Playoff Preview: Farrell vs. Northern Bedford and Sharon vs. Kar - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Playoff Preview: Farrell vs. Northern Bedford and Sharon vs. Karns City

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Three area high school football teams are playing in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. 

A couple of them are Farrell and Sharon. 

The Farrell football team is making it's third straight appearance in the PIAA playoffs when they face Northern Bedford. The Steelers lead the area in scoring offense with 45 points per game but they face a tough Black Panthers defense that held 11 of their 12 opponents to 14 points or less this season.

"They're a power team. They come straightforward at you. There's no mystery to it. They want to dominate you up front and they want to attack you early. Defensively, they blitz a lot but again we have to be solid up front. Our defensive front has to be solid and we just have to play fundamental football this Friday," said Jarrett Samuels, Farrell coach.

The Steelers emphasized getting it going right out of the gates. They jumped out to a quick 33-0 lead in their win last week. They'll need to do it again if they want to take down Northern Bedford.

"We gotta start fast. That's been the key to our success the last few weeks. Our guys starting fast and defensively just shutting those guys down," said Samuels.

Right down the road, Sharon is making their first trip to the PIAA playoffs since 2010. The Tigers battle Karns City, a team with six straight playoff appearances, averaging 318 yards rushing per game.

"Defensively against Karns City you have to stop them on first down. Don't make it too comfortable for them. They're primarily a running team, they don't throw the ball a whole lot. They like to run the option. We have to tackle well and not give up any kind of big play," said Jim Wildman, Sharon coach.

Sharon's last state playoff win came in 2001 when they defeated Karns City. Fast forward to 16 years later and the Tigers have all the right pieces to do it again.

"They've bought in a little more. I would say number one is defensively. Number two our pass protection has been great all season long. We have some very skilled receivers. A quarterback that can throw it and all these things, knock on wood, the special teams have been pretty solid too," said Wildman.

Sharon and Karns City play at Clarion at 7:00 pm. Farrell and Northern Bedford play at Slippery Rock High School at 7:00 pm.

Also in Pennsylvania, a local match-up between Wilmington and Greenville at Slippery Rock University, 7:00 pm.  Grove City faces Hollidaysburg at Penns Manor High School, 7:00 pm.

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