The Bishop Carroll Huskies are looking for a trifecta Friday night, while the Blairsville Bobcats believe that the third time will be the charm.

The Huskies have eliminated the Bobcats in the District 6 Class A district semifinals the past two seasons, and the teams will meet again Friday at 7 at Hollidaysburg High School in a semifinal rematch.

Bishop Carroll is 10-0 this year and has won the championship of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference, while Blairsville is 9-1 and champion of the Heritage Conference. Blairsville’s only blemish on its record is a 21-14 loss to Marion Center.

Bishop Carroll, which finished as district runner-up to Bellwood-Antis last season, will face a challenge from Blairsville quarterback Adam Highberger, who is ranked second in the state in passing by

But if the Huskies are to prevail, they will have to take care of their own business.

“Blairsville is so talented, but we just have to concern ourselves with playing the best football that we can,” Bishop Carroll coach Craig Sponsky said, “offensively, defensively, and on special teams.”

Bishop Carroll has some productive weapons of its own that concern the Bobcats. Blairsville coach Ab Dettorre realizes that the previous meetings between the two teams favor the Huskies, something that he wants to change.

“It’s no secret that they have been our nemesis in the past,” Dettorre said. “We were close last year (a 35-28 loss), but we did not get the job done. So, we will play again and see what happens. They are a very good football team. You do not win 10 football games on your looks.”

The Bobcats must contain Bishop Carroll senior running back Paul Forcellini, who has rushed for 1,421 yards and has scored 16 touchdowns. Forcellini leads the area in scoring with 116 points.

Quarterback Brock Lauer directs the Bishop Carroll offense, which has recorded 2,532 yards on the ground and 949 through the air. Lauer has connected on 61 of 116 passes for 893 yards and nine touchdowns. The quarterback has also rushed for 717 yards on 100 carries.

The top receivers for the Huskies are junior wideout Adam Crookshank, who has 12 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns, and senior tight end Jeff Minemyer, who has recorded 15 catches for 218 yards and one touchdown.

Sponsky is concerned about the diversity of Blairsville’s offense.

“They throw the ball very, very well, and their quarterback has a very accurate arm and can buy time for himself with his feet,” Sponsky said. “(Wideout Andy) Ostach is a very talented receiver, and they can run the football.”

Highberger has connected on 122 of 203 passes for 2,117 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has thrown just seven interceptions.

Ostach has caught 46 passes for 764 yards and five touchdowns. Zack Sabella has 28 catches for 513 yards and seven touchdowns.

Tailback Nick Stone leads the Bobcats in rushing with 508 yards on 77 carries despite missing six weeks during the season because of a broken collarbone. Sabella adds 474 yards on the ground while Matt Moore has 356.

Dettore said that his offense must control the time of possession.

“Probably the best thing we can do is not give them the ball,” Dettore said. “We are not good at controlling the clock because sometimes we score too fast. Obviously, we have to score and limit our turnovers to where we have none. We run the kind of offense that is high risk. But, the biggest thing we have to do is play physical defense. We have played probably 10 good quarters of defensive football now.”

Sponsky said that the Huskies must play well as a team. “We have some talented kids, but they tend to think that they have to do everything,” Sponsky said. “We need to have each player take care of his responsibilities and get away from the concept that it has to be me all the time. This is just the competitiveness coming out of the kids, but they have to play within their framework.”

Scott Bradley leads Bishop Carroll with 94 tackles. Ed Roudybush has 85. Forcellini has four sacks and six interceptions.

The Bobcats are led by Matt Moore with 117 tackles, while Bob Martin has four sacks.

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