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Steel Bowl Showdown, Playoff Positioning, Region Championships Take Center Stage in D10 Week 8


It’s Week 8, which means teams are closing in on region titles and playoff positioning is in full swing.

Lakeview (Region 1), Mercyhurst Prep (Region 2), Meadville (Region 4), North East (Region 5) and McDowell (Region 6) are in prime position.

Then there’s the matter of the Steel Bowl on Saturday when Sharon (6-1) makes the short trip to take on Farrell (7-0), not only a battle for the top spot in Region 3, but also has playoff implication as the Steelers (Class 2A) and Tigers (Class 3A) are likely considered the top seeds in their respective classes at this point. Mercyhurst Prep is also 7-0 in Class 2A, although the Steelers have played the more difficult schedule, while Region 3 contenders Hickory and Grove City, as well as North East are primed for strong seeds in Class 3A.

Taking a look at the Tigers and Steelers, it’s a battle of an unstoppable force against an immovable object.

Farrell turned in its best offensive performance of the season last week in a 62-6 win over Sharpsville. In that game, Kabron Smith threw for 214 yards and five touchdowns, while Juelz Johnson was over 100 yards on the ground. Smith has put together an incredibly efficient first seven games, completing 68 percent of his passes for 1,336 yards and an 18-3 touchdown to interception ratio. Danny Odem III, Simeir Wade and Brandon Chambers all have amassed over 20 receptions and combined for 16 of those 18 touchdowns, while Johnson has 594 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Marion Norris (82 tackles) leads a defense that has held opponents to just 19 points over its last three games and hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in a game this season.


Sharon, meanwhile, has put together one of the great defense seasons in recent memory to this point. The Tigers have allowed just 31 points through seven games, including four shutouts. It’s a unit that is led by Bryson Roberson who has 91 tackles, including nine for loss, as well as 3.5 sacks. Offensively, the Tigers have a ground and pound offense that can go to the air effectively as well. Mister Ham (598 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Cortez Nixon (490 yards, 4 touchdowns) lead the rushing attack, while Ham has completed 62 percent of his passes for 761 yards and a 8-3 touchdown to interception ratio. CC Harrison (260 yards, 4 touchdowns) is his top target.

Here’s a look at the rest of the D10 slate.


MERCER (4-3) at LAKEVIEW (7-0)

All things considered, Lakeview delivered the best performance of any D10 team this season in its 28-22 win over Cambridge Springs last week. The Sailors are now 7-0 and are in prime position to win a region title and claim the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A playoffs. Mitchell Tingley rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns last week and on the season has 770 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns. Aiden Osborne, meanwhile, has five touchdowns on the ground, while Leyton Zacherl has thrown for 697 yards and a 10-1 touchdown to interception ratio. His top targets are Blake Stiles (13-313-3) and Danick Hinkson (12-340-6).


Mercer has won back-to-back games over Maplewood and Kennedy Catholic. The Mustangs feature a pair of dynamic backs in Daemyin Mattocks (771 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Carter Addison (612 yards, 8 touchdowns). The Mustangs have give up just 38 points over their past four games.


The Blue Devils, who had won each of their first six games by at least 39 points, look to bounce back. They will lean on a potent rushing attack led by Brett Kania (772 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Preston Gorton (377 yards, 7 touchdowns), as well as Josh Gorton and Jordan Washington. Josh Gorton leads the defense with 72 tackles and Tristen Mazzadra 10 sacks.

Cochranton, meanwhile, has won four of its last five games, including a 28-14 win over Reynolds last week. Their only loss in that span was a 20-12 loss to Lakeview. Noah Cummings has put together multiple 100-yard rushing efforts during that span, while Blake Foulk has been a jack-of-all-trades, getting it done on the ground and also leading a Cardinal defense that has given up just 10.5 ppg. over its last five games.


Reynolds looks to get back on the winning track after its loss to Cochranton last week. Gabe Minjarez leads the rushing attack with 630 yards and six touchdowns, while Gavin Alabran has 329 yards and four touchdowns.

They will be facing a Saegertown team that is coming off a 48-6 loss to Eisenhower. Aaron Shartle had 70 yards on the ground and a touchdown last week against the Knights.


Maplewood is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses against Mercer and Titusville. Freshman quarterback Kyle Jordan has emerged, throwing for 629 yards and seven touchdowns, with three each going to Dorian Doubet and Dominick Kinney.

Kennedy Catholic, meanwhile, will look to stiffen up its defense following a 60-6 loss to Mercer last week.




The Lakers’ point differential is almost silly at this point, having outscored their opponents 423-33. Paul Johnson has completed 71 percent of his passes for 999 yards and a 16-0 touchdown to interception ratio while also running for 502 yards and nine touchdowns. JJ Ganska (922 yards, 12 touchdowns) leads the ground game, while Ja’son Ellman (403 yards, 9 touchdowns) paces the receivers.

Iroquois is looking to bounce back from a 35-0 loss to Greenville. Christian Krysiak has thrown for 1,143 yards and six touchdowns, with Micah Pisarski (367 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Cole Bennett (308 yards, 2 touchdowns) his top receivers.


Eisenhower is coming off a 48-6 win over Saegertown last week and has allowed just 45 points in its four wins. The Knights feature a vaunted rushing attack with Logan Penley (438 yards, 3 touchdowns), Shawn Pascuzzi (409 yards, 5 touchdowns), Tucker Lindell (399 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Ryan Chambers (296 yards, 2 touchdowns). Pascuzzi has also thrown for 562 yards and 10 touchdowns, with a good bit of that production going to Kris Bunk (285 yards, 7 touchdowns).

Northwestern, meanwhile is coming off back-to-back wins over Union City and Conneaut. Lloyd Fountain has thrown for 843 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 315 yards and six touchdowns. His top target is Kolton Sutter (388 yards, 2 touchdowns).

SENECA (1-6) at UNION CITY (3-3)

Union City had a bye week after a 19-13 loss to Northwestern, while Seneca is looking to bounce back from a 42-20 loss to Franklin. Skylar Olmstead (735 yards, 8 touchdowns) and Owen Kerns (384 yards, 4 touchdowns) lead the Bears’ rushing attack.

Seneca’s Nolan Seabury has thrown for 697 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 453 yards and eight touchdowns. Dominic Buscemi (383 yards, 3 touchdowns) is his top target.




Sharpsville is coming off back-to-back losses to Sharon and Farrell, while Grove City is coming off a 29-15 loss to Hickory. The Eagles had won three straight before their loss to Hickory last week. Hunter Hohman has thrown for 1,249 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 543 yards and six touchdowns. Nathan Greer (450 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Gavin Lutz (384 yards, 5 touchdowns) lead the receivers. In their four wins, the Eagles have allowed just 35 points.

After averaging over 49 points per game in getting out to a 5-0 start, Sharpsville’s offense has been held in check, scoring just 13 combined points in losses to Sharon and Farrell. Still, Caullin Summers has been one of the top players in District 10 this season, throwing for 1,648 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for 571 yards and seven touchdowns. Jaiden White, meanwhile, has 267 yards rushing, 277 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns, while Dalton Byerly has 665 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.


Hickory is playing really good football, as evidenced by its 29-15 win over Grove City last week. The Hornets’ defense has given up more than two touchdowns in a game just twice this season. Offensively, Zander Telez has thrown for 931 yards and 12 touchdowns and also rushed for 249 yards and five touchdowns. Kelvin Morrison (397 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Sean Kennedy (283 yards, 4 touchdowns) lead a balanced rushing attack, while Tylon Cousin (302 yards, 4 touchdowns) leads a talented receiving group.

Greenville is feeling good following its first win of the season last week, 35-0 over Iroquois. Rudy Gentile (439 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Malachi Hyde (415 yards) lead the rushing attack, while Nick Solderich has thrown for 536 yards and three touchdowns, with Jack Strausser (142 yards) and Noah Philson (174 yards, 1 touchdown) his top receivers.


Wilmington is looking to keep it rolling following a wild 49-42 double overtime non-region win over General McLane, the third time this season they have eclipsed the 40-point mark. Ben Miller (967 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Buddah Book (449 yards, 8 touchdowns) lead a potent rushing attack for the Greyhounds.

Slippery Rock, meanwhile, is coming off a 45-7 loss to Sharon. Eli Anderson has thrown for 797 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 298 yards and two touchdowns.



Meadville hung with McDowell early before falling, 52-13. The Bulldogs, who have the inside track on another region title, look to get back on track with a rushing attack led by Bradyn Miller (791 yards, 11 touchdowns), Jordan Lawrence (620 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Brighton Anderson (543 yards, 7 touchdowns).

Franklin, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back wins over Warren and Seneca, outscoring their opponents 77-20 in that span. Bryson Watson and Cole Buckley have gone over 100 yards on the ground in back-to-back games to lead the Knights.

CONNEAUT (2-5) at OIL CITY (4-3)

Both teams are looking to bounce back from tough losses, Oil City 49-0 to Hollidaysburg and Conneaut 27-19 to Northwestern. Ethen Knox is averaging 215 yards per game on the ground for the Oilers, having rushed for 1,294 yards and 19 touchdowns. In their four wins, the Oilers have outscored their opponents 214-29.

Joe Furgiuele has rushed for 477 yards and three touchdowns and Ben Easler has thrown for 548 yards and seven touchdowns for the Eagles, while Max Getz has 232 yards and three touchdowns receiving.

WARREN (0-7) at TITUSVILLE (4-3)

The Rockets have rattled off three-straight wins, outscoring their opponents 146-25 in that span. Jaxon Covell (850 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, 475 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns) and Ian McDonald (877 passing yards, 10 touchdowns) have formed a potent 1-2 punch. JJ Miller (64 tackles) and Kam Mong (7 sacks) lead the defense.

Warren’s Tommy Nyquist, who missed the first half of the season due to injury, rushed for 80 yards in last week’s loss to Mercyhurst Prep.



North East has outscored its opponents 209-51 in its six-game winning streak. Jackson Humes is completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,194 yards and 17 touchdowns, with 720 of those yards and seven touchdowns going to Jamari Curlett, who also has 453 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Jacob Babo leads the defense with 75 tackles.

Harbor Creek hung tough with 6-1 Fort LeBoeuf last week, ultimately falling 34-21. Tyshawn Jones has rushed for 796 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Huskies, while Lance Brown has 544 yards and six touchdowns. The Huskies have allowed just 21 points in their three wins.


Fairview has won three in a row, outscoring their opponents 115-49. Vinny Campoli has thrown for 857 yards and 11 touchdowns and also rushed for 401 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tyler Benford has rushed for 442 yards and six touchdowns and Jacob Harkness has 331 yards and four touchdowns receiving. Harkness also leads the defense with 67 tackles.

GM is looking to bounce back from its double overtime loss to Wilmington. Magnus Lloyd has 620 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground to lead the Lancers and he also leads the team in tackles.

GIRARD (2-4) at CORRY (1-5)

Corry’s offense came alive in a 49-30 loss to North East last week. Nolan Carey accounted for over 200 yards on the ground last week for the Beavers and is a true dual-threat quarterback.

Girard, meanwhile, is coming off a 35-21 loss to Fairview in which Jeremiah Colon ran for over 100 yards.



Despite their record, Prep remains a legitimate threat to make another deep postseason run, flexing its muscles in a 28-6 win over Benedictine (Ohio) last week. Dan Oblich had a monster game on defense with three interceptions. Dajoure Hollingsworth has put together a terrific season on the ground, rushing for 1,139 yards through six games with 11 touchdowns, while Luke Costello has thrown for eight touchdowns. RJ Roberts Jr. leads the team with 44 tackles.

Butler, meanwhile, has lost four straight after a 2-1 start. Braylon Littlejohn has 418 yards on the ground on the season for Butler.


ERIE (3-4) at FORT LEBOEUF (6-1)

An interesting non-region battle. Erie has played a tough schedule and is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses to St. Francis (NY) and Lake Catholic (Ohio). Adrien Tate has six rushing touchdowns on the season for the Royals. The defense has given up just 21 points in its three wins. Jefferson Barclay leads the defense with six sacks.

LeBoeuf, meanwhile, is led by its potent rushing attack with Aiden Lesik, Connor McChesney and Damian Blose. The Bison are outscoring their opponents 209-119 on the season. Lesik leads the team with 740 yards and nine touchdowns, while McChesney has 716 yards and 13 touchdowns.


McDowell is coming off back-to-back wins over Prep and Meadville and welcomes Dohn Community out of Cincinnati this week. Blayze Myers has been terrific at quarterback, throwing for over 1,500 yards with a 20-6 touchdown to interception ratio. Stephon Porter leads a balanced receiving group with 226 yards and is also the team’s top rusher.

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