1. Jose Lopez, RB, Middletown: The junior is on fire and running with a purpose now that the postseason is here. Instead of expecting to win a District 3 title, Lopez is playing like he has to go out and earn it. He totaled 250 total yards and five touchdowns in his playoff debut for 2018. Something tells me Lopez, who ran over, around and through would-be tacklers against Wyomissing, is poised for another big game in the Class 3A championship game against Bermudian Springs.
2. Nick Chimienti, WR-DB, Central Dauphin: The Rams’ front seven is very capable of taking care of what’s directly in front of them. But in this matchup with Harrisburg, it’s the down-the-field plays that are difference makers. That’s where Chimienti is most valuable. Harrisburg will take shots. Chimienti has four interceptions this season and double-digit passes defended. He has to be special if the Rams are going to spring the upset. He’s also a valuable deep threat in the pass game and a lethal kick returner. But it’s on defense where his value is greatest.
3. C.J. Reyes-Diggs, RB, Bishop McDevitt: Coming off a game where he averaged more than 20 yards a carry after scampering for 223 yards on 11 touches in his 2018 playoff debut. That 200-yard game was his second in three games and third overall this season. In his last six games, he’s rushed for more than 1,000 yards and a dozen touchdowns. For the season, he’s averaging 11.1 yards per carry. All this for a Crusaders team everybody knows can roll up 300 yards through the air on demand.
4. Kane Everson, QB, Harrisburg: The senior has continued to develop this season as a passer at an alarming rate. And, of course, he continues to extend plays and make something out of nothing with his legs. When it comes to Everson, it’s a matter of when, not if, the explosion offensively will happen. He’s on the verge of eclipsing 3,000 total yards this season with 1,984 passing yards and 827 rushing yards. He’s thrown 26 touchdown passes, has seven rushing touchdowns and has a stellar 67-percent completion percentage. He was the X-factor in the first meeting with Central Dauphin.
5. Bobby Whalen, WR-DB, Cedar Cliff: The dynamic multi-position athlete for the Colts needs to have a stellar two-way game for Cedar Cliff against District 3 hammer Manheim Central. Whalen has nearly 1,200 total yards receiving and rushing — including more than 930 receiving on 57 grabs — with 15 total touchdowns. The former part-time QB for the Colts is also 5-for-5 passing with three touchdowns. On defense he has 53 total tackles including 41 solo, two interceptions, seven passes defended and a pair of fumble recoveries. He also has nearly 400 yards in punt and kickoff returns. Whalen can impact a game about six or seven ways on any given night.