Each week throughout the season, 4th Down's gang will make a prediction for each game in the Mid-Penn Conference and Tri-Valley League. Week 9 picks and predictions are below. Enjoy!
Standings after Week 8:
Andy Sandrik: Week 8: 16-5 Overall: 147-42
Andy Shay: Week 8: 18-3 Overall: 147-42
Adam Kulikowski: Week 8: 16-5 Overall: 145-44
Jake Adams: Week 8: 15-6 Overall: 138-51
Cumberland Valley at CD East
Andy Shay: CD East 28, Cumberland Valley 21: This is a tight call for me. If the Panthers take care of the ball and limit mistakes, they win. Give the Eagles more chances and CV will pick up win No. 3 in a row.
Andy Sandrik: CD East 26, Cumberland Valley 24: This looks like a coin-flip game from where I’m sitting, so I’ll go with the home team.
Jake Adams: CD East 34, Cumberland Valley 21: Been flip-flopping on this for a bit. I think the Panthers have just a bit more on offense to pull this one out. But … if the Eagles get a few turnovers, or maybe return one for a score, this could go the other direction.
Adam Kulikowski: Cumberland Valley 24, CD East 21: We all know this hasn’t been the season the Eagles are accustomed to, but I see this as one that they could put in the win column.
Altoona at State College
Andy Shay: State College 45, Altoona 14: It’s been a brutal year for Altoona in its first season back in the Mid-Penn Conference. All those close losses and overtime games, plus the travel, takes a toll. Little Lions demand excellence to be competitive, and that’s too big of an ask right now for Altoona.
Andy Sandrik: State College 48, Altoona 14: Altoona, the close-but-no-cigar team of the Commonwealth Division, will have to find another gear if it hopes to be competitive against the Little Lions.
Jake Adams: State College 42, Altoona 17: The Little Lions return home after a solid win over Central Dauphin and now get a chance to beat up on the Mountain Lions. Little Lions climb over Mountain Lions. Think about it.
Adam Kulikowski: State College 41, Altoona 20: There’s a number of new pieces in the mix for this Little Lions club due to various reasons. One young man to watch in the home stretch of the regular season is sophomore Dresyn Green, who must pick up additional carries at tailback going forward.
Central Dauphin at Chambersburg
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 17, Chambersburg 10: The hidden key in this game is the Chambersburg defense. During this upstart season, they have been quietly very good and in this matchup it could be a difference maker. Going with the safe pick here.
Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 21, Chambersburg 7: These Chambersburg Trojans are finding ways to surprise us every week, but I just get the sense the CD defense rises to the occasion for a crucial division victory.
Jake Adams: Chambersburg 28, Central Dauphin 21: A couple pick-sixes were the difference in the Trojans losing by a wide margin to Harrisburg and keeping that game close. These Trojans are for real. And I think they might have enough juice at home to knock off the Rams.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 20, Chambersburg 14: The Rams’ strongsuit is its front seven, which just so happens to align well with the strength of the Trojans — their running game. Keyshawn Jones will get his yards — he’s a legit threat to break one anytime he touches the rock — but over four quarters, I’ll run with the Rams.
Bishop McDevitt at Mechanicsburg
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 49, Mechanicsburg 14: Nothing anybody can do about so many Keystone Division squads struggling in the same year.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 42, Mechanicsburg 6: If you’re Mechanicsburg, or most any other team in the state, how are you supposed to game plan for McDevitt? Crusaders have the advantage at almost every position on the field.
Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 49, Mechanicsburg 7: If Cedar Cliff just dropped a 56-burger on the Wildcats, I think the Crusaders can do just about the same.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 55, Mechanicsburg 6: After struggling early against Hershey, I’m curious to see how the Crusaders come out of the gate. The outcome is not in question.
Cedar Cliff at Susquehanna Township
Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 34, Susquehanna Township 26: Lost in the shuffle, in my opinion, is the Colts are on track to win an outright Keystone Division championship. That’s a lot of motivation. Curious to see the Hanna Tribe defense against this offense.
Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 50, Susquehanna Twp. 30: I think the Colts would love to see a shootout here. If that happens, they should have just enough to outpace the Indians, who have also been a red-hot team of late.
Jake Adams: Cedar Cliff 42, Susquehanna Township 34: This eight-point prediction does not indicate just how close I think this game will be. Planning to catch this one, and I fully expect big plays and a long night writing down the play-by-play.
Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 41, Susquehanna Township 31: This is a big test for the Indians after getting a few weeks of tune-up games against lesser opponents.
Lower Dauphin at Hershey
Andy Shay: Hershey 21, Lower Dauphin 14: At times this season the Trojans defense has been a difference maker. Timing is everything, and having one of those weeks now would add another W to the ledger.
Andy Sandrik: Hershey 14, Lower Dauphin 7: Playing within 35 points of Bishop McDevitt is a victory in my book, so in this what-have-you-done-lately world, I’m taking the Trojans to grow from last week and earn a tightly-contested victory over LD.
Jake Adams: Hershey 28, Lower Dauphin 20: The Falcons haven’t been able to stop anyone just about all year. If the Trojans can get up by a score or two early, I think that will be all the difference.
Adam Kulikowski: Hershey 20, Lower Dauphin 14: Hershey has scored more than 17 points just once this season, while the Falcons totaled more than 14 just once. Winner will control the field position game — a task the Trojans are better equipped to do.
Shippensburg at Red Land
Andy Shay: Shippensburg 28, Red Land 14: The Patriots have had trouble limiting the impact the “big gun” from the opposing has on a game. Adam Houser is a “big gun” for the Greyhounds. But Shippensburg can’t get lost in playing a late-season non-divisional game here.
Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 35, Red Land 14: Did you ever play a video game where someone wins just by spamming the ‘A’ button? That’s kind of what Shippensburg has done this season with alpha RB Adam Houser.
Jake Adams: Shippensburg 27, Red Land 20: Not quite as much at stake for the Greyhounds as last week’s defensive tilt with Northern York, but this should still be a game where Adam Houser scores, nears 200 yards and makes life miserable for the opposing defense.
Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 35, Red Land 6: The Greyhounds’ defense is firing on all cylinders right now. Patriots beware.
Palmyra at Trinity
Andy Shay: Palmyra 41, Trinity 6: I’m concerned about Cougars QB Grant Haus and that injury he suffered against Milton Hershey last week. But this is not the week for that to be an issue. Shamrocks struggle to slow down everybody, and the Cougars still have plenty of weapons if Haus has to sit.
Andy Sandrik: Palmyra 49, Trinity 12: Last week’s loss to Milton Hershey is probably still smarting, but this matchup with Trinity is a good opportunity for Palmyra to regroup, recover and get some work for the JV players.
Jake Adams: Palmyra 42, Trinity 6: Here’s hoping for better days sooner than later for the Shamrocks.
Adam Kulikowski: Palmyra 35, Trinity 3: This is a wonderful opportunity for Palmyra to get some key cogs a bit of a rest before the Week 10 finale and District 3 playoffs.
Steel-High at Boiling Springs
Andy Shay: Steel-High 33, Boiling Springs 21: Not sure what is going on with the Bubblers, and the Rollers are coming off an upset loss to East Pennsboro. Two or three weeks ago I’d have said Boiling Springs has a shot. Just not sure now.
Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 35, Boiling Springs 14: Both teams are coming off head-scratching losses. Momentum aside, I think the Rollers are slightly more equipped for this showdown.
Jake Adams: Steel-High 34, Boiling Springs 20: What a disappointing loss for the Bubblers last week. And for the Rollers. Someone gets to erase the stink of Week 8, and I think it’s Steelton.
Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 41, Boiling Springs 20: On paper, the loss to East Pennsboro looks like a big upset, but really the Panthers hadn’t been a pushover all season. One-score losses to Palmyra, Northern and Red Land exacerbated the struggles of the Panthers. I say all that to say Steel-High will be fine this week. It wasn’t a let-down game — and they had a chance to win at the end but got snuffed out on a potential game-winning two-point conversion.
Camp Hill at Milton Hershey
Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 41, Camp Hill 7: That run game for the Spartans has some pound and flash to it, and that’s hard to defend. Too much for the Lions to handle over 48 minutes.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 42, Camp Hill 0: Football giveth, as evidenced by Camp Hill’s stunning first win over Boiling Springs, and with a game against the Spartans, football also taketh.
Jake Adams: Milton Hershey 35, Camp Hill 14: Big win for the Lions, but this is a different cookie entirely. Still, now that they’re healthier, that confidence boost should carry them through the rest of the season. It just won’t mean a win this week, though.
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 41, Camp Hill 20: The Lions are finally health after weeks of impostering as a MASH unit. The Spartans are scary dudes to line up against, though.
Middletown at East Pennsboro
Andy Shay: Middletown 42, East Pennsboro 14: Panthers are making some serious strides the second half of this season. And I think the passing game will yield some fruit against Middletown. Slowing down the Blue Raiders offense and keeping up is another story.
Andy Sandrik: Middletown 42, East Pennsboro 28: If I were way back in the 4th Down standings, I’d be tempted to pick the streaking Panthers, but safe money is on Middletown.
Jake Adams: Middletown 35, East Pennsboro 7: Great defensive stand for the Panthers, winners of three straight. But the Blue Raiders run seemingly 30 RBs deep and just keep on coming. East Penn doesn’t have the top-end talent this year to hang.
Adam Kulikowski: Middletown 35, East Pennsboro 20: The Panthers have been sneaky tough this entire season. Don’t expect them to get pushed over.
Big Spring at Northern York
Andy Shay: Northern York 21, Big Spring 6: Still a lot for the Polar Bears to play for and that’s important. They are a fringe playoff team and all W’s help the cause. Bulldogs give all they have and make it tougher than you think to beat them.
Andy Sandrik: Northern York 32, Big Spring 12: Any momentum Big Spring can get against Northern this week would be valuable for the Bulldogs, who have their Super Bowl against Shippensburg in the Little Brown Jug game next week.
Jake Adams: Northern York 28, Big Spring 13: The Bulldogs play well despite all these losses piling up. Youth and some size are just holding them back. They can keep this one close for a while, but they’ll need 2-3 breaks or forced turnovers to pull off the upset.
Adam Kulikowski: Northern York 21, Big Spring 7: The Polar Bears went toe-to-toe with Shippensburg last week. Bill Miller’s boys have plenty in the tank to get past the scrappy Bulldogs.
Mifflin County at Greencastle-Antrim
Andy Shay: Mifflin County 34, Greencastle-Antrim 14: Anybody else remember right now that at one point the Huskies were 0-4? Don’t tell that to the Blue Devils, because all they know is a white-hot team has found its sea legs. Mifflin County has a shot at Colonial title.
Andy Sandrik: Mifflin County 36, Greencastle-Antrim 7: The Blue Devils failed to show up for a rivalry game against Waynesboro last week. If they can’t even do that, I’d be a fool to even predict a close game this week.
Jake Adams: Mifflin County 30, Greencastle-Antrim 18: Let’s make it five straight for the Huskies, who have picked up wins against Shippensburg, Big Spring, Waynesboro and Dover. The amazing thing is they could overtake Altoona to make the District 6 Class 6A playoff game against State College after an 0-4 start.
Adam Kulikowski: Mifflin County 35, Greencastle-Antrim 14: The Blue Devils were out-muscled last week against Waynesboro. More of the same might be in store battling a Huskies team sniffing its first Colonial Division title.
Waynesboro at West Perry
Andy Shay: West Perry 35, Waynesboro 28: Speed in the open field will be the difference maker for West Perry. If they get rolling early, they are tough to shut down. Waynesboro offense will make some hay, but this one rests on the defense finding a way to keep the Mustangs from getting to the edge and outside.
Andy Sandrik: West Perry 42, Waynesboro 39 (2OT): I know the Waynesboro defensive coordinator is going to unfriend me on Facebook after this prediction, but I see WP’s stars coming out to play. The Indians’ offense will also rise to the challenge.
Jake Adams: West Perry 35, Waynesboro 20: I believe the Mustangs after covering them the past two weeks — they are ready for these moments. Bob Boden and his squad are fighting for playoff positioning, such an impressive thing to say with that two-year losing streak still recent history.
Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 28, Waynesboro 21: The Mustangs are one of three teams with one division loss, making this game a critical piece to their division title hopes.
Juniata at Millersburg
Andy Shay: Juniata 33, Millersburg 20: I just don’t view Juniata as a typical one-win team. They are competitive and take tough beats on the chin. Time for the Indians to celebrate a little. Lord knows they’ve earned it.
Andy Sandrik: Juniata 30, Millersburg 12: Forget the 1-7 record for a moment and take a closer look at Juniata. The Indians have been playing competitive football lately, including a 13-6 loss to undefeated Halifax last week.
Jake Adams: Juniata 28, Millersburg 19: Oi vey. Look at the yards per carry for both teams. Or maybe don’t — it’s not pretty. Juniata is at least near 4.0, whereas Millersburg is averaging a paltry 1.8. That tells me all I need to know when making this prediction.
Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 35, Millersburg 21: The Indians had their chances to take down Halifax last week. That says a lot about how far Juniata has come this season.
Susquenita at Newport
Andy Shay: Newport 19, Susquenita 13: At full strength I’m taking the Blackhawks in this game. Too many injuries to an already razor-thin roster has an impact Friday night. Newport’s best players need to shine and keep the Blackhawks from believing. If ‘Nita gets a whiff at victory they will close.
Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 18, Newport 8: It seems the more you count out Susquenita, the more the Blackhawks show up to play. Something tells me the Susquenita defense answers the bell to deliver Win No. 4.
Jake Adams: Newport 27, Susquenita 14: Dartboard time. Injuries have ravaged that small ‘Nita roster, as we’ve mentioned the past few weeks, but they could easily clamp down and stop Newport. However …
Adam Kulikowski: Newport 21, Susquenita 13: The difference to me in this one is Newport’s Ethan Rode. Stop him, and ‘Nita and the victory should be within reach.
Tri-Valley at Line Mountain
Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 34, Line Mountain 26: When opportunity presents itself, the Bulldogs are the better team at finishing drives with touchdowns. That’s the only difference I see here.
Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Line Mountain 21: The best part about the TVL is that it’s Week 9 and the games are still zany and unpredictable. Your guess is as good as mine, here.
Jake Adams: Tri-Valley 30, Line Mountain 14: The offensive yardage is eerily similar for each of these teams, in the 110s in both passing and rushing. But the Bulldogs are better able to convert yards into points (31 TDs to LM’s 20).
Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 28, Tri-Valley 27: Line Mountain may be the most underrated TVL team this year. This one really is a toss-up with two very similar teams.
Halifax at Williams Valley
Andy Shay: Halifax 35, Williams Valley 28: This is going to be interesting. I see the Wildcats as a good matchup for the defending TVL champs overall. But nobody in the league has been able to solve Halifax to date. Going with the hot hand.
Andy Sandrik: Halifax 35, Williams Valley 25: I don’t know if Williams Valley is hitting the panic button yet, but I sure am.
Jake Adams: Halifax 28, Williams Valley 27: I did not expect the Vikings to get shredded defensively last week. The Wildcats have an incredibly destructive run game averaging 221 yards per game and 7.9 yards per tote. If WV can’t corral that, this will be a third loss this season.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 32, Halifax 24: If Williams Valley wants to have any chance of defending its TVL title, even a share of it, this is a must-win game.
Upper Dauphin at Pine Grove
Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 35, Pine Grove 14: The Cardinals are better than their record after that fast start. I see a bright future on many fronts for this squad. That Trojans offense is hard to get a beat on, and the Trojans know it.
Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 28, Pine Grove 13: I certainly didn’t see UD laying the wood on Williams Valley last week. I’ll have what the Trojans are having.
Jake Adams: Upper Dauphin 42, Pine Grove 21: That 58-point barrage UD laid on Williams Valley accounted for more than 30 percent of the points WV has allowed all season. That’s insane.
Adam Kulikowski: Pine Grove 34, Upper Dauphin 31: If Pine Grove is to pull off what certainly would be considered an upset, they just might do it on the backs of their big men up front, a unit that will have a significant size differential in this one. Confidence level, one star.
Carlisle at Harrisburg
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 35, Carlisle 6: Some question marks at quarterback for the Cougars, but that defense will dominate the Herd’s running game. If Harrisburg is at full strength they will air it out more.
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 28, Carlisle 3: Wish I had better news for my backyard Carlisle team, but I just don’t see a path to victory against the relentless defense of the Cougars.
Jake Adams: Harrisburg 42, Carlisle 10: I wonder if Herd RB Trystin Sulich can get to 100 yards in this one? He’s done a good job in some tough situations this year. But that’s about the only intriguing thing about Carlisle in what should be a blowout.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 28, Carlisle 10: The uncertain status of stud quarterback Kane Everson sheds a few points off my prediction, but does nothing to put in question the outcome.
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