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Panther Pregame Football Focus: Saucon v. Wilson (Brought to You by Vassi’s Drive-In)

After last week’s big win at Bangor, the Saucon Valley Panthers (6-0) return home for a Friday night football fight against the winless Warriors from Wilson (0-6).   The Warriors most recently fell 28-7 to Pen Argyl last week. Last season, the Panthers scalped the Warriors 42-14.  Friday night should serve as a final tune-up before the Panthers hit the challenging homestretch of their 2018 Colonial League schedule.

Est. Read Time: 7 mins

The Panthers take the field.

After last week’s big win at Bangor, the Saucon Valley Panthers (6-0) return home for a Friday night football fight against the winless Warriors from Wilson (0-6).   The Warriors most recently fell 28-7 to Pen Argyl last week. Last season, the Panthers scalped the Warriors 42-14.  Friday night should serve as a final tune-up before the Panthers hit the challenging homestretch of their 2018 Colonial League schedule.

Things Worth Watching:

Saucon Valley Panthers

When the Panthers have the ball…..

Wilson’s base defensive scheme revolves around a 4-3 or 4-4 look.  From their 4-4 defense, the Warriors have shown that they will press their outside linebackers close to the line of scrimmage giving a 6-2 type appearance.  Behind their base, four-man front, the Warriors have shown that they will play with one or two high safeties.  In addition, they will lock up and play quite a bit of man-to-man defense.  Wilson has a young team, but they are well-coached and play with a commendable effort.  No matter what defensive approach the Warriors will plan, they will have their hands full with a Saucon Valley scoring machine that averages 39 points on top of 322 rushing yards per game.

The Panther headliner on offense is still the running of senior Ian Csicsek (#28).  At 5’10”, 185,  Csicsek is having a tremendous season having carried 147 times for 1,214 yards. “Sizzler” has found the end zone 18 times so far this year.  Csicsek averages 202 yards per game and is on track to rush for 2,000 yards this season.

Joining Csicsek in the backfield will be senior Curtis Clifford (#38).  Clifford checks in with 3 TD’s on 16 carries.  At 5’8″, 172 he averages over 8-yards per carry.  Clifford is also a proven weapon returning kickoffs.  Last week, Clifford hit a 90-yard return for a score.  Not to be ignored in the Panther backfield are Christian “Mongo” Alling (#33) and Kelvin Gallard (#27) who often lead the way from their fullback positions.  In addition to both being willing and capable blockers, Mongo can be used as a powerful runner who grinds out an average five yards per carry.

Freshman quarterback Dante Mahaffey (#12) is the man calling the signals for the Panthers.  Mahaffey has completed 27 of 53 passes for 426 yards and six touchdowns.  He has also run 38 times for 269 yards and a TD.  Averaging 5-yards per carry, he is the Panthers second-leading rusher behind Csicsek.  If overlooked by opponents, Mahaffey has proven he can hurt opposing defenses with his arm as well as with his feet.

Tight-end Patrick Morrissey (#80) leads the Panther receivers.  Morrissey is a senior who stands 6’2″, 215.  He reeled in nine of Mahaffey’s throws for 186 yards and three touchdowns.  Morrissey averages 21 yards per catch. Mahaffey has also shared the ball with senior wide receiver Ryan Holub (#13).  Holub is good for 2 TD’s resulting from 11 catches and 114 yards. Junior Dane Csencsits (#32) is also a recipient of a Mahaffey touchdown pass.

2018 Panther Play-Makers

  • QB: #12  Fr.   Dante Mahaffey,  #16  Sr.  C.J. Stump
  • RB:  #27  Sr.  Kelvin Gallard, #28  Sr.  Ian Csicsek, #32  Jr.  Dane Csencsits, #33  Sr.  Christian “Mongo” Alling, RB:  #38  Sr.  Curtis Clifford
  • WR:  #6  Sr.   Justin Clements, #11  Fr.  Ty Csencsits, #13  Sr.  Ryan Holub, #18  Fr.  Eternal (E.T.) Aris, ,  #22  Sr.  Justin Kyra
  • TE:  #80  Sr.  Patrick Morrissey, #44  Jr.  Dale Sorensen

Averaging 322 rushing yards per game, the formidable Saucon Valley ground attack begins up front with collective efforts from the 2018 Hogs. Seniors Tim “Boss Hog” Weaver, Aidan Redding and Jared Harka along with junior Evan Deily and sophomore David Osman, all enjoy playing their brand of “Bully Ball”. Nick Warnke (#70) at 6’1″, 275 is another Hog in the Panther rotation. Saucon Valley is very good in the trenches and takes seriously the task of opening holes for Csicsek and company.

The 2018 Hogs:  Week 3

  • Left Tackle:    #77    Sr.  Tim Weaver        6’5″, 285
  • Left Guard:     #61    Sr.  Jared Harka       5’9″, 210
  • Center:            #60    So. David Osman     6’0″, 225
  • Right Guard:  #65    Jr.  Evan Deily          6’1″, 225
  • Right Tackle:  #73   Sr.  Aidan Redding   6’3″, 290


When the Warriors have the ball…..

Wilson Warriors

Wilson’s offense averages 18 points per game.  In their Week 5, overtime loss to Catasauqua, the Warriors showed a little firepower and put 34 points onto the scoreboard. They have rushed for 816 yards and thrown for 506 yards so far this season.  This averages out to a sluggish 136 rushing and modest 83 passing yards per game.  The Panther defense has been stingy only giving up 16 points per contest.

The Warriors, from an offensive standpoint, are “multiple”.  They have shown to alternate between “I-formation” and “spread” sets.  Ben Hindmarch (#9) is the man behind center for the Warriors.  He is a senior and measures 6’3″, 185.  Hindmarch is credited with completing 39 of 108 passes for 478 yards.  He has 4 TD throws to go along with 5 interceptions.  Hindmarch is no stranger to running the football from his quarterback position.  He has rushed 50 times, but has only gathered 70 yards for his efforts.  That is an average of 1.4 yards per carry.

There appears to be a trio of Warrior ball carriers to complement Hindmarch in the backfield.  Two juniors in Alec Snyder (#26) and Anthony Micci (#48) lead the way.  Snyder is listed at 6’0″, 180 and has carried 42 times for 255 yards.  Snyder has scored twice on the ground.  Micci (#48), at 5’10”, 160, has 60 touches for 301 yards and a TD.  Micci, however, may be out due to injury.

Damian Simpson (#28) is the third ball carrier worth mentioning.  He is an intriguing player for the Warriors.  Simpson is only a freshman and shows up in the Wilson program at 5’9″, 150.  On his 16 touches, Simpson has averaged almost 11-yards per carry.  Simpson also has a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.  The Panthers may want to keep a watchful eye on #28 when he enters the game.

When Hindmarch puts the ball in the air, 36% the time it has landed in Warrior hands for a completion.  Wilson has four receivers near the top of the stat page.  Alec Snyder (#26) has 10 catches for 125 yards and a couple of TD’s.  Freshman, Zack Gillen (#20) is next with nine grabs for 103 yards.  Gillen measures 5’8″, 145.  Dylan Goldsworth (#40) has a little height at 5’11”, 165.  Goldsworth, a sophomore,  is credited with seven catches for 92 yards.

Once again, we find a little intrigue within the Warrior offense.  Quadir Collier (#5) is a senior who averages 25 yards per catch.  Two of his five catches went to the house for touchdowns.  Collier, however, was curiously absent from the last two games.  Nonetheless, Wilson’s offense has been inconsistent at best. But, they do have a few players who can find the end zone with a big play.

The Warriors Up-Front

  • Tackle  #70   S0.   Ben Ghilon               6’1″, 200
  • Guard  #54   Jr.    Cayden Trimmer     5’11, 185
  • Center  #52   Sr.   Zach Miller               6’1″, 250
  • Guard  #50   So.   Luke Miller               5’10”, 210
  • Tackle  #77   So.   Joshua Meshach      6’2″, 205

The Warriors are smallish up front except for senior center Zach Miller (#52).  Miller measures 6’1″, 250.  Otherwise, the Warriors look to average around 5’11”, 200 across the rest of their offensive line. Wilson appears to favor the run over the pass.  They have tried the ground 192 times as opposed to 114 passes through the air. It is noteworthy that they seem to have some pass protection issues as Hindmarch is the victim of multiple sacks. 

2018 Panther Defense

  • DE’s:   #44   Jr.  Dale Sorensen,  #65  Jr.  Evan Deily,  #80  Sr.  Patrick Morrissey,
  • DT’s:    #61   Sr.  Jared Harka,  #77  Sr. Tim Weaver,
  • ILB’s:   #32  Jr.  Dane Csencsits,  #33  Sr.  Christian “Mongo” Alling,  #27  Sr.  Kelvin Gallard
  • OLB’s:  #28  Sr.  Ian Csicsek,  #38  Curtis Clifford,  #27  Sr.  Kelvin Gallard
  • DB’s:    #13   Sr.  Ryan Holub,  #22  Sr.  Justin Kyra,  #6  Sr.   Justin Clements,  #11  Fr. Ty Csencsits

On paper the Saucon Valley Panthers should probably make quick work of the Wilson Warriors and move on to Week 8 with another mercy-rule victory.  An undefeated team pitted against a winless team typically ends without surprise.  However, in the wide world of sport, trap games and upsets are always lurking somewhere in the shadows.  The Warriors have absolutely nothing to lose.  They are a very young team with no chance to qualify for the 2018 post-season.  Wilson could salvage their season by knocking the Panthers out from the ranks of the unbeaten. Saucon Valley has too much riding on the line at this stage of the season and will need to stay focused.

  • Friday Night Football Forecast:
    • Mostly clear with temperatures in the lower 60’s. Light winds out of the east.

Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!


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About the author

Keith Riefenstahl

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