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4th Down Magazine’s Picks and Predictions (Oct. 16-17)

Standings: 

Andy Shay: Week 3: 16-2 Week 2 13-8  Overall: 43-15 

Andy Sandrik: Week 3: 16-2 Week 2 13-8  Overall: 41-17 

Jake Adams: Week 3: 15-3 Week 2  13-8  Overall: 39-19  

Geoff Morrow: Week 3: 13-5 Week 2 12-9  Overall: 38-20  

Friday, Oct. 16

Boiling Springs at Middletown

Andy Shay: Middletown 34, Boiling Springs 20: Two weeks to sit on a loss is a long time for a program that isn’t used to losing much during the regular season. Blue Raiders are rested and hopefully healthy, especially at the QB position. Bubblers are much improved, but I’m not sure they are quite at the level of winning a game like this. They aren’t a mile away, though.

Jake Adams: Middletown 35, Boiling Springs 17: All good things must come to an end. The Bubblers’ 3-0 start is the feel-good story of the year, in my opinion, but the Blue Raiders won’t let that number reach 4-0 easily. Still, I’m enjoying this Bubbletown run.

Andy Sandrik: Middletown 24, Boiling Springs 21: I think the undefeated Bubblers bring some confidence and pop to Middletown, and, who knows, maybe they can snap their five-game losing streak against the Blue Raiders. Crazier things have happened in 2020.

Geoff Morrow: Middletown 28, Boiling Springs 21: Intriguing game. If the Bubblers can win the turnover battle and come up with a few stops, the upset is very possible. Similarly, the hosts have a lot to prove after a recent shellacking by rival Steel-High, and this is a dangerous spot. I could see any number of outcomes, but I’m guessing it will be tightly contested.

Trinity at Big Spring

Andy Shay: Big Spring 41, Trinity 7: It’s been a very fine line between winning and losing for the Bulldogs, and you can see they have more of the right elements than in recent years. Offensively, they have some punch, and the T-Rocks have struggled to be competitive.

Jake Adams: Big Spring 35, Trinity 14: Feeling bad for these Shamrocks after the beatdown at the hands of Steel-High on Saturday. This team has a lot of growing to do, and it’s going to be painful for a bit. Bulldogs gave Bubblers a scare last week and can use that as a lesson in this one.

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 42, Trinity 21: It’s been a slow start for both teams, who combine for one win, but the Bulldogs seem to have a little more traction than the ‘Rocks, who have been outscored 119-0 over the last two games.

Geoff Morrow: Big Spring 48, Trinity 0: With Steel-High and Middletown upcoming, Bulldogs better enjoy this one.

Cumberland Valley at Bishop McDevitt

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 41, Cumberland Valley 7: This game has a long and rich tradition in terms of tough, well-played and hard-earned victories. This won’t be one of those games. The gap is that big.

Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 44, Cumberland Valley 14: It feels weird to predict a Crusaders blowout in this game, which is usually a tight contest. But with the Eagles’ big-time adjustment from the Wing-T to the spread, this isn’t going to be an easy night for the visitors.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 42, Cumberland Valley 7: Every game, win or loss, comes with a lesson. CV will have to bring everything it has for that lesson to last a full 48 minutes against the mighty Crusaders, who are torching opponents 113-28 this season. 

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 48, Cumberland Valley 13: Truth is, this matchup hasn’t produced a close battle (single-digit final spread) since McD’s 6-3 victory in 2014.

State College at Carlisle

Andy Shay: State College 28, Carlisle 14: The Thundering Herd have a slight advantage up front along the OL against the Little Lions’ greenhorns up front on defense. Have to exploit that matchup ‘cause State High has significantly more pop on offense.

Jake Adams: State College 28, Carlisle 21: You know what? The Herd did not play great last week against Central Dauphin, but the offensive line was not overmatched. The coaching staff’s high praise in the preseason of that group was for good reason. I think the Little Lions are in for a fight if Carlisle just plays smarter this week.

Andy Sandrik: State College 35, Carlisle 7: I’ll give the Herd a TD because they’re playing at home, but I just get the sense that this is the week where SC really begins to hit its stride.

Geoff Morrow: State College 44, Carlisle 20: Little Lions have absolutely dominated this series, including wins in each of the previous 10 seasons, all of them by double figures.

Altoona at Central Dauphin

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 42, Altoona 7: Maybe, by their standards, the Rams were a bit sluggish offensively last week but still scored 35 points. Altoona is much improved; however, slowing down CD looks darn near impossible right now.

Jake Adams: Central Dauphin 42, Altoona 7: The Mountain Lions appear to have some fight in them this year. Fight, however, is not enough against one of the best teams the state has to offer. 

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 35, Altoona 14: My biggest surprise of the Commonwealth has been the Mountain Lions, who are off to a 2-1 start. If Altoona can stay within two scores of the Rams, that’s a win for the Mountain Lions in my book. 

Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 49, Altoona 21: Love that the Mountain Lions are showing some grit this year, but there are at least two more levels of significant program growth needed to match wits with the Rams.

CD East at Chambersburg

Andy Shay: CD East 13, Chambersburg 7 (OT): The most consistent aspect of this game for either team has been the Panthers’ defense standing tall each week. With offense appearing to be a premium across the board, I’ll ride the CDE defense to a win. 

Jake Adams: Chambersburg 27, CD East 16: Just realized both of these teams are quickly running out of time to snatch a win. And the schedules don’t let up enough to seemingly guarantee one. This might be the easiest week for both teams the rest of the season. 

Andy Sandrik: CD East 13, Chambersburg 7: Coin flip game in my mind. The Panthers aren’t putting up a lot of points this year, but I think the continued growth of East’s defense — which has limited opponents an average of 10 points the last two games — makes the difference in a nail-biter.

Geoff Morrow: CD East 20, Chambersburg 7: If the Panthers can’t get their offense into a groove this week, it probably ain’t happening this year. I also want to note that East is probably going to be sick of long bus rides after these last two weeks.

Northern at Greencastle-Antrim

Andy Shay: Northern 34, Greencastle-Antrim 7: The play of quarterback Jordan Heisey has been outstanding and has allowed the Polar Bears to find their way in other areas. Blue Devils need the score to be under 20 to win, and Northern has the firepower to clear that hurdle.

Jake Adams: Northern 28, Greencastle-Antrim 7: I had no idea what to make of the P-Bears going into the season. Now? I really wish they could face Mechanicsburg before the playoffs so we could see a Mid-Penn Colonial championship game.

Andy Sandrik: Northern 35, Greencastle-Antrim 14: The 3-0 Polar Bears are slowly converting me into a believer after grinding out a hard-earned win over Shippensburg. Greencastle will be more competitive than last week’s 48-0 loss to Mechanicsburg, but I still see Northern QB Jordan Heisey doing as much damage to the Blue Devils as dynamic ‘Cats QB Micah Brubaker did last week. 

Geoff Morrow: Northern 33, Greencastle-Antrim 10: I remember one time many years ago, I drove to Greencastle for a huge conference baseball game against Northern on a gorgeous spring afternoon, only to learn it had been postponed for some random reason. I stopped into town to get a soft pretzel. But that was a long way to go for a soft pretzel.

Mifflin County at Hershey

Andy Shay: Hershey 40, Mifflin County 6: When was the last time Hershey was 4-0? See, nobody knows. Huskies have struggled, and the Trojans are riding a new-found wave. Deep shots and defense carries Hershey to win No. 4.

Jake Adams: Hershey 34, Mifflin County 17: I’ve been around these parts much less than the other esteemed gentlemen on this panel. I don’t have too many memories of winning Hershey football. 

Andy Sandrik: Hershey 24, Mifflin County 12: Kind of crazy to think that we could see a 5-0 Hershey squad entering battle against Bishop McDevitt on Oct. 30, basically playing for the Keystone Division title. That’s two weeks from now, of course, provided the Trojans can take care of business against winless Mifflin County and Lower Dauphin. 

Geoff Morrow: Hershey 39, Mifflin County 14: Well, Mr. Shay, I’ll do your research for you. Hershey started the 2011 season with seven straight wins. Trojans are hunting their first winning season since 2013.

Susquenita at James Buchanan

Andy Shay: Susquenita 39, James Buchanan 20: Short week for the Rockets does them no favors. ‘Hawks have been a step short of where I thought they would be, but here’s a great opportunity to get one.

Jake Adams: Susquenita 22, James Buchanan 13: Both these teams have struggled perhaps a bit more than I expected in the early going. JB comes in with the short end of the stick having been popped Monday by Annville-Cleona. 

Andy Sandrik: James Buchanan 26, Susquenita 21: Coming from someone who has taken the bus ride before, it is a looooong drive from Perry County to Mercersburg, especially if you get stuck behind farming equipment. 

Geoff Morrow: Susquenita 33, James Buchanan 20: The reason it probably took Sandrik so long to get to Mercersburg is because he was actually riding a lawnmower. Irony is now he needs a lawnmower to shave his face.

Juniata at Lancaster Catholic

Andy Shay: Juniata 21, Lancaster Catholic 13: I’m going to ride the coattails of the Indians’ defense and solid production from the QB position. It’s a winning formula in tight squeezes. Still a toss-up game for me.

Jake Adams: Juniata 24, Lancaster Catholic 19: A couple impressive wins in a row for these Indians, who have an interesting balance on offense. That group produces just enough to impress once again.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 28, Lancaster Catholic 25: Don’t read my Juniata analysis; read Andy Shay’s. He’s the one who correctly picked the Indians marching into Hersheypark Stadium and coming home with the ‘W’ last week.

Geoff Morrow: Juniata 14, Lancaster Catholic 7: Let’s pretend the Indians are still angry over the lopsided loss they were dealt by the Crusaders back in 2007, when this year’s seniors were 4 years old. ANGER IS A GIFT!

Cedar Cliff at Palmyra

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 27, Palmyra 14: Been a rugged and physical 12 opening quarters to the season for the Colts. This is a more level playing field to flash more of that speed they have. Cougars are scrappy but have been inconsistent.

Jake Adams: Cedar Cliff 37, Palmyra 7: Colts have taken some lumps the last few weeks but get to dish out some pain this time.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 28, Palmyra 21: With one combined win in six games, this is probably the last chance for one of these teams to turn their season around.

Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 40, Palmyra 14: Let’s not overthink it. Yes, the teams are a combined 1-5, but the Colts lost a nail-biter to Hershey and a competitive game to McDevitt, whereas the winless Cougars just lost by 34 last week to Hershey.

Lower Dauphin at Red Land

Andy Shay: Red Land 21, Lower Dauphin 7: Neither offense has shown enough bang for the buck to be a solid favorite here. Patriots’ defense has been more consistent when the playing field is level. And RL has a win, so that matters. 

Jake Adams: Red Land 20, Lower Dauphin 13: Patriots’ defense has been solid much of the season, but offensive consistency hasn’t always been there. 

Andy Sandrik: Red Land 27, Lower Dauphin 12: The Patriots can’t be thrilled about last week’s blowout loss, and I can’t imagine the Falcons are happy about losing to a team that was in the TVL last year. Someone needs to pick it up this week, and I’m picking the Red Land offense to finally do just that.

Geoff Morrow: Red Land 17, Lower Dauphin 14: Falcons drag a 13-game losing streak into what was recently a one-sided series. Patriots’ triumph over LD last year snapped a seven-game skid vs. LD.

West Perry at Shippensburg

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 37, West Perry 20: More of the pieces fell into place for the Greyhounds despite the loss to Northern. Mustangs are struggling to get all the train cars on the track together, and Ship has an opportunity to get that elusive first win. 

Jake Adams: Shippensburg 35, West Perry 31: Neither of these teams plays like they’re 0-3. Probably the toughest winless teams in the Mid-Penn right now. Sadly, one of them must remain that way for another week. 

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 42, West Perry 21: The Mustangs will have to do better than last week’s four-turnover effort if they intend to invade Memorial Park and return to Elliottsburg with a win. Ship is 0-3, too, but the ‘Hounds took a few steps forward in a loss to Northern last week. 

Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 28, West Perry 20: It was recently Greyhound Week at the beach in Delaware, so it’s time for Ship to get the sand out of its shorts and pocket a W.

Mechanicsburg at Susquehanna Township

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 40, Susquehanna Township 7: So it’s been two full weeks without playing ball for the Indians, and that’s a huge factor. Plus Mechanicsburg is on top of its game right from the opening kick. Speed advantage that ‘Hanna usually enjoys does not exist in this one.

Jake Adams: Mechanicsburg 35, Susquehanna Township 19: Indians might be fresher heading into this game, but the Wildcats are playing with a confidence the program hasn’t had in quite some time. A year ago this was a fun battle. This year? Think the ‘Cats’ bite is a little sharper.

Andy Sandrik: Mechanicsburg 42, Susquehanna Township 7: Is Mechanicsburg the team to beat in the Colonial? We may or may not have a good answer to that question after this game, which features a skilled Indians squad that hasn’t played for the past two weeks. 

Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 35, Susquehanna Township 14: As of six days ago, I now live in Susquehanna Township. Let me introduce myself to the neighbors by picking their (our?) football team to lose by three touchdowns.

East Pennsboro at Waynesboro

Andy Shay: Waynesboro 26, East Pennsboro 7: There’s a level of pure football strength and power that the Indians are employing this year that grinds teams into the ground and takes a lot of the fight right out of them. Panthers are 2-1 and will have to live on the edges and be successful there to have a shot.

Jake Adams: Waynesboro 28, East Pennsboro 23: Both teams have been pleasant surprises in the first half of the season. A Panthers win here would likely leave just two unbeaten teams standing in the Colonial. Interesting …

Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 27, East Pennsboro 14: I still can’t get over how much of a manhandling Waynesboro put last week on Red Land, a program known for its tough, physical style of play. If the Indians can match up with East Penn’s team speed, this is their game to lose.

Geoff Morrow: Waynesboro 33, East Pennsboro 20: First meeting for these programs since 2015 could be entertaining. But the ‘Boro seems to have found another gear last week.

Saturday, Oct. 17

Camp Hill at Steel-High

Andy Shay: Steel-High 54, Camp Hill 21: The over/under for pass attempts in this one is 67. And that might be low. Combined these teams are 5-0, and the week off helps the Lions in one respect, but, in this matchup, that might not matter.

Jake Adams: Steel-High 49, Camp Hill 27: Did you see what the Rollers just did to Trinity? OK, Camp Hill should fair much, much better, even after a sudden week off because of COVID-19, but Steel-High is playing phenomenal ball right now.

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 55, Camp Hill 14: The Lions have deployed a productive offensive unit this season, but points will be hard to come by against the ‘Rollers, who also hold a major advantage on offense.

Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 59, Camp Hill 26: After watching some highlights of the Rollers, I honestly don’t know what stops them in the small-school universe. This bunch is fast, fun and unforgiving.

J.P. McCaskey at Harrisburg

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 49, J.P. McCaskey 0: Lots of phony tough teams out there ducking teams like the Cougars and opting to enjoy an “off” week instead. In the COVID-19 world any game is better than no game. McCaskey is 0-4 and still took the game. Nothing phony tough about that.

Jake Adams: Harrisburg 51, J.P. McCaskey 9: Really, I’m just picking this score to be weirder than my companions here this week.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 55, J.P. McCaskey 0: There are a whole lot of programs out there crying “Let the kids play!” while also turning down the chance to play Harrisburg. Credit to 0-4 McCaskey for taking this on. If the Cougars end up winning a district or state title, the Red Tornadoes should be invited to the pizza party. 

Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 62, J.P. McCaskey 6: If he were alive today, former Lancaster mayor John Piersol McCaskey would have just celebrated his 183rd birthday this week. “Celebrate” might be too strong a word, though. I imagine being 183 years old wouldn’t feel that much fun. Ask me in 140 years.

Upper Dauphin at Halifax

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 33, Halifax 26: Something tells me this one is tight early then explodes into a track meet in the middle before a big play or two decides it late. True dartboard game for me.

Jake Adams: Upper Dauphin 36, Halifax 28: So I just learned tonight from a groupchat with my old college roommates “Dauphin” is the word for the French heir apparent, which was typically the Duke of Orleans at that time, during the 14th through 19th centuries. The more you know.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 49, Halifax 35: This is officially a Mid-Penn Liberty Division contest, but it sure looks, smells, and feels like a TVL pinball matchup, doesn’t it? 

Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 42, Halifax 19: The teams have flip-flopped wins each of the last five years. That means Halifax should win this year. But I detest patterns … unless we’re talking about socks.

*Not playing Week 4: Newport

Week 6 Schuylkill League Schedule: 

Friday, Oct. 16

Williams Valley at Schuylkill Haven

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 40, Schuylkill Haven 21: Whether it was the Tri-Valley League (RIP) or in their new residence as part of the Schuylkill League, the Vikings are pretty consistent in keeping the scoreboard rolling with points. Expect that to continue.

Jake Adams: Williams Valley 35, Schuylkill Haven 25: Vikings invade foreign territory and dominate the competition. You know … how football was played hundreds of years ago.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 42, Schuylkill Valley 25: I take way too many things for granted, like the Vikings providing a steady stream of wins for my pick ‘ems.

Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 43, Schuylkill Haven 30: Hurricanes roughed up the Vikings in the 2008 and 2013 playoffs, but it’s a new era in the Schuylkill!

Tri-Valley at Marian Catholic

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 42, Marian Catholic 6: It was a late start for the Bulldogs, but they are making up for lost time by out-scoring their first two opponents 97-7. A one-win Marian squad provides an opportunity for that trend to continue.

Jake Adams: Tri-Valley 40, Marian Catholic 6: Despite already having a couple of shutouts, I still try to avoid predicting a shutout.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 42, Marian Catholic 0: Once. That’s how many times the Bulldogs have punted in eight quarters of football.

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 38, Marian Catholic 0: The Colts have already been blanked three times this season.

Panther Valley at Pine Grove

Andy Shay: Pine Grove 29, Panther Valley 26: Couple of teams with identical 1-4 marks that have scored points but can’t slow teams down enough with any consistency. A toss-up game on every level in my book.

Jake Adams: Pine Grove 30, Panther Valley 24: My girlfriend would pick the Panthers because she likes Panthers better than Cardinals. She’s not picking these games. Or is she ….

Andy Sandrik: Pine Grove 28, Panther Valley 17: Yes, Pine Grove is 1-4, but those four losses have come against teams with a combined 18-2 record. I think the Cards weather the storm, then finish the fight. 

Geoff Morrow: Pine Grove 28, Panther Valley 27: Honestly, wouldn’t be surprised if this is the most competitive game on our entire slate of games this week.

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