This will be Wilmington’s fifth consecutive trip to the PIAA quarterfinals, and the third-straight season they will be playing Chestnut Ridge in the Class 2A state playoffs (Friday, 7 p.m., Wilmington H.S.).
Wilmington won both meetings, 35-20 in 2019 and 40-33 in 2018, so there’s certainly a lot of familiarity in this one.
The Greyhounds (8-0) are coming off a 42-14 win over Karns City, while Chestnut Ridge (7-2), the District 5 champion, earned a 21-17 win over Berlin Brothersvalley.
This is a Wilmington senior class that has gone 47-4, included in that a pair of state championship game appearances.
It’s something they’re hoping to get back to in 2020.
Here’s how the teams match up:
WILMINGTON OFFENSE (39.8 ppg)
The Greyhounds beat you up front and with an array of talented backs. In the win over Karns City it was quarterback Caelan Bender carrying for 88 yards on just four carries and a pair of touchdowns. Bender also threw for 110 yards and a score in the win.
Ethan Susen (657 yards), Darren Miller (613 yards and Luke Edwards (332 yards) have all played pivotal roles in the rushing attack this season as well.
As Bender proved last week, despite modest passing numbers this season, he is a threat with his arm as well.
Susen and Mason Reed have a combined seven touchdown receptions between them.
CHESTNUT RIDGE OFFENSE (30.8)
This is an offense that is about as balanced as you can get, rushing for 1,584 yards and passing for 1,514 yards.
Both attacks start with talented senior dual threat quarterback Logan Pfister.
Pfister leads the team in rushing at 744 yards, an average of 8.7 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns.
Through the air, he has completed 59 percent of his throws (89-of-150) for 1,348 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.
His top targets are Matt Whysong (40 receptions, 719 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Trevor Weyandt (32-441-2).
Also look for Nick Presnell (290 yards) and Jonah Hillegass (202 yards) on the ground.
WILMINGTON DEFENSE (11.0 ppg.)
The Greyhounds fly to the ball. They have limited both of their playoff opponents – Farrell and Karns City, to just 14 points apiece.
Mason Reed is dangerous in the defensive backfield (pick six vs. Farrell) and the return game (kickoff return for score vs. Karns City).
CHESTNUT RIDGE DEFENSE (18.0 ppg.)
A unit that is absolutely peaking at the right time.
Daniel Moore leads the way with 84 tackles, while Weyandt has registered 74 stops and Luke Moore 71.
Whysong has also has a pair of interceptions.
WINNER GETS: Beaver Falls/Sto-Rox winner in Class 2A semifinals.
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