1. Lucky 7
Seven teams from the Mid-Penn Conference are still alive in the playoffs. Three from the Commonwealth — Harrisburg, Central Dauphin and State College — and the Keystone has Bishop McDevitt and Cedar Cliff. And Middletown and Milton Hershey from the Capital. Nobody from the Colonial Division made it to Week 13.
2. My Game of the Week
If you want to see a good football game, go to West Shore Stadium and watch the Class 6A championship between Harrisburg and Central Dauphin. The first game was outstanding. Both teams are better. You could argue CD is playing its best football right now. The Cougars, it seems, have been playing really good for 11 straight games. Enjoy the defenses in this one. They are both elite, but in very different ways.
3. Raiders rolling
Middletown is a heavy, heavy favorite to win its third consecutive District 3 Class 3A championship. The Blue Raiders have upped the ante now that the postseason is in full swing. This team has carved out its own niche in this latest era of Middletown football. Now it’s time to validate. Bermudian Springs isn’t equipped to keep up with the Blue Raiders. If the game is low scoring, the Eagles have a much better shot. When was the last time Middletown played a low-scoring game?
4. More easy pickings for McD
I’m very curious to see if Bishop McDevitt can continue its trend of being a more balanced team offensively as the second season moves along. I’m just not sure Conrad Weiser is going to provide the Crusaders with a legitimate test. It feels to me as if the result this week will look a lot like it did a week ago against West Perry.
5. Trenches crucial for Colts
Winning big games in the playoffs is old hat for Manheim Central. They know how to finish in the postseason against an equal opponent. That’s right, Cedar Cliff is an equal opponent. And the Colts themselves told me the one thing they know about the Barons is they know how to win. It’s all about balance for the Colts offensively. They can chase a game as good as anybody, but to compete and beat the Barons they must continue to be balanced offensively. Keep an eye on the Colts offensive line against the Manheim Central defensive front. That’s the key for me.
6. Spartans still a ‘dog
I’m not sure Milton Hershey can compete for 48 minutes against Berks Catholic physically. Look, the Saints defense isn’t what it has been the last couple years. They give up some points. The Spartans have to break a couple long runs and hold Berks Catholic to 4 yards or less on first down more often than not. If the Saints own first down on a consistent basis, their offense will drain the life out of a game.