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4th Down Magazine’s Picks and Predictions (Oct. 2-3)

Standings: 

Andy Shay: Week 1 14-5

Geoff Morrow: Week 1 13-6

Andy Sandrik: Week 1 12-7

Jake Adams: Week 1 11-8 

Related: Andy Shay’s Elite 11 teams

Related: News and Notes: Mid-Penn Commonwealth

Related: News and Notes: Mid-Penn Keystone

Related: News and Notes: Mid-Penn Colonial

Related: News and Notes: Mid-Penn Capital

Related: News and Notes: Mid-Penn Liberty

Related: News and Notes: Schuylkill League

 Watch High School Football Now with Eric Epler and Andy Shay for free exclusively on the Small Player, Big Play app. Guests this week included Cedar Cliff’s Gannon McMeans and Trenten Smith and Altoona’s Vince Nedimyer Jr. and Marcus Day.  Download the app today! 

Week 2 Mid-Penn Schedule: 

Friday, Oct. 2

Hollidaysburg at Altoona

Andy Shay: Altoona 33, Hollidaysburg 7: It wasn’t that Altoona sprung a monster upset in Week 1, it was how the Mountain Lions did that stood out. Still not 100% sure they aren’t a one-hit wonder. This rivalry test will reveal the answer.

Jake Adams: Altoona 30, Hollidaysburg 14: I’m not sure what last week’s win means for the Mountain Lions just yet, but I’m intrigued. 

Andy Sandrik: Altoona 36, Hollidaysburg 10: I haven’t seen the film just yet, but beating Cumberland Valley in any season requires depth, talent and execution. Altoona seems to possess all of these things, so I’m going with the Mountain Lions to improve to 2-0.

Geoff Morrow: Altoona 34, Hollidaysburg 21: Welp, got both of these teams’ games wrong last week. So now I’m wondering if the Lions can post a winning record for the first time since 2014.

State College at Central Dauphin

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 24, State College 20: Rams have a leg up with four quarters under their belt, but you know State College will be right there trading blows with CD. Don’t expect anything different.

Jake Adams: Central Dauphin 28, State College 24: In a normal season, I’m not sure where I’d go with this pick. But I’ll take the Rams because they already have one game under their belts.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 20, State College 7: Welcome to football season, State College! In any other situation I’d predict this to be a one-possession game, but I fully expect CD, with a full game of dominance under its belt, to control play from beginning to end. 

Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 26, State College 22: My colleagues above all referencing belts… Wanna know what’s under my belt? A pandemic belly.

Carlisle at Chambersburg

Andy Shay: Chambersburg 31, Carlisle 14: There’s a slight talent/weapons gap that favors the Trojans; my only concern is there’s a toll that comes with playing CD. Carlisle opener is not favorable for the Herd.

Jake Adams: Chambersburg 21, Carlisle 14: The Trojans may not be as potent as they were the last few years, but they’re still dangerous. And the Herd will feel like a scrimmage after getting thumped by state title contender Central Dauphin last week.

Andy Sandrik: Chambersburg 35, Carlisle 14: The biggest improvements typically come from Week 1 to Week 2, and the Trojans have plenty of improvements to consider following a beat down by Central Dauphin last week.

Geoff Morrow: Chambersburg 29, Carlisle 20: This was a serious blowout last year, but will be interesting to see how Trojans respond to getting slugged by CD last week.

CD East at Cumberland Valley

Andy Shay: Cumberland Valley 17, CD East 10: I’m just going to say I don’t feel good about this pick at all. Neither offense displayed much pop in the opener. Who makes that jump from Week 1 to Week 2 is your winner.

Jake Adams: Cumberland Valley 24, CD East 20: The Eagles aren’t going to only have four second-half offensive snaps again, right? 

Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 28, CD East 14: CV surrendered over 300 rushing yards last week. The Eagles should improve that number against CD East, which managed just one TD in a short-notice game against Exeter Township last week.

Geoff Morrow: CD East 22, Cumberland Valley 19: Something has to give after both teams took some lumps last week. It’s that eye-popping rushing-yards-allowed number by CV that gives me the most concern.

Steel-High at Middletown

Andy Shay: Middletown 38, Steel-High 35: In the last couple years the Rollers have postured like they were ready to compete with the Blue Raiders. And, rightfully, they are in that position again. I think the Rollers can win this game, but you gotta get one to nab my pick. Quarterback play is gonna be important.

Jake Adams: Middletown 39, Steel-High 34: Alex Erby looks like the real deal, and the Rollers’ talent will make this an incredibly intriguing matchup. But my guess is the Raiders still pull this one out. 

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 33, Middletown 32: There are still a handful of seats remaining on the Rollers’ bandwagon. Jump on now, because there’s a chance those seats won’t be available after this weekend.

Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 40, Middletown 36: Four straight wins in this series for the Blue Raiders, and I just know how much that eats at the Rollers. This one should be televised.

 Related: 4th Down Magazine Player of the Week: Middletown’s Julio Rodriguez

Fleetwood at East Pennsboro

Andy Shay: Fleetwood 27, East Pennsboro 14: A last-second game grab for both clubs. That was never even considered prior to 2020 – taking a game on 72 hours or less from kickoff. Clearly a different world we live in now. Anyway, Panthers struggled in their opener and Fleetwood has 12 solid quarters of football on its resume including a W.  

Jake Adams: Fleetwood 29, East Pennsboro 18: An 11th-hour game in the 11th hour of the 30th day of the ninth month of the 2020th year AD. If that’s not something …

Andy Sandrik: Fleetwood 40, East Pennsboro 30: A battle of two teams that have given up points, with about 20 minutes to prepare for each other. Could we see a shootout in Enola?

Geoff Morrow: Fleetwood 22, East Pennsboro 20: Tigers haven’t embarrassed themselves, following a blowout victory over Pottstown with losses to tough Conrad Weiser and Wyomissing programs. The experience of three games should help, especially as the Panthers try to figure out who they are.

Cedar Cliff at Hershey

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 24, Hershey 10: From my vantage point, the biggest difference here is the QB play for Cedar Cliff is more consistent and reliable, and up front the Colts are more solid. Trojans’ run game has some variety and pop.

Jake Adams: Cedar Cliff 31, Hershey 21: I’m gonna say the Trojans keep this one close all game until a late turnover knocks them out. Colts are in for a bigger fight in this matchup than they’ve seen in a while. 

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 21, Hershey 7: Both teams are coming off emotional wins that went down to the wire. This game could be close, but the Colts seem to have a few more playmakers to ultimately make the difference.

Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 28, Hershey 14: Impressive performances from both last week, but the Colts are clear favorites going in.

Lower Dauphin at Bishop McDevitt

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 42, Lower Dauphin 0: Another quasi-scrimmage, it appears, for the Crusaders. Impressed their stars were able to shine so bright in the opener. That tells me they are taking these favorable matchup games seriously. Falcons are still trying to fix a mess.

Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 42, Lower Dauphin 7: Not getting cute. Crusaders cruise to this Week 2 win. 

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 49, Lower Dauphin 0: No matter how ugly it gets against the mighty Crusaders, the Falcons will be happy just to take the field after their Week 1 game was canceled.

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 50, Lower Dauphin 14: Crusaders have the horses.

Palmyra at Red Land

Andy Shay: Red Land 10, Palmyra 7: See what I did there? Same score the Patriots had a week ago but came up on the short end. Neither offense is gonna light it up. Expect a tight one.

Jake Adams: Red Land 14, Palmyra 7: That’s a tough loss the Patriots took last week. But the Cougars losing to Hollidaysburg is more alarming to me. Patriots’ defense has another strong week to win this. 

Andy Sandrik: Red Land 17, Palmyra 10: Points were hard to come by for both teams last week, and something tells me that trend continues Friday. Patriots seem to have a bit more defense, though, and I think they’ll make a late stop to preserve their first win of the season.

Geoff Morrow: Red Land 20, Palmyra 18: Pates need to showcase a little bit of offense, and if/when they do, I expect they’ll be a solid team this season.

Mifflin County at Governor Mifflin

Andy Shay: Governor Mifflin 42, Mifflin County 0: So it goes from bad to possibly worse for MC after getting rolled by Bishop McDevitt in Week 1. Now you get the Mustangs and that wicked running game. That’s a wee bit cruel.

Jake Adams: Governor Mifflin 49, Mifflin County 6: This is a brutal way to start 0-2 if you’re the Huskies.

Andy Sandrik: Governor Mifflin 48, Mifflin County 7: It’s hard to imagine MiffCo having a tougher matchup than it did in a Week 1 blowout loss to Bishop McDevitt, but man, Governor Mifflin just put a 48-7 HURTING on perennial district power Wilson. I’m taking the Mustangs to win by the same score this week.

Geoff Morrow: Governor Mifflin 55, Mifflin County 13: About time these Mifflins got together. Both named after Thomas Mifflin, our commonwealth’s first governor. Too bad he died in 1800; otherwise, I’d tell him to put on a mask and go watch this game.

Mechanicsburg at Shippensburg

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 21, Mechanicsburg 17: It’s all about the big plays for me. I’m banking on the Greyhounds defense to limit those to a minimum. IF the Wildcats hit on three plays of 40 or more yards this game is theirs. Tight squeeze all the way.

Jake Adams: Mechanicsburg 27, Shippensburg 20: I would be really scared to go into Shippensburg against a ticked-off Greyhounds after they were just upset by Waynesboro. But if the ‘Cats hit on a few big plays again against a young defense, they just might pull off this tough road win.

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 21, Mechanicsburg 14: The ‘Hounds don’t give up a whole lot of big plays, something the Wildcats thrive on. How will Mechanicsburg respond when drives stall out? An equally important question: Can Ship’s running game, which managed around 60 yards last week, limit the ‘Cats possession time? 

Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 38, Shippensburg 31: First meeting since 2015, and this one is intriguing. Got a feeling special teams will play a critical role.

Northern at West Perry

Andy Shay: Northern 28, West Perry 14: Polar Bears did a little bit of everything well in their opener, and that level of execution and complementary football will be required again. The Mustangs showed some junkyard scrap in Week 1, and that matters.

Jake Adams: Northern 35, West Perry 14: Was really impressed by how the Mustangs played last week. They’ll be a pain all year and will spring an upset if a team overlooks them. That’s not Northern, though. 

Andy Sandrik: Northern 24, West Perry 21: I’m not convinced that the Polar Bears are going to run away with this one. WP earned a lot of respect with the way it handled division-contending Mechanicsburg.

Geoff Morrow: Northern 25, West Perry 16: Wow, there are a LOT of really interesting matchups this week. I keep waiting to predict a few yawners, but then the Mid-Penn keeps dropping battles like this on me.

Waynesboro at Greencastle-Antrim

Andy Shay: Waynesboro 28, Greencastle-Antrim 20: The combo of two productive running backs and run-slowing defense is what gets the Indians across the finish line. Blue Devils are NOT easy to beat, though. Muck it up and they will knock you down. 

Jake Adams: Waynesboro 23, Greencastle-Antrim 20: One of these teams could be in a driver’s seat for Mid-Penn Colonial supremacy, especially if Ship knocks out the Wildcats. What a world. 

Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 30, Greencastle-Antrim 20: I like to joke with Greencastle coach Devin McCauley — who doubles as the Blue Devils track and field coach — that he’s coached more state champions (Taryn Parks, now running at North Carolina) than the rest of the Colonial Division combined. A win here would put Greencastle in the driver’s seat for McCauley’s first division championship, in football that is. The issue, though, is that it really, really hurts when Waynesboro’s contact-seeking wrecking ball of an RB, Mykel Holden, hits you. 

Geoff Morrow: Greencastle-Antrim 23, Waynesboro 20: Some Franklin County fun. Blue Devils find a way.

Camp Hill at Big Spring

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 26, Big Spring 20: The Lions are fairly one dimensional and can be a bit leaky on defense. I’ll take the big-play capabilities of the Lions against a Bulldogs squad that is trending in a good direcion.

Jake Adams: Camp Hill 27, Big Spring 22: All the reshuffling in the Mid-Penn has me really confused. Can the Bulldogs’ pass defense hold up again Daniel Shuster and the Lions’ aerial attack? We’ll find out. 

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 24, Camp Hill 21: I’m not sure what to make of Camp Hill, a team that scored 35 points last week but managed just six first downs and 15 yards of rushing. I’ll take the Bulldogs at home, but if Camp Hill gets its passing game going, who knows what will happen. 

Geoff Morrow: Camp Hill 30, Big Spring 21: So long as it’s not windy or rainy, I like the Lions’ chances.

Boiling Springs at Trinity

Andy Shay: Boiling Springs 32, Trinity 17: When you score 51 that isn’t an accident. There’s a reason an offense clears the half-century mark no matter how weak the opposition might be. Too many questions still hanging over the T-Rocks to see them taking this one.

Jake Adams: Boiling Springs 35, Trinity 14: Oh, yes. The Bubblers are about to be 2-0. Quite a fun early turnaround this is after making all four of us look bad last week with our picks. 

Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 28, Trinity 14: The losing streak is over for Boiling Springs. The Bubblers are playing with confidence. And just in time for a throwdown with heated rival Trinity.

Geoff Morrow: Boiling Springs 25, Trinity 15: Since 2006, these teams have played just ONE game (out of 13) that was statistically close. Which is strange, because this is NOT a one-sided rivalry.

Newport at Susquenita

Andy Shay: Newport 26, Susquenita 15: That was a lot of yards and points the Blackhawks surrendered in Week 1. Buffaloes had to scratch and claw to get their initial MPC victory, and that will serve them well.

Jake Adams: Newport 27, Susquenita 15: We’ve seen the Blackhawks follow up stinkers with shockers in recent years. Can they do it again? I don’t think so this week.

Andy Sandrik: Newport 22, Susquenita 15: Can Newport be a player in the freshly minted Liberty Division? The answer is yes, but not without winning this scrap against ex-TVL foe Susquenita, which is eager for revenge after a 42-34 setback last season.

Geoff Morrow: Newport 34, Susquenita 19: Buffaloes’ offense should find some room to roam against the Blackhawks.

Line Mountain at Upper Dauphin

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 26, Line Mountain 24: Saw enough out of this new-look Trojans squad in the opener to feel fairly confident they are ready to turn the page and embark on a new journey of their own. Line Mountain will be a tall task, though.

Jake Adams: Upper Dauphin 30, Line Mountain 22: Back to my dart-throwing ways. I’ll figure things out soon enough.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 28, Upper Dauphin 16: UD had a monster of a Week 1 opponent in Steel-High but showed some potential in its running game. Will that be enough to stop the Eagles, who went step-for-step with division contender Camp Hill last week? 

Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 39, Line Mountain 28: Could and should be a back-and-forth battle, which leads me to believe turnovers will play a pivotal role.

Juniata at Halifax

Andy Shay: Juniata 30, Halifax 14: The Indians have more bark in their bite offensively, and that will show up in a more favorable matchup. Playing Middletown didn’t hurt the Indians one bit. They are prepped for this one.

Jake Adams: Juniata 36, Halifax 16: What a reprieve this must be for Juniata. Not Halifax, though.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 48, Halifax 21: Credit to Juniata for putting up 19 points against a formidable Middletown squad. Makes me believe the Indians have more than a fighting chance in the small-school Liberty Division.

Geoff Morrow: Juniata 43, Halifax 14: A return to more familiar territory will suit the Indians well this week.

*Teams not playing Week 2: Susquehanna Township

Week 4 Schuylkill League Schedule: 

Friday, Oct. 2

Pine Grove at Blue Mountain

Andy Shay: Blue Mountain 28, Pine Grove 26: It hasn’t been an easy road for the winless Cardinals, and this is a real opportunity to snare that elusive first SL victory. Need everything to go right, and that’s tough.

Jake Adams: Blue Mountain 26, Pine Grove 16: I miss skiing at Blue Mountain. My knees don’t, but I do.

Andy Sandrik: Blue Mountain 25, Pine Grove 20: This might be Pine Grove’s best chance in its first four games to score a win, but it won’t be easy on the road against a team that has already tasted victory. 

Geoff Morrow: Blue Mountain 35, Pine Grove 14: Eagles have lost a couple of tough ones, but I still feel like this is a pretty steep climb for the winless Cardinals.

Williams Valley at Mahanoy

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 32, Mahanoy 29: This one has all the feel of a shootout, and when was the last time the Vikings didn’t enjoy chasing points with anybody? The lower the better for Mahanoy.

Jake Adams: Mahanoy 34, Williams Valley 30: Playing in a pandemic is a disaster waiting to happen. And even when it’s not, we still run into messes like this where a team has to play two games four days apart. 

Andy Sandrik: Mahanoy 28, Williams Valley 27: I know these kids are teenagers and can operate solely on fast food with no sleep, but I’m really concerned about the Vikings in a tough road matchup after playing two games in four days last week.

Geoff Morrow: Mahanoy 33, Williams Valley 30: This seems like a toss-up game to me, though we’re all still figuring out this new Schuylkill League schedule. I feel like we’ll know a lot more after this week.

Shenandoah Valley at Tri-Valley

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 20, Shenandoah Valley 14: Nice to finally see the Bulldogs on the COVID-19 always fluid schedule for 2020. SV has three games under its belt but has been roughed up and hasn’t been able to do much offensively. Feels like an even matchup.

Jake Adams: Tri-Valley 17, Shenandoah Valley 9: This is about as 2020 a matchup as we can expect with one team getting a three-week head start.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Shenandoah Valley 14: In this Twilight Zone of a football season, do I take the T-V team making its season debut, or the more experienced Blue Devils, who have gotten hammered 127-14 in 12 quarters of football? 

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 30, Shenandoah Valley 7: Late start for the Bulldogs, but this is the right way to do it.

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