District 3 Top 20....Sept 9, 10, 2022.

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District 3 Top 20 (Sept 9, 10, 2022)

(The number in parenthesis is last week’s rankings)
1 Harrisburg 1-0 6A (1)
Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Harrisburg awoke from the sluggishness that accompanies many season opening games with a 19-0 fourth quarter to defeat Delaware Valley 32-3. The Warriors were held to 145 total yards (35 rushing), while Harrisburg’s Shawn Lee completed 16 of 23 passes for 160 yards with the ground guys getting 196. Seven receivers were involved with highly regarded freshman Elias Coke (6-2, 185) catching 4 for 46-yards and Kyle Williams with 4 for 48 yards. Williams also rushed for 79 yards with the bruiser at fullback, Mahkai Hopkins (6-1, 235, sr) at 66 yards and two scores on 6 carries. Harrisburg’s defense was brutal per the yardage and a Pick-6 by Raytel Bryant in the first quarter and forcing two fumbles. That was a nice opener for the Cougars given the disappointment of the cancelled game with St. Vincent Pallotti. A very good Manheim Township (1-1) team is next coming off a season opening 31-27 loss at Cumberland Valley and last week’s rout of Dallastown 40-0.
2 Bishop McDevitt 0-1 4A (2) Mid Penn-Keystone Division
McDevitt’s game with West Toronto Prep was cancelled. That puts them in Philadelphia Friday to play LaSalle (1-1) who is recovering from a 35-0 shellacking by Malvern Prep (1-0). Heck of an opener by the Friars! LaSalle was just coming off their impressive 37-28 win over D1’s historic power North Penn. The Explorer’s won last year’s game at McDevitt 21-0 and will be well stoked coming off an embarrassing loss.
3 Cumberland Valley 2-0 6A (3) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Cumberland Valley made a loud and clear statement the last two weeks beating the York Adams-1 favorite Central York on the heels of their season opening 31-27 win against the LL-1 favorite Manheim Township. Quarterback Isaac Sines was again outstanding, throwing for 112 yards and touchdown, and rushing for 92-yards and another score. Bryce Staretz had a big game rushing for 116 yards and two scores on 21 carries. This one saw CV erupt early, getting a 35-14 lead at the half, before holding off a furious Central York for the 35-33 win. Look for another showdown Friday at Spring Ford against the 2-0 Rams who lost a tough one at CV last year 23-19.
4 Manheim Township 1-1 6A (4) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
Township had no trouble with disappointing Dallastown shutting them completely down to 88 total yards of offense! Township rolled out 352 yards behind quarterback Hayden Johnson’s 180 pass yards (14/24-58%, 2Tds) and Nick Good’s 192 total yards; 62rushing, 7/130 receiving. The Streaks return to the Harrisburg area (opened at CV) to play Harrisburg in what should be an emotion packed game knowing they lost last year 20-17 in overtime at home. With both jockeying for 6A playoff slots, this is a ‘big’ game, already!
5 Wyomissing 2-0 3A (5) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 4
Wyomissing had little trouble at Pottsville blowing out to a 35-0 lead at the half then cruised in a 49-0 rout. The Spartan shield wall was on full display, holding the Crimson Tide to 75 rush yards and 131 total yards. Wyomissing’s Wing-T was purring with their deep backfield rushing for 288 yards. Quarterback Ben Zechman got in on the fun completing 4 of 5 for 122 yards and 3 Tds. Strong stuff for a Wing-T. Running backs Matt Kramer and Charlie McIntyre rushed for 92 and 72 yards respectively. Trinity (1-1) of Camp Hill is next to see if they can be the first team to score on Wyo. They didn’t have much luck last week losing 41-14 at home to Roman. The game will allow the Reading area to see Messiah Mickens, Trinity’s freshman running back who already has an offer from Texas A&M.
6 Carlisle 2-0 6A (8) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
Looks like Carlisle was slotted right in the preseason at #9. But Governor Mifflin was way wrong (way!) and a major disappointment to date losing their opener to Spring Ford 21-10 and here at Carlisle 48-14. Jeremiah Hargrove got it going for Carlisle returning a punt 61 yards for a first quarter score. Quarterback Louis Shank was strong throughout, completing 12 of 16 passes for 80 yards with touchdowns of 19 and 9 yards to Quinten Barclay. Shank also had a Pick-6 of eight yards. Quite a day for the quarterback. Penalties and three lost fumbles doomed Governor Mifflin. But they were still in striking distance down 21-7 in the third quarter before a 19-yard Scoop & Score and an 8-yard Pick-6 blew it open. Putting that in perspective, Governor Mifflin has now lost three straight including last year’s 31-27 upset vs Exeter in the district 5A final. This, after many had conceded the 5A State Championship to them. Back to the Herd; Carlisle takes on their stiffest challenge to date on the road against winless and evidently luckless York High (0-2) who have 4 and 2-point losses to Woodland Hills and Hempfield.
7 Central York 1-1 6A (6) York Adams, Division 1
Central York came up short at home against Cumberland Valley, losing 35-33 after falling behind 35-14 at the half. Quarterback Nasir Stills has a ways to go throwing two picks and three touchdowns but did complete 19 of 28 for 228 yards. Veteran wide out Parker Hines was outstanding, snagging 8 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Star running back Juelz Goff was slowed but not stopped at 76 yards on 16 carries. They face another challenge this week traveling to Landisville to play Hempfield (2-0), a team they defeated last year 35-21. This should be one of the top, competitive games in the district. Relevant in better understanding the district power structure this season.
8 Wilson 1-1 6A (11) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 1
Wilson traveled to Harrisburg in a showdown of 0-1 teams and came away with a hard fought 17-10 win at rival Central Dauphin. It was evenly fought in the trenches but Wilson had the clear edge statistically, outgaining the Rams 313 to 202 yards with a real edge passing, completing 9 of 15 for 128 yards to CD’s 8 completions of 14 attempts for 62 yards. Quarterback Tommy Hunsicker improved over last week’s loss to Roman, throwing a 26-yard touchdown and rushing for 57 more on 18 carries. The ultra-talented Cam Jones who finished with 122 yards on 13 carries, broke it open in the third quarter with a 53-yard scoot to the end zone giving them a 17-7 lead. MLK (1-1) is next coming to West Lawn after a lopsided 48-16 loss to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy of the Inter-Ac.
9 Exeter Township 2-0 5A (14) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2
Defending 5A district champion Exeter made it two in a row with a misleading 37-21 win over Boyertown. Misleading, if you didn’t know the ‘mercy rule’ was evoked in the third quarter with the Eagles up 37-0. But the big story so far this year for Exeter is the emergence of quarterback Mason Rotelli (6-1, 180, sr). He was again hot, completing 7 of 10 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Their lines are sizeable and physical while their tight ends are nearly unstoppable in Zack Zandier (6-5, 210) and PSU recruit Joey Schlaffer (6-5, 215). They accounted for 120 yards in receptions and a touchdown last week. Richie Karstein at 6-1, 220 is a pounder with 90 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, Struggling West York (0-2) is next. They can score, averaging 27 a game but can’t stop anyone, allowing ELCO 44 and Red Lion 45. Exeter’s big attack (36ppg) might just explode in this one.
10 Shippensburg 2-0 5A (12) Mid Penn-Colonial Division
The Greyhounds enjoyed the comfort of home for the second week getting a 35-21 win against rival Big Spring. Shippensburg’s quarterback Tucker Chamberlain completed only 3 of 7 passes but for 140 yards and two touchdowns; all three receptions were by Erby Weller for 139 yards. The deep backfield of Traevon Kater, Diesel Koser and Amari Kerr led the ground assault, with Kater at 80, Koser at 52 and Kerr at 27. Troy Chamberlain (Tucker’s bro) put a dagger in the heart following a Bulldog score by returning the kickoff 89 yards for six and a 28-14 lead. Of note, the Bulldogs outgained the Hounds 390 yards to 303, 232 rushing to 175 and 22-10 in first downs. Big Spring is a fierce rival but that needs addressed. Five turnovers diminished their yardage advantage. Undefeated Spring Grove (2-0) is next for Ship’s first road game of the year.
11 Steelton Highspire 1-1 1A (7)
Mid Penn-Capital Division
While quarterback Alex Erby threw for 164 yards and Jahkai Noss rushed for 115, it wasn’t nearly enough as 2A Westinghouse ‘steamrolled’ the Rollers 39-18. Quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo was unstoppable, throwing for 268 yards and rushing for 80 for a total of 348 total yards and 4 touchdowns. While one of the major ranking services in the state did not mention Westinghouse in their Preseason Top 10’s (all classes), most of us felt they were one of the top teams in the state in the lower classifications! They’ll go through the regular season undefeated and be a MONSTER in the 2A playoffs. But the Rollers will recover, especially with an off week. They’ll need it with the division opener at red hot Boiling Springs Sept 16th. The 4A Bubblers won their first two game by an average score of 55-14, all on the road.
12 Manheim Central 2-0 4A (15) Lancaster Lebanon Section 2
Both Manheim Central and Immaculata-NJ lit it up Friday night going into double overtime before the Barons prevailed 44-43, stopping the Spartans at the 1-yard line on a 2-pt conversion try. Neither team could stop the other with Immaculata piling up 404 yards to Central’s 417. Quarterback Mason Geis, a freshman, completed 10 of 22 for 270 yards but threw two picks along with three touchdowns. Three receivers had over 78 yards in receptions while Martin Wantong carried 14 times for 79 yards. Central’s Brycen Arnold was a brute with 24 carries netting 176 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Zac Hahn connected on 13 of 31 passes for 151 yards with a pick and a Td. They’ve clearly replaced some serious grad losses scoring 56 and 44 points their first two games. Unless Cocalico (1-1) comes up with a stop Friday in Manheim, there doesn’t look to be any challengers on the schedule until the last two weeks of the season against former Berks County League powers Governor Mifflin and Exeter, now in the LL.
13 Hempfield 2-0 6A (17) Lancaster Lebanon Section 1
Hempfield continues to be a mild surprise (heavy grads) after defeating well regarded York High 35-32. Wasn’t easy, taking a 15-point fourth quarter rally provided by key stops and a Micah Gates touchdown on a 30-yard toss from Qb Jackson Landis with 12 seconds left in the game. Landis was special, completing 12 of 18 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for another 68 yards and two more scores. Grant Hoover had a big game rushing for 163 yards while snagging 5 throws for 44 yards. Micah Gates caught 4 for 65 yards and that touchdown with Andy Garcia pulling down 4 for 51 yards. The D held York’s celebrated running back Jaheim White in check to 80 rush yards and 158 total while allowing the team a mere 91 yards rushing. The offense totaled 404 yards, 230 rushing. Another BIG test looms this Friday with powerful Central York in off a 35-32 loss to Cumberland Valley. Under George Eager, Hempfield has developed into a team that can manage the pressure of back-to-back big games. Don’t be surprised if they beat Central York.
14 York-William Penn 0-2 6A (9) York-Adams Division 1
The Bearcats didn’t fall too far in the rankings after losing the opener to a quality opponent from out of district in Woodland Hills 28-24, and last week’s second consecutive road trip against Hempfield 35-32. The Woodland Hills loss came when they were stopped on the 2-yard line with time expiring. The loss last week to Hempfield came when the Knights scored in the final seconds of the game on a 30-yard touchdown toss. Still, they had some strong performers in this one with quarterback Sam Stoner completing 15 of 23 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown toss plus 44 yards rushing. David Warde was his favorite target catching 8 passes for 80 yards, two of them for scores. Warde also had a 97-yard Pick-6. But they had no answers for Hempfield’s near lockdown run defense that allowed just 91 yards on 19 carries, holding star running back Jaheim White (West Va) to 80 yards. It doesn’t get any easier this week at home against upstart Carlisle, off to an excellent start with a team full of speed and typical Mid- Penn physicality.
15 Cedar Crest 2-0 6A (23t) Lancaster Lebanon Section 1
Talk about off the radar. This might be the most underrated program in the district with an admittedly modest 33-25 record the last six years, given their recent history that saw them win 24 of 101 games the 10 years before that. What puts them on the radar is the turnaround and last week’s 29-22 win against Central Dauphin East. The Falcons came to play, holding CD East to 80 yards rushing and only 111 through the air. East’s ground defense kept them in it, holding Cedar Crest to 9 yards rushing on 21 attempts! But they had no answer for quarterback Jay Huber who completed 22 of 35 passes for 296 yards, throwing four touchdown passes. Nolan Groff had 9 receptions for 170 yards and two scores. And that’s what won it for the Falcons when Huber connected with Jack Waranavage (6/80) for a 30-yard scoring strike with 50 seconds left in the game. It’s good seeing solid football in the city of Lebanon once again. Let’s see if they can keep it up at home this week against struggling but capable Warwick (0-2).
16 Central Dauphin East 1-1 6A (10) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
This was one of the surprises out of the district last week where East High had no answers for Cedar Crest’s aerial assault, allowing 303 yards through the air and four touchdowns, the last with 50 seconds left in the game in a 29-22 loss. They locked down the Falcon’s ground game (9 yards!) at the cost of losing it through the air. As surprising was East’s inability to get anything going offensively with Cedar Crest holding them to 191 yards of total offense. They’ll recover this week at home against Northeastern (1-1).
17 Solanco 2-0 5A (29) Lancaster Lebanon Section 3
Here’s another surprise with Solanco fighting through their front loaded schedule to defeat the two best programs and winningest teams on that schedule with a road win at Lampeter Strasburg 40-35 and last week at home against Cocalico 21-7. Games between option teams like these two can get boring, often highlighted by a play or two. This one was odd involving the forward pass three of the four touchdowns. Solanco had a 34-yard Pick-6 in the second quarter, quarterback Brody Mellinger connected with Noah Baber for a 58-yard score also in the second quarter with Cocalico’s Brayden Eppinette hitting Bryce Hash for another score through the air. Otherwise, they ran at each other for 119 rush yards on Solanco’s part and 197 for Cocalico in a very fast moving game. The Golden Mules move on to play Penn Manor (1-1) before getting into LL-3 action against Ephrata.
18 Lampeter Strasburg 1-1 4A (20) Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4
Lampeter Strasburg let loose with all the imagined frustration of their season opening home loss to Solanco 40-35 by routing Penn Manor (1-1) 35-0. The manor men hurt themselves with a fumble and two picks. This one was all LS, rolling out 345 yards of offense to PM’s 154 with a well balanced offense. Quarterback Trent Wagner completed 12 of 15 passes for 175 yards and 3 touchdown tosses. Dean Herr had 2 receptions for 105 yards and a score while running backs Carson Coleman and Hunter Hildenbrand kept the chains moving with 80 and 60 yards respectively; Hildenbrand’s one carry was a touchdown, coming in the Wildcat that caught PM by surprise. The Pioneer D was super, holding the Comets to 16 yards on the ground and 154 total. Kennard Dale (0-2) is next after graduating last year’s 10-2 team and losing their home opener to Spring Grove 33-28. LS handled them last year 31-0 in the district semifinal.
19 Central Dauphin 0-2 6A (18) Mid Penn-Commonwealth Division
There’s not a lot good to say about struggling Central Dauphin except that they are Central Dauphin! They’re in the midst of a serious rebuilding season trying to get things right in the preseason before the rigors of the Commonwealth wars. Problem is, that ‘preseason’ includes teams such as Central York, Wilson and this week’s opponent Coatesville who is undefeated and home. Last week saw CD succumb to Wilson 17-10 where they were exposed by both Cameron Jones who gouged them for 122 rush yards, one a 53-yard touchdown run, and in pass defense where Tommy Hunsicker completed 9 of 15 for 128 yards and a score while rushing for 57 yards on 18 carries. They had a few key players nicked but that’s football. Up next is Coatesville, my favorite to win D1 every year, in part because coach Matt Ortega is a D3 guy from Steelton. But seriously, good luck finding a team that has a steadier flow of talent year in and year out that is this well coached.
20 Cedar Cliff 1-1 5A (22) Mid Penn-Keystone Division
Cedar Cliff got back in the win column with a 16-7 road win at always competitive Mechanicsburg. The Wildcats struck first to take a 7-0 lead before a safety in the second quarter got Cedar Cliff on the board. From there, they rallied behind Bennett Secrest in his first start at quarterback when he threw a 18-yarder to Daniel Schraeder for 6 then finished off the scoring with a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter. That was a nice bounce by the youthful Colts after losing the opener at Shippensburg 28-10. They should continue winning the next two games in their home opener at West Shore Stadium against 1-1 McCaskey, then Hershey, presently 0-2.

OTHERS……..
Mid Penn Conference
Greencastle Antrim 2-0 5A
Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Opening 28-13 win at Newville vs Big Spring is notable and vs Berkeley Springs (West Va) 53-7. It’s Berkeley but 53 points gets your attention. 0-2 Delone Catholic is next; a prideful bunch that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Mechanicsburg 0-2 5A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Rough start for the Wildcats who nevertheless have some players losing to Carlisle 28-14 and Cedar Cliff 16-7. At Red Land (0-2) next.
Boiling Springs 2-0 4A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Looking good for a team that lost big numbers to graduation, swamping Littlestown 66-18 and Bermudian Springs 44-7. The home opener is next vs Gettysburg (1-1), who is back in the Mid Penn after an 8-year hiatus in the York-Adams.
East Pennsboro 2-0 4A Mid-Penn Conference- Colonial Division
QB Ethan Eisenberg (Last year stats: 87/151, 58%, 1752 yds, 23/10) and LB/WR Connor Black (Last year stats: 6-2, 215, sr, 138 tackles, 14 sacks, 23/412p) have them competitive despite other significant losses. Milton Hershey (1-0) will test them Friday.
West Perry 2-0 3A Mid Penn-Colonial Division
Loaded with skill and big numbers from last year but not tested. That all changes at Juniata (1-1, 4A) who were edged last week by always tough Selinsgrove 17-14.

Lancaster Lebanon League
(includes recently merged Berks Inter County League teams)
Governor Mifflin 0-2 5A (13) Lancaster Lebanon League, Section 2
One of this year’s major disappointments with a good core back and co-starter at Quarterback. Have a pile of young athletes. But if they don’t get a win at Boyertown (1-1) Friday, that will be the death knell.
Elizabethtown 2-0 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Great start for the E-town Bears behind the arm of three-year starting quarterback Josh Rudy (35/48/520-73%, 8/0 ratio) and glue fingered receivers. Could get tested at Lower Dauphin (2-0).
Garden Spot 2-0 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-3
Another surprise here from New Holland with a hot young sophomore quarterback completing 59% for 594 yards with a 7/2 ratio. No challenges yet winning 77-20 all games. Home to rebuilding Conestoga Valley Friday.
Cocalico 1-1 5A Lancaster Lebanon Section-4
Cocalico out of Denver is one of the winningest teams in the state the last 10 years at 85-34, lining up and bashing you in their option. Tough one this week at Manheim Central after a physical encounter and 21-7 loss at Solanco last week.

York Adams
South Western 2-0 5A
York Adams, Division 1
Big veteran line and the quarterback have them off to a good start with a test this week against their neighbor (6 miles) in New Oxford who is also undefeated.
Red Lion 2-0 6A York Adams, Division 1
2-0 against Ephrata and West York but now Reading (1-1) who could be a challenge in their home opener who don’t look like a walk-over this year.
Spring Grove 2-0 5A York-Adams Division 1
Lost running back Zyree Brooks (2248 yards) but haven’t skipped a beat beating Waynesboro 46-14 and Kennard Dale 33-28. Shippensburg is next in their first road game with a ground pounding conservative approach that wears you down.
New Oxford 2-0 5A York-Adams Division2
The entire backfield and 3 returning lineman have the Colonials off to a good start beating Bermudian Springs 41-0 and Gettysburg 28-14. Rival South Western (2-0) is up next in New Oxford’s home opener. SW won last year 14-0. Big game for both.
 

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