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Grove City – Wilmington Area preview

Written by: on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

The Game: Grove City (10 AAA, 2-0) vs. Wilmington Area (10 AA, 2-0)

Where: Wilmington Area High School, New Wilmington, PA

When: Saturday, Sept. 19th, 2009, @ 7 p.m.

About the Game: Regional rivals separated by a mere 15 miles of state route 208 and the Mercer/Lawrence county line square off yet again. What used to be an all-AA matchup has now recently turned into a cross-class battle because Grove City moved up to the AAA classification last year. Wilmington won last year’s meeting, 42-7, in Grove City, and holds an 8-2 overall record in the series since 1999. Grove City last defeated the Hounds 21-0 in 2004.

About Grove City: The Eagles enter this matchup with an unblemished record, having defeated Erie Central Tech (49-8) and Erie East (22-19). The win against East came in overtime, and was surprisingly close, especially given the fact that the Eagles won their ’08 meeting by double-digits.

The Eagles are known for grinding things out on the ground, and enter the game averaging 280 rushing yards per game. Nick Reddick (147 rush yards, 7.35 yards per carry) is joined by a bevy of other backs, Marty Phipps (123, 11.18), Wesley Phipps (101, 3.48), Jamarr Patterson (95, 9.5) and Eric Record (60, 10.0) are the main threats. GC has scored nine rushing touchdowns through two games.

Quarterback Tyler Dagres is 6-of-14 for 65 yards with a touchdown and two picks.

Grove City is averaging 35.5 points and 313 yards of offense per game.

About Wilmington Area: The defending PIAA “AA” champion Greyhounds enter this game having won 17 of their last 18 games. Since the start of the 2004 season, the Hounds are an impressive 60-8 (.882), winning a trio of District 10 championships and the aforementioned state title. The Hounds’ M.O. relies on a potent Wing-T offense that enters this game averaging 390 yards and 39.5 points per game.

Derrick Burns, a Pitt commit and the younger brother of former Hound running back Chris Burns, leads the way in the ground game. Burns has 20 carries for 301 yards and four touchdowns, giving him an impressive career total of 2,583 yards and 33 touchdowns. He’s got an outside shot at 4,000 career rushing yards, a mark only one other Wilmington back, Blair Sweet, reached in 1988, when Wilmington was a member of the WPIAL.

Other key Wilmington running backs are Josh Phillian (12, 57, 2) and Sutton Whiting (16, 131, 1). Whiting surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards in last week’s 36-15 victory against Greenville Area.

Jake DeMedal has taken over the quarterback role from Associated Press Player of the Year Shane Wagner, who graduated. DeMedal has thrown for 143 yards and a touchdown while adding 34 rushing yards and another touchdown. The Hounds are averaging over 71 yards passing per game.

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