High School Football: How the District 3 power rankings look heading into the regular season’s final week
With just one week left in the regular season, the six District 3 high school football playoff brackets are mostly set, though there are still some questions about how the matchups will shake out.
The playoff fields are determined by the District 3 power rankings, which factor in win/loss records and the weighted winning percentages of each team and its opponents and uses a formula we’re frankly too math-adverse to understand to rank each team in the district.
The final power rankings and the playoff brackets will be released the Sunday after the conclusion of the Week 10 slate.
Here’s how things currently stand:
Number of teams: 2
There are only three eligible teams in this, the district’s smallest classification, so Tri-Valley League front-runner Halifax (8-1) will host YAIAA Division III participant Fairfield (2-6) at a site and time to be determined, either on Friday or Saturday.
The winner captures the District 3 championship and advances to States.
Number of teams: 4
The top four teams appear to be set, though there’s still some question about who will play whom. York Catholic (9-0) appears to have the No. 1 seed locked down, by virtue of its 35-7 triumph over No. 2 Delone Catholic last Friday. The Fighting Irish clinched at least a share of the YAIAA Division III title with that victory, and can lock the whole thing up by knocking off winless York County Tech in Week 10.
Delone (8-1) will probably need to knock off Hanover (3-6) to fend off Upper Dauphin and maintain its grip on the No. 2 spot — and the first-round home game that accompanies it. UD (8-1), currently ranked third, appears to be in the playoffs no matter what, and Steelton-Highspire (4-5) has quite a bit of wiggle room ahead of No. 5 Columbia (3-6) in the power rankings. It looks like the Rollers are in as the No. 4 seed no matter what happens in Week 10.
Number of teams: 6 (top two seeds receive first-round byes)
Undefeated Lancaster Catholic (9-0) and defending champion Middletown (8-1) appear to have the top two seeds locked up, so they will be able to rest up during first week of the playoffs when they open Nov. 2.
Berks League contender Wyomissing (8-1), L-L League Section 3 contender Annville-Cleona (6-3), and YAIAA squads Bermudian Springs (6-3) and Littlestown (6-3) round out the top six.
There is still some question about where A-C and Bermudian Springs will finish — they could potentially flip-flop their No. 4 and 5 positions, depending on how Week 10 shakes out — but it looks like they’ll be facing one another in the first round no matter what.
Number of teams: 10 (Top six teams receive first-round byes)
There’s still plenty of suspense about who’s going to finish where on the lower end of power rankings, but for the most part the participants in this 10-team field appear to be set.
The question mark is at the No. 10 spot, where West York (4-5) currently holds a slim advantage over No. 11 Donegal (5-4). The Bulldogs face Dover (5-4) in Week 10, while Donegal takes on Northern Lebanon (1-8). The Indians need to win their game, hope West York falters, and then cross their fingers that the math works out in their favor.
Meanwhile, Bishop McDevitt (8-1), Milton Hershey (8-1) Berks Catholic (6-1), Conrad Weiser (7-2), Susquehanna Township (6-3), and Gettysburg (7-2) currently occupy the top six spots in the rankings, and will receive byes through the first round if those positions hold. West Perry (7-2) and Elco (7-2) are neck-and-neck in the 7th and 8th spots, while Lampeter-Strasburg (5-4) is several decimals clear of West York at No. 9.
Number of teams: 14 (top two teams receive first-round byes)
Manheim Central (9-0) has the No. 1 seed locked down, along with the first-round bye that comes with it. The Barons’ L-L League Section 2 rival, Cocalico (7-2) has a comfortable margin on Shippensburg (8-1) for the second spot. Even if the Eagles fall to Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday, they could have enough of an advantage to maintain their position and a first-round bye.
It gets interesting on the bubble, where Northeastern (4-5) currently has a tenuous grip on the No. 14 spot, with Dover (5-4), Exeter Township (5-4) and Daniel Boone (5-4) clustered on the outside looking in. Northeastern faces New Oxford (3-6) on Friday and will likely need a win to get in. Should the Bobcats falter, Dover would be first in line to jump over them. The Eagles close the regular season with West York (4-5).
York High (8-1), Cedar Cliff (7-2), Warwick (7-2), Governor Mifflin (6-3), Palmyra (8-1), Solanco (6-3), Waynesboro (5-4), Northern York (6-3), Elizabethtown (5-4), and Conestoga Valley (5-4) round out the rest of a strong playoff field.
Number of teams: 8
It looks like the field is set; the only question is the first-round matchups. Harrisburg (8-1) is currently the top seed, with Manheim Township (8-1), Central York (8-1) and Central Dauphin (6-3) rounding out the top four. They look like locks to host their first-round games.
Wilson (6-3) Red Lion (7-2), Chambersburg (6-3), and Hempfield (5-4) are clustered below them. Hempfield, the current No. 8 seed, has a fairly sizable advantage over Dallastown (5-4) and would likely maintain its ranking even if it falls to arch-rival Manheim Township on Friday — but a loss would make for some nervous scoreboard watching for the Black Knights.