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Central Dauphin set to take on the defending champs

Written by: on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


Central Dauphin won its third District three football title and its first since 2002 with a thrilling 24-21 win over Wilson.

Central Dauphin will meet the defending AAAA champs North Allegheny out of the WPIAL. North Allegheny defeated State College, 40-14, last weekend in Altoona.

The Rams will need to set the tone against North Allegheny and it will start with do it all Zayd Issah who has rushed for 1,273 yards and 19 touchdowns. Not only is he the top runner on the team, he is the top receiver with 28 catches for 649 yards and 10 scores.

The Rams like to pound the ball rushing for 3,058 total yards with an average of almost six yards per carry. Drew Scales (779 yards) and Adam Hollinger (594 yards) add depth to the running game.

The main man getting the ball to Issah is quarterback Brandon LaVia who has completed 82 of 144 passes for 1,303 yards and 15 touchdowns.

They are deep at receiver, having five receivers that have over 100 total yards receiving. The other top two receivers are Sam Adams (301 yards) and Drew Scales (219 yards).

In the District Three AAAA finals, LaVia passed for 212 yards and Issah had four catches for 111 yards.

The Tigers huge offensive line took a big hit last week when All-State candidate Pat Kugler sustained an injury in the second quarter and did not play the rest of the game.  According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kugler will be a game-time decision this week, as the injury was not as severe as was initially feared.

North Allegheny has rushed for 3,781 yards as a team. They have five backs that have rushed for over 300 total yards so far this season. They are led by three 700 plus runners, Alex Deciantis (773 yards) and Vinnie Congedo (775 yards) lead the way.

Quarterback Mack Leftwich is the third with 775 yards and 14 scores. Leftwich has completed 123 of 216 for 2,149 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Leftwich has three targets to choose from. James Kleinhampl leads the way with 40 catches for 848 yards. Brandon Coniker (426 yads) and Gregg Garrity (431 yards) are key targets.

Final Thoughts:

The Tigers are on a roll winning 21 consecutive games and look to pound the defense with a punishing running game. If Central Dauphin is going to knock off the defending champs they will need a big game from Zayd Issah and Brandon LaVia.


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