The Coaches: Hazleton Area‚??s Jim Drumheller (4-6, 2nd year); Scranton‚??s Mike Marichak (21-21, 5th year)
Last Meeting: Hazleton Area 44-28 in 2001
All-Time Series: Hazleton Area leads 2-0
Quick Fact: The teams have only met in NEPFC play, the two-year merger of the WVC and Lackawanna Conference in 2000 and 2001.
Scouting Hazleton Area: The Cougars played well in their final three games, falling just short of a .500 season. Unfortunately, many of the players responsible for the success are gone. There is some talent to work with, so the Cougars could improve on last season.
Scouting Scranton: The Knights appear the favorite to win the District 2 Class 4A title for a second straight year. Karlon Quiller is a big-time playmaker at receiver and QB Marlinn Waiters can beat opponents with his arm or legs.
What To Expect: A victory here would make people take notice of Hazleton Area as a factor in the D2-4A title hunt. The Cougars, though, will likely be undone by their inexperience, especially in the backfield.
-- John Erzar