Here are FOX 43’s Five Games to Watch tonight

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Hard as it might be to believe, the 2017 high school football season is already approaching the halfway mark, which means the stakes are starting to grow.

You can catch all the scores and highlights tonight at 10 on the FOX 43 High School Football Frenzy.

Here are five games we’ll be keeping an eye on:

FOX 43 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK

Mechanicsburg (2-2) at Susquehanna Township (2-2)

Our Game of the Week is a battle for positioning in the crowded Mid-Penn Keystone title race.

The Wildcats’ modest two-game winning streak came to an end with last week’s 62-25 non-league loss to State College. Prior to that, Mechanicsburg knocked off Northern York (33-30) and Spring Grove (41-28).

The Wildcats’ balanced attack is paced by quarterback Justin Stine, who has completed 34 of 68 passes for 418 yards and seven touchdowns, with four interceptions. Jermaine Hill (10 catches, 157 yards, four TDs), Dylan Smith (12-88, two TDs) and Joseph Bruno (11-110, TD) are his favorite targets, while the tandem of Keegan Neill (55-262, TD) and David Butler (36-219, three TDs) pace the ground game.

Susquehanna Township is also .500 after posting wins over Red Land (36-29) and Conrad Weiser (12-7). The Indians’ two losses came against Central Dauphin (30-7) and CD East (39-16). Quarterback Rahsaan Carlton and wideout Roland Norfleet are two of the Indians’ top weapons.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH

Manheim Central (4-0) at Cocalico (4-0)

One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s top rivalries, this one belongs on the Must-See list just about every year. The winner of this year’s showdown will maintain its share of first place in a crowded Section Two race.

Both teams come in with unblemished records and have two of the league’s most prolific offenses. The Barons have scored a league-high 188 points through four games, while Cocalico is fourth in the league with 181 points. But the Eagles have also surrendered a league-low 28 points on defense and are coming off back-to-back shutout victories.

Quarterback Noah Palm, a first-year starter, is the Eagles’ leading rusher with 351 yards and four touchdowns on 52 carries. Fullback Brandon Brubaker (38-265, five TDs) leads a stable of dangerous running backs.

The Barons also have a first-year starter under center; QB Evan Simon has completed 37 of 61 passes for 741 yards and nine TDs. Tyler Flick (63-710, seven TDs) is Central’s top ground threat, while Jake Novak (13-367, five TDs) is the team’s leading receiver.

Conestoga Valley (3-1) at Manheim Township (3-1)

Another first-place clash in the L-L League, this time in Section One. CV has had one of the more exciting seasons in Central Pennsylvania so far. After rolling to a blowout win over Ephrata in their season opener, the Buckskins nipped Solanco 55-54 in overtime in Week 2, dropped a 57-54 overtime decision to Lampeter-Strasburg one week later, and last week survived an upset bid from McCaskey, 28-25.

Manheim Township blasted arch-rival Hempfield 56-0 last week. It’s safe to say the Blue Streaks were feeling ornery after coming up small in a 49-14 home loss to Governor Mifflin in Week 3.

This game could come down to how well CV’s defense holds up. While the Buckskins have put up a ton of points this season — their average of 46.5 per game ranks second in the league — their defense has surrendered 35.8 points per game, which is the league’s second-worst mark. Moreover, CV ranks near the bottom of the league in total defense, yielding 397.8 yards per game.

Township, meanwhile, is No. 3 in the league in total defense (214.8 yards per game) and has given up just 63 points — the third smallest total in the league.

Cumberland Valley (4-0) at Central Dauphin (3-1)

The Eagles and Rams are part of a three-team logjam at the top of the Mid-Penn Commonwealth standings along with nationally ranked division favorite Harrisburg.

CV is outscoring opponents 140-50 during its current four-game winning streak, which continued with last week’s 35-13 rout of Chambersburg. The Eagles are averaging 232 yards per game on the ground, paced by RB Jake Palmer (57-411, five TDs).

Central Dauphin has won two in a row since dropping a 17-14 decision to Manheim Township in its second game. The Rams held off Wilson 28-20 two weeks ago, and blasted Carlisle 65-14 last week. CD’s balanced attack features quarterback Brady Straub (40-for-70, 600 yards, six TDs) and RB Mike Bell-Wise (59-204, six TDs).

Dallastown (3-1) at York (3-1)

Another first-place throwdown, this time in the YAIAA Division I race. Dallastown has won three straight games since dropping a 38-14 decision to Hempfield in Week 1, including last week’s 52-13 blowout of Spring Grove. The Wildcats are averaging 52.3 points per game during their winning streak, and RB Nyzair Smith has scored at least one touchdown in every game so far.

York’s three-game winning streak came to a resounding halt with last Friday’s 31-14 loss at Red Lion. The Bearcats managed two second-half touchdowns well after the outcome had been decided, and were held to a season-low 14 points. After dominating in the first three games, star running back Khalid Dorsey managed 88 rushing yards and was held out of the end zone. Dorsey is one of York County’s most dangerous offensive weapons, so slowing him down has to be a priority for the Wildcats.