Big School 6A-4A:
Jeremiah Hargrove, so., WR, Carlisle — Hargrove did his best (while playing out of position) to aid the Thundering Herd’s playoff push, rushing for 136 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-20 rout of Altoona. Carlisle (6-3, 3-3 Commonwealth) nudged up to No. 8 in the District 3 Class 6A power rankings from ninth, currently holding onto the final spot in the bracket with a game to go. Hargrove’s first score came from 27 yards out, then scored on a 53-yard burst a drive later. He capped his night with a 6-yarder in the fourth quarter and finished with nine tackles.
Isaac Sines, jr., QB, Cumberland Valley — Sines was responsible for the first 16 points of the game as Cumberland Valley popped Chambersburg 23-14 and finished with all of the Eagles’ points by game’s end. He punched in an 8-yard rushing TD in the first, threw a 27-yard pass in the second, drilled a 20-yard field goal in the third and threw one more 10-yard TD. Sines, who also kicked three extra points, finished with 80 rushing yards on 21 carries and 104 passing yards on 5-of-10 passing.
Marcel McDaniels, sr., RB, CD East — The Panthers continued to assert their dominance in the Commonwealth, and took it to district rival Central Dauphin 31-14, Friday night. McDaniels did his part, rushing 30 times for 178 hard-earned yards and two scores, both of which came in the second half to extend the Panthers’ lead. He rushed in from 2 and 18 yards out.
Ethan Eisenberg, jr., QB, Big Spring — The Bulldogs pulled off the upset of the season, dismantling the defending Class 1A state champion Steel-High Rollers 49-14 and ending their 17-game win streak. That deserves TWO nominees this week (see below for the second). Eisenberg gets the first nod after a night in which he threw for 156 yards and ran for 10 more (which produced a rushing TD) while accounting for four scores. Eisenberg tossed touchdowns of 31, 28 and 23 yards on a 9-of-14 night through the air and had three carries.
Dillon Wakefield, sr., RB, Big Spring — One of Eisenberg’s targets in Friday’s monumental Big Spring victory (which almost surely locks in the Bulldogs for their second ever playoff appearance, was Wakefield, who caught the 28-yard TD and ran in three more scores of 7, 23 and 17 yards. He finished with a game-high 18 carries for 125 yards and added two grabs for 29 stripes.
Jontae Morris, sr., RB, Cedar Cliff — Closing out the nominees with a pair of backs that went toe-to-toe and put up insane numbers. Morris torched Milton Hershey in the Colts’ 45-33 shootout win with a career-high 331 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries. He now sits 17 yards shy of 1,500 for the season and one TD away from 20. It’s his third game with 200 or more rushing yards.
Dion Bryant, sr., RB, Milton Hershey — The Spartans were handed the loss, but Bryant still successfully dueled Morris in a thriller for old-school football fans. The senior produced 336 yards of offense — 261 rushing, 58 receiving and 17 passing — and scored three times. Those TDs came from 7 yards out, 71 and 73, the last of which briefly drew the Spartans within two, 33-31.
Richie Kowalski, sr., RB, Palmyra — Kowalski kept the Cougars playoff hopes alive with an efficient night. While the Cougars were popping Mifflin County 42-13, the senior took 10 handoffs and finished with 109 yards, including two scores. Most of that yardage came on a 70-yard sprint to the house in the first quarter that made it 6-0. He added a 15-yard TD minutes later to put Palmyra up for good and added an interception. Kowalski is now over 800 yards this season.
Small School: 3A-1A
Ian Goodling, so., WR/S/K, West Perry — The Mustangs lost a 37-34 thriller in triple overtime to Greencastle-Antrim, but Goodling did his darnedest to avoid the outcome. The sophomore returned a fumble recovery 38 yards for the game-opening score in the second, then nailed a 39-yard field goal to make it 10-0. After the Blue Devils forced overtime, Goodling caught a 10-yard touchdown in the second OT period, then kicked a 24-yard field goal in the third. He finished with 14 catches for 118 stripes and was good on all four extra-point attempts. Also recovered an onside kick — he kicks off for the Mustangs — during the Colonial Division scrap.
Tate Leach, sr., QB/DB, Middletown — Leach was solid through the air, but it was a pair of pick-sixes 31 seconds apart in the fourth quarter that defined his night. With the Blue Raiders up 27-6 midway through the fourth quarter, Leach ensured Trinity would not come back, swiping two passes and returning them 47 and 59 yards to the house to secure a 41-6 victory. Leach also tossed a 27-yard TD in the second, finishing 5-of-10 for 60 yards and an INT while rushing 12 times for 93 stripes.
Nolan Baumert, so., RB/DB, Line Mountain — Uncorking his second productive offensive effort in as many weeks, the diminutive Baumert rushed 18 times for 140 yards and one touchdown as the Eagles downed Newport 13-10 for their first victory of the season. Baumert’s haul featured three runs in excess of 25 yards, including a 28-yard burst early in the second quarter that gave Brandon Carson’s squad a 13-0 lead at the halftime break. Right after his score, Baumert made a diving interception at midfield that handed the ball back to Line Mountain.
Alex Achenbach, so., RB/DB, Williams Valley — Achenbach’s stamp was all over yet another Williams Valley performance as the gifted youngster rushed 22 times for 187 yards and four TDs in the Vikings’ 37-14 triumph over Nativity BVM. In fact, Achenbach cleared the 100-yard mark by halftime, collecting 120 yards and two scores on 16 first-half totes. Achenbach also played a role defensively, swiping a pair of passes as Tim Savage’s club prepped for its Week 10 showdown with neighboring Tri-Valley.
Ezi Hite, jr., OL/DL, Williams Valley — While Hite obviously played a role clearing space for the explosive Achenbach, his efforts on the defensive side of the ball were extraordinary for a down lineman. Hite racked up a team-high 16 tackles — including three for losses — and posted one sack as the Vikings came from behind to knock off Nativity 37-14.
Wil Laskowski, sr., QB/DB, Upper Dauphin — Our reigning Small School Player of the Week was at it yet again last weekend, registering a terrific all-around performance as Upper Dauphin wheeled past Fleetwood 46-29. While Laskowski rushed nine times for 68 yards and a two-point conversion, he also completed eight of his nine pass attempts for 119 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Laskowski made five tackles and swiped a pair of passes as the Trojans claimed their sixth consecutive victory.
Christian Snyder, sr., RB/LB, Upper Dauphin — Snyder proved to be an offensive workhorse in UDA’s latest success, rushing 19 times for 124 yards and four touchdowns as Kent Smeltz’s Trojans stretched their winning streak to six games by decking Fleetwood 46-29. Snyder also caught three passes for 54 yards in UDA’s non-league conquest of a Fleetwood side hoping to land a spot in the District 3 Class 5A playoffs, but his work defensively resulted in six stops.
Kameron Wetzel, jr., RB, Tri-Valley — Wetzel wreaked havoc in several phases again, scoring on the return of the second-half kickoff for the third time in four weeks as Tri-Valley blistered Shenandoah Valley 45-0. Wetzel also rushed 15 times for 83 yards — his lone TD from scrimmage came on a 10-yard run — as Jeff Sampson’s Bulldogs set up a showdown with Williams Valley that will decide the Colonial-Schuylkill Blue Division crown.