Game of the Year?

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I usually take up my blog space writing some thoughts about the national sports scene.  The local stuff I leave for Chris Michael.  This week, however, will be different because I am anticipating a great high school game on Friday night – Freedom at Emmaus.

Both teams come into the game with a 7-0 record.  That is not the only similarity between the two.  Their profiles are amazingly similar.

Emmaus has 2,645 yards of total offense; Freedom has 2,601 – that’s right – just 45 total yards separate the two.  The Emmaus defense has yielded 1,807 yards; Freedom has yielded 1,751 (a 56-yard difference).

Both teams have outstanding quarterbacks:

Emmaus – Ethan Parvell – 61% completions, 14 touchdowns

Freedom – Jared Jenkins – 59% completions, 18 touchdowns

Both use three running backs, all with exceptional skill; both have excellent receivers with touchdown speed available after every catch.

Even though there is so much offensive skill on the field for both teams, the defenses are just as strong and athletic.  Freedom is led by Tristan Wheeler, perhaps the best linebacker in the EPC.  On the Emmaus side is Jacob Weider, who could make the case that he is better.  Both have over 40 tackles this season.

The coaches have combined for over 20 years of experience, so there will not be much they haven’t seen coming into this game.

Keith Groller of The Morning Call wrote a story this week about former WFMZ sports anchor, Jeff Fisher, whose job has taken him to a number of sports markets across the country.  He is a former English student of mine, so I will proudly say (despite having no proof I had any effect on his writing skills) that he has written a book on Texas high school football.  He is probably right when he says there is nothing like it in the country.  But, even he admits that Pennsylvania is probably second.

This Friday night should be a good example of that.  These teams appear to be the best we have to offer this year and, if you are a high school football fan, this one deserves your attention.

Friday night lights don’t just burn in the Lone Star State – they burn just as bright in Pennsylvania.  May the best team win!


  1. How about them Browns? After going 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017, they have already won two games and tied one this year.  In their division they are tied with the Steelers and a half game behind the Ravens (they beat them).  Cleveland has a football team!
  1. If you are depressed and really concerned about the Eagles, you should be. First of all, no team has repeated as the NFC champion since 2003-04 (that WAS the Eagles, by the way).  And no team has repeated as Super Bowl champions since New England did it in 2004-2005.  There is a long way to go, but “success hangover” sure seems real.  The Eagles have matched their loss total for last year already.
  1. The NFL was extra special this past Sunday for me. The early game featured the Carolina-Giants game so I got a chance to watch Saquon Barkley again.  And, once again, he had over 100 yards rushing and receiving for the fifth straight game as a rookie.  He is one of only three NFL players in history to accomplish that feat in their first five games.  He also had two touchdowns and looked like he would be the hero of the game when he scored on a leap into the end zone with about a minute to play.  The Giants lost on a Carolina 63-yard field goal on the last play.  In the same game, Carolina was led by RB Christian McCaffrey, the son of former Central Catholic great, Ed McCaffrey.  It was fun to root for two guys with local ties and not care who wins.
  1. Alabama remains #1 in the college football polls and it sure looks like they will stay there all year. They are outscoring opponents by 240 points, the most in SEC history.  They are so good that their backup quarterback was an SEC Offensive Player of the Year and now does not start.
  1. RCN-TV Sports will be broadcasting across the state of Pennsylvania this Friday night on PCN when we bring you the Freedom-Emmaus football game at 7:00pm (see the blog). It will be followed by Bethlehem Catholic at Easton at 9:30pm.  Lafayette will try to win their second straight game on Saturday at 3:30pm when they take on Georgetown.  That game is LIVE on RCN.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks (Last week: 9-6)  (Overall: 43-33-2  57% )

 Week SIX

















Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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