We’re nearly halfway through the regular season of high school football in Schuylkill County and we’re about ready for some more competitive games.
Hopefully, this is the week we get them as Schuylkill League play finally kicks off … at least some of it.
In Week 5, we get a single match-up in Division 1 and Division 2.
Pairing the big schools against each other and the smalls against themselves should provide more balanced scorelines. Of course, there are only 2 of those games — plus the always hotly contested Tri-Valley Conference games — and the rest are potential non-conference routs in the making.
Last week on Canary Picks, we got distracted working on a big news story about one school on this list and their poor financial planning. So, we had to make our picks on Twitter real quick at the last minute. Here’s who we picked.
Our Canary Picks were 8-4 last week and now 25-12 on the season. Due to #BreakingNews, here are our Week 4 picks: Mahanoy Area, Hamburg, Tamaqua, Midd-West, Lehighton, Pottsville, North Schuylkill, Jim Thorpe, Wms Valley, Pine Grove, and Blue Mountain. #HSFootball
— Coal Region Canary (@HardCoalCanary) September 13, 2019
So … the Eagles tripped us up on Saturday from having a perfect week. That’s OK. In fact, when you check our picks this week, you’ll see we have confidence they’ll bounce back this week in their Schuylkill League opener.
For the record: Last week, Canary Picks went 10-1! That brings our yearly record to 35-13 (73%) now through 4 weeks.
Can we get it 100% right this week?
Schuylkill County High School Football – Week 5
TNF: Lehighton Routs Panther Valley
It’s been a rough season for the Panthers and they had one more uphill climb in Week 5 on Thursday night.
Despite getting a pick-6 to end the first half, Panther Valley was no match for Division 1 Lehighton. The Indians rolled over the Panthers in a rare Thursday night game, 43-14.
Lehighton improves to 3-2 this year before it opens Schuylkill League play next week. Panther Valley, at 0-5, hopes to find winning ways starting next week in Division 2 play of the Schuylkill League.
Schuylkill League Kicks Off Sept. 20
Here’s a look at the opening games of Schuylkill League football for the 2019 season. There’s a game in Division 1 and Division 2:
Tamaqua (4-0) at Blue Mountain (3-1)
Tamaqua’s been out to a flying start this season. But they haven’t faced a challenge that Blue Mountain is sure to give them Friday in Orwigsburg.
The Blue Raiders have outscored opponents 177-23 in four games this season. That impressive start and lopsided scores have eyes focused on them outside the area now, too. But they’ll have to prove those results aren’t from playing down to some smaller schools this week.
Blue Moutain’s lone blemish happened last week when the Eagles took it on the chin from a Wyomissing team that’s taken out two other Schuylkill League teams so far (Pottsville and North Schuylkill). The Eagles will be looking to recover from that first loss by getting off to a winning start in Schuylkill League play.
Canary Picks: Blue Mountain 27-22
Schuylkill Haven (0-4) at Marian Catholic (0-4)
It’s been a rough start for these two perennial local gridiron favorites. So, something’s got to give Friday night in Hometown.
Both Schuylkill Haven and Marian have struggled to move the ball this season and that struggle is even more real getting the ball into the end zone.
The Hurricanes have scored 42 points in 4 games this year, averaging just 10.5 points per game. However, the Colts offense has struggled even more, scoring just 12 points over 4 games (3 ppg).
Canary Picks: Haven 35-13
Tri-Valley Conference Heating Up
The temps are dropping and in the wide-open Tri-Valley Conference but the race for the top spot there is white hot. Here are some of the key matchups involving local teams:
Upper Dauphin (4-0, 3-0 TVC) at Tri-Valley (1-3, 0-3 TVC)
The Trojans high-flying offense has them sitting atop the Tri-Valley Conference. And the Bulldogs haven’t won since they sneaked by Mahanoy Area in Week 1. However, this could be one week where they’ll get support from their fierce rivals Williams Valley to pull off an upset.
Canary Picks: Upper Dauphin 49-14
Juniata (2-2, 2-1 TVC) at Williams Valley (4-0, 3-0 TVC)
Williams Valley could benefit from anyone knocking off Upper Dauphin before they meet later this season. Until then, the Vikings figure to face a tough test on Friday in Week 5 from Juaniata. The Vikings are undefeated on the season and have not looked back since limping into halftime against Newport several weeks ago.
Canary Picks: Williams Valley 28-13
Pine Grove (3-1, 2-1 TVC) at Susquenita (2-2, 1-2 TVC)
The Cardinals can try to keep pace with the top players in the Tri-Valley Conference. And to do so on Friday, they’ll need to get by a Susquenita on the road. Pine Grove is just a game behind Upper Dauphin and Williams Valley in the TVC.
Canary Picks: Pine Grove 27-20
Here’s a quick rundown of the remaining games involving Schuylkill County football teams this week playing in non-conference contests. Canary Picks in BOLD:
- Jim Thorpe at Midd-West
- Schuylkill Valley at Minersville
- Mount Carmel at North Schuylkill
- Hamburg at Mahanoy Area
- Shenandoah Valley at Nativity BVM
- Pottsville at Interboro