District 3 Top 20 (Oct 14, 15, 2022)

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District 3 Top-20 (Oct 14, 15, 2022)

Ok guys, I’m out of town in a few days for two weeks missing the write ups for the first time since 2008 at cousin’s ranch in south central Fla. They survived the hurricane with no loss of life or cattle, but the pastures took a beating (flooded) plus some fencing got tore up. Hope to be back for the playoffs. Til then.

Projected district winners (Class, # in that class, # making playoffs)
6A (19)-8 Harrisburg 5-1
5A (26)-12 Exeter Township 7-0
4A (23)-10 Bishop McDevitt 5-1
3A (14)-6 Wyomissing 7-0
2A (7)-4 Camp Hill 4-2
1A (3)-2 Steelton Highspire 5-1

(The number in parenthesis is last week’s rankings)
1 Bishop McDevitt 5-1 4A (1)
Mid Penn-Keystone Division
Since opening with a 19-14 loss to Imhotep, McDevitt’s onslaught through the district continued at an accelerated pace pummeling the last 5 opponents by an average score of 58-8, including last week’s 70-0 rout of Hershey. With essentially everyone playing, individual stats were impacted. Still, quarterback Stone Saunders stood out, completing 13 of 16 passes for 275 yards and touchdowns of 7, 54, 24 and 46 yards. Tyshaun Russell, Rico Scott and Jeff Penn had at least 3 receptions for over 75 yards each with running back Marquese Williams sharing duties while rushing for 3 touchdowns. Jaire Rawlison had his moment with a first quarter 95-yard Pick 6. 396 total yards of offense later it was all over, holding Hershey (3-4) to 77 total yards. A run-out appears likely for McDevitt playing Red Land (2-5), Mifflin County (4-3) and Lower Dauphin (4-3) before the postseason where challenges could come from two of the district’s historic powers, Manheim Central (7-0) and Lampeter Strasburg (6-1).

2 Harrisburg 5-1 6A (2) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Like fellow Harrisburg powerhouse Bishop McDevitt, Harrisburg continued cutting a wide swath through the district and city with a 52-0 pounding of Central Dauphin East. A total yardage advantage of 448 to 98 shows it was actually worse than it looked with the Cougars doing anything and everything at will. Their sophomore quarterback Shawn Lee is developing beyond his years, completing 13 of 17 passes for 190 yards with a 3/1 ratio, while rushing for another score and 52 yards on 8 carries. He’s now a weapon. Kyle Williams, Elias Coke and Ameer Grandberry were all over 50 yards in receptions with a touchdown each. And fullback Mahkai Hopkins (6-1, 240) is a one-man wrecking crew, rushing for 142 yards on 13 carries with scores of 66, 5 and 26 yards. They seem to be peaking at 44ppg and 7 allowed since the Township loss. We’ll learn a lot about them and undefeated State College (7-0, 4-0) when the Lions come in Saturday for a game that will likely decide the division title. No dis to Cumberland Valley who is right there at 3-1, awaiting their chance to get at State High Oct 21st.

3 Wyomissing 7-0 3A (3) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 4
Wyomissing stretched the winning streak to 32 regular season games with a 38-7 win against Cocalico. This one was over at the half with Wyomissing leading 35-0 behind quarterback Ben Zechman. He had a career night, completing 8 of 10 passes for 137 yards with touchdowns of 11 and 29 yards. That’s good stuff at run centric Wyo. Cocalico couldn’t get out of their own way, fumbling their first three possessions (4 total) that Wyo converted to touchdowns. As usual, Matt Kramer did the heavy hitting, rushing for 78 yards on 11 carries for 3 touchdowns and snagging 2 passes for 19 yards. Conrad Weiser (3-4) is next, coming off a home loss to Donegal (2-5) where they allowed 261 yards rushing. Good luck against Wyomissing who averages over 300 rush yards a game.

4 Exeter Township 7-0 5A (4) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2
Exeter crushed outmanned Muhlenberg with a serious dose of defense, holding the Muhls to 109 total yards, then raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead before calling off the troops. Richie Karstien was the big gun, rushing for 141 yards on only 10 carries, scoring on runs of 13, 3, and 6 yards. The problem this year is they haven’t been challenged at all, playing teams with a combined record of 11-38, none with a winning record. That all changes the next three weeks playing at Hempfield (6-1), the leader of the LL-1 in a non-section game, then back to Section-2 action against Conestoga Valley (4-3) and Manheim Central (7-0).

5 Cumberland Valley 6-1 6A (5) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Cumberland Valley got past rival Central Dauphin with a big and balanced attack, racing out to a 21-0 halftime lead before holding off the hard charging Rams, winning 35-21. Like Wilson, CD doesn’t have a threatening passing attack, completing 4 of 12 passes for 92 yards. That is bad news against CV’s swarming defense and divsers offense that rushed for 270 yards and passed for 180. Isaac Sines has flat out developed into one of the best quarterbacks in central Pennsylvania. Against the Rams, he completed 8 of 11 throws for 184 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 124 yards on 13 carries for 2 more scores. Against most opponents, they have too many weapons to keep track of with wide out Caiden Penn getting 108 yards on 2 receptions and a score, JD Hunter rushing for 99 yards on 10 carries, and Bruce Staretz doing the same for 50 hard yards on 12 carries. Each had a touchdown. Next up is Carlisle who has lost 4 of their last 5 games after a 2-0 start.

6 Central York 6-1 6A (6) York Adams, Division 1
Central York comes in a notch below Cumberland Valley, the only team to beat them this year in a hard fought 35-33 game in York game 2. Since then, they’ve run off 5 straight by an average score of 39-18, including last week’s 56-14 win at Northeastern. Along the way, they’re the only team to beat LL-1 leader Hempfield (6-1), while also defeating good stuff at Spring Grove (5-2), South Western (5-2), quirky Dallastown (3-4) and last week’s win against overmatched Northeastern (1-6). Barring a major upset, they’ll beat Red Lion (2-5) and Reading (3-4) before what should be the YA-1 title game in the season finale at York High.

7 York-William Penn 4-2 6A (7) York-Adams Division 1
I mentioned last week that this one could top the century mark, being surprised seeing it almost got there by the end of the first half! Both York and Dallastown had trouble stopping the other as York exploded for 48 first half points to Dallastown’s 35. While no one gives the York-Adams credit for playing much defense, few complain about it being one of the most entertaining leagues in the state, with an abundance of O-skill spread throughout the divisions. Running back Jaheim White, a West Virginia commit is one of them, rushing for 417 yards and 6 touchdowns against Dtown. He had 642 yards coming in! He also had a Pick-6 in York’s 66-49 win. Have to mention Dallastown’s Owen Strouse who also had a night to remember, completing 28 of 38 passes for 408 yards and 5 touchdowns. Then there’s Pitt recruit Kenny Johnson who caught 9 of his throws for 103 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also had a kickoff return for a score. York’s quarterback Sam Stoner also committed to West Virginia. Spring Grove (5-2) is next, then South Western (5-2), before the monster game at home against rival Central York (6-1), Oct 28th.

8 Hempfield 6-1 6A (9) Lancaster Lebanon Section 1
Hempfield demonstrated on the field, Wilson’s field to be exact, they are for real beating Wilson 20-16 in a cliff hanger, rallying from a 10-3 halftime deficit. Qb Landis Jackson was solid, completing 16 of 25 passes for 265 yards. Micah Gates caught 4 for 123 yards and a score, and Andy Garcia pulled down 7 for 99 yards. Wilson could not stop the Knight’s aerial assault. Dependable running back Grant Hoover’s 21 carries balanced it out with 77 yards rushing. But it was Stephen Katch’s 2-yard run following a 76-yard drive with 17 seconds left in the game that gave the Black Knight’s their only lead of the game and the win. This week sees them in a non-section game against undefeated Exeter Township (7-0, 5A), one of the teams coming over from the recently merged Berks County League. Hempfield has the pedigree and far tougher schedule (York, Central York, Township, Wilson) while Exeter’s offense is huge at 43ppg with a D that looks legit at 9ppg.

9 Manheim Township 5-2 6A (10) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
Township kept in the section race (game back) with a dominating 42-14 win against Cedar Crest. As a predominantly passing team, Hayden Johnson was the focal point, completing 27 of 33 passes (82%!) for 298 yards. It was quite a display for the junior thrower who is becoming one of the top quarterbacks in central PA, maybe beyond, throwing touchdowns of 2, 19, 9, 2 and 1 yard. Landon Kennel had a great game with 12 receptions for 140 yards, scoring on 9, 2 and 1-yard passes. All totaled, 7 receivers were involved with just enough on the ground at 130 yards to keep Cedar Crest off balance. They should roll at 3-4 Reading Friday.

10 Wilson 5-2 6A (8) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
For the second time this year, Wilson lost at home, falling to Hempfield who scored in the final 17 seconds to get the 20-16 win. The loss was their first in LL-1 action, keeping them barely in the race. But the odds are they’re on the outside looking in with the Hempfield having only to beat Cedar Crest and Reading to secure the Section crown. Wilson’s problem last week were the same ones they’ve had the last few years, a weak passing attack. Tommy Hunsicker completed 4 of 11 passes for 55 yards and 2 interceptions. No touchdowns. This despite Cam Jones rushing for 189 yards on 15 carries, with touchdowns of 53 and 48 yards. Wilson is always going to be a hard out with Coach Dahms at the helm. But they’ll always be limited until they reacquire a viable passing attack they often had in the past. They’re at Penn Manor (4-3) Friday.

11 Manheim Central 7-0 4A (11) Lancaster Lebanon Section 2
55-13. That’s the average score of Manheim Central’s 7 games to date. The problem is none of those teams have a winning record. They beat winless Lebanon last week 83-7. The week before that they beat 2-5 Muhlenberg 70-0. Against this schedule, their stats are through the roof with quarterback Zac Hahn throwing for 1341 yards at 59% with a 20/2 ratio. Running back Brycen Arnold has 1069 yards and 18 touchdowns with receivers Aaron Enterline and Bode Sipel at 570 and 312 yards respectively. The team averages 236 yards per game rushing and 194 yards per game passing. Thank you LNP/Lancaster Online for those stats. With Conestoga Valley (4-3) and Governor Mifflin (2-5) up next, there doesn’t look to be a threat until the last game when they play Exeter (7-0) that will decide the LL-2.

12 Steelton Highspire 5-1 1A (12) Mid Penn-Capital Division
The Rollers rolled over their third straight opponent with a 71-20 win against Camp Hill. To say they are rolling is an understatement knowing they’ve scored 74, 61 and 71 points the last 3 games. Camp Hill helped out throwing 4 interceptions and completing just 15 of 30 passes. Middletown transfer Bamm Appleby had 3 of those interceptions, returning one 14 yards for a touchdown. Asa Kochian, another Middletown transfer had a 22-yard touchdown reception. The Roller defense was special, holding the Lions to 1-yard rushing. 1 yard! Quarterback Alex Erby fueled the big Roller attack (458 total yards) completing 14 of 21 passes for 238 yards with 4 touchdown tosses. Durrell Ceasar had 6 receptions for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns, with running backs Tyshawn Parker leading the backs with 108 yards scoring on 40 and 33 yard runs. Jaeion Perry added 83 yards on 8 carries. Next up is a road trip to winless Newport (0-7), then Trinity (4-3) before coming home against undefeated West Perry (7-0) in a game that will likely decide the Capital division title.

13 Solanco 7-0 5A (13) Lancaster Lebanon Section 3
The two undefeated titans of the LL-3 met in Quarryville last week where the Golden Mules outlasted the Bears of Elizabethtown in a good one, winning 35-32. It was a game of great contrast with Solanco pounding it with 3 superb backs while E-town relies on balance and a well under rated quarterback. Solanco’s big guns are running backs Josh Forren with 70 yards and 2 touchdowns, Elijah Cunningham with 58 yards and 2 touchdowns on 3 completions for 53 yards, and Cole Harris getting the 68 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Brody Mellinger throws it well when given the opportunity, completing 3 of 4 passes for 54 yards while being a terror toting the ball for 121 yards on 17 carries. E-town looked real good in this one, good enough to win behind quarterback Josh Rudy completing 21 of 33 passes for 293 yards while rushing for 68 yards. Wide out Braden Cummings caught 11 for 183 yards and 2 scores with Brady Breault getting 83 yards on 6 receptions. The very versatile Cade Capello, something like Kyle Williams of Harrisburg had 23 yards rushing on 4 carries and 27 yards on 4 receptions. All totaled, the Bears out gained Solanco 457 total yards to 382, getting 164 on the ground to Solanco’s 328. Up next for the Mules is a road trip to Boone (1-6).

14 Lampeter Strasburg 6-1 4A (14) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4
The Pioneers kept pace with Wyomissing in Section-4 with a lackluster 30-7 win over Berks Catholic. It didn’t help that quarterback Trent Wagner had an off night, completing 5 of 11 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown, and throwing 3 interceptions. But he got another score on a 1-yard plunge, finishing with 58 yards rushing. The ground game as always was there for LS, gaining 266 yards on 33 attempts. Hunter Hildenbrand had a great game, rushing for 79 yards and catching 3 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Carson Coleman topped everyone with 99 yards on 2 carries, scoring on 5 and 3-yard bursts. BC was totally shut down, held to 7 yards passing and 112 yards rushing, with a meaningless fourth quarter score. They move on to play ELCO (4-3, 1-3) Friday where they’ll likely get their seventh straight win since the season opening loss to Solanco.

15 West Perry 7-0 3A (15) Mid Penn-Capital Division
West Perry continued their ‘perfect’ run through the schedule with a 31-14 division win against slumping Big Spring (2-5), losers of their last 3 games. Quarterback Marcus Quaker had another spectacular game, completing 65% of his passes for 232 yards, while rushing for 70 yards on 11 carries, scoring on a 1-yard keeper. 302 total yards of offense! The other components of the team had good games with Trent Herrera rushing for 71 yards and 57 more in receptions. Wide out Ian Goodling was indefensible, catching 9 passes for 153 yards, scoring on 16 and 19-yard touchdowns. He also had a 23-yard field goal. Fullback Derek Snook stepped up with 83 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Big Spring made a game of it in the 3rd quarter with two touchdowns but it wasn’t enough. West Perry moves on to play 2A North Penn-Mansfield (1-6) from District-4, 40 miles north of Williamsport.

16 Gettysburg 6-1 5A (17) Mid Penn-Colonial Division
The Warriors are making a name for themselves returning to the Mid Penn Conference after 9 years in the York Adams League. At 4-0 in the division, many teams wished they’d stayed there! But here they are with a strong defense (14ppg) supported by a versatile offense that’s powered by Jayden Johnson, a 5-6, 160-pound water bug of a running back. After gashing Waynesboro for 118 yards, he’s at 998 yards for the year. Dual threat Brady Heiser is another weapon, completing 12 of 17 throws for 243 yards and rushing for 85 yards on 14 carries. Nice! Tanner Newman with 119 yards on 3 receptions completes the picture of a ‘clock eating’ offense gaining 435 total yards in a modest 21-10 win. Waynesboro did battle, with the Warriors needing 14 fourth quarter points to pull away at the end. Slumping Greencastle is next (4-3, 1-3), coming in on a 3-game losing streak.

17 Elizabethtown 6-1 5A (16) Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
See Solanco write up above. This is one of the most balanced offenses in the district with weapons galore and a coach who knows how to use them. See last week’s write up on first year coach Keith Stokes. The group is loaded with offensive weapons, led by quarterback Josh Rudy completing 70% for 1888 yards and a Td-Pick ratio of 17/4. He’s also rushed for 281 yards on 50 carries. The lead ball carrier is Logan Lentz with 921 yards. The receiving corps is stacked with sure handed players headed by Braden Cummings with 42 receptions for 1070 yards and Brady Breault’s 412 yards on 25 receptions. Cade Capello is a versatile weapon, rushing for 129 yards on 23 carries and catching 34 passes for 384 yards. At 25ppg yield, the defense does a lot of bending before breaking, relying on a high-octane offense scoring 39ppg. They’re now a game behind Solanco, hoping the Mules stumble at Boone while they play Fleetwood (2-5).

18 South Western 5-2 5A (19) York Adams, Division 1
Quarterback Max Wisensale threw touchdowns of 10, 35 and 8 yards plus a 1-yard scoot to help lift South Western past West York 36-28. His stats were impressive, completing 8 of 14 for 155 yards and rushing for a team high 177 yards. Barring an interception, it was a strong performance. Cohen Bull backed him up rushing for 68 yards on 18 carries. The win wasn’t as impressive as it might have been given the interception and 3 fumbles. But you have to say West York (1-6) made a game of it, leading 20-13 at the half and 28-19 by the end of the third quarter before South Western rallied for 17 fourth quarter points to pull it out. They’re home this week against Northeastern (1-6) whose lost their last 5 games by an average of 28 points.

19 Spring Grove 5-2 5A (NR) York Adams, Division 1
Spring Grove is another one of those teams in the York-Adams League that have special talent on offense, making for highly entertaining football games, often bereft of any defense. SG’s quarterback Andrew Osmun is one such individual, scoring on runs of 9, 2 and 1 yards early in the game, then bringing it home with a 94-yard romp followed by a 42-yard run to close out competitive Red Lion 42-27 in the fourth quarter. Hats off to Red Lion who hung around, down 28-21 entering the fourth quarter when the Rocket’s exploded behind Osmun. Red Lion’s quarterback Chris Price kept them in it completing 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns. This week sees Spring Grove facing one of their biggest challenges playing well regarded York High. The good news is it’s at Spring Grove where they’ll have a puncher’s chance in a high scoring affair.

20 Twin Valley 4-3 4A (NR) Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Twin Valley is another ‘one of those teams’ that is very capable of beating anyone in the LL-3. All that separates them from an undefeated season are losses by 3, 5 and 7 points. Last week saw them give Garden Spot (5-2) their second loss, beating them at their place 37-29. Evan Johnson and Jayden Goebel carried the load for Twin Valley, gaining 160 and 74 yards on the ground, each snagging a pass. Quarterback Evan Myers completed 7 of 14 passes for 122 yards and rushed for another 61 yards, one, a 27-yard touchdown. The teams were evenly matched statistically with Twin Val at 436 total yards and Garden Spot at 410. GS had clock eating drives resulting in 7, 1, 1 and 2-yard scores, while TV had more impressive (depressing?) big plays, including a 54-yard Td strike in the first quarter, 19, 27, 10 and 9-yard scoring runs, and a 24-yard field goal. Tough losses to Solanco and E-town have them out of the LL-3 race. But they’re very much in the hunt for a high seed in the 4A playoffs.

Mid Penn Conference teams not in District-3
State College 7-0 6A D6
Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
At Harrisburg 5-1
Altoona 5-2 6A D6 Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Home to Central Dauphin 2-5
Mifflin County 4-3 6A D6 Mid Penn-Keystone Division
At Hershey 3-4
Juniata 6-1 4A D6 Mid Penn-Liberty Division
At Upper Dauphin 4-2
Line Mountain 4-3 2A D4 Mid Penn-Liberty Division
Home to James Buchanan 3-3

OTHERS
Mid Penn Conference
Carlisle 3-4 6A
Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
At Cumberland Valley 5-1
Shippensburg 5-2 5A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Home to East Pennsboro 4-3
Central Dauphin 2-5 6A (20) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
At Altoona 5-2
Lancaster Lebanon
Hamburg 6-1 3A
Lancaster Lebanon Section-5
Home to Schuylkill Valley 5-2
Garden Spot 5-2 5A (18) Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Home to Central Mountain 0-7
Lancaster Catholic 7-0 3A Lancaster Lebanon Section-5
At Annville-Cleona 4-3
Ephrata 4-3 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
At Twin Valley 4-3
York Adams
Dallastown 3-4 6A
York Adams, Division 1
At Dover 4-3
New Oxford 6-1 5A York Adams, Division 2
Home to West York 1-6
 

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