Here are FOX43’s Five Games to Watch for this week

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With just four games left in the regular season, the stakes are getting larger for those teams that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Now teams aren’t only keeping an eye on their division standings; they’re also watching the District 3 power rankings, which are used to determine playoff fields in the district’s six classes.

All of the teams featured in FOX43’s Games to Watch this week are in the thick of both races.

Here are the five biggest games we’re watching for Week 8:

FOX43 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK

Red Lion (7-0) at Central York (5-2)

First place in the York Area Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I race will be on the line with these two teams hook up in our Game of the Week. The game will feature the league’s two most prolific offenses; Red Lion ranks first total yards with an average of 421.5 yards per game and is second in scoring at 35.6 points per game, while Central York ranks second in yardage (382 per game) and is averaging 29.8 yards per game.

Both teams also boast two of the league’s stingiest defenses. They’ve both allowed 111 points this season.

Red Lion is the last undefeated team in York County and is coming off a 46-21 demolition of New Oxford last week. The Lions have one of the league’s most dangerous two-way players in quarterback Zach Throne, who is ranked third in the league in rushing (939 yards) and seventh in passing (53-for-85, 833 yards).

Central York counters with one of the league’s best passing attacks, guided by quarterback Cade Pribula, who has thrown for 1,150 yards and 11 on 63-of-116 passing. Both of those totals rank second in the league. Top target Tim Sturgis has caught 16 passes for 428 yards. His seven receiving touchdowns are tied for the league lead.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH

Wilson (5-2) at Manheim Township (6-1)

Another battle for first place, this time in Section 1 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Wilson has won the last nine section titles, and the Bulldogs boast a 68-game winning streak in section play, dating all the way back to 2007. The last Section 1 team to beat Wilson? That would be Township, which dumped the Dawgs 26-7 on Oct. 27, 2007.

This year, Wilson showed some early vulnerability, falling 21-14 to Governor Mifflin in Week 1 and 28-20 to Central Dauphin in Week 3. But the Bulldogs have won four straight since, riding solid offensive performances from RB Iggy Reynoso (959 yards, 16 TDs) and QB Connor Uhrig (1,162 passing yards, nine TDs).

Township’s only loss is a baffling 49-14 decision to Governor Mifflin in Week 3, but the Blue Streaks appear to have put that one in the rearview mirror. They’ve won four in a row since by an average margin of 30.8 points. Township’s balanced offense revolves around QB Luke Emge (896 passing yards, 188 rushing yards, 16 total TDs) and RB Grayson Sallade (706 yards, 11 TD).

Both teams have solid defenses; Township ranks third in the league in yards allowed (229.3 per game), while Wilson ranks fifth (283.8).

Cedar Crest (6-1) at Manheim Central (7-0)

The L-L League’s last unbeaten team, Manheim Central will try to maintain sole possession of first place in Section 2 with a win over Cedar Crest, which is tied with Cocalico one game behind.

Central has the league’s third-ranked defense, allowing just 222 yards per game, and the Barons’ 79 points allowed ties them with Cocalico for the lowest number in the league. Central is also ranked third in the league in offense, averaging 424 yards per game, and their 319 points scored leads the league. Quarterback Evan Simon has completed 57 of 97 passes for 1,013 yards and 10 touchdowns, while RB Tyler Flick (102-933, 13 TDs) ranks third in the league in rushing yardage and rushing TDs.

Cedar Crest shook off a blowout loss to Cocalico two weeks ago by hammering Solanco 42-21 last week. The Falcons have a dangerous dual threat in quarterback Logan Horn, who has passed for 927 yards and 10 touchdowns and leads the team with 442 rushing yards and eight scores.

York Catholic (5-2) at Bermudian Springs (6-1)

We’re back in the YAIAA for yet another first-place showdown, this one in Division III. Bermudian Springs sits alone at the top of the heap, but Catholic is one of two teams just a game behind.

The Eagles’ balanced offense features a solid passer in quarterback Chase Dull (49-96-7, 876 yards, 10 TDs) and the backfield tandem of Ryan Curfman (533 rush yards, two TDs) and Darren Beall (478 yards, eight TDs). Curfman’s 21 catches lead the team. Bermudian Springs has won four straight games since falling 33-20 to Shippensburg in Week 3.

York Catholic suffered back-to-back losses to Berks Catholic (50-0) and Delone Catholic (21-7) back in September, but the Fighting Irish have surged to three straight victories since. Catholic’s offense is powered by the ground game, with Kyle Dormer (117-741, eight TDs) and Andrew Snelbaker (82-476, five TDs) leading the way.

State College (6-1) at Harrisburg (7-0)

This Saturday showdown will go a long way toward deciding the Mid-Penn Commonwealth championship, where Harrisburg currently holds a slim one-game advantage.

The Cougars are up to No. 78 in the latest High School Football American Top 100 national poll after dusting Central Dauphin 48-10 last week for their seventh straight victory. Their biggest problem this season seems to be finding ways to spread the ball around to their platoon full of major-college recruiting prospects, which is the kind of issue most other teams would love to have. QB Yahmir Wilkerson (73-128, 1,314 yards, 14 TDs), RB Micah Parsons (67-575, 18 TDs) and WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts (17-340, six TDs) are three of the biggest names to watch on a roster full of them.

The only blemish on State College’s schedule is a 36-21 loss to Cumberland Valley two weeks ago, but the Little Lions rebounded from that with a 34-14 victory over CD East last week. Junior QB Tommy Friberg has completed 49 of 74 passes for 829 yards and 15 TDs this season to lead State College’s balanced attack. RBs Tristen Lyons (58-480, nine TDs) and Isaiah Edwards (38-420, eight TDs) are the main cogs in the ground game.