Frenzy Five: Here are the top high school games to watch for Week 6

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We’re officially into the second half of the high school football season as Central Pennsylvania’s four conferences head into Week 6.

There are showdowns all over the midstate this week as the stakes begin to rise. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem crazy to start glancing at those District 3 Power Rankings, which are used to determine playoff positioning.

Here’s a look at the five biggest games in Week 6.


West Perry (5-0) at Northern York (4-1)

First place in the Mid-Penn Colonial Division will be on the line Friday when the undefeated Mustangs visit Dillsburg to take on the Polar Bears. West Perry currently leads Northern York by a half-game in the standings, by virtue of playing one less league game than the Polar Bears.

West Perry leads the Mid-Penn Conference in scoring offense (45.8 points per game) and and scoring defense (9.6 points allowed per game). The Mustangs have one of the league’s top backfield tandems in quarterback Kenyon Johnson and running back Terrence Quaker.

Johnson, a 5-11, 180-pound junior, has rushed for 530 yards and eight touchdowns on 47 carries and thrown for 427 yards and six scores on 23-of-39 passing.

Quaker, a 5-9, 155-pound senior, has 405 yards and nine TDs on 33 attempts and is Johnson’s top target with nine catches for 179 yards and three scores. He also has two TDs on kickoff returns (85 and 84 yards), a 38-yard TD on a punt return, and a 30-yard score on an interception return to his credit. That’s 16 touchdowns in five games.

Northern York has won three straight since dropping a 29-6 decision to Middletown in Week 2. The Polar Bears knocked off Greencastle-Antrim 34-21 last week.

Running back Kyle Swartz, a 6-0, 200-pound junior, carries most of the load on offense, with 513 yards and 10 touchdowns on 89 carries. Quarterback Chris Barrett has chipped in with 289 yards and two scores on 50 attempts, and has passed for 381 yards and two TDs on 26 of 37 attempts. Tyler Yohn is Barrett’s most-frequent target, with nine catches for 131 yards and a TD.


Harrisburg (4-1) at Central Dauphin (4-1)

Sticking with the Mid-Penn, a share of first place in the Commonwealth Division is up for grabs when the high-flying Cougars take on the Rams.

Harrisburg and CD are part of a three-team logjam at the top of the division, along with undefeated State College. The Cougars’ only loss is to highly-regarded Coatesville in their season opener, and they’ve won four in a row since then — by an average margin of 44.5 points. Meanwhile, CD has won its last two games since falling to Manheim Township in Week 3. The Rams took down Carlisle 35-17 last week.

The Cougar offense is one of the best in the Mid-Penn, averaging 377.8 yards and a division-leading 42.6 points per game. Quarterback Kane Everson leads the Commonwealth in passing yards (1,064) and passing touchdowns (14), and is second in rush yards (535) and rushing TDs (seven).

CD’s offensive numbers don’t jump off the page at you, but the Rams have one of the league’s stingiest defenses. Led by a talented and experienced front seven, they’ve allowed just 53 points all season, which is the second-lowest total in the Mid-Penn, and allows just 261 yards per game.

Manheim Central (5-0) at Cocalico (4-1)

The latest chapter in what is arguably the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s best rivalry will be written Friday night in Denver, as Manheim Central comes to town hoping to solidify its grasp on the top spot in Section 2.

Central and Cocalico have met 19 times in the regular season and the District 3 playoffs since 2004, and the Barons have taken all but two of those contests. But the Eagles have given the Barons everything they could handle in several memorable matchups, including last year’s 21-20 instant-classic Central victory in the District 3 Class 5A semifinals.

This year, Central comes in with an undefeated record, one of the L-L League’s most balanced offenses, and one of its stingiest defenses. The Barons have given up a league-low 189 yards, and are second in the league in points allowed (7.4 per game). Their offense averages 326.4 yards per game, almost equally divided between rush yards (166 per game) and pass yards (160 per game). QB Evan Simon (40-for-80, 802 yards, nine TDs) and RB Tyler Flick (107-562, 11 TDs) are the top offensive weapons at Central.

Cocalico will be trying to rebound from its first loss of the season; last week’s 36-24 loss to Section 1 co-leader Manheim Township snapped the Eagles’ four-game winning streak. Cocalico fullback Garrett Longenecker powers the Eagles’ ground game, with 445 yards and four touchdowns on 76 attempts. QB Noah Palm is second on the team in rushing with 297 yards and four TDs, and he’s passed for 428 yards and eight scores on 30 of 60 attempts.

Lancaster Catholic (5-0) at Annville-Cleona (4-1)

Sole possession of first place in Section 3 is on the line when the undefeated Crusaders visit the Little Dutchmen, who have won four in a row since their season-opening loss to Milton Hershey.

This could come down to which team is able to impose its will. A-C comes in with the league’s second-ranked rushing attack, averaging 361 yards per game, and is also second in the league in total offense (424 yards per game). Running back Trevor Porche is second in the league with 655 yards and five touchdowns on 75 attempts, while Caleb Turner has 380 yards and four scores on 53 attempts.

But Catholic boasts the L-L League’s best defense against the run, allowing just 73.4 yards per game on the ground and 213 per game overall. The Crusaders are also fourth in the league in points allowed, surrendering 9.4 per game.

On the other side of the ball, the Crusaders are carried by the tandem of RB Jeffrey Harley (38-477, eight TDs) and quarterback Gavin Sullivan (360 rush yards, two TDs, and 439 yards and six TDs through the air).

Bermudian Springs (4-1) at York Catholic (5-0)

The Eagles and the fighting Irish are part of a three-way tie for first place in the YAIAA Division III standings, along with Delone Catholic. Bermudian Springs has won two in a row since its 37-17 loss to Shippensburg in Week 3; York Catholic comes into the game with a perfect record and are fresh off a 38-0 rout of Biglerville last week.

Both teams appear to be evenly matched on paper; Bermudian Springs has a slight advantage in total offensive numbers (328 yards per game to York Catholic’s 296), while York Catholic gets the nod in total defense (200 yards per game to the Eagles’ 226). The Irish also rank second in the league in scoring defense, yielding just 7.8 points per game.

Bermudian Springs does most of its damage on the ground, with the tandem of Trace Grim (71-439, six TDs) and Domenic Florea 64-334, three TDs) leading the way. Quarterback Chase Dull has completed 27 of 51 passes for 336 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Colt Byers is the Eagles’ top receiver, with 16 catches for 226 yards and two TDs.

York Catholic’s offense relies mainly on its passing game, which ranks eighth in the league at 161 yards per game. Since taking over as the starter in Week 3, senior Wesley Burns has held down the fort at quarterback. In last week’s victory over Biglerville, Burns completed . Six of those tosses went to wideout Manny Montes, who finished with 130 yards and a 38-yard TD. Montes has 15 catches for 307 yards this season.

Massimo Antilock has 142 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries in his three games since taking over the starting job in Week 3.


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