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Central prepares to face GS in District opener
Since reaching the 2009 PIAA State Triple-A championship game, the Manheim Central football has gone just 1-2 combined in the post-season the past two seasons.
And to avoid a repeat of last year’s first-round exit in the District Three Triple-A playoffs, when they dropped a 34-31 triple OT loss to Palmyra, 11th-seeded Central will need to solve a well-balanced Garden Spot squad. The Barons and 6th-seeded Spartans will go head-to-head this Friday in a District opener in New Holland at 7 p.m.
Going into the final week of the regular season last Friday, Garden Spot (10-0) boasted Section Three’s top-ranked defense with just 168.4 yards allowed per game and the second-best offense with 330.9 yards per game. The Spartans went on to defeat Pequea Valley 42-7 to lock up the Section championship.
As a team, Garden Spot had rushed for 2,029 yards out of its Pistol-Spread offense in nine games, led by Adam Haas (1,030 yards, 16 TD’s) and QB Mitch Martin (549 yards, 9 TD’s). Martin is also a threat through the air, completing 66 of 117 passes for 910 yards and 12 touchdowns, making him the second-rated passer in Section Three. His favorite targets are Austin Haas (16 receptions, 158 yards, 1 TD) and Tanner Reed (13-285, 6 TD’s).
Defensively, Matt Martin and Seth Rehrer have pirated 10 passes from opponents and Rylan Sweed’s 69 tackles were second-most in the Section. While Spot’s defense has allowed an average of just 60.7 yards rushing per game, they will face a Manheim Central team which has gained 256.2 per game on the ground, led by Ian Hanselman (759 yards, 11 TD’s), Marc Royer (624 yards, 5 TD’s), Justin Greene (452 yards, 6 TD’s) and QB Colin Fry (358 yards, 11 TD’s).
Fry (102-for-170) has also accounted for 1,757 yards through the air with 19 TD’s and five picks, and his favorite targets are Taylor Geib (41 receptions, 839 yards, 10 TD’s), Cole Proffitt (16-336, 2 TD’s) and Andrew Seiverling (18-225, 5 TD’s).
Rey Lasanta’s 106 tackle points lead the Barons’ defense, followed by Nate Henry, who has 91 tackle points and a team-best 5 1/2 sacks. More DISTRICT PREVIEW, page B-4