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Second week can clarify teams’ status

September 5, 2013
By Philip Cmor (pcmor@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

It's been written here before, but the most telling week of the high school football season is the second, not the first.

Sure, it's great to open the season with a win. Tyrone can bask in the glow of a coming out on top in the "Backyard Brawl." Altoona can be encouraged by beating Norwin on the road.

But what do we know about the teams they played in week 1? Not a lot. There's no place for comparison and the sample size is too small, even if we might have a good idea based on how teams did last year and what's returning.

It's in the second game where observers get a true indication of who's for real and who might not be.

With that in mind, there are several games this writer will be paying particularly close attention to this week, but none has my interest piqued more than Bellwood-Antis at Moshannon Valley.

Bellwood's 0-1 and Mo Valley's 1-0, but the Blue Devils lost to Tyrone and the Black Knights cruised over a West Branch team that figured to be overmatched in their opener. So, really, this game is going to be much more telling insofar as how these teams might fare when it comes to their divisions of the ICC and, eventually, the District 6 Class A playoffs.

Bellwood hasn't lost in the ICC in years, but they lost enough to graduation and a couple of key players not coming out to raise questions. If you talk to people around Houtzdale, they've had this date circled for a while - the Knights have some very talented skill players, and Michael Keith's spread offense suits them well.

The key will be in the trenches. Bellwood returns three starters there, and, even if they aren't big, they always are tough and disciplined.

Mo Valley, though, is just as experienced up front and maybe even a little bit bigger than the Devils on the line.

The result could set a trend not only for both these teams but also have a far-reaching impact on the District 6 Class A picture over the weeks to come.

Stat watching

If you had any doubts about how the read option was going to affect football at all levels, one need only look at this week's area stats.

Three area quarterbacks ran for more than 100 yards last week, and two others rushed for at least 90.

Like all innovations, eventually someone will come up with a defensive scheme to even the odds against the read option. But, for now at least, it seems to be a system on the rise.

Cmor can be reached at 946-7440 or pcmor@altoonamirror.com.

 
 

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