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The Leader: It's time to unleash the 'Beast' in Week 2

| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

The Leader loves football, and not just the high school variety.

Over the weekend, he got together with some friends for his annual NFL fantasy football draft, and with his first pick, The Leader grabbed one of his favorite players: Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch is a powerful back who frequently makes runs in which he seems to put the team on his back and carries it to victory — something he calls “Beast Mode.”

In Week 1 of the high school season, some local backs showed off their own Beast Mode. There were multi-touchdown rushing performances from West Shamokin's Zac Horner and Redbank Valley's Mark Strothers, and Kittanning's three-headed attack of Braydon Toy, Zane Dudek and Nick Bowers was a force.

So The Leader's question is: Who will unleash Beast Mode in this week's games?

Ford City at Freeport

The Leader hates to think that one of these teams will be 0-2, but it has to happen. Ford City did a better job defending the run last week, and with a healthier backfield led by Chantz Schrecengost, the Sabers are the pick. Ford City, 27-14

East Allegheny at Kittanning

If Kittanning's line opens up holes the same size it did last week, this one is no contest. Even The Leader's old college roommate, a former East Allegheny lineman, doesn't like his alma mater's chances. Kittanning, 38-6

Northgate at West Shamokin

The Flames and Wolves battling for first place in the Eastern Conference? West Shamokin was one of two misses in this column last week, but a win over Springdale is enough to show why you shouldn't pick against backs like Horner, Andrew Wingard and the rest of the Wolves. West Shamokin, 26-18

Leechburg at Union

The Blue Devils let one slip away last week in Wilkinsburg, and this week they face a longer road trip to face a Scotties team that plays in the always-strong Big Seven Conference. Union, 28-13

Apollo-Ridge at Wilkinsburg

Who says only running backs can have a Beast Mode? Tre Tipton and the Vikings get an extra day to prepare and stew over an overtime loss to North Catholic, and that spells trouble for the Tigers on Saturday. Apollo-Ridge, 34-14

Karns City at Clarion

This might be the toughest game of the week to gauge, as the two teams combined to win, 116-0, last week. The Gremlins are a veteran group, and Wyatt Everetts will be ready if Karns City has to lean more on the run this week. Karns City, 35-27

Redbank Valley at Brookville

The Bulldogs are much healthier this year, and it might be a race between them and West Shamokin for the area's most improved team. This game was a close loss for Redbank last year, and this year they turn it into a close win. Redbank Valley, 27-20

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