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Previewing the District 9 football playoffs

Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Redbank Valley's Jake Dougherty throws Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at training camp.

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District 9

Class AA

Semifinals

3-St. Marys (6-4) at 2-Karns City (9-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner gets: No. 1 Kane or No. 4 Brookville in District 9 championship game.

The buzz: Karns City needs to win two games to defend its district title, and its first test comes against the same team it battled in last year's semifinals.

Key players: St. Marys senior RB Alex Feldbauer missed some time with an injury, but he has 313 yards in his two games since returning. Karns City is a run-first offense, but senior QB Tyler Kepple has thrown for 22 touchdowns.

About the Flying Dutch: QB Nick Cunningham has 1,019 yards and 11 touchdowns passing this season. Two of the four losses by St. Marys came in the two games Feldbauer missed while injured.

About the Gremlins: RB Zach Moore ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and kicked a 36-yard field goal last week against Marion Center. Karns City hopes to have RB Tristan Rhoades back this week after he missed the last two games with a foot injury.

District 9

Class A

Quarterfinals

6-Ridgway (5-5) at 3-Redbank Valley (6-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner gets: No. 2 Curwensville or No. 7 Sheffield in the District 9 semifinals.

The buzz: Redbank Valley is back in the postseason after a one-year hiatus, while Ridgway is in its first playoff game since 2006.

Key players: Ridgway junior QB Ben MacDonald leads his team on offense with 1,023 passing yards and 695 rushing yards. With no game last week, Redbank Valley senior RB Mark Strothers remained two yards short of a 1,000-yard season.

About the Elkers: RB Sam Delhunty is second on the team with 558 rushing yards, and WR Cameron Grumley leads the team with 22 catches and 432 receiving yards. The Elkers are a first-year co-op between Ridgway and Johnsonburg, rivals who first played in 1904.

About the Bulldogs: QB Jake Dougherty has thrown for 1,432 yards and 11 touchdowns this season while running for eight more scores. The Bulldogs' last playoff win came in a 2010 quarterfinal against Kane that Redbank won, 15-0.

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