Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Hello all. I’m going to do something unusual here. I have a ballot in the Pigskin Pickers from The York Dispatch. 

I’m giving my followers the chance to vote on next week’s games this weekend and will officially pick the teams with the highest vote totals for each contest.

So I’m asking you to vote and then ask your friends and family to vote too!

So without further ado, here are the games on the slate for Week 5:



Division I Division Overall Scoring
W L W L PF PA Diff
Northeastern 0 0 3 0 95 27 68
Dallastown 0 0 2 1 59 69 -10
Spring Grove 0 0 2 1 90 48 42
Red Lion 0 0 1 2 61 98 -37
York High 0 0 0 3 58 88 -30
Central York 0 0 0 3 44 91 -47
New Oxford 0 0 0 3 28 97 -69
South Western 0 0 0 3 97 133 -36
Division II Division Overall Scoring
W L W L PF PA Diff
Eastern York 0 0 3 0 119 22 97
Gettysburg 0 0 3 0 134 53 81
West York 0 0 2 1 105 68 37
Dover 0 0 1 2 50 50 0
Kennard-Dale 0 0 1 2 43 100 -57
Susquehannock 0 0 0 3 38 115 -77
York Suburban 0 0 0 3 20 125 -105
Division III Division Overall Scoring
W L W L PF PA Diff
Bermudian Springs 0 0 3 0 91 13 78
Biglerville 0 0 2 1 55 53 2
Fairfield 0 0 2 1 86 56 30
Delone Catholic 0 0 1 2 98 85 13
Hanover 0 0 1 2 54 92 -38
Littlestown 0 0 1 2 51 111 -60
York Catholic 0 0 1 2 70 71 -1
York Tech 0 0 0 3 32 76 -44



After three weeks of non-league and cross-division games, the York-Adams League schedule gets started this weekend. Here’s a preview of those match-ups.

Friday’s games

All games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted:

Bermudian Springs (3-0) at Hanover (1-2): We all know by now that running backs Colton Dull and Briton Shelton are a threat. The duo has combined for 773 rushing yards and is averaging 6.7 yards a carry. Then in the Eagles’ 21-0 win last week against Shippensburg (1-2), quarterback Ryan Markle got in on the action, rushing for a season-high 60 yards to go along with a season-high 144 passing yards. So the trio could be troublesome for the Nighthawks, who will rely on running back Jordan Laughman (285 rushing yards) and quarterback Kyle Trout (437 passing yards).

Biglerville (2-1) at Fairfield (2-1): This is a meeting of the two best teams in the league in terms of forcing turnovers, so this could be a back-and-forth battle between defensive units trying to outdo one another. Fairfield quarterback Mason Flickinger, who tallied 1,017 yards through the air and 355 yards on the ground last season, was relatively quiet in the first two weeks of action (12-for-33, 163 passing yards, three touchdowns) before breaking out with a three-touchdown performance in the Green Knights’ 49-20 win over a depleted Carson Long club in Week 3. Biglerville counters with quarterback Ben Hurda (267 passing yards) and a trio of running backs (Colton Sentz, Samuel Laird, Scott Cooper) that has accounted for 379 of the Canners’ 401 rushing yards this season.

Central York (0-3) at Northeastern (3-0): In their jump up from Division II to Division I this season, the Bobcats will open their York-Adams League schedule at home against a Panthers team in desperate need of a win. Northeastern is balanced on offense — with running backs Kody Reeser and Chris Whack (705 combined rushing yards) and quarterback Blake Einsig (202 passing yards since getting the starting gig in Week 2) — and has had one of the best defensive units through three weeks (holding opponents to an average of nine points a game). But the Panthers have been steadily improving each week and could have beaten a good Hempfield (3-0) team last week if not for a few dropped passes. Central senior running back Terrance Carter has been consistently solid in the run game, while first-year sophomore quarterback Shannon Valenti (583 passing yards) is a threat on the ground and through the air. The Panthers may be winless, but they still have talent and will have the edge over Northeastern when it comes to size.

York Catholic (1-2) at Delone Catholic (1-2): The winner of this one could go on to challenge Bermudian Springs for the Division III crown later in the season. The Squires will have to focus on stopping Irish dual-threat quarterback Hakeem Kinard (390 passing yards, 305 rushing yards this season). York Catholic will face a well-balanced Delone Catholic offense featuring running backs Alex Little (237 rushing yards) and Jake Kadis (160 rushing yards) and quarterback Brian Shermeyer (25-of-47, 476 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception). The clubs have been about even on defense when looking at the numbers, with Delone Catholic allowing 85 points and 873 yards while York Catholic has given up 71 points and 869 total yards.

Gettysburg (3-0) at Dover (1-2): Gettysburg’s three opponents (South Western, New Oxford and Waynesboro) have combined to allow an average of 40.1 points a game. Dover’s defense, meanwhile, has held opponents to an average of 16.7 points a game. So although the Warriors have put up 40-plus points every week so far this season, it’s also fair to say this will be the best defense Gettysburg has faced to this point in the year. It could result in a close one in Dover this Friday. Both offensive units are similar, with a strong running game and not much of a passing game. It’ll be interesting to see if this works in Gettysburg’s favor, considering the Warriors have the fourth-best run defense in the league through the first three weeks in the season, holding opponents to an average of 149 rushing yards a game.

Eastern York (3-0) at West York (2-1): The Golden Knights bumped up from Division III to Division II this fall. And their first three opponents on the league calendar (West York, Dover and Gettysburg) are arguably the three best teams in the division. Kudos to the Knights for beating teams they were supposed to beat thus far — Columbia, York Tech and Hanover are a combined 2-7. Now we’ll get to see immediately where Eastern stacks up in this division over the next three weeks. It’ll begin against West York in a meeting of two of the best running teams in the league, with Eastern averaging 362 rushing yards a game and West York putting up 295 rushing yards a clip. Look for Eastern’s David Livelsberger (471 rushing yards) and West York’s Ross Campbell, Noah Bowers and Garrett Stauffer (the trio has 678 combined rushing yards) to get plenty of touches. The Bulldogs are a bit more balanced offensively, though, with the arm of Campbell (490 passing yards).

Kennard-Dale (1-2) at York Suburban (0-3): Both clubs have some momentum entering this one. Last week, the Rams nabbed their first win of the year in a 30-12 victory over York Tech (0-3) and the Trojans scored their first points of the season in a 56-20 loss to Spring Grove (2-1).

Red Lion (1-2) at York High (0-3): It’s hard to make sense of this game. Defensively, both clubs have had struggles. Offensively, however, York High has put up 979 total yards while Red Lion has managed only 488 total yards. Yet, the eyeball test would suggest the Lions are the better club, having picked up a win in Week 1 against an average Hershey (1-2) team and hanging tough in Week 3 with a good West York (2-1) team. To win this one, Red Lion will have to slow down York High senior quarterback James Way (368 passing yards, 241 rushing yards, five total touchdowns) and running back Bryshon Sweeney (396 total yards, five total touchdowns).

Exeter (2-1) at Susquehannock (0-3): The Warriors will have their hands full this Friday in Glen Rock, tasked with finding answers against Exeter wide receiver Gabe Schappell (236 receiving yards, three touchdowns), running back Jeremy Tibbetts (222 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and an Exeter quarterback, Chase Yocum, who passed for 201 yards and ran for 247 yards in the first two weeks and will return this week after being held out of last Friday’s game due to an ejection in Week 2.

New Oxford (0-3) at South Western (0-3), 7:30 p.m.: The Mustangs’ offense will be the difference here. South Western is averaging 32.2 points a game while New Oxford has mustered a total of 28 points in the first three weeks. The New Oxford defense will have to key on Mustangs’ running back Andrew Hartlaub (295 total yards) and quarterback Brock Geiman (376 passing yards).

Saturday’s games:

Littlestown (1-2) at York Tech (0-3), 1 p.m.: The quality of opponents that both squads have faced in the first three weeks might be completely different. Still, Tech has better statistics than Littlestown in every category except passing offense — and the win column, of course. So perhaps the Spartans have a slight chance of pulling off the upset here. They’ll have to shut down Thunderbolts quarterback Cody Boyd (263 passing yards) and their mix of running backs who have combined for 403 rushing yards. On offense, Tech will again turn to the 1-2 punch of Damarius Wiggins (213 rushing yards, 37 passing yards) and Jibri Bones (158 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards).

— Reach John Walk at



Spring Grove head coach Russ Stoner leads a practice earlier this week. Stoner’s Rockets will face Dallastown on Friday night in the York-Adams

Spring Grove head coach Russ Stoner leads a practice earlier this week. Stoner’s Rockets will face Dallastown on Friday night in the York-Adams Division I opener for both teams. (BILL KALINA —
Spring Grove running back Shay Feulmer has rushed for 387 yards in three games this season. He’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry.

Spring Grove running back Shay Feulmer has rushed for 387 yards in three games this season. He’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry. (BILL KALINA —

Predicting this year’s Division I winner in York-Adams League high school football might be a bit easier now.

Three weeks of non-league and cross-division games have helped make this picture a little less murky.

The only undefeated Division I team after three weeks is Northeastern, which is jumping up from Division II to Division I this fall. The fact that the first three opponents for the Bobcats have a combined record of 1-8, added with the step up in competition over the next seven weeks, make it hard to see Northeastern at the top of the standings after the final week of the regular season.

It’s a different story for Spring Grove (2-1) and Dallastown (2-1), the only other Division I teams with winning records heading into Week 4. They appear to be the two-best D-I squads at this early point of the season, which gives this Friday’s 7 p.m. Rockets-Wildcats showdown the potential to put the winner in the driver’s seat on the path to the division crown.

What better way to kick off the York-Adams League slate of games this weekend?

Getting back on track: It’s hard not to notice, though, that this Week 4 match-up may have lost a little luster with Dallastown suffering a 35-3 loss to Penn Manor (2-1) last week. The Wildcats hadn’t been beaten that badly since the end of the 2012 season in the first round of districts against top-seeded Wilson.

“I was thinking about that over the weekend,” Dallastown coach Kevin Myers said. “From where we came from the first couple years, we were getting shellacked left and right. The last couple years we haven’t been dominated like that, per se.”

Friday’s setback came after an emotional 21-20 victory over a good West York (2-1) team in Week 2, which likely left most fans thinking the Wildcats were a team to watch out for this fall. The blowout loss to Penn Manor could’ve resulted in some folks scratching their heads about what to make of the Wildcats.

“We kind of took a step back,” Myers said. “We talked about it. That happens. That happens at all levels. We’re not sitting here hanging our heads on it. One game doesn’t make a season. A win doesn’t make a season. A loss doesn’t break a season.”

Myers is hopeful the gritty defense his Wildcats displayed the first two weeks will be back this Friday in Spring Grove. And that quarterback Cade Gold (246 passing yards), running back Addison Quinones (247 rushing yards) and an offensive line with an average weight of 249 pounds will return to form.

Rockets: Out in Spring Grove, the Rockets aren’t too worried about the daunting size of Dallastown.

“They’re humongous up front,” Spring Grove coach Russ Stoner said. “We saw that this year. Bermudian Springs is huge. We had a scrimmage with them and I’m not sure if you can’t get much bigger than Bermudian Springs.”

Spring Grove’s only loss came by four points in Week 1 to a good Cumberland Valley (2-1) team. The Rockets have since beaten Mechanicsburg (1-2) by 10 points and York Suburban (0-3) by 36 points. So far, Spring Grove has held opponents to an average of less than 80 rushing yards a game — quite a stat considering Spring Grove had to replace three starters on the defensive line coming into the year, including lineman David Shaw, who is now playing at the University of Maryland.

Equally impressive is how the Rockets picked up where they left off on the other side of the ball, despite losing the school’s all-time leading rusher, Jeff Delaughter, and quarterback Seth Hildebrand (1,622 passing yards, 468 rushing yards) to graduation.

Junior quarterback Nick Erickson tallied 141 passing yards in the first nine quarters of this season before going down with a knee injury in the opening quarter last Friday. Backup Jake Messersmith came in and tossed for 126 yards and two scores. Stoner said Erickson is day-to-day. However, Messersmith was seen taking first-team reps at Tuesday’s practice. Either way, the Spring Grove passing game should be just fine.

Ditto for the ground game. First-year running back Shay Feulmer moved over from wide receiver, where he racked up nine catches for 267 yards last fall, to running back, a position he last played in pee-wees as a fourth grader, shortly after moving to the area from Iowa. Also a standout runner on the Spring Grove track team last spring, Feulmer has rushed for 387 yards in the first three weeks, averaging 7.6 yards a carry.

“We have to play like we did against Mechanicsburg,” Feulmer said when asked what it’ll take to beat Dallastown this Friday. “We have to play sound football and execute.”

— Reach John Walk at


The Gettysburg football team entered the 2014 football season as the new kid on the block.

And like most newly added teams, the Warriors were accepted into the York-Adams League with open arms. There was excitement surrounding their addition. They were a fresh face and opponent for many of the teams who have been members of the league for years. It was a chance to play someone new and show that, even though Gettysburg was the new school, nothing would come easy.

Gettysburg’s first three weeks as members of the York-Adams League have created a stir, not only with its outstanding performance on the field, but also with some disturbing accusations off the field. The combination of both has almost instantly turned the Warriors into a team to beat in Division II.

Emphatic entrance: The Warriors didn’t need time to learn or adjust, nor did they need any of the other teams to take them lightly. Instead, they were going to prove that they belonged in the league right off the bat.

It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that Gettysburg was going to hold its own against new opponents in a new league. After all, this is the school that made a statement right off the bat, causing realignment to the league landscape with its addition, albeit out of its own control.

So when the Warriors kicked off their first campaign in the York-Adams League three weeks ago, it really shouldn’t have shocked anyone that they would instantly catapult themselves into the conversation as one of the favorites to win Division II.

After pulling out a close contest to open the season at South Western, 44-41, Gettysburg has made things easier for itself and its fans with convincing wins the last two Fridays. First came a 42-6 drubbing in its home opener against New Oxford and then came last week’s 48-6 thumping of Waynesboro on the road. Those wins showed that this team has serious fire power.

The 134 points scored in the first three weeks are by far the most points scored by any team thus far in the league. And while the Warriors showed in their opening game that they have what it takes to compete in a shootout, their defense has shown the last two weeks that may not always be necessary.

After surrendering 41 points to the Mustangs the first week, the defense has stood tall, only allowing 12 points combined over the past two games.

But, while Gettysburg’s early-season success has firmly put it in the conversation as one of the teams to beat in Division II, accusations that some players directed racial slurs toward other coaches and players in last Friday’s game against the Indians has it in the spotlight for more negative reasons.

Sportsmanship questions: Following the Warriors’ victory at Waynesboro, Indians coach Brennan Marion refused to let his team partake in the traditional post-game handshake because of allegations that he and some of his African-American players were called racial slurs by Gettysburg players and that his younger brother, Justin Marion, a player for Waynesboro, was cut with a sharp object. Marion said following the game that: “The refs let it happen … That was going on the whole game,” according to a report from the (Waynesboro) Record Herald on Monday.

Warriors coach Matt Heiser didn’t comment directly on the accusations from Marion, but did say: “I’ve seen some ugliness in previous games watching film from them. That was my biggest worry coming in. I became extremely nervous at the end when I saw the tempers flare,” according to a Record Herald story.

Marion later took to social media, apologizing for not showing sportsmanship. But he also accused referees and players of calling him and his players the “N-word.” On Tuesday, he retracted his statement that officials made racist comments. Gettysburg Area School District superintendent Larry Redding said that high school officials are working with Waynesboro school district “to discover the source, if any, of the allegations made by a coach in his postgame interview,” according to a Gettysburg Times article published on Wednesday.

Waynesboro athletic director Eric McIlquham said that the school is currently investigating Marion’s accusations.

Whether or not these claims are found to be true, one thing is certain about this Gettysburg team: when it steps on the field on Friday nights for the rest of the season, it will do so with a target squarely on its back.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at


Northeastern running back Kody Reeser carries the ball during a recent practice. Reeser and the Bobcats will try to improve to 3-0 on Friday night against

Northeastern running back Kody Reeser carries the ball during a recent practice. Reeser and the Bobcats will try to improve to 3-0 on Friday night against 0-2 Susquehannock. (BILL KALINA —

One more week of non-league and cross-division games remain this week before the York-Adams League schedule for all three divisions gets going in Week 4.

Here’s a look at all 17 games coming up this weekend for the York-Adams team:

Friday’s games, 7 p.m.

Shippensburg (1-1) at Bermudian Springs (2-0): Shippensburg has a capable quarterback in Tyler Gustafson, who tallied 189 passing yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 loss to Dover (1-1), and running back in Emmitt Geiger, who rushed for 94 yards and a score in a Week 2 win against Chambersburg (0-2). The Eagles will rely on running backs Briton Shelton and Colton Dull to once again steer the way. The duo has combined for 549 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the first two weeks of action.

New Oxford (0-2) at Biglerville (1-1): Biglerville (1-1) snapped a 10-game losing streak last week at Waynesboro (1-1) behind the efforts of running backs Colton Sentz (156 rushing yards on 13 carries, two touchdowns) and Scott Cooper (68 rushing yards on three carries, 110 receiving yards on two receptions, two total touchdowns). There’s a good chance the Canners can improve to 2-1 this week against a New Oxford squad that has mustered 188 total yards of offense in two games this season.

Central York (0-2) at Hempfield (2-0): Hempfield is off to a hot start with impressive wins over traditionally strong programs Lampeter-Strasburg (1-1) and Manheim Central (1-1). Panthers’ sophomore quarterback Shannon Valentin and senior running back Terrance Carter will look to get the job done, while the Central defense turns its attention to Hempfield quarterback Sam Kramer and running backs Will Blair and Devin Washington.

Penn Manor (1-1) at Dallastown (2-0): Like Hempfield, the Wildcats are also off to a solid start with wins over traditionally strong programs (Lancaster Catholic and West York). But Dallastown will face its toughest test yet when the Comets come to town. A tough Wildcats defense will go up against Penn Manor senior quarterback Tanner Erisman, who has tallied 495 passing yards and four touchdowns on 34-of-59 passing (58 percent) to go along with 65 rushing yards and two scores so far this season. Offensively, Dallastown uses a mix of pass and run with the arm of junior quarterback Cade Gold and the churning legs of senior running back Addison Quinones, with both skill players fronted by a durable offensive line.

St. Paul’s (Md.) School (1-2) at Delone Catholic (1-1): Delone Catholic had trouble stopping the run and pass against a good Trinity (1-1) team in Week 1, then had no trouble stopping a struggling Columbia (0-2) team in Week 2. St. Paul’s, meanwhile, managed to score just seven points in their first two games of the season before exploding for 350-plus yards and 33 points in last week’s victory. The Squires will have to focus on stopping St. Paul’s third-year quarterback Anthony Pino, who tossed four touchdowns and completed 12-of-19 throws for 228 yards last week. Delone will counter offensively with sophomore quarterback Brian Shermeyer, who passed for 250 yards in Week 1, and a running game that collected 247 rushing yards in Week 2.

Red Land (2-0) at Dover (1-1): The records of these teams could easily be exchanged. Last week, Red Land gave up nearly 500 yards of offense and fumbled three times but won by a point on a touchdown in the final minute, while Dover lost by a point after failing on an extra-point try following a fourth-quarter touchdown. The Eagles have the tools to bounce back in Week 3, considering they’ve held opponents to an average of 11.5 points a game so far and have a running game averaging 5.2 yards a carry. The passing game should be OK considering Dover junior quarterback Tyler Blazosky went down with an injury in the first quarter last week, but senior Kenyon Hoopes stepped in and, although he struggled at first, seemed to find a rhythm down the stretch with a 39-yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter to finish with 85 yards passing.

Hanover (1-1) at Eastern York (2-0): Hanover did just about everything right last week to snap an eight-game losing streak, getting its first win at home in two years and its first win under Head Coach Bill Reichart. Now the Nighthawks will have the task of bringing down bruising senior back David Livelsberger of Eastern. The Golden Knights’ challenge will be prepping for this game on only three days of rest after they finished out the second half of their game against York Tech this past Monday evening.

Carson Long (0-1) at Fairfield (1-1): Carson Long’s season opener a week ago — a 28-0 loss to Perkiomen — had to be halted early because Carson Long only had 16 players at the start but were down to 10 with 7:23 remaining. Fairfield is coming off a four-point win at James Buchanan (1-1), when Green Knights’ senior quarterback Mason Flickinger rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown while also adding another score on the defensive side by returning an interception 20 yards for a touchdown. Fairfield won last year’s matchup at Carson Long, 72-14.

Gettysburg (2-0) at Waynesboro (1-1): A warm-up for the Warriors here before they travel to Division II foe Dover (1-1) in Week 4. Spear-headed by senior running back Wade Laudeman, the Gettysburg ground game has pounded out 540 rushing yards on 93 carries (5.8 yards per carry) thus far. The Warriors are averaging 43 points a game so far.

York Tech (0-2) at Kennard-Dale (0-2): The Spartans are on a short week after losing Monday evening to Eastern York, 26-8. For York Tech, watch out for Jibri Bones on special teams and running backs Damarius Wiggins and Nashid Bones on the offensive side. The Rams might have found a solution at quarterback. Stepping in last week for senior Kyle Amrhein, who was suspended in Week 2 following an ejection in Week 1, was junior Dan Brewer, who completed 11-of-24 pass attempts for 127 yards and no interceptions.

Littlestown (1-1) at Lancaster Catholic (0-2).: Littlestown has allowed an average of 284 rushing yards but held opponents to 53.5 pass yards in the first two weeks. Now, the Thunderbolts will get a chance to prove just how good its pass defense really is against Lancaster Catholic sophomore quarterback Jordan Scott, who has completed 66 percent of his passes (41-of-62) for 549 yards and tallied five scores (four pass, one rush) in two weeks of action.

Northeastern (2-0) at Susquehannock (0-2): Big news out of Northeastern this week is second-year quarterback Marcus Josey, a junior, underwent season-ending surgery to his right foot Wednesday to correct an injury he suffered in Week 1. Last season, Josey threw for 1,246 yards and ran for 258 yards. Sophomore Blake Einsig stepped in at quarterback last week in a 44-0 win over York Suburban and went 6-for-6 passing for 96 yards and a touchdown. So perhaps the Bobcats will be OK under center. This week will be one last chance for Northeastern to do some fine-tuning before it begins competition in York-Adams Division I in Week 4. Expect running backs Chris Whack and Kody Reeser to do some damage for Northeastern.

West York (1-1) at Red Lion (1-1): Both squads enter coming off very different losses — West York took a heartbreaking 21-20 defeat to Dallastown (1-1) and Red Lion absorbed a disappointing 47-6 blowout at Manheim Township (1-1). The strong West York defense will focus on bringing down Red Lion senior running back Kenny Holloway, while the Bulldogs’ offense aims to return to its winning ways with dual-threat senior quarterback Ross Campbell, who leads a potent running game that also features bruising senior back Noah Bowers.

South Western (0-2) at Carlisle (1-1): The Mustangs had trouble stopping the run in Week 1, both the run and pass in Week 2 and has given up a combined total of 99 points thus far. The Carlisle offense is good at running and passing, especially the latter. Senior quarterback Billy Burger has completed 39-of-64 passes (61 percent) for 643 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Watch out for Mustangs’ returner Andrew Hartlaub, who has three kick returns this season of at least 90 yards.

York Suburban (0-2) at Spring Grove (1-1): The Rockets look like a contender in Division I after nearly beating a good Cumberland Valley (2-0) team in Week 1 and following up with a 10-point win over a traditionally strong Mechanicsburg (0-2) squad in Week 2. A Week 4 matchup with Dallastown (2-0), one that very well could decide York-Adams Division I when it’s all said and done, looms in the near future. First, though, the Rockets have a cross-division contest to take care of. Spring Grove senior back Shay Feulmer and the rest of the Rockets’ running attack could have a big night.

Saturday’s game, 1 p.m.

York High (0-2) at Harrisburg (2-0): Both played the exact same opponents — Reading and McCaskey — in the first two weeks and had opposite results. Harrisburg will have to defend the Bearcats’ 1-2 punch of quarterback James Way and running back James Sweeney, a duo that’s accounted for 690 of York High’s 708 yards of total offense so far. York High will have to defend Harrisburg quarterback Mikale Clark, a St. Francis (Pa.) University recruit who rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown last week while passing for 314 yards and five touchdowns combined in the first two weeks.

— Reach John Walk at


York Catholic quarterback Hakeem Kinard rolls out of the pocket during practice this week. Kinard has passed for 322 yards and run for 250 yards in two

York Catholic quarterback Hakeem Kinard rolls out of the pocket during practice this week. Kinard has passed for 322 yards and run for 250 yards in two games this season. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —
York Catholic wide receiver Qua’Shawn Grooms hauls in a throw during practice this week. Grooms has six catches for 84 yards this season.

York Catholic wide receiver Qua’Shawn Grooms hauls in a throw during practice this week. Grooms has six catches for 84 yards this season. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

Let’s get this out of the way up front.

The York Catholic High School football team is hosting Berks Catholic this Friday. Berks Catholic is the defending District 3-AA champion who rolled to a 45-19 win over Steel-High a week ago. Last November, Steel-High beat York Catholic, 26-7, in the District 3-A title game. As a result, some folks might not give the Irish much of a chance against Berks Catholic this week.

“Some people might think that,” York Catholic head coach Eric Depew said earlier this week during a break in practice. “But we’re playing to win.”

Plus, York Catholic all-star quarterback and defensive back Hakeem Kinard noted Steel-High lost a lot of talent to graduation (14 starters to be exact) following last season. Berks Catholic also graduated 24 seniors from last year’s 14-1 team. So it’s hard to make a correlation to this year’s Steel-High squad and how it performed against Berks Catholic last week.

Either way, York Catholic (1-1) isn’t going into its match-up with Berks Catholic (2-0) expecting to get blown out. The Irish don’t just want to gain a bit more experience against a good team before Week 4 hits, marking the beginning of games against opponents in York-Adams Division III, where the Irish are expected to be a contender this fall.

No. York Catholic wants to be competitive in its home opener under the lights Friday night.

“We’re going to have to be aggressive up front,” Kinard said of the offensive game plan.

Then the dual-threat quarterback paused to look at his coach, as if to get permission for his next comment, concerned with possibly revealing too many secrets.

“And we might have to come out passing,” said Kinard, who has thrown for 322 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 250 rushing yards the first two weeks of this season.

Irish plagued by slow starts: That could be an issue for York Catholic if its receivers perform the way they have at the beginning of games so far this year. The Irish were held to three points in the first 40 minutes of action of the season before exploding for two touchdowns in the final minutes at Northeastern. The turnaround came a little too late, though. The Bobcats held on to beat the Irish in the season opener, 20-17.

“We were dropping balls. Not making catches,” Depew said of the loss to Northeastern. “Guys have to step up and make some plays. We had a couple penalties that hurt us.”

The problem returned in Week 2 at Susquehannock (0-2), when York Catholic won handily, 36-0.

“We went down to Susquehannock and again we sputtered there early. We were dropping balls. It was only 8-0 going into halftime,” Depew said. “We dominated the whole game. But again, you’re not making catches and you’re having drive-killers. We came out (in the second half) and we were more physical, leaning on our run game. Went for 365 (rush) yards and only threw for 120 (yards).”

Facing the Wing-T: Another area of concern for York Catholic this Friday will be stopping the Wing-T offense run by Berks Catholic, which has resulted in the Saints racking up plenty of rush yards, led by a stud back named Pop Lacey. The Irish went up against Northeastern’s Wing-T in Week 1 and allowed 280 rush yards to the Bobcats.

“We’ve seen it before,” Depew said. “So now we can look and say ‘here’s what we need to fix this time around.'”

In the early part of last season, York Catholic suffered a lopsided loss, 48-20, in Week 2 against Bermudian Springs. The Irish still went on to reach the District 3-A title game two months later. So maybe a York Catholic loss in Week 3 to a strong Berks Catholic team wouldn’t matter much in the long run.

The Irish, though, aren’t adopting that mindset. Never mind that Berks Catholic (73 players) has nearly double York Catholic’s roster (40 players). The Irish aren’t planning on laying down Friday.

— Reach John Walk at


Eastern York fullback Lucas Barshinger pushes defensive back David Porter of York Tech to the ground on his way to a touchdown in the third quarter on

Eastern York fullback Lucas Barshinger pushes defensive back David Porter of York Tech to the ground on his way to a touchdown in the third quarter on Monday. Barshinger had three TDs in Eastern’s 26-8 win. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

SPRY — It’s not an everyday occurrence for a high school football game to get started on one day and resumed two days later. But Mother Nature forced Saturday’s York-Adams League cross-over contest between Eastern York and York Tech to be halted after one half of action.

Golden Knight fullback Lucas Barshinger called it downright “weird” to have to go to school on a Monday and play a contest later that afternoon.

Fortunately for first-year Golden Knights head coach Dave Kemmick, the extra couple of days provided a chance for his team to learn some lessons from a disappointing first half that ended with an 8-8 deadlock.

It took visiting Eastern just two plays to get on track Monday when Barshinger rumbled 71 yards for his second touchdown of the contest on the second play of the half to put the Knights ahead 15-8. That focus and determination remained in tact the rest of the shortened day at York Tech. The Knights shut down the Spartans for a 26-8 triumph.

Barshinger, who added a 2-yard run late in the third quarter to finish with a career-high three touchdowns, helped his Eastern club improve to 2-0, while Tech fell to 0-2.

“We have to come out (like this) every day,” Barshinger said. “But it was so weird.”

Kemmick wasn’t particularly pleased with his team’s performance on Saturday, when the Golden Knights fell behind 8-0 late in the first half.

“We couldn’t have had any worse focus then we had on Saturday,” he said. “We didn’t come out very well and we looked like we came out at half-speed. And I wasn’t very happy with the way we came out Saturday.”

Whether or not Kemmick completed a so called “rain-dance” over the weekend to force the suspension of the contest, the Golden Knight coach was sure happy with how it turned out.

“I told the guys that it was a new day,” he said. “It was fresh and it was only a half. So there’s no reason to run slow today.”

No one took those words to heart more than Barshinger, who at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds is no easy player to tackle.

“We knew we were getting the ball and we needed to take it down and score,” Kemmick said. “I didn’t know it would take just two plays to score.”

Once the Knights took the lead, their defense refused to budge. The Spartans managed just two first downs over the final two quarters, one of which came on a fake punt. Neither time were the hosts able to come close to scoring.

“The one thing with the kids is that they’ve been running this defense now for multiple years,” Kemmick said. “So they know what to do.”

Damian McKinsey completed the scoring by kicking a 20-yard field goal with 57 seconds left in the contest.

The Knights will have a chance to make their coach 3-0 Friday night when they host Hanover (1-1). Tech, which got a 78-yard touchdown run by Demarius Wiggins Saturday, will travel to Kennard-Dale (0-2) that same night in a battle of clubs looking for their first victories of the season.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


Dallastown running back Dezmond Jones breaks around the outside during practice Wednesday. The Wildcats are coming off a season-opening 35-14 win over

Dallastown running back Dezmond Jones breaks around the outside during practice Wednesday. The Wildcats are coming off a season-opening 35-14 win over Lancaster Catholic last week. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

Around this time a week ago, Dallastown coach Kevin Myers felt a bit unsure about his team heading into the season opener vs. Lancaster Catholic.

Of course, there were concerns about how the Wildcats were going to replace departed skill players Andrew Henry, Robert Catchings and Malik Lewis, a trio that led Dallastown to the District 3-AAAA semifinals last fall.

But Myers, now in his 10th season as head coach and 18th overall as a coach in general, wasn’t worried about that. He knew who the players were who would be able to step in and move the program forward. What he didn’t know, though, was if this calm group would flip a switch and turn on their aggressive side come Friday.

“I had no idea what to expect. I knew we had talent. I knew we had quickness. Are these guys gonna show up? Are they gonna go out there and rock and roll?” Myers said. “I had no read on this team.”

Then the Wildcats made their debut on Dallastown’s new turf field by dismantling a respectable Lancaster Catholic program,35-14.

“I don’t want to jinx it, but for the opening game it’s probably the best opening game we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Myers said. “Not that we didn’t make mistakes, but just looking at all three phases of the game — offense, defense, special teams, we had glitches, we had hiccups — but watching film we attacked the ball.”

When the game ended, though, his players returned to their business-as-usual approach.

“Even after that win you wouldn’t have known they won,” Myers said. “Not that they weren’t happy and stuff. Our student section rushed the field, whatever. I pulled them in and they were looking around like ‘I’ll see you Monday, coach.’ I’ve never coached a group like this. Ever.”

Perhaps Dallastown has now reached a point where lopsided wins over good teams are no longer a surprise but an expectation. Lingering around .500 each season is no longer acceptable following an 11-win campaign in 2010 and 10-win campaign in 2013. Either way, the Wildcats appear to have set their bar high this fall, which makes this Friday’s trip to cross-division opponent West York all the more intriguing.

As most know by now, the traditionally strong Bulldogs are considered the team to beat in York-Adams Division II this fall and are expected to again do damage in district competition come November. A win here by Dallastown would put the Wildcats at the front of the line of contenders in a wide-open Division I race.

Matchup: Both teams present challenges. West York went for 332 rushing yards in its Week 1 win, 41-20 at Central York, with quarterback Ross Campbell accounting for 101 of those yards. But Campbell, who totaled 1,070 passing yards last fall, can also toss the rock, if needed.

“We definitely want to stop the run first, but we’re aware they take the ball deep,” Myers said. “We have to not only get pressure on the quarterback but we have to contain. That makes it a little harder when you have a quarterback you have to contain. You can’t let him open up and run and get yards as your guys are dropping in coverage.”

Dallastown will counter with a defense featuring end Kris Phennicie (6-foot, 1-inches tall, 200-pounds), tackles Tray Noye (6-2, 200) Justin Tindull (6-4, 245) and Zaire Willis (6-5, 340), two returning defensive backs and speedy linebackers, including Dez Jones, who recovered three of Dallastown’s four forced fumbles last Friday.

“Last year that was a huge issue for us, is getting pressure on the quarterback,” Myers said. “Last year it would be one guy but this year it’s all four guys up front who can collapse the pocket.”

Most of those linemen mentioned above also start on offense, steering the way for a Dallastown ground game that put up 234 rushing yards a week ago. First-year starting quarterback Cade Gold, a junior, went for a team-high 117 yards.

Gold’s comments on his plan of attack vs. West York goes along with the simple, get-it-done approach Myers has felt from this group of Dallastown players.

“We just have to be prepared. I don’t know what else to say really,” Gold said. “We work hard at practice. We hope to come at ‘em and smack ‘em in the mouth early and get up and continue with that lead and don’t let off.”

— Reach John Walk at


Central York’s Terrance Carter finds running room against West York last week. He finished with 120 rushing yards.

Central York’s Terrance Carter finds running room against West York last week. He finished with 120 rushing yards. (RANDY FLAUM —

Here’s a look at the 17 Week 2 high school football games involving York-Adams League teams this weekend.

Friday’s games:

Dover (1-0) at Big Spring (0-1), 7 p.m.: The big news out of Dover this week is running backs Jake McLean and Isaiah Green, both of whom played integral roles last year by combining for 1,800-plus rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, are gone from the team. McLean is out for the year with an ACL injury. However, neither played in Dover’s opening 34-13 win at Shippensburg, where eight Eagles backs rushed for a team total of 261 yards. So perhaps the traditionally strong Dover run attack is just fine. The Eagles will have a stiffer challenge this week at Big Spring, which has 15 starters returning from a 4-6 ball club and is coming off a 28-0 win over West Perry in Week 1. Big Spring relies on quarterback Garrett Chestnut, who passed for 1,200-plus yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore last season.

Boiling Springs (0-1) at Bermudian Springs (1-0), 7 p.m.: A matchup of two teams with lethal running attacks. Boiling Springs handed off to John Vaughan 27 times for 201 rushing yards in a Week 1 loss to Littlestown. Bermudian mashed out 395 rushing yards (308 of them coming from Colton Dull and Briton Shelton) in a Week 1 win over New Oxford, 34-7.

Biglerville (0-1) at Waynesboro (1-0), 7 p.m.: With 17 returning starters, the Canners have high expectations to improve on their 1-9 record in 2013. But they got off to a slow start last Friday in a 10-0 Week 1 loss to a rebuilding Annville-Cleona team. Now Biglerville will go up against a Waynesboro club that put up 380-plus pass yards in a 53-7 win over Kennard-Dale last Friday.

Cumberland Valley (1-0) at Central York (0-1), 7 p.m.: Both teams entered the season coming off impressive 2013 campaigns with the task of trying to replace nearly their entire starting rosters. In Week 1, Cumberland Valley didn’t skip a beat with a 21-17 win over Spring Grove, despite being held to 138 rushing yards and no passing yards. Central York’s 41-20 opening weekend loss to West York would’ve been a different story had they played cleaner. The Panthers gave away two fumbles and committed 10 penalties. Those miscues overshadowed impressive debuts by sophomore quarterback Shannon Valentin (248 passing yards) and running back Terrance Carter (120 rushing yards).

Columbia (0-1) at Delone Catholic (0-1), 7 p.m.: Eastern York stomped its way to 400-plus rushing yards in a Week 1 win over Columbia, 35-14. Columbia next has to see if it’ll be able to stop the passing of Delone Catholic sophomore quarterback Brian Shermeyer, who exploded for 250 passing yards last week in a 37-30 loss to Trinity.

Fairfield (0-1) at James Buchanan (1-0), 7 p.m.: Fairfield will aim to fix a running game that mustered 54 rushing yards in a 24-21 loss to Newport last Friday. The Green Knights will try to do that against a James Buchanan team returning 16 starters from a 4-6 campaign in 2013. James Buchanan is coming off a 33-19 win over Hanover.

New Oxford (0-1) at Gettysburg (1-0), 7 p.m.: Of Gettysburg’s 377 total yards in a 44-41 Week 1 win over South Western, 295 of them came on the ground. The Warriors will aim to keep running against a New Oxford bunch that allowed 395 rushing yards in a 18-13 Week 1 loss to Bermudian Springs.

Kennard-Dale (0-1) at Hanover (0-1), 7 p.m.: Hanover quarterback Kyle Krout (9-for-22, 126 yards) and running back Jordan Laughman (146 rushing yards on 20 carries, three touchdowns) each had solid opening weekends. They’ll aim to get Hanover in the win column this week against a Rams team without starting quarterback Kyle Amrhein, who was ejected in KD’s 53-7 Week 1 loss Waynesboro.

Greencastle-Antrim (1-0) at Littlestown (1-0), 7 p.m.: Greencastle closed out the 2013 season by averaging 39 points a game to finish 5-5. Seven offensive starters returned this fall and led the way in a 34-10 rout against Chambersburg last Friday. Littlestown, which has nearly an entirely new starting roster, will counter with six running backs and three quarterbacks who combined for 347 total offensive yards in last week’s five-point win over Boiling Springs.

Northeastern (1-0) at York Suburban (0-1), 7 p.m.: The Trojans were held to 158 total yards in a shutout loss to Red Land last Friday, with quarterback Thomas Merkle’s 128 passing yards leading the way. It’ll be another matchup against a tough defense. The Bobcats held York Catholic to three points in the first 36 minutes in their 20-17 opening win. Offensively, Northeastern counts on its ground game that features a mix of quarterback Marcus Josey and running backs Chris Whack and Kody Reeser.

Red Lion (1-0) at Manheim Township (0-1), 7 p.m.: The Lions had a nice opening win at Hershey, 28-7. Manheim Twp., though, is a different beast entirely. With 15 starters returning from a District 3-AAAA qualifier in 2013, the Blue Streaks are a dark horse pick to contend with Penn Manor and Wilson for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 crown this fall. They lived up to that billing last Friday by taking traditionally strong Central Dauphin to overtime. This begins a tough stretch for the Lions. West York looms in Week 3 followed by a trip to York High.

South Western (0-1) at Cedar Cliff (0-1), 7 p.m.: It’ll be interesting to see how Cedar Cliff recovers from its trip back from Ireland, where it lost to Penn Manor, 27-20. Sophomore Grant Breneman, the brother of Penn State tight end Adam, made his starting debut in that loss by throwing for 170 yards and two touchdowns. South Western is also coming off a tough loss to Gettysburg, 44-41. The Mustangs will look to running back Robby Harbison (17 carries for 94 yards, two touchdowns in Week 1) and quarterback Brock Geiman (8-of-17 passing for 89 yards, six carries for 24 yards, two total touchdowns) to carry the load.

Mechanicsburg (0-1) at Spring Grove (0-1), 7 p.m.: The Rockets nearly pulled out a win against a powerhouse Cumberland Valley program last week before ultimately falling, 21-17. Running backs Shay Feulmer and Zack Stauffer and quarterback Nick Erickson combined for all but five of Spring Grove’s 138 rushing yards in the opening loss. The Rockets defense will have to shut down Mechanicsburg quarterback Tyler Schubert, who totaled 2,100 passing yards and 20 TDs last fall.

York Catholic (0-1) at Susquehannock (0-1), 7 p.m.: The Irish were held to three points in the first three quarters against Northeastern before finally clicking and exploding for two scores down the stretch in a 20-17 opening defeat to the Bobcats. Perhaps with the offensive rust behind them, the Irish can pick up the scoring from the outset against Susquehannock. The Warriors rely on the arm of quarterback Josh Stoneberg, who threw for 333 yards and four TDs in the double-digit Week 1 loss against Northern York.

McCaskey (0-1) at York High (0-1), 7 p.m.: Running back Bryshon Sweeney and quarterback James Way combined for all but two of York High’s 299 rushing yards last Friday. But the York High defense had trouble stopping the Reading running attack, which accounted for all of the Red Knights’ 283 yards. Next, York High faces a McCaskey team aiming to snap a 14-game losing streak stretching back to 2012.

Saturday’s games:

Eastern York (1-0) at York Tech (0-1), 1 p.m.: All about the ground attack here. Eastern’s 404 total yards of offense last week came through the run game. Of Tech’s 219 total yards in the opening game, 183 of them were rushing yards. The Golden Knights will aim to avenge last year’s 38-14 loss to York Tech.

— Reach John Walk at


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