 60-0. The four TD passes tied his career high set four weeks ago against Pittston Area. For the season, Zapoticky has completed 77-of-142 passes for 1,310 yards and 17 touchdowns with only three interceptions.
Frank Aigeldinger – RB – Crestwood
Matt DeMarco – WR – Meyers
Kota Kishel – WR – Crestwood
Mike Baur – QB – Wyoming Valley West
Jay Popson – QB – Crestwood
Dustin Jones – RB – Lake-Lehman
Derrick Simms – RB – Wyoming Valley West
Nick O'Brien – QB – Wyoming Area
Lucas Benton – WR/RB – GAR
Nick O'Brien – QB – Wyoming Area
Jimmy Strickland – QB – Holy Redeemer