FRENZY FIVE: Here are five games to watch in Week 7
The second half of the regular season heats up with several crucial matchups in the York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association, Lancaster-Lebanon League, and Mid-Penn races Friday night.
Here’s a look at five of the week’s top matchups:
FOX43 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRENZY GAME OF THE WEEK
Red Lion (4-2) at York (4-2)
The host Bearcats are tied with Central York for first place in the YAIAA Division I race, and have won three straight games since falling 17-14 to Cedar Crest in Week 3. York’s only other loss was to WPIAL powerhouse Pittsburgh Central Catholic (42-7) in its season opener. The Bearcats average 439.8 yard per game on offense, which ranks second in the league, and their average of 35.8 points per game ranks third. Most of York’s offensive output comes on the ground; the Bearcats lead the league in rushing yards per game at 394. Tyrell Whitt (73-649, four TDs) is the team’s leading rusher, while quarterback Tobee Stokes (63-480) has accounted for a team-high eight rushing touchdowns.
Red Lion snapped a two-game slump with a 41-28 victory over Northeastern last Friday. The Lions dropped decisions to Central York (58-7) and South Western (17-14) prior to that. Devyn Gurreri (50-310, four TDs) and quarterback Nic Schultz (54-278 rushing, 27-66-4, 477 passing, nine TDs) are the main cogs on the Lion offense. The Red Lion defense ranks fourth in the league in yards allowed (232 per game), while York ranks fifth (253 per game).
Both teams have faced McCaskey this season; Red Lion dusted the Red Tornado 39-14 in Week 1, while York hammered them 61-0 a week later.
York is ranked fourth in the District 3 Class 5A Power Rankings, which are used to determine the 14-team playoff field in that classification. (Yes, it’s time to start paying attention to those.) Red Lion is ranked eighth in the Class 6A rankings, and only eight teams make the playoff field in a few weeks. It’s a huge game for the Lions.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
Manheim Township (6-0) at Warwick (6-0)
The Lancaster-Lebanon League’s last two undefeated teams will square off Friday night in Lititz, with first place in the Section 1 standings on the line. Warwick holds a half-game lead over Township in the section race, and is coming off an impressive 34-14 victory over previously unbeaten Cedar Crest last Friday. The Warriors have the league’s most prolific offense, averaging 441.5 yards and 48.7 points per game. They have also allowed a league-low 47 points this season, and are ranked third in the league in yards allowed (149.8 per game). QB Joey McCracken (81-114-1, 1,631 yards, 19 TDs) is the league’s top-rated passer, while receivers Caleb Smitz and Conor Adams have 28 catches each, for a combined total of 1,144 yards and 15 touchdowns. Warwick is currently ranked No. 1 in the District 3 Class 5A Power Rankings.
Township is coming off a huge win of its own, having dusted Wilson 30-14 last week. The Blue Streaks also have a signature win over Central Dauphin in Week 3. Township is currently ranked first in the District 3 Class 6A power rankings. The Streaks’ defense is second only to Warwick in points allowed (48), and is the league’s top unit in yards surrendered (149.8 per game). On offense, quarterback Harrison Kirk leads a balanced attack that averages 434 yards per game, which is second in the league behind Warwick. Jaden Floyd (77-605, seven TDs) is Township’s leading rusher, and is among the team leaders in catches (13-276, three TDs).
Manheim Central (4-2) at Lampeter-Strasburg (5-1)
Sole possession of first place in Section 2 is on the line when the Barons travel to Lampeter to take on the Pioneers. Both Central and L-S are 2-0 in section play, a half-game ahead of Solanco and Conestoga Valley and 1.5 games up on Cocalico. The Pioneers have one of the league’s most potent offenses, ranking third in scoring (43 points per game) and total yards (419.8 per game). QB Connor Nolt (32-59, 644 yards, seven TDs) and RB Bryan McKim (60-644, 12 TDs) are the main cogs of the attack. The Pioneers are also second in the league in total defense (166.3 yards) and third in scoring (10.1 points per game). L-S is ranked fourth in the District 3 Class 4A power rankings.
The Barons appear to have righted their ship after suffering back-to-back losses to Warwick (37-7) and Wilson (49-14) in Weeks 3 and 4. Since then, they hammered Elizabethtown 56-6 and held off arch-rival Cocalico in a 46-43 shootout last week. Quarterback Evan Simon has completed 72 of 136 passes for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns, and is also the team’s leading rusher, with 321 yards and five scores on 113 attempts. The Barons struggled to keep him upright in their losses to Warwick and Wilson, but last week against Cocalico, the Princeton commit threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns and added 118 yards and two scores on the ground. Central is ranked fifth in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings.
Milton Hershey (5-1) at Middletown (6-0)
The undefeated Blue Raiders won their sixth straight game with a 35-0 rout of Boiling Springs last week. Running backs Jose Lopez and Tymir Jackson lead a powerful Raider rushing attack that has carried the offense for most of the season. Lopez has 846 yards and nine touchdowns on 82 carries; Jackson has racked up 665 yards and six scores on 78 attempts. Quarterback Tony Powell isn’t called on to throw very often; he averages just under nine pass attempts per game. But he’s completed 28 of 52 passes for 375 yards and three TDs, so he’s effective when he does put it in the air. Middletown, one of six remaining undefeated teams in District 3, is currently ranked second in the Class 3A power rankings.
Milton Hershey hammered Trinity last week to pick up its fourth straight win. The Spartans’ only loss of the season is a 20-13 setback to Susquehanna Township suffered back in Week 2. Last week against the Shamrocks, Milton Hershey racked up 520 total yards in a dominating 59-14 victory. Quarterback Tigere Mavesere accounted for four touchdowns — two TD runs and two TD passes — and running backs Dion Bryant and Josh Parra had big games as well. Bryant rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns (a 33-yarder and an 86-yarder) on just nine carries, while Parra hauled in both of Mavesere’s TD tosses on his way to a four-catch, 144-yard performance. Mavasere finished with 204 yards on 11-of-20 passing and added 39 yards on the ground, including a pair of short TD runs. The Spartans are No. 5 in the district’s Class 5A power rankings.
Harrisburg (4-2) at State College (6-0)
The host Lions are members of the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division, but compete in District 6, where they are currently the top-ranked Class 6A team. State College hammered Central Dauphin East 48-7 last week for its sixth straight victory, riding a red-hot performance from all-around threat Isaiah Edwards. The 6-0, 211-pound senior running back, defensive back and kick returner found the end zone three times in three different ways to carry the Lions to victory. He caught a 25-yard TD pass from Brady Dorner on State College’s first possession, returned a kickoff 85 yards for another score, and tacked on a 49-yard TD run — all in the first quarter.
Harrisburg is coming off a controversial 15-14 loss to Central Dauphin, which snapped the Cougars’ three-game winning streak. The Cougars were at CD’s 2-yard line as time expired in the fourth quarter, but they argued after the game that the scoreboard clock had malfunctioned, and there should have been time to run at least one more play. The officials disagreed, ruling that the game was over. There were 17 seconds left on the clock when the final play began, but the clock somehow was at :00 when Cougar receiver Kyrell Williams was pushed out of bounds inside the 2-yard line.
CD faithful will counter that the Cougars did themselves no favors by turning the ball over six times, including five interceptions.
At any rate, Harrisburg needs to recover fast with a challenging game against the Lions this week. The Cougars will look to quarterback Nicari Williams, running back Jahmir Plant, and wideouts Kamere Day to carry the offense, as they’ve done for much of the year. Day had 120 yards on nine receptions against CD.