LEFT: Linesville’s Doug Farley is one of the Lions’ potent offensive weapons. He’s averaging nearly 15 yards per carry for the 2-0 Lions. RIGHT: Saegertown quarterback Zach Beatty and his Panther teammates look to stay unbeaten tonight when they host Linesville in a big non-region match.

It’s not every week that football fans can get worked up over a non-region game. Yet, it’s not every week that Region 1 powerhouse Linesville plays Region 2 powerhouse Saegertown, either.

Tonight at 7 p.m. the two undefeated squads will clash at Canon Memorial Field. For the winning team, it simply means one more notch in the win column. But for everybody else, it’s two of Crawford County’s toughest gridiron gangs going head-to-head for 48 minutes.

“I think that, with both teams coming in at 2-0, it should be a great game for this time of year,” said Saegertown coach Ken Achenbach. “It should be exciting.”

Last year’s game was quite a thriller. Saegertown scored first, but Linesville retaliated with three consecutive touchdowns, going up 18-6.

Saegertown nearly pulled off a comeback in the second half. However Linesville held on for a 24-20 win.

“Last year was a real good game,” said Linesville coach Pat Gould. “We jumped out and got a pretty good lead. But they came back. They are competitive kids.”

The sequel to last year’s game will feature much the same cast as the original.

For example, Linesville fullback Doug Williams rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s game. One of those runs was a 73-yarder in the second quarter that helped give the Lions a 7-6 lead.

Williams will be back for more tonight, having gained 271 yards and five touchdowns so far this season.

Also back for Linesville will be tailback Doug Farley and quarterback Trevor Litwiler. Farley has rushed for 258 yards and four TDs in two games this season. Litwiler has passed for 190 yards and one TD and has rushed for 151 yards and two more scores.

“They have a triple-threat,” said Achenbach. “Tailback, fullback, quarterback; they are all capable of hurting you.”

Likewise, Saegertown’s main weapon from last season is back. That’s quarterback Zach Beatty, who was 10-for-17 for 229 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s game.

He’s back under center this year, having already completed 10-of-17 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns this season.

The Panthers will also bring back its two top running backs from last season in Kyle Crum and Ian Price. Crum has ran the ball 49 times for 224 yards and two touchdowns this season. Price has 144 yards and one touchdown.

The Cats also have a third option at running back with Cody McCray, who has 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the year.

“(Saegertown) has a nice set of backs,” said Gould. “Their quarterback is real nice. They have some good receivers, very quick.”

Both teams are also playing some top-notch defense. Saegertown had one of the best “D” units in Region 2 last season and has already posted one shut out this year.

“On defense, (Saegertown) attacks the ball,” said Gould. “They’re coming. They do a real nice job on both sides of the ball.”

Meanwhile, Linesville’s defense has been a complete humbug this season, blanking both of its opponents of 2007.

“Linesville is a solid football team on both sides of the ball,” said Achenbach. “I’m impressed with their discipline on defense, how they move to the ball.”

Two experienced, undefeated teams. More than half a dozen prime offensive weapons between them. Two excellent, swarming defenses.

Region shmegion. This is a big game.

“It should be a good game,” said Gould. “To us, it’s a non-region game. But we’re going to play a tough opponent."

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