DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A
(2) GAR (6-5) AT (1) SCRANTON PREP (10-1)
COMPILED BY STEVE BENNETT / STAFF WRITER
Scranton Memorial Stadium
District 2 Class 3A championship
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
GAR 21, Lake-Lehman 13 Scranton Prep 48, Nanticoke Area 14
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.
GAR’s Josh Goodwin averages 5.9 yards per carry.