Hazleton Area (1-8)
7 p.m. today
The Coaches: Hazleton Area's Jim Drumheller (5-14, 2nd year); Berwick's George Curry (421-91-5, 43rd year)
Last Meeting: Berwick 30-27 in 2011
All-Time Series: Berwick leads 45-24-2
Quick Fact: Hazleton Area has scored at least 26 points in each of the past five meetings, yet lost the last two.
Scouting Hazleton Area: The Cougars led East Stroudsburg South 22-14 past the midway point of the third quarter last Friday. But like too many times this season, they lost control against a quality opponent and lost 39-22.
Turnovers were painful as E.S. South returned two fumbles for touchdowns. The run defense gave up three long TD runs and continues to struggle against quality opponents.
On offense, RB Zach Zukoski recorded Hazleton Area's first 100-yard rushing game of the season. QB Julius Ward topped 100 through the air for only the second time.
Scouting Berwick: Berwick was pretty much in control from start to finish in its 34-7 victory over Coughlin. A couple first-quarter touchdowns set the tone. The defense did the rest, keeping the damage made by Coughlin's running game to a minimum.
QB C.J. Curry had a solid game passing and running, and RB Matt Cashman continued to play well. WR Zach Ladonis caught seven passes, most by any Dawg this season.
What To Expect: Even with a victory, Berwick won't get home-field advantage throughout the D2-3A playoffs unless Abington Heights loses to Scranton on Saturday. The Dawgs, though, need to be careful because Hazleton Area is close to putting a complete game together.
-- John Erzar