In many ways, South Western High and Central York are similar football teams -- most of all, similar defenses -- eyeing like results.

Yet, they are dissimilar in the way they go about it.

The Panthers (5-2, 4-0 YAIAA I) are organized chaos, a team that attacks the central vein of their opponents' neck. They do it efficiently, they do it effectively, and they do it in a manner that's physically overpowering.

The Mustangs (7-0, 4-0), meanwhile, fly to the ball with physicality, but they also remain patient at times, steady instead of clouded in key moments and clear in the way they approach their game plan.

"We have two very different types of defenses," Mustang head coach Don Seidenstricker said. "We're very geared to gameplanning, playing tendencies of teams and not giving up the big play. We're a little bit of bend, a little bit of don't break.

"They're much more a roll-the-dice defense. It's just two different styles."

This game is inarguably the biggest division clash of the season. Both teams are entrenched at the top of Division I, and both teams are playing at an elite level.

But perhaps the biggest storyline that lends itself to this game is at linebacker, where Central York has a NCAA Division I recruit in Kyle Baublitz -- signed to Penn State -- while South Western has three very good players of its own in Jake Myers, Jake Shaffer and Billy Utz.

Maybe it's a little Hulk Hogan versus Rocky here.

Baublitz has the size. The Mustangs have the heart.

"There's no question," Seidenstricker said. "Our linebacking corps in general just continues to get better each week. Myers, Utz, Shaffer and Ryan Sexton. I don't know what to tell you, other than absolutely, without question, the best linebackers the league has will be on the field this Friday."

South Western is second in the Hanover area in rushing defense, allowing 104 yards per game. But there's no shortage of help in the secondary either as Jimmy Nicklas, Kyle King, Mike Felton and Levi Sager have combined for eight picks.

The Mustangs are giving up nearly 79 yards passing a game this season.

Defense is a big reason why the Mustangs, on the anniversary of 50 years of football at the school, have been successful. South Western leads the area in turnover margin, popping in at plus-7.

"As in any big game, you just hope it's the game it should be," Seidenstricker said. "You hope the kids play their to their level. If the opponent wins, so be it. You just don't want to give them the game."

The Panthers have no shortage of offensive talent, either. Tailback Charles Anderson ran for 299 yards and four touchdowns last week against Dover. He's been an absolute menace.

"He's racking up impressive yardage," Seidenstricker said. "He's had a couple games in the 290s. That's phenomenal. That's a ton of yards. Trying to slow him down and contain him is going to be a task."

Seidenstricker lauded Sager on the offensive side of the ball too, saying the senior has had an "exceptional year" thus far -- the senior has five touchdowns in his past two games.
cmull@eveningsun.com