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High School Football: Unbeaten West Perry visits Trinity in the FOX43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week

The Mustangs are off to a 3-0 start, but they face a stiff test against the Shamrocks this week in their Mid-Penn Capital opener.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — It's been an impressive start to the season for West Perry.

The Mustangs have rolled to three straight victories, putting up an average of 41.7 points per game. They've got a punishing ground game paced by mammoth fullback Caleb Gutshall, one of the Mid-Penn Conference's most talented dual threats in senior QB Marcus Quaker, and the school's all-time leading receiver in Ian Goodling. 

But on Friday, West Perry faces a stiff test against Trinity in the Mid-Penn Capital division opener for both teams. The Shamrocks are undoubtedly surly after suffering their first loss of the season last week, a 35-34 heartbreaker against perennial state title contender Wyomissing.

Friday's clash in Camp Hill will be the FOX43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week, and our sports crew will be there to preview all the action live at 6 p.m.

Here's a look at the matchup.

ABOUT WEST PERRY: The Mustangs are rolling behind the senior trio of Quaker, Goodling and Gutshall, who are the main cogs in a diverse offense that can beat you multiple ways. West Perry racked up 392 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground in their season-opening 45-22 win over Susquenita. Quaker threw for 303 yards and three scores in their 41-7 win over Newport in Week 2. And last week, Quaker's four touchdowns helped the Mustangs pull away for a 39-21 win over upset-minded Juniata.

Gutshall, an imposing 6-1, 215-pound bruiser, has five touchdowns in his first three games. Goodling, the program's all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,363, has been the top target for Quaker, a dual-threat quarterback who has accounted for eight touchdowns (six passing) in three starts this season.

Tailback Brad Hockenberry is also a player to watch; he's got 253 rushing yards and two scores through three games.

The Mustangs are coming off an 11-2 campaign that ended with a loss to Wyomissing in the District 3 Class 3A title game last season. They're expected to make some noise in a top-heavy Capital Division race, which should also include Trinity and perennial title contender Steelton-Highspire.

West Perry is coached by Bob Boden, now in his tenth season with the Mustangs.

ABOUT TRINITY: Like West Perry, the Shamrocks put together the deepest postseason run in program history last season under head coach Jordan Hill, a former Penn State standout and NFL veteran. Shaking off a 1-3 start to the season, Trinity won five of its last six regular-season games, captured the District 3 Class 2A championship and made it all the way to the state semifinals before bowing out with a loss to eventual state champ Southern Columbia. The Shamrocks finished with a 10-5 record.

This year, Trinity rolled to impressive wins over Delone Catholic (49-12) and Moore Catholic (37-16) before last week's showdown with Wyomissing. The Shamrocks built a 20-point lead, but the Spartans rallied to tie the game with a touchdown in the game's closing seconds and successfully converted the PAT kick to escape with a hard-fought win.

While the Shamrocks are undoubtedly frustrated that they let Wyomissing come back, last week's setback proved that they can hang with one of the state's top programs. 

Trinity's offense is paced by Penn State recruit Messiah Mickens, whom Nittany Lion coach James Franklin flew in to visit via helicopter prior to last week's game. Mickens, a 5-11, 205-pound sophomore, is one of the nation's top 30 recruits in his class, according to multiple recruiting sites. 

This year, Mickens has already racked up 537 yards on 41 carries (an astounding 13.7 yard-per-carry average) and has found the end zone seven times. He also has two catches for 75 yards and another score.

Mickens was briefly sidelined last week after tweaking his leg during an 85-yard touchdown run. He returned to the game and finished with 145 yards on 11 carries. Christian Joy stepped up while Mickens was sidelined, carrying 11 times for 80 yards.

Quarterback Caleb Wray has completed 10 of 20 pass attempts for 302 yards and five TDs, but Trinity is mainly a ground-based attack. The Shamrocks average 257 yards per game on the ground this season.

Hill, now in his third season at Trinity, starred in high school at Steel-High before embarking on his Penn State career. He played four seasons at defensive tackle with the Nittany Lions before being picked in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he won a Super Bowl. Hill spent four seasons in the NFL before beginning his coaching career.

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