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Portage Area – North Star Preview

Written by: on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

The Game: Portage Area (6 A) @ North Star (5 AA)

Date: Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, from North Star HS in Boswell

2008 Record: Portage Area (7-0), North Star (7-0)

About Portage Area: Losing is not a word in the Mustangs vocabulary.  Portage went 10-1 last season and has currently won 17 of its last 18 games.  While the Mustangs have been building up impressive stat lines and running through people, this is the first real test for the green and white, and it comes two weeks before the District 6 playoffs begin.

Portage is all about the ground game.  The Mustangs average 345.9 rushing yards per game, running for over 2,400 yards as a team.  Tommy Burgan (68 rush, 883 yards, 13 TD) is joined in the Portage backfield by Mike Sinosky (93, 757, 16) and Jared Pisarchik (36, 347, 4).

In their careers, Burgan has run for 1,422 yards and scored 22 touchdowns, while Sinosky has run for 2,148 yards and 33 career touchdowns.  Both Burgan and Sinoksy are juniors.

Taylor Swires has thrown for 385 yards and four touchdowns while completing nearly 59 percent of his passes.  Swires’ favorite targets are Todd Hershberger and Doug Burkett, who have combined for 10 receptions, 232 yards, and three touchdowns.

Portage, which has topped 50 or more points four times this season, averages 51 points per game.

No opponent has scored more than eight points against the Mustangs’ defense, which boasts an impressive +15 turnover ratio.  Portage’s average margin of victory per game is a staggering 45 points.

About North Star: The Cougars are not afraid of the big game – North Star nearly defeated WPIAL “A” champion Serra Catholic last season, holding a 28-14 lead through three quarters.  It was the closest any District 5 representative came to defeating a WPIAL representative in the PIAA playoffs.

North Star, too, likes to run the football, and has three quality backs to carry the rock.  Mike Knisely has run the ball 70 times for 529 yards and seven touchdowns.  Richie Meehlieb has run 47 times for 378 yards and six scores, and junior Josh Kuncher has run 56 times for 489 yards and nine touchdowns.

Quarterback Corey Kaltenbaugh has thrown for 516 yards this season, an average of just under 74 yards per game.  Kaltenbaugh was a 1,300-yard passer a season ago.

Kaltenbaugh’s favorite receivers are Lucas Zellam (18 rec., 309 yards, 4 TD) and Alijah Petrilla (10, 186, 3).

North Star averages 37.4 points per game and allows 13 points per contest.

The Cougars average margin of victory is 24.4 points, and they’ve topped 50 points on three separate occasions.

Portage Area and North Star information from Maxpreps.com.

 

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Leave a Reply

5 Responses to “Portage Area – North Star Preview”

  1. Mike Why says:

    What a great game!!! Both teams played their hearts out!!! I am glad Portage won. However, I appreciate the effort by North Star.

  2. PortagePride says:

    The Stangs are comin’. Watch out for the stampeede cougars

  3. TG says:

    Even though the game has no playoff significance for the Cougars, they are amped and ready to show who is the best in the West PAC!! Go Cougars!

  4. kball Senior says:

    two top teams putting it all on the line friday night……Leave it all on the field………. Go CoUgArS!!

  5. Shaffer says:

    two 7-0 teams meet in boswell, what could be better? GO COUGARS



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