The District 3 football playoffs kick off Friday night, with first-round games in each of the district’s six classes.
Here are all of the first-round matchups:
No. 8 Central Dauphin East (6-4) at No. 1 Cumberland Valley (9-1)
No. 5 Dallastown (8-2) at No. 4 Hempfield (7-3)
No. 7 Central Dauphin (6-4) at No. 2 Manheim Township (9-1)
No. 6 Red Lion (8-2) at No. 3 Wilson (7-3)
Quick glance: Plenty of rematches line this bracket. No. 1 CV mauled CD East 42-3 just two weeks ago, while Hempfield knocked off Dallastown 38-14 in its season opener and Manheim Township held off Central Dauphin 17-14, also in Week 1. The only two teams who haven’t seen each other already this season are Wilson and Red Lion.
No. 8 Exeter Township (7-3) at No. 1 Harrisburg (10-0)
No. 5 York (9-1) at No. 4 Governor Mifflin (9-1)
No. 7 Waynesboro (7-2) at No. 2 Manheim Central (10-0)
No. 6 Cedar Crest (8-2) at No. 3 Cocalico (9-1)
Quick glance: Might as well rename this one the Harrisburg Invitational. The mighty Cougars are heavy favorites to defend the district championship they captured last season at the expense of Manheim Central, this year’s No. 2 seed. To get another crack at Harrisburg, Central might have to overcome its Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 arch-rival, Cocalico, in a potential semifinal matchup.
No. 8 Gettysburg (7-3) at No. 1 Berks Catholic (10-0)
No. 5 East Pennsboro (8-2) at No. 4 Susquehannock (8-2)
No. 7 Shippensburg (6-4) at No. 2 Bishop McDevitt (8-2)
No. 6 Lampeter-Strasburg (6-4) at No. 3 Northern Lebanon (9-1)
Quick glance: Berks Catholic is the favorite to defend its Class 4A title. Assuming they handle their business, the Saints will get the survivor of a tough lower-half of the bracket. Bishop McDevitt isn’t the powerhouse it was a few years ago, but the Crusaders are still tough and would make for an intriguing finals matchup. Best game of the first round could be the all-LL opener between L-S and Northern Lebanon.
No. 4 Bermudian Springs (7-3) at No. 1 Middletown (10-0)
No. 3 Littlestown (9-1) at No. 2 Wyomissing (9-1)
Quick glance: Middletown won the title last year, and is expected to get back to the mountaintop again. The Littlestown-Wyomissing matchup in the other semifinal looks like a great one — on paper, at least.
No. 2 Newport (9-1) at No. 1 York Catholic (8-2)
Quick glance: We jump straight to the championship game in the district’s two smallest classes. York Catholic, in spite of its lesser record, is still probably a mild favorite over Tri-Valley League champ Newport.
No. 2 Fairfield (4-6) at No. 1 Steelton-Highspire (8-2)
The Rollers got rolled themselves on Saturday, falling 45-7 to undefeated Middletown. Expect Steel-High to come out ornery when they defend their district title against the Knights, who struggled in YAIAA Division III this season.