|2014 #YAIAA FOOTBALL REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS|
Archive for the ‘Football’ Category
By JOHN WALK
Here’s a look at all of the Week 10 games involving York-Adams League teams. All games are on Friday, starting at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Dallastown (8-1 overall, 6-0 league) at Red Lion (6-3, 5-1): A Dallastown win and the Wildcats are the outright Division I champions for the first time since 2010. A Red Lion win and the Lions would share the Division I crown with Dallastown. The last time Red Lion had a piece of the division title was when the Lions won it outright in 2003. These two teams have never shared a division title, at least according to The York Dispatch archives that date back to 1967. Only twice in the previous 47 years have these cross-town rivals ever finished 1-2 in the division standings. Both teams are strong in the run game offensively and defensively, although Dallastown does have a big edge in those categories.
Dallastown junior quarterback Cade Gold (863 passing yards, five touchdowns, five interceptions) can throw when needed and has been steadily improving as the season progresses. Red Lion quarterback Dalton Grove has shown flashes of talent throughout the year, most recently in last week’s 41-28 win at Spring Grove, where the junior signal-caller completed 12-of-16 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 81 rushing yards and two scores. Neither team has a particularly strong pass defense, although it’s worth noting the talents of Wildcats defensive backs Owen Ritter, who presents challenges with his height and wingspan, and Addison Quinones, who brings the lumber on opposing receivers left exposed on pass plays. Should be a good one at Horn Field.Spring Grove (3-6, 1-5) at South Western (4-5, 4-2), 730 p.m.: For the first time all year, South Western is on a win streak, having won two straight and four of its last six games. The Mustangs need a victory here for a shot at being included among the top 16 teams that get into the District 3-AAAA playoffs. They’re currently sitting at the No. 18 spot in the latest District 3 power rankings. This will be the final time the Rockets will play for Head Coach Russ Stoner, who is resigning after the season. It’ll be interesting to see if Spring Grove picks up on anything from watching South Western’s game film from last week in the Mustangs’ 16-7 win at Northeastern, when quarterback Brock Geiman (1,377 passing yards, 12 touchdowns) was finally slowed down a bit and South Western was held under 20 points for only the second time all year.
York High (3-6, 3-3) at Central York (4-5, 4-2): The Panthers have lost two straight and are No. 17 in the latest District 3-AAAA power rankings, one spot shy of making it into the top 16 playoff bracket. Senior running back Terrance Carter (749 rushing yards) will try to get back on track after being held to negative 3 yards in last week’s 47-21 loss at Dallastown. Central has the best passing defense in Division I, which could present problems for York High senior QB James Way (1,254 passing yards, nine touchdowns). However, Central had trouble stopping the run the last two weeks, and York High has plenty of options in the run game.
Northeastern (4-5, 1-5) at New Oxford (0-9, 0-6): A Northeastern win here would mark the third time in the program’s seven years of existence that the Bobcats won at least five games in a season. Leading the way in that quest will be Northeastern sophomore quarterback Blake Einsig (797 passing yards, nine touchdowns), sophomore running back Chris Whack (614 rushing yards, three touchdowns) and junior running back Kody Reeser (500 rushing yards, four touchdowns).
West York (8-1, 5-0) at Gettysburg (8-1, 4-1): Gettysburg will attempt to claim a share of the division title in the program’s first year competing in the York-Adams League. West York has had a piece of the division title six times in the previous seven seasons, winning it outright four times. It’s the first meeting of these teams since the 2007 District 3-AAA quarterfinals, won by Gettysburg, 33-28. Offensively, both teams are top four in the league in running the ball, while West York has the edge in the passing attack. Defensively, both teams are top five in the league against the run while Gettysburg has the slight edge in pass defense. Should be a fun one at Dick May Field.
York Suburban (4-5, 3-2) at Eastern York (6-3, 2-3): The Golden Knights enter this Friday one spot shy of the top 16 of the District 3-AAA playoff bracket. Meanwhile, York Suburban is aiming for its fourth straight year with at least five wins in a season. Eastern will have to find a way to break up the connection between Trojans’ quarterback Thomas Merkle (1,461 passing yards, 10 touchdowns) and wide receiver Collin Mailman (870 receiving yards, eight touchdowns). Suburban will try to slow down the Eastern ground game that’s pumping out an average of 276.3 rushing yards, the third highest clip in the league.
Susquehannock (1-8, 1-4) at Dover (4-5, 3-2): Susquehannock is coming off its first win of the year. Dover enters having lost three straight games and needing a victory for a shot at the District 3-AAA playoffs. The Eagles are ranked No. 19 in the latest district power rankings. Look for Dover running backs Durran Ledbetter (590 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Tyrel Jones (522 rushing yards, five touchdowns) to get the Eagles back on the winning track.
Millersburg (4-5) at Kennard-Dale (1-8, 0-6): The Rams will try to snap a four-game skid against a Millersburg team led by 6-foot, 1-inch sophomore phenom Christian Wingard, who has thrown for 1,515 yards and 12 touchdowns and run for 261 yards and 10 touchdowns.
York Tech (1-8, 1-5) at York Catholic (6-3, 5-1): The Irish enter this one ranked No. 3 in the latest District 3-A power rankings. The top four District 3 teams are taken in the Class A playoff bracket. York Catholic senior quarterback Hakeem Kinard (1,452 passing yards, 14 touchdowns) has proven by now he can get it done through the air. Then last week, Fairfield kept Kinard to only 10 yards passing and he responded with 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns, breaking the 1,000-yard barrier in the process. He now has a total of 1,098 rushing yards. Kinard and West York’s Ross Campbell are the only York-Adams League players with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 passing yards to this point.
Bermudian Springs (9-0, 6-0) at Biglerville (5-4, 3-3): Bermudian Springs will attempt to keep its perfect season intact, in addition to its No. 2 spot in the District 3-AA playoff bracket. Biglerville likely needs to pull an upset this week for a shot at being included in the District 3-AA playoffs. The Canners are allowing an average of 201 rushing yards a game. The Eagles lead the league with 329 rushing yards a game. So it could be another big day for Bermudian backs Colton Dull (1,201 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns) and Briton Shelton (1,051 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns).
Hanover (2-7, 1-5) at Delone Catholic (5-4, 4-2): Hanover quarterback Kyle Krout (1,633 passing yards, nine touchdowns) and Dylan Krieger (1,125 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) have been downright unstoppable as of late. The Nighthawks’ defense just has to find a way to slow down Delone Catholic running backs Alex Little (652 rushing yards, four touchdowns) and Jake Kadis (776 rushing yards, nine touchdowns). The Squires have to win this one to stay in the top four of the District 3-A power rankings.
Fairfield (5-4, 3-3) at Littlestown (2-7, 1-5): Fairfield is one spot shy of the top four of the District 3-A playoff bracket, needing a win over the Thunderbolts and a bit of help for a shot at the postseason. The Green Knights did a good job last week containing the passing of York Catholic quarterback Hakeem Kinard, but had no answer against the run, an area Littlestown backs Lucas Reynolds (555 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Zach Brown (511 rushing yards, five touchdowns) will look to exploit.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.
By JOHN WALK and DICK VANO’LINDA
On a Saturday around noon four weeks ago, Ross Campbell’s West York football gear sat on the driveway next to his parents’ home, airing out from the night before.
Ross and the Bulldogs had just picked up a 42-18 non-league victory over Pius X in Week 6 of the high school football season.
There were the white cleats, the white pants and blue jersey with white lettering and the white helmet with the blue stripe down the middle and blue No. 3 on the side. It’s a number that most opposing defenders likely remember passing them in a blur this fall. Campbell has piled up 1,015 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns from the Bulldogs’ quarterback position, where he’s also thrown for 1,415 yards and 13 touchdowns, leading West York to an 8-1 overall record and a No. 2 ranking in the latest District 3-AAA power ratings. The Bulldogs have already clinched at least a tie for the York-Adams Division II title and can win it outright with a victory over Gettysburg on Friday night.
It will mark one of the final games of Ross Campbell’s career. Following in the footsteps of his two older brothers at West York, the senior signal-caller will get closer to the end of an era that began nearly a decade ago in 2006 — a span that has featured a Campbell playing for the Bulldogs each year. Most West York fans know that, though. What others might not know, however, is that the Campbells have had an impact on York County sports stretching back more than six decades, beginning with Ross’ grandfather, Bill, at York Catholic in the late 1940s, and his father, Steve, at York Catholic in the 1970s.
It was on that Saturday four weeks ago when Steve Campbell, his wife, Karen, and their three boys sat down to chat a bit about that history and a lot about what has led to Ross becoming one of the best players in all of York County and the York-Adams League this season.
‘A legendary moment': Steve Campbell never had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with his father.
William “Bill” Campbell passed away when Steve was only 15.
While their time together was relatively short, Bill Campbell had a strong impact on his son’s life — especially during Steve’s growing years.
“Dad was an inspiration for me,” Steve Campbell said.
“Not his words, but as a kid growing up in the neighborhood, I played sports like every other kid, and I was certainly well aware of his career.”
Bill Campbell’s basketball career at York Catholic featured one unforgettable basket —Campbell’s game-winning, three-quarters-court shot that won a state championship in 1948.
“That’s a legendary moment,” Steve Campbell said. “It was a situation where he made a 55-foot shot when time was running out. Bang, it went in, and York Catholic won the game.”
The Fighting Irish scored a 44-42 victory over St. Mary’s (Pa.) to win the Pennsylvania Catholic Interscholastic Athletic Association Class B title.
Bill Campbell also played football for York Catholic. He began his career as a running back, but switched to quarterback and was known more for his play at the latter position.
The Fighting Irish, a member of the Central Penn Catholic League at the time, compiled a 7-3 record in his junior year.
When Steve Campbell signed up for football at York Catholic nearly three decades later, he selected running back — partly as a tribute to his dad, but also as Campbell explained, that with his size, “I certainly couldn’t be a lineman.”
Asked about his career, Campbell said modestly, “I was average.”
Campbell’s three sons have followed in their father’s and grandfather’s cleats by playing high school football — at West York.
Blake, Class of 2009, was a first-team York-Adams Division II All-Star at defensive end in 2007, and a second-team selection at wide receiver (2007) and defensive end (2008).
Brett, Class of 2011, earned first-team honors as a wide receiver in 2010 by catching 56 passes for 1,052 yards (18.8 average) and scoring 18 touchdowns in his senior season.
Ross: Look at life through Ross Campbell’s eyes for a second when considering all of this information. He’s had to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and two older brothers, all of whom have been successful in high school athletics in York County.
Then add in the fact that Ross took over the West York QB gig, a position that’s played a vital role in the Bulldogs’ success over the years. More recently, in 2012, Brett Kinneman completed 52 percent of his passes for 1,617 yards and 19 touchdowns to just five interceptions, while also rushing for 533 yards and 12 touchdowns. More importantly, Kinneman led the Bulldogs to a perfect 13-0 record before losing in the District 3-AAA title game.
Before Kinneman, there was Kaden Hepler, who is now playing baseball at NCAA Division I Winthrop University. In Hepler’s two years as the West York signal-caller, the Bulldogs went a combined 21-4 and twice appeared in districts, reaching the semifinals in 2011. In those two seasons, Hepler completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 3,319 yards and 37 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.
Sure, it’s nowhere near the pressure the children of Peyton Manning or LeBron James will one day face, but Ross has had a high bar to measure up to.
“Honestly filling shoes, I’ve never felt that way. I’ve never felt like I’ve need to hold myself up to a certain standard,” Ross Campbell said. “It was more of just making sure you’re working hard and trying to be a leader and a role model to your teammates and play your game.”
Not everything has come easy to Ross, either. His varsity career got off to a rocky start when he took over the West York quarterback job coming into the 2013 season. Like many of his teammates, Campbell was young and still learning. As a result, West York lost its first five games before eventually turning a corner in Week 6, going on to win four of the last five and just missing the playoffs.
“I would say it probably took him until Week 6 of last year when I started seeing the game slow down for him,” West York coach Ron Miller said. “He would take off out of the pocket immediately. All of a sudden that started slowing down. He was overwhelmed at first, but by Week 6 that stopped. That Week 6 game we stopped huddling. We did away with huddling and tried to go as fast as we can. When we eliminated the thinking of it and let them go out and play, that’s where we saw the difference.”
What makes him go: There are plenty of other factors that have helped mold Ross into the standout QB he has become.
Although he can throw when needed — as evidenced by his 320 passing yards in last week’s 51-0 win over Dover — Ross is known more for his legs than his arm. He believes his agility, explosiveness and speed come, in part, from his years spent playing soccer as a youngster.
The Campbell parents didn’t let their boys play football until the seventh grade. But once Ross put on a helmet and pads, he was a quarterback from the outset, first starting for the freshman team as a seventh grader when Kinneman went down with a broken collarbone. Campbell’s eighth-grade team went undefeated, resulting in Campbell the following year being Miller’s first freshman call-up to practice with the varsity — and learn from Hepler — in 2011.
“We got to see them play on a Saturday, the eighth graders,” Miller recalled of seeing Ross as an eighth grader. “My goodness. I could not believe what I was watching. Speed. How hard they hit. I was like ‘Wow.’ They were just so good. They were undefeated their eighth-grade year. Now looking back at it, Ross was having the same kind of year in eighth grade as he is this season.”
Ross played lacrosse from seventh grade through ninth grade but dropped that to take up running track, where he’s worked on all aspects of his speed while competing in the 400 and 800 runs.
On the football field, Campbell has also had the luxury of running behind a speedy, experienced and intelligent offensive line.
“Yeah, we are small and I hope it doesn’t come back to get us here in weeks coming up, but we’re highly intelligent,” Miller said of his O-line. “Even Ian Licht is our tight end and he’s an honor roll student. When you have smart kids you’re able to do things scheme-wise and do things on the fly.”
Let’s also not forget perhaps the most important part of Campbell’s success — playing for an accomplished coach such as Miller. In nine seasons at West York, Miller has compiled a 84-24 record, steering the Bulldogs to the District 3-AAA Tournament six of the last eight years, reaching the semifinals four times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), the title game twice (2008, 2012) and winning it in once (2008).
Aside from going no-huddle, Miller said he hasn’t made any changes to his offense to adjust to Ross’ skill set.
“Whereas Kinneman could get us 20 to 35 yards (on a rushing attempt), Ross has the ability to get to the next level,” Miller said. “He’ll take a 20-yard run and make it an 80-yard run. If you go back and look at our play calls, it’s not that much different.”
Gettysburg: Chatting with Karen Campbell recently, she noted Ross was a bit upset that this story would run before the season is officially over. Ross feels he’s far from having tied a bow on his football career.
But it’s not because he plans to play college football — the 5-foot, 10-inch, 135-pound Ross understands he doesn’t have the type of body wanted by big-time college football programs, such as 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman Brody Kern, a 2012 West York grad who’s now playing at Delaware University.
“Yeah. I’ve always said from the start I’m not really looking to pursue that,” Ross said. “My height and weight is obviously the first thing that’s stopping me from doing that.”
It’s why these final weeks of the high school football season mean so much to Ross. Like most of his teammates and opposing players, these are the last opportunities of Ross’ life that he’ll get to compete on the gridiron.
And he’s aiming to go out on a high note, starting with helping his Bulldogs capture the York-Adams Division II title this Friday at Gettysburg (8-1 overall, 4-1 league).
There’s plenty riding on this matchup. A West York loss and the Bulldogs not only have to split the division crown with Gettysburg, but they’ll also likely drop from their No. 2 ranking in the District 3-AAA playoff bracket, with the tournament starting the following week.
Plus, this is the first meeting of West York and Gettysburg since Nov. 16, 2007, when the Warriors beat the Bulldogs in the District 3-AAA quarterfinals, 33-28, on the way to reaching the district title game. Miller was only in his second year as the West York coach back then. On media day this past August, Miller candidly recalled his displeasure with that defeat seven years ago.
It’s also a loss that Ross’ older brother, Brett, still remembers. In particular, Brett hasn’t forgotten about a controversial holding penalty West York was whistled for late in the game that resulted in a Bulldogs’ touchdown being called back.
“It was like an 86-yard touchdown run from scrimmage and someone hit their (Gettysburg’s) safety in the open field,” Brett Campbell recalled. “Hit him square on but ran him over and they called it holding because the guy tackled him.”
Oldest brother, Blake, actually played in the game.
“I remember him (Blake) coming home after that game in tears because there was a controversial call that was against them,” Ross recalled. “I know he’ll never forget that.”
Ross hasn’t forgotten about it, either.
“I’m excited to go there again,” Ross said of Gettysburg. “I expect him (Blake) to be at that game. A little payback.”
— Reach Dick VanO’Linda and John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By STEVE HEISER
It’s going to be an nervous week for a number of York-Adams League football teams.
With just one week left in the regular season, a number of local schools are sitting on the bubble of making the District 3 playoffs.
In starts in Class AAAA, where Red Lion (6-3) sits at No. 14 in the power ratings. The top 16 teams make the AAAA field. The Lions, however, face a daunting final-week foe in arch-rival Dallastown (8-1). The Wildcats have already locked up a district berth and sit at No. 5 in the most recent ratings. Dallastown, however, still has a lot to play for on Friday night. The Wildcats are looking to finish unbeaten in Division I, sew up their first outright Division I title since 2010 and improve their district seeding.
A Red Lion loss on Friday might put its district hopes in peril. The Lions, if they can defeat Dallastown, will lock down a district berth and earn a share of the Division I championship.
Also in AAAA, Central York (4-5) and South Western (4-5) are on the outside looking in — right now. Central is No. 17 and South Western is No. 18. Both must win Friday to have any hopes of grabbing district berths. Central faces York High (3-6) and South Western meets Spring Grove (3-6) on Friday.
In AAA, West York (8-1) and Gettysburg (8-1) have already locked down district spots heading into their showdown on Friday night to determine the Division II title. West York sits at No. 2 and Gettysburg is No. 4.
Eastern York (6-3), however, may need some help to sneak into the postseason. The Golden Knights are rated 17th, and only the top 16 teams make the AAA bracket. Eastern faces York Suburban (4-5) on Friday. Eastern will almost certainly have to win that game to advance.
Bermudian Springs (9-0) has already clinched a berth in the eight-team AA bracket. The Eagles are No. 2 in the latest ratings.
Biglerville (5-4), meanwhile, is sitting at No. 8 in AA and must face Adams County rival Bermudian on Friday. The Canners will be a significant underdog in that game. So, barring a major upset, Biglerville may need help to keep the eighth position.
In the four-team Class A bracket, York Catholic (6-3) looks secure in the No. 3 spot. The Irish face a York Tech (1-8) team on Friday. York Catholic does have a chance to move up in the rankings, too, if No. 2 Steel-High (5-4) can’t get past Boiling Springs (5-4), which is currently ranked No. 6 in the AA bracket.
Delone Catholic (5-4) and Fairfield (5-4), however, are in a heated battle for the No. 4 spot. Delone and Fairfield flopped positions after this past weekend’s action, when Delone beat York Tech and Fairfield lost to York Catholic. The Squires are now No. 4 and Fairfield is No. 5. Delone faces arch-rival Hanover (2-7) on Friday, while Fairfield meets Littlestown (2-7). Both Hanover and Littlestown are AA schools.
The top-rated team in each bracket heading into the final week are: Wilson (9-0) in Class AAAA, Bishop McDevitt (9-0) in Class AAA, Berks Catholic (9-0) in Class AA and Camp Hill (7-2) in Class A.
— Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.
Go here for the complete District 3 power ratings.
By JOHN WALK
Four years ago, when Russ Stoner left his assistant coaching gig at Central York to become the head football coach at Spring Grove, he didn’t have a chance to share some parting words with his Panthers players.
Four years later, feeling his time is up at Spring Grove, Stoner is making sure he uses the opportunity he still has to show how grateful he is to be the coach of his current crop of players before he officially resigns as the Rockets’ leader following the regular-season finale this Friday at South Western.
“When I was at Central York I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to the coaches and players,” Stoner said by phone Monday evening. “I wanted to make sure I let the (Spring Grove) players know I appreciated everything they did.”
Just before this past Friday’s final home game of the season, Stoner informed the media he will resign at season’s end.
“I had 30 to 40 kids come back and be on the sidelines (last) Friday night for the game,” Stoner said. “You had your chance to say your piece to the kids. I’m proud of what we built here.”
A star running back on a District 3 Class AA championship team at West York in the late 1980s, Stoner later began his coaching career at Central York, spending 16 years there, the last 10 as the team’s defensive coordinator. The Panthers went 64-43 in those 10 seasons before Stoner left for Spring Grove. Stoner took over for Gregg Trone, who retired following 20 seasons as the Rockets’ coach, compiling a 91-114 record.
The Rockets have gone a combined 18-24 overall and 7-14 in York-Adams League play in nearly four complete seasons under Stoner.
Spring Grove went 1-9 in 2011 in Stoner’s first year at the helm, then followed up in 2012 by winning the Division I crown and getting a victory in the first round of the District 3-AAA playoffs. It’s an accomplishment Stoner holds in high regard.
“I think the humility of being 1-9 (in 2011), that was one of the first times in my life I’ve been part of a team with a losing record. Being able to dig in with those kids and the following year win the division and win a playoff game. That was a big deal,” he said.
The Rockets went 6-5 overall last season, bowing out in the first round of districts. This season, Spring Grove enters Week 10 with a 3-6 overall record and 1-5 mark in league play.
Often outspoken and not afraid to speak his mind, Stoner said his team’s current record doesn’t play a factor into his decision to leave and that he began thinking about this decision over the summer.
“I’m literally exhausted. I’m also one of the lowest-paid coaches in District 3, and financially it costs me money to coach here by putting gas in my vehicle,” Stoner said.
Stoner lives in the West York Area School District and works full time by running a pair of different businesses. A story published by The York Dispatch in 2011 when Stoner was hired by Spring Grove noted his annual coaching salary at $4,304. York Suburban also hired a coach that same week at an annual salary of $7,409.
“I have a daughter who’s a freshman in high school and a son who’s a fourth grader,” Stoner said. “They go to West York. I want to give them some time.”
He wants to coach again: Still, Stoner said he wants to coach again and that he’s already had a few inquiries.
“All I’ve ever asked as a football coach is to give effort. If you give effort you have a chance to be successful,” he said. “I’m willing to coach again. I’m gonna miss these guys. I appreciate their loyalty. I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had here at Spring Grove.”
Spring Grove athletic director Scott Govern said Stoner informed him of his resignation last week. Asked if he was surprised by Stoner’s decision, Govern said “that’s a personnel matter.”
This will be Govern’s first time looking for a head football coach at Spring Grove. Govern was hired by Spring Grove in the summer of 2012 following a dozen years as the athletic director at Boiling Springs.
“Well, what we have to do first is get a letter of resignation (from Stoner),” Govern said by phone. “Once we get that I will notify the board and we’ll go from there.”
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2014 #YAIAA FOOTBALL REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS|
By JOHN WALK
The York-Adams League high school football schedule this weekend is stocked full of games with division title implications and teams battling for their District 3 playoff lives.
Here are preview capsules for the Week 9 games. They start at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Central York (4-4 overall, 4-1 league) at Dallastown (7-1, 5-0): Despite suffering an upset loss, 20-13, to Red Lion last week, Central York is still in line for a shot at repeating as the Division I champion, but only if the Panthers can bounce back and find a way to win this Friday. The Central defense will have to do a better job of slowing the run, an area this unit struggled with last week in giving up 228 rushing yards. Only problem is Dallastown is the best rushing team in Division I, averaging 208.9 rushing yards a game. The Wildcats also have the best run defense in Division I, holding opponents to 110 rushing yards a clip. This will certainly pose a challenge to Central backs Pearson Hinkle (460 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) and Terrance Carter (752 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns).
However, Dallastown did have trouble against the pass a couple weeks ago in a one-point win over South Western. And next in line behind South Western, Central has the No. 2 passing game in Division I. So perhaps the Panthers will have to rely on getting it done offensively through the air.
South Western (3-5, 3-2) at Northeastern (4-4, 1-4): With the division title out of the picture, both teams enter this one with district playoff aspirations on their minds. Both sit on the edges of the top 16 of the District 3 brackets in Class AAAA and Class AAA, respectively. The top 16 teams qualify for the postseason in both classes. The Bobcats last week saw the return from injury of quarterback Blake Einsig (605 passing yards, eight touchdowns) and running back Kody Reeser (489 rushing yards, four touchdowns), and they went on to snap a four-game losing streak with a 27-10 win over Spring Grove to get back to .500. It’s unclear if Northeastern running back Chris Whack (608 rushing yards, three touchdowns) will play. He sat out last week with an injury. Either way, Northeastern’s key to victory should be on attempting to quiet South Western quarterback Brock Geiman (1,326 passing yards, 12 touchdowns).
Red Lion (5-3, 4-1) at Spring Grove (3-5, 1-4): The Lions enter after pulling off a 20-13 upset win at Central York last Friday and needing a victory this Friday over the Rockets in order to set up a shot at the Division I title in a Week 10 showdown against Dallastown. Spring Grove will look to play the spoiler while also attempting to snap its three-game losing streak. For that to happen, the Rockets will have to get their ground game back on track after being held to an average of 145.5 rushing yards the last two weeks, a drop-off from the 209.3 rushing yards they averaged the first six weeks. On the other side, the Spring Grove defense will be tasked with putting the brakes on a Red Lion rushing game that’s pumped out 489 combined rushing yards the last two weeks.
New Oxford (0-8, 0-5) at York High (2-6, 2-3): York High had its two-game win streak snapped last week in a loss to South Western, bringing an end to the Bearcats’ playoff hopes. Now, York High quarterback James Way (1,038 passing yards, 503 rushing yards, 13 total touchdowns), running back Bryshon Sweeney (628 rushing yards, 241 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns) and the rest of this senior class will aim to go out on a high note over the final two weeks of their high school gridiron careers.
Dover (4-4, 3-1) at West York (7-1, 4-0): This matchup lost a bit of luster after the defending Division II champion Eagles suffered an upset loss, 36-21, last Friday to York Suburban, who lost to West York two weeks ago, 58-7. Plus, the status of Durran Ledbetter (542 rushing yards, six touchdowns) is unclear after the junior running back didn’t see any action out of the Dover backfield last week. On top of all that, the Dover offense relies strictly on its running game, which could prove problematic for the Eagles, considering West York is holding opponents to 92.4 rushing yards this season, the second-best clip in the league.
Gettysburg (7-1, 3-1) at York Suburban (4-4, 3-1): Following an 0-3 start, the Trojans have won four of their last five games and will enter this Friday three spots shy of the top 16 of the District 3-AAA power rankings. Gettysburg will aim to get past Suburban and on to its Week 10 showdown with West York. The Warriors have the third-best passing defense in the league, holding opponents to 68.1 passing yards a game this season. This unit will focus on keeping Suburban quarterback Thomas Merkle (1,268 passing yards, nine touchdowns) and wide receiver Collin Mailman (719 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) under control. That duo connected eight times for 196 yards and three scores in last week’s win at Dover.
Pine Grove (4-4) at Eastern York (5-3, 2-3): The Golden Knights have won two in a row and will attempt to improve their District 3 stock. They currently sit two spots shy of the top 16 of the Class AAA rankings. The Eastern ground game is averaging 292.4 rushing yards and will look to get it done again this week, while the Knights’ defense will go up against Pine Grove running back Mark Weinus (982 rushing yards, five touchdowns) and quarterback Logan Levan (680 passing yards, 103 rushing yards, eight total touchdowns).
Kennard-Dale (1-7, 0-5) at Susquehannock (0-8, 0-4): Susquehannock quarterback Josh Stoneberg (823 passing yards, four touchdowns) will try to lead the Warriors to their first victory of the season against a K-D defense giving up a league-high 11.2 passing yards per completion.
Littlestown (2-6, 1-4) at Bermudian Springs (8-0, 5-0): The Eagles likely wrapped up the Division III crown for the third time in four years with a road win at York Catholic last week. Eagles senior Colton Dull became the first York-Adams League running back this season to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau, now with 1,141 rushing yards on the year. He and West York quarterback Ross Campbell are tied for the top spot in the league for the most rushing touchdowns (19).
York Catholic (5-3, 4-1) at Fairfield (5-3, 3-2): The District 3-A bracket takes the top four teams. And York Catholic and Fairfield are currently ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the latest District 3-A power rankings. Fairfield gave up nearly 400 rushing yards in a 17-14 loss to Delone Catholic last week. And the Irish will enter strong in both the run and pass, behind the talents of quarterback Hakeem Kinard, who is first in the league in passing yards (1,442) and passing touchdowns (14), second in completions (94) and sixth in rushing yards (863).
Biglerville (4-4, 2-3) at Hanover (2-6, 1-4): With a Week 10 game against undefeated Bermudian Springs on the horizon, the Canners are going to need a victory this Friday if they have any hopes of making the District 3-AA playoffs. The District 3-AA bracket takes the top eight teams and Biglerville is currently ranked No. 9. The Canners will rely on running back Scott Cooper (503 rushing yards, 297 receiving yards, nine touchdowns) to lead the way offensively, while the defense will focus on softening the 1-2 punch of Hanover quarterback Kyle Krout, who has the second most passing yards in the league (1,337), and receiver Dylan Krieger, who leads the league in receptions (47) and receiving yards (902).
Delone Catholic (4-4, 3-2) at York Tech (1-7, 1-4): Following a 1-3 start, Delone Catholic has won three of its last four games and now sits one spot shy of the top four of the District 3-A power rankings. The Squires put up nearly 400 rushing yards in a three-point win over Fairfield last week. Look for much of the same this Saturday, with Delone running backs Jake Kadis (741 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) and Alex Little (574 rushing yards, one touchdown) leading the way.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.
By JOHN WALK
Dallastown football coach Kevin Myers is tired of hearing about how his team defends against the pass.
This subject is topical this week, because it appears as though Central York might have to rely more on moving the ball through the air this Friday night when the Panthers travel to Dallastown in a crucial York-Adams Division I showdown with division title implications on the line.
Sure, the Panthers (4-4 overall, 4-1 division) have speedster Terrance Carter (752 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns) and bruiser Pearson Hinkle (460 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) in their backfield. But Dallastown (7-1, 5-0) has the best run defense in Division I, holding opponents to 110 rushing yards a clip.
Plus, Dallastown has given up the most passing yards (1,410) of any team in the league thus far. So perhaps the better strategy for the Panthers would be to let loose the arm of quarterback Nik Strine, who has thrown for 636 yards and five touchdowns in five starts this season.
“That’s a point some people bring up, that teams are throwing the ball more on us, but if you go back and look at total offense it’s pretty even,” Myers said Wednesday.
To Myers’ point, Dallastown is giving up an average of 286.5 total yards a game, a stat that sits around the middle of the pack of the eight Division I teams and the league’s 23 teams.
“We gotta get off the field on third downs, that’s what we’ve been emphasizing,” Myers said. “We gotta get a little bit better at that.”
With two weeks to play in the regular season, the Division I title is still very much up for grabs. Dallastown currently sits atop the division standings, leading Central and Red Lion (5-3, 4-1) by only one game. And the Wildcats host the Panthers this Friday and travel to Red Lion the following week. Fortunately for Dallastown, it’s already battle-tested, with down-to-the-wire one-point wins over West York (7-1) in Week 2 and South Western (3-5) in Week 7.
“Anytime you win close games and hard-fought contests, it gets you ready,” Myers said. “The last couple weeks we started slow and had to come from behind. It helps with the kids’ confidence. Other team scores first and we have the mentality that we can answer right back — that it’s not over. South Western was up 21-0 on us and we came back.”
It’s also worth noting Dallastown is finally healthy across the board for the first time in a long time, according to Myers. That could actually help the Dallastown ground attack that’s No. 1 in Division I with an average of 208.9 rushing yards a game.
“The last three or four weeks we’ve been mixing up the offensive line. We’ve had a couple guys hurt. Tray Noye came back last week from a concussion. Garrett Kerr came back from a concussion. Noah Geesey has been fighting a hip flexor,” Myers said. “Knock on wood, this will actually be the first week we don’t have any starters out.”
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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