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Monday, September 26, 2022

4th Down Magazine’s Game Balls for the week of November 6-7

Each week, our crew will dish out ‘Game Balls” to athletes who turned in impressive performances across our coverage area. Here are our selections for Week of November 6-7.

Jake Adams’s Game Balls

Daniel Shuster, QB, Camp Hill: The Shuster family now has three District 3 medals hanging somewhere, mabe above the fireplace. Daniel added to the collection, which included two from big bro Michael (who went on to walk-on at Penn State), with a steadying 274 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s 21-7 upset win over York Catholic for the 2A crown. Shuster was 16-of-25, and his TD tosses went for 11, 53 and 24 yards. He now has more than 1,400 yards and 14 TDs this season. 

Sean Smith, RB-LB, Carlisle: Handing Smith the nod for becoming the first running back in Cumberland County to crack 1,000 yards on the season. Carlisle lost to Cumberland Valley 20-14 this weekend, but Smith rushed for 149 stripes and scored on a 1-yard dive. He’s now at 1,006 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

Alex Erby, QB, Steel-High: It feels like the rookie has a hundred touchdowns already this season. It’s “only” 26. The freshman tossed six more, lighting up Muncy’s defense in a 50-43 win in the PIAA Class 1A first round. Erby’s 422 yards Friday also leaves him 70 shy of becoming the first in the Mid-Penn Conference to reach 2,000 this season. We have three more years of this to watch. Jeez.

Andy Shay’s Game Balls

Christian Doi, RB, Camp Hill: The junior had a rock solid game rushing and receiving in the District 3 Class 2A championship game victory over York Catholic. Being able to rush the ball with some efficiency sets up the Lions’ offense for success, and the 5-foot-7, 140-pound Doi came through catching the ball out of the backfield to post a monster game. Doi finished with 174 total yards (118 receiving, 56 rushing) and scored a touchdown in the Lions’ 21-7 victory.

Derek Wall, WR-DB-KR, Middletown: The senior was the best player on the field for the Blue Raiders in a loss to Wyomissing in the District 3 Class 3A championship game. His electric kickoff return in the first quarter covering 97 yards not only put six points on the board, it changed the trajectory of this game. Middletown still lost, but they were in deep trouble early already down 14-0 when Wall gave them a HUGE spark. He nearly broke another one, covering 50 yards before an excellent open-field tackle by the kicker saved a touchdown. Wall also stood out on defense, making tackles in space and recording a key pass break up in the second quarter. Overall he finished 193 return yards on three kickoff returns. No. 8 stood out.

Isaac Sines, QB, Cumberland Valley: The sophomore gave the Eagles a huge late-season boost to build on going forward by coming up with a big game in a season where winning games and scoring points has been tough for CV. Sines completed 11-of-18 passes for 134 yards, not eye-popping numbers but exactly what the Eagles are looking for from their QB in this offense. Most importantly, Sines threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Gavin Conklin with less than seven minutes to play in a victory over a Carlisle team that came in on a roll.

Adam Kulikowski Game Balls

Odell Greene, RB, Steel-High: While freshman teammate Alex Erby grabs a lot of the limelight slinging the rock, Greene “quietly” continues to perform at a high level. Chalk up another 240 stripes on 24 carries (a 10-yard average, by the way) for the senior Rollers back to help fuel a 50-43 victory against Muncy in the PIAA Class 1A first round. This young man is tough to bring down and has provided the thunder to the Steel-High attack night after night. 

Michael Bullock’s Game Balls

Alex Achenbach, RB, Williams Valley: Achenbach made his presence felt as the Vikings took one step closer to defending the District 11 Class 1A crown they claimed a season ago by turning back Mahanoy Area 27-22. While Achenbach’s primary influence came on the ground — the Williams Valley freshman rushed 21 times for 156 yards — he also kicked off the Vikes’ scoring when he hauled in a 40-yard touchdown reception.

Ezi Hite, OL-DL, Williams Valley: In addition to opening holes for a Williams Valley ground game that rushed for 235 yards and one touchdown, Hite was a constant up front defensively. In fact, Hite totaled a team-high 11 tackles in the Vikings’ 27-22 win over Mahanoy Area in the District 11 Class 1A semifinals. One of the 6-foot-2, 235-pound sophomore’s stops was the lone quarterback sack the Vikes managed.

Shea Morgan, WR-DB, Pine Grove: Another week, another post-game honor for Pine Grove’s senior two-way standout, who added to his single-season receptions record (56) by catching nine passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in a 43-6 win over Pequea Valley. Morgan’s productive outing on the flanks upped his career receptions total to 108 — another Pine Grove standard he now owns.

Brody Robinson, RB-LB and Josh Leininger, QB-DB, Pine Grove: Adding balance to the Cardinals’ attack, Robinson rushed 15 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns as Pine Grove popped Pequea Valley 43-6. Leininger, meanwhile, passed for 228 yards and three touchdowns as Frank Gaffney’s club piled up 475 offensive yards.

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