The Ultimate “BELL” Game: Scranton vs. West Scranton

Before you start reading, subscribe above so you can get email notifications whenever new articles like this are published! The Lackawanna Football Conference has begun its season and it is now full swing ahead. There have been many entertaining games that have featured numerous standout athletes. As we approach this upcoming Saturday, we can begin to anticipate a great game between a couple of the biggest rivals in the league. On Saturday afternoon, Nick Forsette will lead West Scranton against the dominant duo of Nacier Green and Arvel Chandler of Scranton. This rivalry has become one of the greatest rivalries in the league and it is a very anticipated matchup every year. The two teams always match up well despite their records and it always makes for an interesting game. Over the last 4 years,  the two teams have split the four games 2-2. It’s not only the last few years that have displayed close contests. In the last 30 years, Scranton has edged out West Scranton to win 16 out of the 30 games. All in all, there’s a very exciting game to be played on Saturday and there are many key factors that will contribute to the result of the game.

West Scranton Invaders

The West Scranton Invaders are the bottom half of the rivalry and they are led by star wide receiver, Nick Forsette. Nick Forsette is a dominant threat on both offense and defense as he can catch the ball very well and run guys over as a linebacker. Since the West Scranton versus Scranton rivalry began, Scranton has outplayed West Scranton to win 16 out of the 30 games. West Scranton will look to pull closer to the overall lead in the rivalry this coming Saturday. You never know what can happen in this rivalry, but it could be hard for West Scranton to pull off the win considering that they don’t have their star quarterback. West Scranton’s star quarterback over the last few years was Cayden Merrifield.  Over the offseason, Cayden Merrifield sustained various injuries in a car accident that has left him unable to start the season this year. Because of Cayden’s absence, West Scranton is scrambling to find their starting quarterback and it appears that they’ve been having trouble. Although the Invaders have only played one game, they struggled significantly to find their offensive side of the game as they got blown out, 35-7. The Invaders started off the season by playing Western Wayne and they just could not get anything going. The Invaders chose to start freshman quarterback, Sampson Repshis and he did not play his best game. Sampson went 1-7 while collecting only 39 yards. The only thing that allowed for the Invaders to score a touchdown was their running game, where they collected over a hundred yards between three different rushers. All in all, the West Scranton Invaders will have to find their best offensive setup if they want to compete this Saturday against the Scranton Knights.

Key Players:

  • Nick Forsette (WR)
  • Connor Price (CB)
  • Robert Bray (TE)
  • Antonio Evanosky (FS)

Scranton Knights

The Scranton Knights are the more dominant team in the rivalry against West Scranton and they are led by Nacier Green and Arvel Chandler. Nacier Green is the starting running back for the Knights and he has made quite an impact since transferring in his sophomore year.  Nacier is a very physical back and he knows how to read the defense extremely well. The starting quarterback for the Knights is Arvel Chandler. The dynamic duo between Nacier Green and Arvel Chandler is scary and is definitely something to watch out for as this season continues. The Scranton Knights have played one game so far this season and they lost to North Pocono, 27-0. Despite getting blown out in their season opener,  the Scranton Knights have a more powerful team than the West Scranton Invaders and that could very well lead them to the win. There are many factors that can contribute to the result of the game, but what it will really come down to for the Knights is whether or not their offense comes to play. The Knights obviously struggled to get their offense consistent in week 1 as they didn’t score any points. This could be a sign of a very strong defense for North Pocono, but it could also show a key weakness for the Knights. All in all, this game is set out to be a thriller and the results could definitely be determined solely based on whether or not the Knight’s offense comes to play.

Key Players:

  • Arvel Chandler (QB)
  • Nacier Green (RB)
  • Antonio Hairston (WR)
  • Donato Stepney (FS)

Recap and Game Prediction:

The West Scranton Invaders and the Scranton Knights are set to play one another on Saturday in what is expected to be a fantastic game. The West Scranton Invaders will be led by star receiver, Nick Forsette, while the Scranton Knights will be led by running back, Nacier Green and quarterback, Arvel Chandler. Both teams will be attempting to grab their first win of the season in this game which is anticipated to be a very close one. In each of their first games of the season, both team’s defenses and offenses showed a lot of room for improvement. The Knights lost 27-0 and the Invaders lost 35-7.  After reviewing each of the team’s rosters as well as their strengths and weaknesses, I can confidently say that the Scranton Knights have the upper hand. The Knights are the healthier team and I believe that they are more dominant on the offensive and defensive end. I do believe that if Cayden Merrifield was healthy, West Scranton may be the favorites in this game instead of Scranton. This game is certainly going to be a fantastic and fun game to watch, but I think that the Scranton Knights will grab their first win of the season, making their season record 1-1.  In conclusion, this game could go either way, but I visualize the Scranton Knights as the favorites.

Score Prediction: Scranton 17 – West Scranton 13

Where Did The Name, “Bell Game” Come From?

The history of the West Scranton and Scranton rivalry dates all the way back to 1953. In 1953, the Erie  Railroad Company ran passenger trains from New Jersey to Chicago. Although the Erie Railroad company’s main concern was running their passenger trains, they were also undergoing the process of converting their fleet of trains to be run by diesel power rather than a steam engine. Throughout the process of converting the trains, the Erie Railroad Company decided to use locomotive bells to warn travelers of any approaching trains. As the railroad company began to use these bells consistently, they came upon an agreement with many major cities along their route to donate bells to different school districts as a sign of good sportsmanship within the school communities. The Scranton School District was one of the districts that received the bells and they decided to put the bells to use as a trophy for the winner of the city championship. Since then, the bells that the district was given in 1953 have been distributed to the winner of the city championship on a yearly basis.

Player Interviews

Player #1: Nick Forsette:

What does the rivalry between Scranton and West Scranton mean to you?

  • The Rivalry gives us bragging rights throughout the year. Last year we lost and this year we just really want to get them back. It’s definitely the most important game of the year for us,   especially this year. With us not knowing about if we will have the playoffs, it makes this the most important game for all of us. All in all, we are really just looking forward to playing this game.

How have you guys played against one another over the last few years?

  • In my sophomore year, we won the bell game in a really close game. Last year, they blew us out, so we’re going to try to change the outcome this year. 

I know that this year is a shorter year. It’s only five games, so are you still just as ready to get out there and still just as motivated as any other season?

  • We are 100%  just as ready to get out there and to be honest, I think it makes us even more ready to get out there knowing that our season is shorter. We all know that we have to prove what we can do in the five games that we have. We just want to get the colleges looking at us and prove what we can do to everyone.

What did you do over the off-season to prepare for this season?

  • This offseason was a lot different from the past. For a little bit, we could not do much and we had to just work out on our own. We were all working out at our houses and stuff because gyms were closed all over the place. When the gyms finally opened, we immediately went there and we began to practice for a little bit as a team. Although we could practice for a little bit, all of the practices were shortened before the season started. 

What do you consider your strengths at the wide receiver position?

  • I’m a pretty big receiver so I am good at a lot of the deep passes and I’m able to get a lot of the jump balls that come my way. I just use my body to shield off the defenders and then I work my way to the ball. I feel like I also run pretty crisp routes. 

What do you consider your strengths to be at the linebacker position?

  • At the linebacker position, I’m always responsible for keeping the edge and I feel like I do a great job at doing that. I can always shed blocks pretty well and keep the edge so that the rest of the team can make tackles. 

What’s your future look like after this season? Are you planning to continue to play football?

  • I would definitely like to play football in the future. I have a good amount of colleges that have shown interest in me. So yeah, I would really love to play at the next level and hopefully, I can get a scholarship. 

If you had to name one player that you try to form your game from, who would it be?

  • I’d say one player that I try to form my game from would be Randy Moss. Randy Moss could always really get up there and catch any pass that was thrown his way. I try to be just like that, so I think that I can relate to him in that way. 

What has 570 Sports Show brought into the area and really just contributed to overall?

  • 570 Sports Show really gets press for just about everything around here and what they do is amazing. They cover soccer, golf, tennis, and really just any sport that is going on. They know how to get people to look at them and they’ve become excellent at doing so. 570 Sports Show does a lot for the younger kids and they work with them consistently. All in all, they are just amazing and they contribute a lot to our area.

** Special note from Nick Forsette: Even though we’ve had a rough start, we will get our team together and then everyone will have to be ready for us come playoff time.

Player #2: Cayden Merrifield:

What does the Rivalry between Scranton and West Scranton mean to you?

  • It’s the biggest game of the year obviously and this rivalry has been going on for many, many years. This game really is the best game out of the season and it’s definitely a special one. Their players know our players and vice versa, which makes it a very competitive game. The atmosphere out there is just one of the best atmospheres that you’re going to play in and it’s always a great game.

How have you guys played against one another over the last few years?

  • They’ve been pretty good over the last few years but we’re looking to get them back this year.

I understand that you broke your arm during the summer. How has your recovery gone since then?

  • My recovery is going pretty good so far and I’m just making sure to listen to what the doctors are saying. I’m honestly just super excited to get back.

Do you see yourself potentially playing later this season?

  • I could possibly play the last game of the season but that’s up in the air as of now.

I’m sure that it’s a different feeling being a supporter rather than a player. Can you describe how that has felt thus far?

  • It’s definitely been hard for me to be a supporter and not a player because other than this, I’ve only missed one game in my entire life. It’s a little different being a fan now but I am still going to practice every day and try to help the other quarterback out as much as I can. I’ve just been trying to be a coach on the field right now because that’s all I can do. 

If you had to name one player that you try to form your game from who would it be?

  • I would say that I form my game around Patrick Mahomes style of play. I play just like his style in the way that I love to scramble and make plays happen. 

What has 570 Sports Show brought into the area and really just contributed to overall?

  • 570 Sports has done a great job of getting player’s names out there and attending all the sports games in the area. They also do a great job of live-streaming them to get the best possible exposure. I know that 570 Sports has been doing camps for kids for free because a lot of kids cannot afford to do it with a cost. 570 Sports show is really just one of the best shows around.  They really just do a lot for the kids and a lot for the area and I want to give a big shout-out to the 570 Sports Show.

Player #3: Arvel Chandler:

What does the rivalry between Scranton and West Scranton mean to you?

  • It means a lot and it’s certainly a big thing in our town. Everyone playing wants to win because it’s the biggest game of the year for us.

How have you guys played against one another over the last few years?

  • We’ve had their number the last few years so I guess we have the upper hand. We got them good last year and beat them by about 35 points. We’ve probably won the most over the years.

I know that this year is a shorter year. It’s only five games, so are you still just as ready to get out there and still just as motivated as any other season?

  • Yeah, definitely, because we have fewer games so we’ll have to work harder for these games because we don’t have as much time to prove ourselves this season. 

What did you do over the off-season to prepare for this season?

  • We pretty much just did a lot of weightlifting and zoom calls. All of us just had to work out by ourself at home. I think it’s easy to say we all just missed the team aspect of it.

What’s your future look like after this season? Are you planning to continue to play football?

  • I’m not sure because I play basketball too. I think I’ll really just see what I can get, whether it be football or basketball. 

Do you consider yourself more of a passing quarterback or do you like to run and make space between yourself and the defense?

  • I like throwing the ball but it really just depends how the game is being played. I like to base whether I pass or run on how the defense is lining up so I really just read the defense in order to figure out my game plan. In my opinion, I am a pass-first quarterback. If it comes down to it I really just like to pass rather than run.

If you had to name one player that you try to form your game from who would it be?

  • I aspire to be like Patrick Mahomes because he dominates the NFL so I’d definitely say him.

What has 570 Sports Show brought into the area and really just contributed to overall?

  • The 570 Sports show is great for the area and they’re really beneficial for all the kids around here. They have great exposure because they have a big fan base and they’re definitely doing good things for the area.   

PLAYER #4: Nacier Green:

What does the rivalry between Scranton and West Scranton mean to you?

  • It honestly means a lot because I transferred here two years ago as a sophomore and I was getting new to the rivalry and everything and I learned quickly how the schools are separated and how big the rivalry really is. All my teammates told me about how back in the day the two teams used to go at it and how it was super competitive. I just know that it’s been going on for years and to me, it just means a lot to be a part of it. Coming in as a senior, this is my first time playing in the bell game so it really means a lot.

How have you guys played against one another over the last few years?

  • It’s been pretty back and forth. The year that I came here, we actually lost and over the last two years, we were able to win. It’s always a good game, but over the last couple of years, we’ve kind of dominated. 

I know that this year is a shorter year. It’s only five games, so are you still just as ready to get out there and still just as motivated as any other season?

  • Yeah, we are all pumped up and we are just trying to get into our scheme and what we are going to do to win the game. We’re all just trying to get focused so we can play our best game.  It always gets intense during games against these guys so we just want to be sure that we are focused. 

What did you do over the off-season to prepare for this season?

  • We all just continued to stay focused and just pray that we would have a season. If you asked all of us a few months ago if we thought we would have a season, we would probably say no. Despite that, we just continued to work and continued to workout. We just kept preparing to play full games and all that just in case we did have a season. 

What’s your future looking like after this season? Are you planning to continue to play football?

  • Absolutely. I want to take this as far as I can because it’s the only thing I have. I love this sport and it means a lot to me. 

What do you consider your strengths to be as a running back?

  • I think that I can read the defense very well. In my opinion, my strengths are things that people don’t really point out, which is good because it makes it harder for the defense to recognize my game. Another one of my big strengths is blocking. Blocking is a really big part of the offense and I think that I do a good job at doing that. 

If you had to name one player that you try to form your game from who would it be?

  • I would definitely have to say, Mark Ingram. He runs with aggression and that’s what I try to do.   I just try to overpower everyone that comes my way and I feel like he does that well.

What has 570 Sports Shows brought into the area and really just contributed to overall?

  • 570 Sports has definitely brought a lot into the area, but what is most noticeable is that they bring everyone together. When 570 Sports first came about, I didn’t really know what it was but it definitely brings a lot of support and motivation to people. When they brought out the trend of, “don’t cancel fall Sports”,  that was one of the coolest things I’ve seen because it really impacted the area tremendously. 570 Sports really just brings a lot of outlets to our community and they do a lot to help everyone around us.

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