Week 3 of the high school football season marks the final week of non-league play for most teams in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, Mid-Penn Conference, and York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association — though we should note that Section 3 of the L-L League and the entire Tri-Valley League are already in the thick of their own league schedules.
There are some big rivalry games and other notable matchups on this week’s slate — and one of the biggest is where FOX43 will be heading to Friday night for the High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week.
Here’s a look at that game and four others to watch in this week’s Frenzy Five.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK
Manheim Central (2-0) at Warwick (2-0)
Our game of the week pits two northern Lancaster County neighbors and former Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 foes against one another. Warwick moved up to Section 1 in 2009, leaving a four-year hiatus in the series, which resumed in 2012 when the two teams started playing again during the non-league portion of the season. Since then, the Barons have reeled off seven straight wins, including a 27-20, come-from-behind triumph last year.
Central is in the midst of a difficult stretch to open the season. After holding off Susquehanna Township in Week 1 and edging Hempfield last week, the Barons are facing their second of three straight Section 1 opponents in Warwick before traveling to West Lawn next week to take on Wilson.
Both of the Barons’ wins have been dogfights, due in part to their somewhat sluggish start offensively. Central is averaging just 209 yards per game in the first two weeks, which is well below expectations with quarterback Evan Simon back to lead the way. Simon has completed just 39 percent of his passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, but he’s thrown two picks. He’s also averaging just under three yards per carry on the ground. Last year, Simon threw for 2,597 yards and 29 touchdowns and ran for 451 yards and three scores.
On the plus side, Central’s defense has been sturdy, allowing just 206 yards per game in its first two outings.
That defense will be tested this week, though. Warwick has been lighting it up offensively in the early going. The Warriors have outscored their first two opponents 117-13 and are averaging 502.5 yards per game in their first two weeks. Quarterback Joey McCracken has completed 31 of 40 passes for 610 yards and eight touchdowns, spreading the ball around to nine different receivers. Caleb Schmitz (9-187, 3 TDs) is his top target after senior Trey Glass was lost for the season in Week 1 with another knee injury.
Central will be Warwick’s biggest test to date after the Warriors posted easy victories over Ephrata (61-0) and Garden Spot (56-13) to start the year.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
Milton Hershey (1-1) at Hershey (1-1)
It’s the 77th time these two teams have met in the Cocoa Bean Bowl — a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1943. Hershey holds a razor-thin 37-36-3 advantage in the all-time series, but it was Milton Hershey that triumphed last year with a 35-7 rout.
This year, both teams are 1-1 and coming off losses last week. The host Trojans were blown out by Cedar Crest, 42-13, while the Spartans fell 20-13 to Susquehanna Township.
Hershey, which defeated Palmyra 32-27 in Week 1, found itself trailing Cedar Crest 35-0 after one quarter last week and never got into the game. The Trojans managed just 171 total yards on offense, while their defense was shredded by Cedar Crest’s Tyler Cruz, who racked up 162 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries. Hershey QB Jackson Bouslough has thrown for 233 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-30 passing in his first two games. RB Jay Rodriguez was held to 38 yards on 16 carries against Cedar Crest, one week after exploding for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in the Trojans’ Week 1 win over Palmyra.
Milton Hershey nearly rallied to tie Susquehanna Township last week, but the Indians forced a fumble to thwart a late Spartan drive to hold on. QB Tigere Mavesere threw for 189 yards and connected with wideout Josh Parra for a pair of touchdowns in the loss, while RB Dion Bryant rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries. Bryant has scored three touchdowns on the ground in his first two games for the Spartans.
Chambersburg (2-0) at Red Lion (2-0)
The Trojans have opened the season with back-to-back blowouts over Greencastle-Antrim (56-13) and South Western (35-7), but they face their biggest test this week at Red Lion, one of three 2-0 teams in what appears to be a York-Adams Division I field loaded with potential. Chambersburg was one of the Mid-Penn’s biggest surprises last year, going 7-4 and reaching the District 3 playoffs one year after going 0-10. They’re hoping to improve on that feat this season, and they’re off to a great start. RB Keyshawn Jones and QB Brady Stambaugh are the players to watch on the Trojan offense. Jones is coming off a 1,500-yard performance in 2018, and has three rushing touchdowns in his first two games. Stambaugh has thrown for four TDs and rushed for two more for Chambersburg.
Red Lion dusted McCaskey 39-14 in its season opener and held off Waynesboro 14-12 last week. The Lions got a pair of touchdown passes from QB Nic Shultz to Gerald Zapata, and the defense thwarted a two-point conversion attempt from Waynesboro that would have tied the score late in the fourth quarter of last week’s win. Shultz has three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground in his first two career starts under center for the Lions.
Central Dauphin (1-1) at Manheim Township (2-0)
The Rams righted their ship against Berks Catholic last week, rolling to a 31-6 triumph to even their record. CD fell 21-13 at Wilson in its season opener. Now the Rams get Township, which is probably looking to avenge a 27-0 loss to CD in last year’s District 3 playoffs after beating the Rams in the regular season. Junior running back Timmy Smith has been an offensive force for the Rams so far, racking up 217 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries against Berks Catholic. He was held to just 15 rushing yards in CD’s loss to Wilson, but his 75-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter marked the only time the Rams found the end zone in Week 1.
Township was labeled a Section 1 title and District 3 playoff contender in the preseason, and the Blue Streaks have lived up to their billing, rolling to victories over CD East (43-6) and Dallastown (56-7) in their first two games. QB Harrison Kirk has completed 20 of 28 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns in his first outings, while RB Jayden Floyd has rambled for 314 yards and four touchdowns to power the ground game. Township’s defense has held its first two opponents to 155 yards and 6.5 points per game so far.
Cedar Crest (2-0) at York (1-1)
The host Bearcats bounced back from their 42-7 Week 1 loss to powerhouse Pittsburgh Central Catholic with a 61-0 rout of McCaskey last week. York scored on four of its first five offensive drives to build a 26-0 halftime lead, and kept a foot on the gas in the second half, rolling up 402 yards on the ground in the blowout victory. Tyrell Whitt and Jaheim White were the offensive stars for York against McCaskey; Whitt carried five times for 175 yards and three touchdowns, while White had 96 yards and two scores on just four carries.
Cedar Crest knocked off Lebanon 28-6 in the season-opening Cedar Bowl, then followed that up with a 42-13 rout of Hershey last week. The Falcon offense is flying high thanks to QB Chris Danz, who has completed 22 of 30 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns in his first two outings, and RB Tyler Cruz, who has 253 yards and five rushing touchdowns on 50 carries. Meanwhile, the Cedar Crest defense has given up an average of just 185 yards per game and forced three turnovers so far.