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Monday, April 22, 2024

4th Down Magazine Game of the Week: Bishop McDevitt vs. Cedar Cliff

By 4th Down Staff: 

7 p.m. Friday, West Shore Stadium, Camp Hill

THE CRUSADERS: It’s been a relax-by-the-campfire kind of feeling for Bishop McDevitt so far. All Jeff Weachter’s crew has done is shutout two overmatched Mid-Penn Keystone neighbors in Mifflin County (33-0) and Lower Dauphin (40-0), barely breaking a sweat in 96 minutes of football. QB Lek Powell is completing 65-percent and already has 6 TD passes against zero picks. RB Marquese Williams (ankle) did miss the Falcons’ match but RB Dedrick Tinker stepped in with 103 rushing yards and a score. Two wideouts, Kamil Foster and Mario Easterly, have combined for 20 catches and 238 yards. And the defense, well, not allowing a single point through two weeks is exactly how good it gets. Even better is the Crusaders are getting a lot of strong work from underclassmen on that side of the football, so McD is building toward more polished efforts. The Crusaders will need it vs. the Colts, a Keystone rival that will enter West Shore Stadium with something to prove.  

THE COLTS: Which Cedar Cliff football team will show up at West Shore Stadium? If it’s the one that continued to punch and punch vs. Berks Catholic and denied a 2-point conversion try in double OT to win 35-34 in week 1, that’s good. If it’s the one that ran 80 offensive plays but averaged just 3.5 per vs. Hershey last week, well, that’s not so good. Working against the Trojans was difficult enough, and it didn’t help that playmaker Jontae Morris (knee) was lost for the season after suffering the injury in week 1. But, we’ve learned through the years that Cedar Cliff has a knack for bouncing back and bringing a little something extra to the field week to week. It might be a altered package, more defensive pressure or just a challenge by Gillen to see the game plan through. You can’t dismiss Hershey’s performance, but Cedar Cliff made plenty of mistakes that can be quickly remedied. Mistakes against McD will be magnified.

THE SERIES: If you’re a fan of good theatre, McD and Cedar Cliff have played plenty of breathtaking football recently. Although the Crusaders are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings with Cedar Cliff, Colin Gillen’s Colts have won the last two meetings, 50-43 in 2018 and 20-17 last season. Also, the last five meetings have been decided by 8 points or less.

DOWN & DISTANCE: Cedar Cliff managed just 161 total yards in last year’s meeting with McD, but the Colts took advantage of four interceptions. … McD senior WR Omari Hopkins caught 5 passes for 170 yards and a touchdowns vs. the Colts in 2019.

THE PICK: Bishop McDevitt 42, Cedar Cliff 20

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