District 3 Top 20 (Sept 23, 24, 2022)

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Fast tracked this per out of town for a few. Heading home! I apologize for any typos. As always, feel free to swing away. Thx.

District 3 Top 20 (Sept 23, 24, 2022)

(The number in parenthesis is last week’s rankings)
1 Bishop McDevitt 2-1 4A (1)
Mid Penn-Keystone Division
McDevitt began Keystone Division action with a 49-3 win at Palmyra who was never in the game, down 42-3 at the half. Stone Saunders continues to wow people completing 17 of 25 passes for 220 yards and two Tds, with Marquese Williams doing the same at tailback rushing for 218 yards and 3 scores on 11 carries. Cyncir Bowers had 134 all-purpose yards (75r, 59p) with Rico Scott and Tyshawn Russell at 94 and 82 receiving yards. The Crusader D was just as impressive holding Palmyra to 48 total yards of offence. Now that they’re into division games, the major challenges, for better or worse, are behind them with no apparent challengers looming. Cedar Cliff is up next. Although they’re a rival, often fielding good teams, they’re a disappointing 2-2 thus far, losing last week to previously winless Hershey 21-20 at home!

2 Cumberland Valley 4-0 6A (2) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
In a mild surprise, Cumberland Valley got little resistance from CD East, dominating the Panthers 45-14. East was in it through the half down 21-7 until the Eagles blew it open with a 21-0 third quarter. Duel threat quarterback Isaac Sines rushed for 132 yards and two scores while throwing for 64 yards. Running back Bryce Staretz had a solid game rushing for 84 yards while the team ended at 302 rush yards. Up next is the game that will have great impact in the division and district, crossing the river for a showdown with Harrisburg High. CV hasn’t won since 2015’s 12-3 team that lost to Pittsburgh Central Catholic (15-1) 24-7 in the semifinal. Harrisburg has dominated the series, winning the last five by an average score of 44-9. CV’s schedule is impressive, beating Township, Central York, Spring Ford and CD East. But this one will tell us if they have the team speed and physicality to hang with a team like Harrisburg who has that is spades.

3 Manheim Township 3-1 6A (3) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
Manheim Township and Spring Ford got into a good last week, locked in a tight quarters fist fight at 7-7 by the half. Neither side could run against the other with defense largely prevailing; Township held to 17 rush yards, Spring Ford to 35! Fortunately for the Blue Streaks, they’re a pass heavy team with a sharpshooter in Hayden Johnson who completed 24 of 33 passes, 73%, for 282 yards. He spread it around to eight receivers getting two touchdowns. Nick Good had 91 total yards (65p) with Charlie Kingsbury catching 5 for 63 yards. Spring Ford’s coach Chad Brubaker, a Wilson-West Lawn assistant of 12 years (last 4 OC) really gets after District 3 teams, with a 4-6 record the last 5 years. Many were tight game like this one and the week before to Cumberland Valley, losing 28-16. Township moves onto another major challenge this week at home in the LL-1 opener against 3-1 Hempfield.

4 Harrisburg 2-1 6A (4) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Coach Cal Everett’s return to the sideline after a three game suspension saw Harrisburg respond with a 30-0 halftime bulge that ballooned to a 44-15 win at Carlisle, bouncing back from the Manheim Township loss the previous week. Saw this one and it was a crush job where Harrisburg’s defense dominated with two interceptions and DE Terrell Reynolds impressing with 4 sacks. Lewis Zakii snagged a 45-yard Pick-6. All Everything Kyle Williams made an impossible catch in triple coverage ending the game with 2 receptions for 55 yards and 106 rushing with 3 touchdowns. Quarterback Shawn Lee threw for 135 yards and showed another less heralded aspect of his game rushing for 78 yards. He can motor! Carlisle’s grass field didn’t slow down the Cougars who had 373 total yards of offense to Carlisle’s 213. They’ll need every bit of that this week at home against Cumberland Valley’s best team since 2017’s that went 10-3. This one will go a long way to deciding the division race and post season placement although both have yet to play a pretty good team up north at State College. Look for Harrisburg to be sky high after losing to Manheim Township in the final 4 seconds of the game at Severance Field two weeks ago.

5 Wyomissing 4-0 3A (5) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 4
Nothing beats these neighborhood rivalries especially when you can walk from one campus to another with the schools maybe two miles apart. Berks Catholic came into this one winless and left that way. But they didn’t play like an 0-3 team, actually holding a 10-7 lead at the half. Two of their running back gouged Wyomissing for over a hundred yards rushing; Nafis Blythe at 122 and Josiah Jordan at 120. It wasn’t enough and they were eventually overwhelmed by a 34-14 second half onslaught. But it was still a good showing. Wyo’s workhorse running backs Matt Kramer had four touchdowns and 121 yards rushing with Drew Eisenhower getting 183 yards on 10 attempts. They rolled in the second half, scoring on all five possessions. It was a heck of an effort by the Saints who drop to 0-4 with unscathed Wyo staying in LL-4 action at ELCO (3-1).

6 Central York 3-1 6A (6) York Adams, Division 1
Central York continued showing they are much more than record setting-graduated quarterback Beau Pribula (PSU) alone, winning their third game of the year by manhandling Spring Grove 42-7. For Spring Grove, it’s a hard rebuild coming off a 10-2 season with tremendous grad losses and a new head coach in Will Thompson. Meanwhile, Central York is managing their losses with a deeper core that includes 4 returning lineman, wide out Parker Hines, an emerging star running back in Juelz Goff and a first year starting duel threat at quarterback in Nasir Still. This core allowed them to beat Central Dauphin 36-19, Hempfield 30-20 and now Spring Grove, with the only loss being a 2-point heartbreaker to Cumberland Valley 35-33. YA-1 action continues at home against South Western (3-1) who was stunned last week at home in the final minute of play, losing to Dallastown 20-13.

7 Wilson 3-1 6A (8) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
Wilson used special teams and defense (powerful combination) to overwhelm Reading 48-6. Makih Cooper had a blocked punt for a score with Cam Jones returning punts 57 and 61 yards for scores. Jones also had 58 yards rushing and two more scores to finish with four touchdowns and another super game. The good news for Wilson sees Cleveland Harding back in the lineup (injury) rushing for 40 yards on 6 carries and a score and catching an 18-yard touchdown. Nice return! A 35-0 second quarter blew this one wide open. Eight running backs got touches as the Bulldogs stayed on the ground while the defense kept Reading out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, holding them to 193 total yards, 54 rushing. Cedar Crest is next as they go for their fourth win since the season opening 46-15 disaster against Roman Catholic.

8 Exeter Township 4-0 5A (9) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2
Exeter had little trouble with rival Governor Mifflin following a scoreless first quarter. Thereon, Exeter rolled with first year starting quarterback Mason Rotelli (6-1, 175, sr) completing 6 of 9 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. He showed another dimension and emerging weapon for the Eagles rushing for 90 yards and a score on 13 carries. Their powerful running back Richie Karstien (6-1, 220, sr) bulled his way to 138 yards on 19 carries. Add to that tight ends Joey Schlaffer (6-6, 215, sr) and Zack Zandier (6-5, 215) to a strong line to see they are a threatening team offensively. The schedule to date while not challenging has allowed them to work in new players, reps, smooth out the newness and average 36ppg. The D has two shutouts and allows 7ppg. Winless Lebanon allowing 37ppg is next in Lebanon.

9 York-William Penn 2-2 6A (10) York-Adams Division 1
Here is yet another in a long line of blowouts last week with York rocking overmatched Northeastern (Manchester) 54-9. It was 48-3 at the half. The average score of the Top 10 teams this week was 42-11. Running back Jaheim White had 4 touchdowns and 160 yards rushing in limited duty setting the York County record for rush yards. Quarterback Sam Stoner also set the county record for pass yards. But the big news is York got back to .500 after losing their opening two games in the closing seconds to Woodland Hills 28-24 and Hempfield 35-32. YA-1 action continues this week at home against Red Lion (2-2) who’ve lost their last two games and are here in their fourth straight road game.

10 Manheim Central 4-0 4A (13) Lancaster Lebanon Section 2
Surging Central showing no ill effects of severe grad losses embarrassing outmanned Susquehannock (2-2), rushing out to a 35-0 lead at the half before calling off most of the troops in a 49-0 rout. Brycen Arnold (5-7, 175) with 608ry to date, and one of seven running backs used, had 174 yards on 9 carries and two touchdowns. Zac Hahn was hitting 6 targets with accuracy, completing 7 of 8 passes for 210 yards with 4 touchdown tosses! By games end, the Barons bludgeoned Susquehannock with 546 total yards to 124. They’ll face an entirely different reality Friday with neighbor Warwick (2-2) in town. The Warriors bring a big attack, led by senior quarterback Jack Reed (60%, 895py), a gang of receivers and two solid backs. Warwick edged them last year 35-28 so look for intensity in this one that will go a long way to deciding the LL-2.

11 Steelton Highspire 2-1 1A (12) Mid Penn-Capital Division
Here’s another smash job with the Rollers bursting the Bubbler’s bubble to the tune of 74-30. I guess losing to Westinghouse 34-18 at home lite a bonfire with quarterback Alex Erby throwing for 502 yards and 7 touchdowns. Da’Quan McGraw had 5 catches for 146 yards and Durrell Ceaser another 122 yards on 5 receptions. Running back Jahkai Noss ran for 122 yards. The win kicked off Mid Penn-Capital Division action and avenged the 29-28 loss to Boiling Springs who falls to 2-2. Look for more pay-back Friday at home against Big Spring (3-1) who walloped the Rollers last year 49-14 in a shocker. Big Spring is more than Boiling Springs but don’t be surprised to see the Rollers flip last year’s score.

12 Hempfield 3-1 6A (14) Lancaster Lebanon Section 1
In yet another seemingly unending string of blowouts, Hempfield jumped JP McCaskey early, getting a 35-0 lead at the half that ended in a 42-7 Section-1 win. The defense pitched in with DB Brian Williams recovering a fumble in the 1st period for a score and linebacker Brody Gebhard doing the same the next quarter, putting McCaskey in an early hole. JPM drops to 1-3. Of note, Jackson Landis of Hempfield is rounding into a solid quarterback, completing 4 of 6 passes for 76 yards and rushing for 48 yards with two more touchdowns. Remember, they’re doing this without graduated quarterback Cam Harbaugh who threw for 1949 yards at 60% with a 17/8 ratio and ran for another 7 scores and 670 more years. Next up is a ‘make-or-break’ Section-1 game on the road at Township. Hempfield won last year 17-13 meaning they’ll be extra incentive in this, the LL-Section-1 opener for Township who has not been home since Sept 2nd.

13 Solanco 4-0 5A (16) Lancaster Lebanon Section 3
Solanco’s option attack batters you for four quarters, holds you down with defense, and all of a sudden, 364 rush yards later, the game is over, quickly. The Mules threw 2 passes, preferring to pound you with 58 rushing attempts while eating up the clock. Ephrata ran 34 plays to Solanco’s 60, but only lost 25-17. Solanco assisted Ephrata with an un-Mule like 11 penalties for 90 yards. By the end of the day, Ephrata ran for 52 yards and that’s not going to win many games. They completed 10 of 14 passes of the popgun variety for 105 yards. Solanco’s gang of backs were impressive, with Brody Mellinger getting 2 touchdowns and 106 yards on 24 carries, Cole Harris getting 118 yards and 2 scores on 21 carries and Elijah Cunningham with 75 yards on 6 carries. Non-section opponent Conestoga Valley (2-2) of the LL-2 is next at Quarryville where the Mules can be stubborn!

14 Carlisle 2-2 6A (7) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Carlisle had nothing to offer Harrisburg last week, losing 44-15 while managing a paltry 70 yards rushing. The score could have been worse except Harrisburg was flagged 10 times for 85 yards. After taking a 30-0 halftime lead, you could see Harrisburg let up in the third quarter until snapping out of it to score 14 fourth quarter points. The last two games have seen the Herd’s D go south, allowing 98 points with the 54-47 loss at York two weeks ago. They need to address that especially with the revived program at Chambersburg coming up next. Carlisle is more, but their archrival at 2-2 could easily be 3-1 after failing to hold a fourth quarter lead (35-28) at Central Dauphin last week, losing 42-35. Junior quarterback Riley Harmon was on fire, hitting 21 of 28 for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns against CD. Carlisle needs to regroup with surging Chambersburg coming in.

15 Lampeter Strasburg 3-1 4A (17) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4
Lampeter Strasburg is rounded into another strong group (as always), getting their second shutout of the year and first on the road, dominating Donegal 35-0. Their balanced attack had Donegal’s defense on its heels, with quarterback Trent Wagner completing 10 of 13 passes for 130 yards (77%) and a touchdown toss while rushing for 37 more on 8 carries. At the same time, Carson Coleman rushed for 92 yards and Jonathan Mellinger 91. Both had a touchdown. Running back Hunter Hildenbrand had a big night rushing for 45 yards and a touchdown on 4 carries and catching a touchdown of 49 yards from Wagner. The defense was front and center, shutting Donegal down to 14 total yards of offense. Cocalico is next at home.

16 West Perry 4-0 3A Mid Penn-Capital Division
West Perry crushed Trinity in a Capital game, running rough shod over the Shamrocks 329 rush yards to 94 in a 40-14 win. It was 20-0 at the half. Trent Herrera rushed for 164 yards on 23 attempts with 2 touchdowns while quarterback Marcus Quaker added 85 yards and a score on 9 carries. He also completed 8 of 11 passes for 97 yards as the Mustangs rolled up 25 first downs to Trinity’s 5. Ian Goodling added a 96-yard Pick-6 to put an exclamation mark on it for the D with 4 turnovers. To date, they’ve outscored opponents 154 to 26. James Buchanan is next at a surprising 3-1. But they’re not ready for this group in their first road game of the year against the best team on their schedule.

17 Greencastle Antrim 4-0 5A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Greencastle finally ended the 8-year draught, getting a win against rival Waynesboro, 35-21. The Blue Devils like to pound it, churning out 287 yards on the ground and 422 total yards. Tavon Cooper led the way and was awesome, rushing for 231 yards on 29 carries. Junior quarterback Logan Alvey was just enough, completing 6 of 14 passes for 135 yards to keep them honest. The win keeps them in the running for what looks like a five team race in the Colonial between Gettysburg (3-1), Shippensburg (3-1), Northern (2-2), themselves and East Pennsboro (3-1), where they play Friday.

18 Central Dauphin 1-3 6A (20) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Central Dauphin got their first win of the season (how weird does that sound?) defeating a game Chambersburg team 42-35. But it wasn’t easy despite holding a 28-14 halftime lead. The Rams talented ground game finally exploded, netting 418 rush yards! Devin Shepherd had a pile of it running for 228 yards and touchdowns of 86 and 2 yards while David Chase had 182 yards, scoring on 8, 22 and 2-yard runs. Defensive end Jett Franz (6-3, 220) showed his stuff on a 26-yard scoop and score. Travis Linn (6-0, 185, sr) got the nod at quarterback with zero completions on 7 attempts. Have to mention Riley Harmon of Chambersburg who had one of those games, completing 21 of 28 passes for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns. Undefeated State College (4-0) is next at SC. They’re scoring at will averaging 44ppg against an easy schedule excepting Downingtown East (3-1), a team they edged in Downingtown 32-31.

19 Shippensburg 3-1 5A (11) Mid Penn-Colonial Division
The Greyhounds plummeted in the rankings after being dominated by Northern (2-2) 17-6 in the Colonial Division opener for both. They could only muster 192 total yards of offense to Northern’s 285. Perhaps the 21-14 showing at rebuilding Spring Grove 9/9 (2-2) who lost last week to Central York 42-7 should have suggested things were not clicking for them. It was a division game but Northern had been struggling with a largely veteran team at 2-2, losing close games to Chambersburg 23-16 and Dover 29-28, teams some felt they should have defeated. Susquehanna Township (1-2) is up next in a homer before they get a severe test at Gettysburg (3-1). So far, the G-Burg Warriors are having their way at 3-0 against Mid Penn teams since their return to the conference from the York-Adams this year.

20 Elizabethtown 4-0 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Elizabethtown got off to a strong start against teams with a combined won-loss of 5 and 10, defeating Donegal, JPM, Lower Dauphin and Red Lion. But they’re cranking it out, scoring 42 a game allowing 22. Quarterback Josh Rudy has been as good as any, completing 66 of 88 throws for 1088 yards with a 11/0 ratio. That’s 75% completion percentage. Logan Lentz is barreling away at 6.9ypc on 87 carries with 10 touchdowns while Rudy has three reliable receivers in Braden Cummings with 610 yards and 23 receptions, Cade Capello at 221 yards and 23 receptions and Brady Breauly at 275 yards on 15 receptions. Cummings is Rudy primary when it counts with 10 touchdown receptions. So the Bears are rolling but now face their toughest opponent to date in underrated Twin Valley (3-1) coming off a road win at Fleetwood (2-2) 42-14.

Mid Penn Conference teams not in District-3
State College 4-0 6A D6
Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Home to Central Dauphin 1-3
Altoona 3-1 6A D6 Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
At CD East 2-2
Mifflin County 3-1 6A D6 Mid Penn-Keystone Division
Home to Palmyra 1-3
Juniata 3-1 4A D6 Mid Penn-Liberty Division
At Halifax 1-3
Line Mountain 2-2 2A D4 Mid Penn-Liberty Division
At Susquenita 1-3

OTHERS;
Mid Penn Conference
Central Dauphin East 2-2 6A (15)
Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Home to Altoona 3-1
East Pennsboro 3-1 4A Mid-Penn Conference- Colonial Division
Home to Greencastle-Antrim 4-0
Gettysburg 3-1 5A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
At Mechanicsburg 1-3
Northern 2-2 5A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
At Waynesboro 1-3
Chambersburg 2-2 6A Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Home to Carlisle 2-2

Lancaster Lebanon
(Includes recently merged Berks Inter County League teams)
Warwick 2-2 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-2
At Manheim Central 4-0
Ephrata 2-2 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
At Boone 1-3
Cedar Crest 2-2 6A (15) Lancaster Lebanon Section 1
At Wilson 3-1
Hamburg 4-0 3A Lancaster Lebanon Section-5
Home to Kutztown 1-3
Lancaster Catholic 4-0 3A Lancaster Lebanon Section 5
Home to Northern Lebanon 2-2
Twin Valley 3-1 4A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Home to Elizabethtown 4-0

York Adams
Dallastown 2-2 6A
York Adams, Division 1
Home to Northeastern 1-3
South Western 3-1 5A York Adams, Division 1
At Central York 3-1