Saucon Valley (8-3) at Coughlin (8-3)
Eastern Conference 3A Championship
7 p.m. Friday
Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium
What’s At Stake: The winner is the champion. This is the final game for both teams.
The Coaches: Saucon Valley’s Matt Evancho (36-40, 7th year); Coughlin’s Ciro Cinti (48-40, 8th year)
Last Meeting: never played
All-Time Series: never played
About Saucon Valley: The Panthers defeated Jim Thorpe 35-20 in the semifinals. This is their second trip to an Eastern Conference championship game. They won the Class 2A title in 2007 by defeating Schuylkill Haven 18-14. Saucon Valley qualified for the District 2 Class 3A playoffs in 2008 and lost 49-14 to Wilson Boro in the semifinals.
After the 2008 playoff appearance, Saucon Valley recorded four consecutive losing seasons before this year.
About Coughlin: The Crusaders qualified for the postseason for the seventh consecutive time in Cinti’s eight years as the coach. They won the Eastern Conference Class 3A championship in 2007 with a 16-13 victory over Twin Valley. They lost in the E.C. semifinals from 2009-12. They last made the District 2 Class 3A playoffs in 2008, losing 12-0 to Berwick in the semifinals.
The eight victories are the most in a season for the program since 1996 when the Crusaders finished 10-3.