McDowell and Meadville will face familiar foes in their PIAA subregional games on Friday.
McDowell will host State College in Class 6A, while Meadville will also be at home on Friday against Juniata in Class 4A, with both games slated for 7 p.m. kickoffs.
Both teams met a year ago in this round, and in the case of Meadville and Juniata, they have met each of the last two seasons.
Here’s a closer look at each matchup.
CLASS 6A SUBREGIONAL
(6-1) STATE COLLEGE at (10-1) MCDOWELL
A rematch of a thrilling game a year ago won by State College in this round, 57-50 in triple overtime. The Trojans come in at 7-4 off a bye after beating Erie, 58-20 for the District 10 title. State College, meanwhile, enters at 7-3 and is coming off a 16-6 win over Altoona for the District 6 crown.
McDowell has scored at least 47 points in six of its seven wins this season, and that starts with quarterback Blayze Myers, as well as an offensive line led by Aidan Probst and Penn State signee Cooper Cousins. Myers has completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards and a 32-8 touchdown to interception ratio. He has spread out those yards this season, with Dominic Beraducci (30-277-5), Jake Hower (27-305-3), Stephon Porter (27-256-4), James Zigler Jr. (27-511-4) and Leo Whitaker (21-368-7) leading the way. On the ground, it’s been Beraducci (569 yards, 7.1 ypc., 7 touchdowns) and Porter (443 yards, 5.3 ypc., 9 touchdowns) leading the way.
Defensively Drew Pilatowski (61 tackles, 9 TFL) and Beraducci (55 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 interceptions) have helped lead the way.
Alex Sontheimer is also a weapon in the kicking game with 78 points on the season.
State College, meanwhile, has allowed just 162 points in 10 games this season. It’s a defense led by Michael Gaul (107 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss), Justin Castro-Dixon (78 tackles, 11 TFL), Sam Mayer (7.5 sacks) and Cooper Brushwood (4 interceptions).
Eddie Corkery has thrown for 1,940 yards on the season for the Little Lions, completing 57 percent of his passes with a 17-6 touchdown to interception ratio. Ty Salazer (57-1,007-8) has accounted for much of that damage. D’ante Sheffey leads the ground game with 468 yards (4.5 ypc.) and 12 touchdowns.
The winner will meet the winner of the WPIAL title game between Central Catholic and North Allegheny next week in the PIAA quarterfinals.
CLASS 4A SUBREGIONAL
(6-1) JUNIATA at (10-1) MEADVILLE
Meadville (9-2) has one the last two seasons in this round over Juniata, including 27-14 last season. The Bulldogs outlasted University Prep 22-18 last week, while Juniata (7-5) is coming off a 36-22 win over DuBois.
Meadville’s only two losses this season have come to a pair of Class 6A schools, including McDowell. The 18 points allowed last week by the Bulldogs was a season-high for a win, having not allowed more than 17 in any of their previous eight wins. That Bulldog defense is led by Tahlir McClure (92 tackles, 10 TFL), Ty Tidball (76 tackles, 5 TFL), Ryan Reichel (70 tackles, 4 interceptions), Brighton Anderson (9 TFL), Amari Grenaway (4 interceptions) and Justice Esser (6 sacks).
Esser has anchored an offensive line that has paved the way for Meadville’s talented stable of runners. Leading the way are Braydn Miller with 1,301 yards (9.8 ypc.) and 21 touchdowns, Jordan Lawrence with 1,299 yards (8.7 ypc.) and 10 touchdowns and Anderson with 942 yards (10.8 ypc.) and 11 touchdowns.
Juniata, meanwhile, started off the season 0-3, including losses to powerhouses Troy and Selinsgrove, before getting hot. Offensively, the Indians are led by quarterback Wyatt Ehrenzeller, who has thrown for 1,999 yards and a 23-11 touchdown to interception ratio. Most of that damage has gone to Jasper Shepps, who has 65 receptions for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns. Javier Lopez has rushed for 590 yards (5.8 ypc.) and three touchdowns, while Heath Hutchinson has 415 yards (5.5 ypc.) and eight touchdowns.
Peiper leads the Juniata defense with 112 tackles (11 TFL), while Shepps has six interceptions and Connor Boreman four.
The winner will face the Bethlehem Catholic/Selinsgrove winner next week in the PIAA quarterfinals.