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CoGo's High School Football Feature Matchup: Moon at Ambridge

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The CoGo's High School Football Feature Matchup travels to Beaver County this week, where the Ambridge Bridgers host the Moon Tigers as both squads look to grab their second win of the season.

Last year, the Tigers defeated the Bridgers 20-7 at Moon, but this year things might be looking up for Ambridge as they play at home – with a veteran team.

Ambridge finished their 2014 football season at 3-6 but hopes were high to begin this year. Dan Bradley’s team won a seven-on-seven tournament at Washington & Jefferson, as well as a strongman competition in West Virginia, over the summer.

Moon also has high expectations with a new coach in Brendan Hathaway, who will be picking up a team that qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs the previous two years. The Tigers, who went 4-6 overall and 4-4 in the Parkway Conference last season, lost in the first round of the playoffs each of the last two years.

While Ambridge is returning most of their athletes from last year, Moon is starting fresh with a slew of new talent.

Ambridge opened the season with a win at Baldwin as junior Davion Jones ran 28 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Jones carried the ball 28 times again last week, gaining 151 yards, but the Bridgers fell to 1-1 in a Week 2 loss to Hopewell.

The running game also relies on junior Roman Shell, who rushed for more than 400 yards last season, and sophomore Tariq Jones.

The running backs get plenty of help from 6-foot-4 junior Austin French, who passed for over 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Seniors Jake Marotti, Micah Jarett, and 2014 all-conference selection Pat Gregory anchor the offensive line for the Bridgers. 

Special teams were a problem for the Bridgers last week, as Hopewell returned a blocked field goal attempt 74 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and also scored on an 89-yard kickoff return in the first quarter.

Slowing the Moon offense will also be a concern for Ambridge. Last year, Ambridge gave up at least 30 points or more five times and only won one out of the five games. The defense has been solid so far and will need to continue in that direction against the Tigers.

Hathaway said before the season that he expected one of Moon’s strengths to be the play of the offensive line.  The line paved the way for senior Noah Angelo to rush for 274 yards and four touchdowns to help the Tigers open the Brendan Hathaway era with a big win over Blackhawk.

Moon fell to 1-1 after running into a buzz saw in a 48-14 loss to Mount Lebanon last week.

Kickoff is 7:30 at Moe Rubenstein Stadium in Ambridge.

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