DIS­TRICT 2 CLASS 3A

(2) GAR (6-5) AT (1) SCRAN­TON PREP (10-1)

Gameface - - DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A -

COM­PILED BY STEVE BEN­NETT / STAFF WRITER

WHEN

7, tonight

WHERE

Scran­ton Memo­rial Sta­dium

TOUR­NA­MENT

Dis­trict 2 Class 3A cham­pi­onship

UP NEXT

Win­ner plans Danville or Mon­toursville in the first round of the PIAA Cham­pi­onships LAST MEET­ING

GAR 26, Scran­ton Prep 25 (2003) SE­RIES HIS­TORY

Scran­ton Prep leads 5-3

LAST WEEK

GAR 21, Lake-Lehman 13 Scran­ton Prep 48, Nan­ti­coke Area 14

SCOUT­ING RE­PORT

The first meet­ing be­tween the two teams was a 1982 play­off game won by GAR, 35-0. The teams met twice in the 2000 sea­son, in­clud­ing the play­offs, with Prep win­ning both times.

The Cava­liers de­feated Ber­wick in last year’s Class 3A dis­trict cham­pi­onship game when the state had just four classes. The Cava­liers are 14-1 against teams from the Wy­oming Val­ley Con­fer­ence since the 2012 sea­son. The lone loss came to Ber­wick in the 2014 dis­trict play­offs.

Scran­ton Prep be­gan the sea­son as the fa­vorite to win the Class 3A dis­trict cham­pi­onship.

Since open­ing the sea­son with a loss to Abing­ton Heights, the Cava­liers are on a 10-game win­ning streak.

Run­ning back Matt Gil­martin av­er­ages 6.8 yards per carry and rushed for 486 yards. Mario Gian­none is sec­ond on the team in re­cep­tions with 21. Scran­ton Prep’s of­fense av­er­ages 347.4 yards per game. The Cava­liers have rushed for 2,701 yards, and thrown for 1,120. De­fen­sively, they give up 153.7 yards per game. They have al­lowed 943 yards rush­ing and 748 pass­ing.

GAR is back in the dis­trict cham­pi­onship game for the first time since 2011 when it won its sec­ond of two straight Class 2A ti­tles. The Gre­nadiers are on a three-game win­ning streak.

GAR av­er­ages 231.4 yards and 26.9 points per game. The de­fense ranked sec­ond in the con­fer­ence, al­low­ing 259.8 yards per game. They were also sec­ond in points al­lowed with 18.2. GAR’s strength is its over­all team speed and ath­leti­cism.

Good­win leads the team, av­er­ag­ing 5.9 yards per carry. Quar­ter­back Austin Yel­land is sec­ond at 4.5. Yel­land has thrown for 345 yards and five touch­downs. The Gre­nadiers have in­ter­cepted nine passes on the year with no­body hav­ing more than one. The Gre­nadiers have six de­fen­sive touch­downs on the sea­son with Tashawn Qualls lead­ing the team with two, one fum­ble and one in­ter­cep­tion. Good­win has re­turned one punt for a touch­down, while Ta­jud­din has kicked 26 ex­tra points and five field goals with a long of 32 yards.

KEYS TO THE GAME 1. Don’t risk it

GAR is at its best when its de­fense is fly­ing around cre­at­ing turnovers. Look for Scran­ton Prep to es­tab­lish the run game early and rely on its of­fen­sive line. If GAR starts blitz­ing in­side, the Cava­liers can use the pitch and roll outs to try and get to the edge.

2. Be re­spect­ful

At the same time, GAR is go­ing to have to re­spect Prep’s pass­ing game as well. If the Gre­nadiers get too caught up in the run game and start­ing load­ing the box, that is when they can ex­pect Prep to try and beat them over the top.

3. Take a chance

GAR has noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain. Don’t be sur­prised if the Gre­nadiers try and throw a few dif­fer­ent things at the Cava­liers. Nat­u­rally the Gre­nadiers are go­ing to look to run the foot­ball. It wouldn’t hurt to take a few shots down the field, and maybe mix a few things up here and there to try and loosen up the Prep de­fense. Of course, it is all go­ing to come down to Prep’s of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive front against GAR’s.

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / THE CIT­I­ZENS’ VOICE

GAR’s Josh Good­win av­er­ages 5.9 yards per carry.

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