Harrisburg's Kane Everson has the Cougars positioned to contend for the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division title. (File photo/Adam Kulikowski)
Fourth Down Game Balls
Keyshawn Jones, RB-CB, Chambersburg: Jones set a career-best with 245 rushing yards (on 25 carries) in Chambersburg’s 48-28 road win over Altoona to move to 4-0 on the year. Jones’ scores came from 2, 3 and 10 yards; he now has 700 yards this season. He also threw a 30-yard pass.
Keaton Ellis, WR-DB-KR, State College: Ellis took a whopping four of his seven offensive touches for touchdowns, with four receptions (3 TDs) for 180 yards and three carries (TD) for 34 yards in the unbeaten Little Lions’ 56-17 win over Carlisle. Ellis added a 65-yard punt return score and an interception.
Adam Burkhart, RB-LB, Central Dauphin: The two-way beast ran for 119 yards and recorded six tackles in the Rams’ 37-7 drubbing of rival Cumberland Valley. Burkhart needed just 13 carries for his yardage and scored twice. And on defense he blew up five plays in the backfield.
Chris Dare, QB, Cedar Cliff: The senior Colts quarterback completed a season-high 84 percent of his pass attempts--21-of-25 to lead Cedar Cliff to a 41-31 victory against Holidaysburg Friday night. Quietly, Dare ranks second among Mid-Penn quarterbacks with 855 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Michael Bullock Game Balls
John Stump, RB, Susquenita: Stump rushed 14 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns as Susquenita stunned Williams Valley 29-7. Stump’s touchdown runs of 7, 11 and 15 yards staked the Blackhawks to a 21-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
Jacob Condo, LB, Juniata: A freshman linebacker and the son of Juniata defensive coordinator Kurt Condo, Condo registered 11 stops in the Indians’ 27-20 loss in overtime at Line Mountain. Condo also blocked an extra point early in the fourth quarter that kept the game tied 20-20 and eventually forced OT.
Macklin Ayers, QB, Upper Dauphin: Ayers rushed 17 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns in UD’s come-from-behind 29-26 victory at Newport. Ayers, in fact, popped a game-winning 43-yard TD run with just 1:44 to play that put the Trojans ahead to stay. In addition to his 28-yard TD run earlier in the second half, Ayers was 9-for-15 passing for 95 yards.
Evan Herb, QB, Line Mountain: Herb passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns, including a tying score to Adam Malafi early in the fourth quarter of a back-and-forth struggle with Juniata that Line Mountain eventually won 27-20 in overtime. Herb also threw a touchdown pass to Cody Ebersole as the Eagles (2-2) returned to .500.
Conner McGuire, LB-FB, Susquenita: Sure, John Stump ran for three TDs, but the Blackhawks defense, led by McGuire’s 16 tackles, held Williams Valley to just 260 yards in a stunning 29-7 upset win. McGuire leads the team with 57 tackles, including 36 solos. Susquenita also forced two turnovers, blocked a punt and stopped Williams Valley at the 3 on the Vikings’ first drive.
Jake Adams Game Balls
Chiago Anyanwu, RB-LB, Milton Hershey: Watched this bruising senior absolutely maul his way to 304 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns Friday night in a 41-27 win over Boiling Springs. His first run was a simple inside handoff, but he shed a few tackles a few yards beyond the line of scrimmage and bolted 77 yards to pay dirt. It seemed as if those broken tackles unleashed a monster as he broke easily a dozen or more the rest of the game, seeking out contact with reckless abandon. Every yard was needed in a game that was quite close with Bubbletown proving it is no pushover anymore.
Kenyon Johnson, QB-DB, West Perry: You know what’s crazy? Johnson is possibly the most complete dual-threat quarterback in the Mid-Penn. After his 262-yard day (89 passing, 173 rushing) in the 47-27 Colonial Division win over Greencastle-Antrim, he’s now at a crazy 420 passing yards and 596 rushing on the year. He has 80 combined pass attempts and rushing attempts, giving him a per-play average of 12.7 yards. 12.7! Some less-than-stellar competition the first three weeks, yeah, yeah, yeah. 12.7 is 12.7. You know what’s also crazy? The Mustangs are 4-0.
Andy Shay Game Balls
Kane Everson, QB, Harrisburg: With each passing week since the opener this guy seems to be getting better and better. He has weapons all around him, but using those weapons to create a monster of an offense is downright impressive. He accounted for nearly 300 yards of offense against Cedar Cliff on 10 completions and six carries. He threw touchdown passes to four different receivers, and when you do that at the high school level with all that speed on the outside, that literally is the kind of stuff you can’t cover. Everson was always a threat with his legs. Now he’s becoming more of threat with his arm. And rest assured his legs as a weapon aren’t going away. He’s making the easy passes look simple. MPC Commonwealth defenses beware.
Adam Houser, RB, Shippensburg: Give me this guy any day and twice on Sunday. Watching him play the game and perform at such a high level is pure football joy. He accounted for 224 of the Greyhounds’ nearly 300 yards of offense in a tough overtime win against Waynesboro that pushed Shippensburg to 4-0. The Indians have a very good defense. And they know Houser is the go-to guy. And he still put up 224 total yards. That’s earning a game ball the hard way.
East Pennsboro Panthers: I know this squad is struggling and is 0-4. The reason they get one of my game balls this week is for playing all 48 minutes. East Pennsboro trailed Palmyra 28-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Down three scores with only one touchdown on the board means another loss, so why keep pushing hard, right? Because the scoreboard matters, but it also doesn’t matter. If you play, then respect the game and give your best for 48 minutes no matter what the scoreboard says. And that will always be good enough. Well, the Panthers scored twice in the fourth quarter and made their opponent sweat out the final few minutes by never giving less than their best. It’s a loss on the scoreboard. But I noticed they didn’t toss in the towel and that matters more sometimes.
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