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4th Down Magazine’s Picks and Predictions (Oct. 9-10)

Standings: 

Andy Shay: Week 2 13-8  Overall: 27-13 

Geoff Morrow: Week 2 12-9  Overall: 25-15 

Andy Sandrik: Week 2 13-8  Overall: 25-15 

Jake Adams: Week 2  13-8  Overall: 24-16  

Friday, Oct. 9

CD East at Hollidaysburg

Andy Shay: Hollidaysburg 17, CD East 7: Clearly the Panthers are struggling with pop on the offensive side of the ball. Their defense is getting the job done. 

Jake Adams: Hollidaysburg 24, CD East 13: That’s a long drive for the Panthers. It’s gonna feel longer if they don’t come away with the win. 

Andy Sandrik: Hollidaysburg 28, CD East 25: Let me get this straight. Hollidaysburg thumped Altoona, which thumped Cumberland Valley, which squeaked out a one-point win over CD East. So the Golden Tigers should win this home game, no? 

Geoff Morrow: CD East 20, Hollidaysburg 14: I realize this goes against the results we’ve seen thus far. But I’m still skeptical about whatever the heck has happened these last couple of weeks with games involving East, Hollidaysburg, Altoona and CV. NONE OF IT MAKES SENSE!

Harrisburg at Berks Catholic

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 35, Berks Catholic 21: Expect a little rust on the Cougars, but if they knock it off quickly, that means chaos reigns down on the Saints. I expect Berks Catholic to be ahead at halftime.

Jake Adams: Harrisburg 27, Berks Cathilic 24: Not convinced the Cougars run at 100% after one of the longest delays for any team this season, but the high-powered option finds a way in the end. 

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 35, Berks Catholic 28: Credit to Berks Catholic for picking up this game. I don’t think the Saints will be out of it at any point in the contest, but I just have a feeling there’s a sleeping giant in Harrisburg that’s about to awaken. 

Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 34, Berks Catholic 30: This feels like Floyd Mayweather returning to the ring after a brief retirement. Interesting game.

Big Spring at Boiling Springs

Andy Shay: Boiling Springs 28, Big Spring 14: I’m not quite ready to give the Bubblers those easy big-play points. Bulldogs’ defense will make it tough. Just not sure Big Spring has enough offense to keep pace over the long haul here.

Jake Adams: Boiling Springs 34, Big Spring 20: Have you seen the rushing totals the Bubblers have put up the first two weeks? Yeah, this team has made the leap back to relevance. 

Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 35, Big Spring 14: Boiling Springs has been leaps and bounds better than we could have possibly predicted. I’ll have what the Bubblers are having. 

Geoff Morrow: Boiling Springs 31, Big Spring 14: Bulldogs have won three of the last four meetings, but I just witnessed that Bubblers Wing-T, and it was a beautiful thing to watch.

Middletown at Camp Hill

Andy Shay: Middletown 42, Camp Hill 21: There’s a physical element to this game that favors the Blue Raiders big-time. But that offense for the Lions is proving to be a test.

Jake Adams: Middletown 45, Camp Hill 14: I don’t think the Lions will be pushed around without a fight, but the Blue Raiders have more firepower all around. 

Andy Sandrik: Middletown 52, Camp Hill 24: Congrats to the 2-0 Lions on a nice win over Big Spring. Getting to 3-0 against the Blue Raiders, though, is much easier said than done. 

Geoff Morrow: Middletown 35, Camp Hill 27: Lions last thumped the Blue Raiders in 2014, but this is where I think Middletown’s program growth shows up. I anticipate Brett Myers’ club bounces back from last week’s loss to the Rollers.

Central Dauphin at Carlisle

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 45, Carlisle 7: For the record, it was Jake who copied my score not the other way around. Notice who is listed first in the order. Rams should cruise here.

Jake Adams: Central Dauphin 45, Carlisle 7: Looks like the Herd have some road graters this year, but something tells me the Rams won’t have much trouble at all. 

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 44, Carlisle 12: After basically eliminating rival Chambersburg from the Commonwealth race, Carlisle should be coming into its home opener with a bit of a pep in its step. I don’t doubt that the Herd can make a few highlight-reel plays, but the Rams are built to apply 48 minutes of punishment.

Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 39, Carlisle 14: High-five to the Herd on last week’s trouncing of Chambersburg, but this is an entirely different animal Carlisle needs to cage.

Bishop McDevitt at Cedar Cliff

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 42, Cedar Cliff 20: Bishop McDevitt should be prepared for a more complete test of this version of the Crusaders. Cliff has their number recently. I’m worried about the Colts being too one-dimensional offensively and how they rebound from a bad loss.

Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 47, Cedar Cliff 27: That was an eye-opening loss to Hershey last week. Colts would love nothing more than to rebound, but Crusaders are a tough bunch to do that against. 

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 44, Cedar Cliff 20: I’d love to know how the Colts ran 80 plays, controlled possession for nearly 33 minutes and still lost last week. Controlling the clock might be Cliff’s only path to victory against McDevitt, not an easy ask considering the Crusaders have allowed exactly zero points in eight quarters.

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 33, Cedar Cliff 22: Colts have played a much tougher schedule thus far, and we don’t know exactly what happens yet when McDevitt gets tested this season. But history tells me the Crusaders will be just fine.

West Perry at East Pennsboro

Andy Shay: West Perry 33, East Pennsboro 20: Mustangs are due some enjoyment of sipping from the victory mug after strong showings in their first two games against quality opponents. Panthers have to turn this game upside down to win.

Jake Adams: West Perry 34, East Pennsboro 28: I like how feisty this Mustangs herd is. They may not have the horsepower against some of the top Colonial teams, but they’ll get their wins and be a tough out every week. 

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 28, East Pennsboro 14: The Mustangs have already earned the respect of Colonial heavyweights Mechanicsburg and Northern; now it’s time to earn that win. Looking for WP’s young group of playmakers to take that next step.

Geoff Morrow: West Perry 29, East Pennsboro 14: I look forward to @wpfbstats screen-shoting these picks and sharing them on Twitter, where I will then see them and laugh at my own dumb words I just now wrote.

Halifax at Line Mountain

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 39, Halifax 13: Wildcats showed some offensive pop in their opener, but stopping a downhill train like Garrett Laudenslager is easier said than done.

Jake Adams: Line Mountain 38, Halifax 14: Just reading up on that Garret Laudenslager kid who ran for 16.3 yards a carry last week. Yeah, I think he’ll do just fine in this one as well.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 44, Halifax 12: I can’t imagine it’s fun for Line Mountain’s small school opponents to take the physical beating that comes with banging pads with 6-foot-3, 200-pound RB Garret Laudenslager, who is averaging more than 10 yards per carry.

Geoff Morrow: Line Mountain 45, Halifax 20: Competitive loss to Camp Hill, then a big takedown of Upper Dauphin has me believing in the Mountain as a Liberty Division threat, even though midpennconference.org doesn’t even list the Eagles in the standings.

Juniata at Lower Dauphin

Andy Shay: Juniata 28, Lower Dauphin 27: Can QB Jacob Condo lead the Indians to what most would see as an upset, but with what the Falcons are trying to accomplish and build, it’s actually not an upset? Feels like a toss-up game. If LD rolls, it means progress is being made. Gotta see it, though.

Jake Adams: Lower Dauphin 28, Juniata 14: A Keystone vs. Liberty matchup? Well this is interesting. I keep saying it, but this new-look Mid-Penn Conference is taking me some time to figure out. No more changes for at least a year, OK?

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 31, Juniata 21: What an intriguing matchup. I *think* Lower Dauphin is the favorite here, but If Juniata QB Jacob Condo (158.5 ypg) goes out and starts slinging, the Indians could make this interesting. 

Geoff Morrow: Lower Dauphin 21, Juniata 14: Assuming the Indians don’t get lost on the way to Hummelstown – wait, no, Hershey! – this could be a very competitive contest.

Greencastle-Antrim at Mechanicsburg

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 42, Greencastle-Antrim 7: Wildcats want to make each game a track meet and dictate tempo. They have the gun and bullets to fire a lot of different directions. It throws teams off balance. Blue Devils are better, but off balance isn’t their strong suit.

Jake Adams: Mechanicsburg 35, Greencastle-Antrim 21: I’m a believer in these Wildcats after they jumped in front of Ship last week in explosive fashion. The climb up the Colonial continues. 

Andy Sandrik: Mechanicsburg 42, Greencastle-Antrim 24: It’s only taken two games for the Wildcats to establish themselves as the team to beat in the Colonial. And while Greencastle seems more ready than ever to bang with the division’s top teams, it’s a really big ask for the Blue Devils to slay this dragon.

Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 30, Greencastle-Antrim 14: Wildcats eyeing their first 3-0 start since 2013.

Red Land at Waynesboro

Andy Shay: Red Land 20, Waynesboro 16: I think the strength for the Patriots is their defense, and that is what must carry the load for them here. Indians’ strength is the run game and pace. That’s strength vs. strength. Give me that Pats’ D. 

Jake Adams: Waynesboro 27, Red Land 23: Indians playing with a lot of confidence right now, I imagine. Think that carries them into this Week 3 win.

Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 20, Red Land 13: Another one of those last-minute schedule changes gives us a black & blue battle between the Indians and Patriots. Keep those mouthpieces in, fellas! 

Geoff Morrow: Red Land 14, Waynesboro 13: Guessing the under is in play here, but this feels like an opportune time for the Patriots to disrupt the Indians’ hot start.

James Buchanan at Newport

Andy Shay: Newport 26, James Buchanan 22: This will be the toughest test for the Buffaloes, who have methodically gone about their business. Official Welcome Back to the MPC Party for James Buchanan.

Jake Adams: Newport 19, James Buchanan 18: The Buffaloes haven’t exactly blown the doors off their first two opponents. I think James Buchanan, in its first official division game back in the Mid-Penn, gives the Buffs quite the scare. Wouldn’t be surprised if a turnover tilts this in JB’s favor.

Andy Sandrik: Newport 22, James Buchanan 17: The Buffaloes have adjusted to life in the Mid-Penn just fine with wins over Trinity and ex-TVL mate Susquenita. Make it 3-0 for Newport with a grind-it-out win over the Rockets.

Geoff Morrow: Newport 29, James Buchanan 8: Normally I would expect rockets to gravely injure buffaloes, but these are not normal times we live in nowadays.

Shippensburg at Northern

Andy Shay: Northern 21, Shippensburg 14: Polar Bears are 2-0 and Shippensburg is 0-2, so there’s a gap there that screams Polar Bears. Maybe the Greyhounds just aren’t as good as we thought. Northern is exactly what we thought it would be. I’ll ride that consistency right now.

Jake Adams: Northern 28, Shippensburg 24: I feel really strange picking a Greyhound team to start a year – any year – 0-3. But here we are. 

Andy Sandrik: Northern 14, Shippensburg 10: For me, the key matchup here is Northern QB Jordan Heisey vs. Shippensburg DE Anthony Smith, perhaps the best two players on the field. If the ‘Hounds want to avoid 0-3, Heisey can’t run for 200+ like he did last week, and that’s where Division I prospect Smith comes in.

Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 21, Northern 20: Momentum is a strange bird, particularly in high school athletics. Sometimes, exactly when you think things are one way, they snap back a different way. That’s a trippy way of me saying I think the speed-dogs avoid an 0-3 start.

Cumberland Valley at State College

Andy Shay: State College 28, Cumberland Valley 7: You could see with each passing quarter against CD in its opener why State College is highly regarded. Lots of new guys playing regular snaps, but they have some talent to work with. Eagles won’t be able to keep pace.

Jake Adams: State College 38, Cumberland Valley 14: Too many changing parts for the Eagles to be super competitive against the likes of the Little Lions. 

Andy Sandrik: State College 28, Cumberland Valley 14: Congrats to the Eagles, who churned out their first win for Coach “Oz” last week. I’m just not sure if the Eagles can repeat that feat against a State College squad that’s beyond hyped to play in its newly renovated stadium. 

Geoff Morrow: State College 40, Cumberland Valley 21: I think we’ll see CV continue to make strides each week as coach and team figure each other out, but taming the Little Lions in Happy Valley Jr. seems like a lot to expect.

Susquenita at Upper Dauphin

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 26, Susquenita 20: Somebody is going to get win No. 1 in the Mid-Penn Conference this year, and the Trojans have shown just a bit more pop offensively to earn a nod.

Jake Adams: Susquenita 21, Upper Dauphin 14: This is one of those games I’ve seen (from afar) in recent years where the Blackhawks go in off a couple tough losses and pull out a win we didn’t quite expect. So I’m aiming to stay ahead of them.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 20, Susquenita 16: I’m anticipating a close game between these 0-2 squads, with the Trojans having just enough firepower to subdue their Perry County visitors.

Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 35, Susquenita 29: Two hungry teams. My feeling is the offenses carry the day.

Hershey at Palmyra

Andy Shay: Hershey 28, Palmyra 14: Big plays and solid defense have lit the fuse for Hershey in the early going. That formula will be in play against the Cougars. If either falters, Palmyra will take full advantage.

Jake Adams: Hershey 35, Palmyra 18: Trojans on the warpath? Not quite, but that’s certainly an eye-opening win they had last week. 

Andy Sandrik: Hershey 24, Palmyra 17: Chris Pope’s Cougars have scrapped hard in losses to Hollidaysburg and Red Land, and they’ll do just that again against Keystone-contending Hershey. But right now it’s really hard to pick against the Trojans, who just toppled Cedar Cliff.

Geoff Morrow: Hershey 27, Palmyra 13: I mean, I assume the Trojans can beat teams outside the West Shore School District, but I guess they still need to prove it.

Trinity at Steel-High

Andy Shay: Steel-High 49, Trinity 0: If the mercy rule isn’t in play early in the third quarter then the Rollers didn’t take care of business. 

Jake Adams: Steel-High 54, Trinity 7: Shamrocks’ young quarterbacks are prone to mistakes, which is completely understandable as they learn the ropes. But the Rollers are … rolling … and will feast on this matchup. 

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 56, Trinity 14: I’m predicting the Shamrocks will score two touchdowns, but that might not happen against the ferocious Steel-High defense.

Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 60, Trinity 7: Shamrocks have some serious issues to figure out on both sides of the ball, and the Rollers are not here to help.

*Not playing Week 3: Susquehanna Township, Mifflin County

Week 5 Schuylkill League Schedule: 

Friday, Oct. 9

Pottsville at Pine Grove

Andy Shay: Pottsville 38, Pine Grove 14: Nice first win in 2020 for the Cards a week ago, but this Pottsville team is a well-oiled machine that just plugs in different pieces and it still looks the same. That’s an uphill climb all the way.

Jake Adams: Pottsville 35, Pine Grove 21: Three ball carriers with at least 20 touches, at least 290 yards and at least 9 yards per carry. How? What? Why? Who? … Good luck, Cardinals.

Andy Sandrik: Pottsville 33, Pine Grove 14: Last week, Pine Grove showed us it could move the ball in its first win of the season. Now, the Cards will face an incredible defensive challenge in stopping the three-headed rushing monster that is Pottsville QB Jazce Carabello-Snowell and RBs Bobby Walchak and Travontai Davis, each of whom is averaging around 10 yards per carry.

Geoff Morrow: Pottsville 25, Pine Grove 20: I’ve seen some weird scores from the Schuylkill participants this year, so I honestly don’t know what to expect. But Crimson Tide is rising.

Panther Valley at Williams Valley

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 45, Panther Valley 14: Never knew the Vikings not to take full advantage of a defense struggling to slow anybody down. Williams Valley will keep that trend alive for PV.

Jake Adams: Williams Valley 41, Panther Valley 13: The Panthers’ defense has struggled this season, allowing 134 points this season, 57 of which came last week in a loss to Minersville. The Vikings shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 38, Panther Valley 14: If the Vikings’ starters can take care of business early, they may find themselves with an opportunity to get some much-needed rest.

Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 57, Panther Valley 7: Not about to overthink this one. Vikings with a running clock.

Mahanoy at Tri-Valley

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 28, Mahanoy 14: Smooth and steady wins the race in what could be a fine-line game for either team. By fine line I mean it could go either way in my opinion. Bulldogs’ efficiency has to be the deciding factor to claim the W.

Jake Adams: Tri-Valley 35, Mahanoy 14: OK, Minersville plastered Panther Valley, and Mahanoy plastered Minersville and nearly beat Williams Valley. So the transitive of the transitive property means the Bulldogs win this one by a few scores, right?

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Mahanoy 21: I know Mahanoy nearly tripped up Williams Valley last week, but I’ve just got a hunch about the Bulldogs.

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 26, Mahanoy 24: Again, late start to the season for Bulldogs, but I think we’re looking at a pretty solid team. Golden Bears make this very interesting, though.

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