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Sunday QB: Halifax earns its first district title; West Perry notches its first playoff victory since 1999, Cedar Cliff advances and more

04 November 2018

 

Halifax district champs

Halifax celebrated its first district championship Friday night at Seibert Field in Camp Hill. (Christina Hoy/4th Down)

By Andy Shay: 

That was a rude welcome to the 2018 high school football playoffs Friday night – a relentless and driving rain never wavered for even a brief respite.

I saw highlights of games being played on grass turf where the game looked in slow motion and avoiding puddles to keep your feet was necessary.

In short it was a crappy night for football. Hey at least it wasn’t cold, right?

But this is Pennsylvania in November and the reality is the elements are always a wildcard when it comes to playoff football. 

Something as simple as the exchange between center and quarterback, whether under center or in the shotgun, became of critical importance.

Those teams who played on grass in that mess, I raise my glass of root beer to you in salute of a job well done.

Congratulations to the Halifax Wildcats, who as expected steamrolled overmatch Fairfield to claim the first District 3 football championship in school history.

With a bye week before moving into the state playoffs, the first-time Tri-Valley and District 3 champions have all the ingredients to make some noise at the next level.

The dynamic offensive duo of Terrance Quaker and Kenyon Johnson guided West Perry to only the second District 3 playoff victory in school history. That becomes the calling card of this team – winning a playoff game. Nice card to have in your back pocket.

Quaker and Johnson combined for nearly 400 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries. They play Bishop McDevitt in the next round of the Class 4A playoffs and the Mustangs will be heavy underdogs. Earning the right to play in that game moves West Perry’s program to another level. It was, after all, nearly two decades (1999) since the last playoff victory.

That was a valiant effort Chambersburg put forth against the defending District 3 Class 6A champions. The No. 7 seed Trojans fell to Manheim Township by a field goal and was in the game all the way.

Having a 70-yard touchdown pass called back, for an ineligible receiver downfield, would have given the Trojans the lead in the fourth quarter. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

There was a monkey on Cedar Cliff’s back with those recent first-round losses. I think 50-6 victory sort of changes the conversation, right?

Drawing Warwick in the next round is brutal for the Colts. But you know what? It’s a brutal draw for Warwick as well.

Harrisburg and Central Dauphin went about their business in the opening round of the Class 6A like it was a business as usual. Why do I feel those two teams are very comfortable in their own skin and will meet for a second time this season in the championship game?

I was pretty sure the deciding factor, especially considering the weather, for Shippensburg was going to be its defense. And that was the case in a 6-0 victory.

That now makes it three shutouts in four games for the Greyhounds’ D and only 14 points surrendered over the last 16 quarters. A bigger test for sure is coming next in York High. Seems like this group is prepared for that next step.

 

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