High School Football: Here are the 2018 District 3 playoff pairings
District 3 released its final high school power rankings, which are used to determine the playoff brackets in its six classifications, on Sunday.
The official brackets — which will include the sites and times of all the first-round playoff matchups — were scheduled to be released by Monday afternoon.
The playoffs begin Friday night.
While we wait for the official brackets to be released, we can at least take a look at how the brackets shook out.
Here’s a rundown of each class:
No. 1 Harrisburg (9-1) vs. No. 8 Hempfield (5-5)
No. 4 Wilson (7-3) vs. No. 5 Red Lion (8-2)
No. 2 Manheim Township (9-1) vs. No. 7 Chambersburg (7-3)
No. 3 Central Dauphin (7-3) vs. No. 6 Central York (8-2)
Analysis: The powerful, top-seeded Cougars are the team to beat here. Hempfield, which was blown out by Manheim Township last week in its regular-season finale, gets the first crack at them. But don’t sleep on the Black Knights; they’ve made a habit of springing upsets in the district playoffs over the years. Speaking of Township, the defending district champs draw Chambersburg, which got off to a 4-0 start before running into the meat of its Mid-Penn Commonwealth schedule. The 4-5 matchup between Wilson and Red Lion looks intriguing, as does the first-round clash between CD and Central York, which pits one of the Mid-Penn’s best defenses against one of the top offenses in York County.
No. 1 Manheim Central (10-0) gets first-round bye
No. 8 Elizabethtown (6-4) vs. No. 9 Governor Mifflin (6-4)
No. 4 Cedar Cliff (8-2) vs. No. 13 Exeter Township (6-4)
No. 5 Warwick (8-2) vs. No. 12 Palmyra (8-2)
No. 2 Cocalico gets first-round bye
No. 7 Waynesboro (6-4) vs. No. 10 Solanco (6-4)
No. 3 Shippensburg (9-1) vs. No. 14 Northeastern (5-5)
No. 6 York High (9-1) vs. No. 11 Northern York (6-4)
Analysis: Might as well call this bracket the L-L League invitational; five of the 14 teams hail from Lancaster County, including four from Section 2. The top seeds, Manheim Central and Cocalico, earned first-round byes. Central will host the winner of the Elizabethtown-Governor Mifflin matchup, while Cocalico will face either Waynesboro or Solanco. Intriguing matchup possibilities abound in this bracket. Would anybody be up for a Manheim Central-Cedar Cliff matchup in the semifinals — or perhaps a rematch between the Barons and Warwick instead? What about Cocalico and York High? It’s all possible at this point.
No. 1 Bishop McDevitt (9-1) gets first-round bye
No. 8 West Perry (7-3) vs. No. 9 West York (5-5)
No. 4 Conrad Weiser (8-2) gets first-round bye
No. 5 Gettysburg (8-2) gets first-round bye
No. 2 Berks Catholic (7-1) gets first-round bye
No. 7 Elco (8-2) vs. No. 10 Lampeter-Strasburg (5-5)
No. 3 Milton Hershey (9-1) gets first-round bye
No. 6 Susquehanna Township (6-4) gets first-round bye
Analysis: The top six teams receive first-round byes, so there are only two first-round matchups to talk about — West Perry against West York and the all-LL matchup between Elco and Lampeter-Strasburg. The West Perry-West York winner faces top-seeded McDevitt in the quarterfinals, while the Elco-LS victor faces defending champ Berks Catholic. Meanwhile, thanks to all the other byes, the other quarterfinal matchups are set. Conrad Weiser will host Gettysburg, and Milton Hershey will host Susquehanna Township.
No. 1 Lancaster Catholic (10-0) gets first-round bye
No. 4 Annville-Cleona (7-3) vs. No. 5 Bermudian Springs (7-3)
No. 2 Middletown (9-1) gets first-round bye
No. 3 Wyomissing (8-2) vs. No. 6 Littlestown (7-3)
Analysis: If the higher seeds prevail (OK, that rarely happens, but bear with us) the title game would feature undefeated Lancaster Catholic against defending champ Middletown in the finals. The top two seeds are already through to the semifinals after earning first-round byes, but Catholic will have to defeat the winner of the AC-Bermudian Springs matchup, while Middletown will have to beat either Wyomissing or Littlestown.
No. 1 York Catholic (10-0) vs. No. 4 Steelton-Highspire (4-6)
No. 2 Delone Catholic (9-1) vs. No. 3 Upper Dauphin (9-1)
Analysis: The undefeated and top-seeded Fighting Irish draw a sneaky-tough semifinal matchup with Steel-High, but if they survive, they’ll either get the Tri-Valley League co-champs or a rematch with Delone, their YAIAA Division III rivals. Either way, this is a power-packed bracket.
No. 1 Halifax (9-1) vs. No. 2 Fairfield (2-7)
Analysis: There are only three Class A teams in the district, so we fast-forward to the title game in this bracket. Fairfield earns the championship matchup in spite of its sub-par record; the alternative was 0-10 Millersburg. Either way, Halifax, which split the Tri-Valley League title with Upper Dauphin, will be a heavy favorite here.