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CoGo's Feature Matchup: Knoch at Greensburg Salem

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Both coming off wins in their season openers, Greensburg Salem will host Knoch in a class AAA clash Friday night that could have serious implications on the standings by year’s end.

The Golden Lions are coming off an emotional upset victory at Gateway, won on a game-winning 21-yard field goal by sophomore Ryan Collette in overtime.

While the game should provide Greensburg Salem with confidence going into this contest, head coach David Keefer believes it’s important for his team to keep things in perspective.

“Your goal is to carry that into the following week,” Keefer said. “But it’s time to move forward to this week.”

Greensburg Salem will have to contain Knoch’s balanced offensive attack. Both quarterback Dan Farinelli and running back Cody Milsom have the potential to break the defense on any one play.

Milsom got off to a fast start in 2014, as he ran for two touchdowns in Knoch’s upset win over Franklin Regional. Farinelli also recorded a solid performance, as he threw for 134 yards in the Knights' 22-7 victory.

According to Keefer, the Golden Lions have to play a similar style of defense as they did last week when they held Gateway without an offensive touchdown.

“We have smart kids,” he said. “They (Knoch) give you a lot of different formations, for us the biggest thing is getting lined up correctly.”

While a solid defensive game-plan will be the key against the Knights, Greensburg Salem must also protect the football as they did in their opening win.

Quarterback Brady Mason and running back Connor Forkey are the cornerstones of the Golden Lion offense, and they played that way against Gateway. Forkey was able to rush for 83 yards and a touchdown, while Mason’s pass to Tyler Mathias in overtime set up the game-winning field goal.

“Our quarterback has to manage the game like he did last week,” Keefer said. “After that, it’ll come down to our o-line play and our skill positiAD Lynn Jobe and Principal David Zillions.”

While Keefer acknowledges that the quarterback play is important, he stressed that the main goal for his team is to limit the amount of turnovers and big plays by the opponent.

The Lions are returning plenty of talent from last season, including 20 seniors. Keefer will expect improvement in his second season as head coach after a disappointing 3-7 record last year.

Knoch will be looking for revenge from last season’s 20-14 loss at the hands of the Golden Lions. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Offutt Field in Greensburg.

Above: Greensburg Salem athletic director Lynn Jobe and high school principal David Zilli accept a $500 donation from CoGo's to the school's athletic department.

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