The Central Dauphin East Panthers will play host to the Harrisburg Cougars on Saturday morning. CD East won the battle last year 25-6. Harrisburg comes into the game tied in 1st in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference, while CD East is just behind them in 2nd.
The Central Dauphin East Panthers finished the 2011 season with a 5-6 overall record, going 2-4 in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference. Head Coach George Chaump’s team returns 11 starters off of last year’s team, 4 on offense and 7 on defense. Coach Chaump thought he would have junior T.J. Wilson to rely on at quarterback, but the position was left as a big question mark after Wilson transferred to Millersburg. Jahid Neibauer got the nod from Coach Chaump despite being a freshman. Chase Edmonds is back from a broken wrist that kept him out 6 weeks. Last weekend he rushed for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 13 carries in their win against Carlisle. Backup Joe Lemelle added 57 yards and another 2 touchdowns. Seniors Siele Johnson and Kyrelle Quinn lead a thin receiving core for the Panthers. Seniors Justin DeJesus and Ethan Cooper anchor a sizeable offensive line that includes senior tight end Payton Minnich. Minnich, Cooper and Maurice Lewis will all be on the defensive line that shut out Carlisle last weekend. The Panthers are off to a 2-3 (1-1) start that has them in 2nd place in the conference.
The Cougars of Harrisburg are looking to rebound after a disappointing 1-9 finish in 2011 in Head Coach Calvin Everett’s first season. The outlook for the 2012 season looks very bright for the Cougars. Senior Kyle Cook is off to an impressive start as quarterback this season. Potentially the biggest surprise for the Cougars so far this season has been the play of their 4 running backs. Junior Darian Ray, senior Dominique Shurns, junior Jalen Housman and junior Robert Martin have all seen carries so far this season and have taken advantage of them. In last week’s win over Mifflin County, the four backs totaled for 236 yards on 12 carries. Martin finished with 178 yards on 5 carries to go with his 2 touchdowns. Shurns returned back-to-back punts of 58 and 81 yards for touchdowns. Cook will find senior Marcel Brown and junior Dequan Ware as his main targets at wide receiver. The Cougars high-octane offense has them sitting atop the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference with a 4-1 (2-0) record going into Saturdays showdown with CD East.
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