7 p.m. today
The Coaches: Dallas' Bob Zaruta (3-3, 1st year); Hazleton Area's Jim Drumheller (5-11, 2nd year)
Last Meeting: Hazleton Area 29-28 in 2001
All-Time Series: Tied 1-1
Quick Fact: Dallas' win in the series was a 23-15 in 2000.
Scouting Dallas: The Mountaineers start a three-game road segment riding a three-game winning streak. They handled Pittston Area 35-0 last Saturday. It was their first shutout since a 9-0 victory over Crestwood in 2008, a span of 44 games.
The defense surrendered just 4 yards rushing and has allowed 2.2 yards per carry during the winning streak. On offense, QB Ryan Zapoticky has thrown seven of his 11 TDs passes in the last two games. RB Kris Roccograndi's numbers have improved dramatically as well. Much of the credit goes to the line, which has improved greatly after a rough start.
Scouting Hazleton Area: The Hazleton Area team that went into the locker room at halftime last Friday wasn't the same that came out. The Cougars led 13-7 at the break, moving the ball well with RBs Zach Zukoski and Jeff Fendrick doing a nice job. Yet, they ended up losing 33-13 to Crestwood as the final two quarters were flat on both sides of the ball.
QB Julius Ward had solid numbers on paper, completing 17 of 27 for 153 yards. But most of the completions were of the dink-and-dunk type. The passing game has no TDs this season and just two in the last 14 games.
What To Expect: If Hazleton Area plays like it did in the first half vs. Crestwood, it could get interesting. If the Cougars don't, then it won't be.
-- John Erzar