BERWICK (8-4) AT NORTH POCONO (9-3)
Trojan Stadium, North Pocono
District 2 Class 4A championship game
Winner advances to the PIAA playoffs and will play Cardinal O’Hara or Imhotep Charter.
Berwick 38, North Pocono 28 (2011)
Berwick leads 6-3
Berwick 38, Wyoming Area 6 North Pocono 34, Valley View 6
Berwick is looking to win its 11th district championship in school history, and is 23-7 overall in the district playoffs.
North Pocono is 3-2 in the district playoffs, having last appeared in 2010. The Trojans won the 1993 Class 3A championship. In 1994, Berwick defeated North Pocono in the championship game.
North Pocono started the season strong, winning its first five games, but stumbled down the stretch, losing three of its last five regular season games.
The Trojans advanced to the championship game with wins over Crestwood and Valley View by a combined score of 82-20. Matt Craig and Tyler Musgrave make the offense go out of the backfield. Most everything North Pocono does comes out of the I-formation.
Sophomore quarterback Donny Blaine has thrown for 1,087 yards and eight touchdowns. He has been intercepted four times in 136 attempts. Dale Moore is the leading receiver with 16 catches and averages 19.1 yards per reception. Ben Dial has 14 catches for 202 yards and averages 14.4 yards per catch. Craig has nine catches out of the backfield with four of them going for scores and averages 30.7 yards per catch. Musgrave has seven catches with an average of 18.4 yards with one score.
As a team the Trojans have rushed for 2,557 yards and passed for 1,087. They are averaging 303.7 yards of offense per game.
Defensively, the Trojans have given up 1,959 yards rushing and 1,114 passing for an average of 256.1 per game.
Len Wyda leads Berwick’s no-huddle, hurry-up offense with 1,461 yards with an average of 5.5 yards per carry. He has rushed for 25 touchdowns.
Jared Marshman is second on the team in rushing. He’s completed 58.6 percent of his passes and averages 16.1 yards per completion.
Anthony Cicini is second on the team in receptions with 18 with an average of 15.4 yards per catch. Mike Force has 17 receptions. Kicker Ken Marshman has kicked 48 extra points and seven field goals with a long of 34 yards.
Berwick averages 370.1 yards of total offense per game, 136.8 via the pass with 233.3 coming on the ground. The Bulldogs averaging 33.0 points per game. Berwick’s defense ranks fourth in the WVC, allowing 266.4 yards per game. It allows 166.5 yards on the ground and 99.8 through the air. Overall, Berwick allows 18.6 points per game.
KEYS TO THE GAME 1. Match them up
Look for Berwick to try to spread out the North Pocono defense. It will create some favorable matchups on the outside. At the same time, that may free up some open space for the running backs and some designed runs for the quarterback.
2. The ‘I’ has it
The Trojans like to base the offense out of the I formation. From there, they try to establish the tailback and the fullback off tackle. Of course, Berwick’s defense will have to watch for the play action. The Trojans are very good at using the play-action pass when the defense comes up to play the run.
3. Think big
North Pocono’s defensive front four is a solid group and the linebackers play physical. Don’t be surprised to see Berwick try to hit on a few big plays, especially early to try to move the ball down the field.
Berwick, which is looking to win its 11th District 2 championship, takes the field for a game earlier this season.