HARRISBURG – CBS 21’s Friday Night Rivals Presented by Faulkner Subaru season continues through the halfway point as Upper Dauphin and Susquenita face off in Week 6 of Friday Night Rivals
The Upper Dauphin Trojans improved to 4-1 at the halfway point of the 2018 regular season after a 42-14 win over Tri-Valley. Upper Dauphin ran the ball an absurd 66 times for 446 yards in the win, led by 150 yards and three touchdowns from Macklin Ayers. Susquenita fell to 2-3 on the season after a 22-7 loss on the road against Pine Grove. Susquenita held Pine Grove scoreless in the second half, but was unable to muster anything other than a 2nd quarter score in the contest.
The Trojans, coached by Kent Smeltz, are a run-heavy offense with 1,849 rushing yards through five games. The QB, Ayers, has attempted 61 passes, completing 28 of them for 547 yards. On the ground, he has 80 carries for over 500 yards and ten rushing touchdowns. Jake Ramberger and Donnie Gelnett are the other main rushing threats, combining for over 900 yards. Remberger is averaging over ten yards per carry and has eight scores this year. Zach Rupp has been a big-play threat for the passing game, pulling in seven catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
The Blackhawks offense has also been a run-heavy one under Scott Acri this season. Russ Amick and Antonio Garcia have combined for 153 yards passing in 2018. Amick is the leading rusher, with 262 yards and three touchdowns. Both Austin Kenny and John Stump have multiple scores on the ground and have combined for 357 yards rushing. Masyn Miller is the leading receiver with eight receptions for 98 yards.
Defensively, the Trojans are led by Brennen McAllister. McAllister has racked up 30 tackles, with 12 of them coming behind the line-of-scrimmage. Darion and Mason Wiest have both accumulated more than 20 tackles each, so far. Upper Dauphin has forced five turnovers.
Susquenita has yet to allow more than 22 points in a game this season, holding opponents below 20 points in three of their five games. Amick has contributed defensively for the Blackhawks, returning an interception for a touchdown. Despite a 2-3 record, Susquenita has been the second toughest team to score against in the Tri-Valley this year. It has been the offense, scoring the second least points in the conference, holding them back.
Upper Dauphin is one of three 3-1 teams in conference play this year, joining Line Mountain and Williams Valley. Halifax has paced the Tri-Valley with a 5-0 record overall and 4-0 in conference play.
The Trojans have already matched their win total from last season, a 4-6 campaign in the first year under Smeltz. The Blackhawks were 5-5 last season and are looking to improve on that in the fourth year under Acri.
The last meeting between these squads was a 55-22 win for Susquenita in 2015. Upper Dauphin prevailed in the 2014 matchup 35-28.
IME: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.
WATCH: CBS 21
ANNOUNCERS: Phil Schoener (play-by-play), Collin Riccobon (analyst), Jeff Jezewski (sidelines).
2018 HARRISBURG FRIDAY NIGHT RIVALS SCHEDULE
***ALL GAMES AT 7 P.M. ON CBS 21, WHP
Friday Sept 28 Upper Dauphin at Susquenita
Friday Oct 5 Trinity at East Pennsboro
Friday Oct 12 Hershey at Bishop McDevitt
Friday Oct 19 Camp Hill at Milton Hershey
Friday Oct 26 Central Dauphin at CD East