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Southmoreland looks for win at Charleroi

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By Mark King
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

When the Southmoreland Scotties travel to Charleroi for Friday's Class AA Interstate Conference showdown, both teams will be trying to salvage their seasons.

The Scotties are coming off of an impressive 23-6 win over Brownsville on senior night Oct. 11.

The Cougars are still reeling from a 33-14 loss to a suddenly red-hot Greensburg Central Catholic squad, which won its fourth game in a row after starting the season 0-3.

Charleroi head coach Ed Jenkins is very familiar with the Scotties' program. Jenkins was an assistant coach under former Southmoreland head coach Dominic Pecora, who left after two years to take over the football program at East Allegheny.

Charleroi went 2-7 and 2-6 in the Interstate Conference in Jenkins first year as head coach for the Cougars, and is looking for his team to improve in 2013.

In his second full season as the leader of the Cougars, Jenkins has found the sledding to be very treacherous for his young squad.

Charleroi comes into the match-up with the Scotties sporting a 1-6 record overall, and a 1-5 record in the Interstate Conference. The Cougars only win came Sept. 27 when they defeated winless Deer Lakes 21-13.

The Cougars will be seeking to avenge the 42-22 thumping they received from Southmoreland last season.

Charleroi does have decent size on the offensive line, yet have struggled to move the ball consistently this season. Not being able to move the ball has left the Cougars lacking in offensive output, and has forced their defense to be on the field too long.

In order for the Cougars to hold off the strong running game of Southmoreland, they must find a running game of their own to protect the ball and control the clock.

Brennan Matthews has moved into the number one quarterback slot and has been steadily improving as the season continues. Matthews was 9-19 for 169 yards against Deer Lakes.

Matthews favorite target is senior wide receiver Dakota Moore. Moore hauled in a season high seven passes for 145 yards against the Lancers, and added a 46-yard touchdown run last week against G.C.C.

Carrying the pigskin for Charleroi will be senior Greg Arnold, who rushed for 200 yards on 65 carries as a junior last season.

Charleroi finds itself in the same boat as Southmoreland as both teams continue to try and build solid programs.

Charleroi wasted little time wrestling the services of Jenkins from the Scotties in 2011.

Jenkins is known to be a student of the game and cares passionately about his team and the school district in general. Jenkins mirrors current Southmoreland coach Mark Adams in his sentiments about getting the community involved and behind his team.

The winner of this one will secure at least a share of fifth place in the conference, and will use the momentum gained from a win in this game to carry them into their season finales Oct. 25.

Charleroi will travel to Brownsville to take on the winless Falcons, and Southmoreland will hit the road to Cougar Mountain to take on Yough.

Mark King is a contributing writer.

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